Know Your Strengths
A Review of Tire Bite Golden Ale by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 9/27/2012 by Chops
''Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.'' This line from the infinitely quotable Princess Bride is just another way of saying ''know your strengths''. This is what went through my mind when I sat down with Flying Dog's Tire Bite Golden Ale. Flying Dog is well known for their hop-tastic palate punishing creations. Beers like the Double Dog Imperial Pale Ale and Raging Bitch Belgian IPA showcase why this brewery isn't to be trifled with. So when the decision is made to go after the softer side of the craft fan base, something is bound to get lost in translation. Unfortunately I was left to ponder what the Tire Bite Golden Ale was bringing to the table.

In the glass, this beer has a bright golden yellow coloration. It comes with a sudsy white head that dissipates quickly. On the nose, I detected little more than the mild grassy note of a baseline lager. Knowing the brewery like I do, I made several attempts to get more out of it, but to no avail. Very little about this beer says ''Kölsch'', so I was already confused going into that first sip.

Oddly enough, the aroma perfectly set up the rest of the experience. This beer feels and tastes just like a baseline lager. It has a decent body and drinks cleanly. There is a slight hop bite which adds a pleasant zesty quality to the mix (and is the only aspect of Flying Dog I could find in the beer). The core flavor is a general grassy character with a mild lemony vibe. The finish is simple and clean with very little aftertaste. A wisp of a hop sting caps off the experience.

Overall, Flying Dog's Tire Bite Golden Ale is an underwhelming brew. It's not bad mind you, but it's just not that good. It's a rare miss for the brewery, who consistently delivers on their beastly arsenal. I'm left scratching my head on whether or not I can recommend this beer. It's certainly a much better option than the domestic trash beers. But on the other hand, there are so many other tastier options on the market. I can easily recommend Tire Bite as an ''in a pinch'' beer, but never as a go-to product. You can't win them all and I can't fault Flying Dog for spreading their wings a bit. But I must reiterate: know your strengths.

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Tire Bite Golden Ale by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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