This red lager from the Hop City Brewing Company in Brampton, Ontario pours an amber-copper colour with lots of visible carbonation and a medium-sized, foamy tan coloured head that leaves some spotty lacing and settles as a collared film. Barking Squirrel Lager smells of toasted caramel malts with a floral hop quality. Fresh grains, alcohol, raisin and tree nuts also come through.
The taste of Barking Squirrel Lager is crisp and mostly dry, with a subtle nutty quality, a bread-like tone and a hint of chocolate. The finish is solidly bitter with a slight wood or scotch note. The mouthfeel is creamy with a yeast-like quality on the tongue. There is a nice pop of carbonation even at the bottom of the glass and the aftertaste is dry with a raisin-like fruity tone to it.
Barking Squirrel Lager comes in a black can that features the image of a perplexed looking squirrel holding a hop cone and a handwritten logo underneath the brewery logo. A brief description of the beer can be found on the back of the can and a coded freshness date that follows its parent company’s (Moosehead Breweries Limited) system can be found at the bottom.
Barking Squirrel Lager is an interesting take on the red lager style that has the nutty and fruity elements of a brown ale and a nice, pilsner-like bitterness. It also has a less syrupy/viscose feeling than counterparts such as Creemore Springs Premium Lager. This beer is both drinkable and very satisfying and paired excellently with a hearty shepherd’s pie. It would also make a great choice for wings and ribs or salty snacks like peanuts and kettle chips.
You can find Barking Squirrel Lager in cans at many LCBO outlets and on tap at bars and pubs across south and eastern Ontario.
Type: American Amber / Red Lager
Region: Ontario, Brampton
Brewery: Hop City Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 473 mL
Alcohol Content: 4.8%