Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beereview: Flying Dog - Tire Bite Golden Ale

We're no strangers to Flying Dog here at AToTB. Gene reviewed Snake Dog IPA a few months ago, and in my head I'm sure I must have reviewed Tire Bite Golden Ale by now. As my mind has been known to leak facts like a Sony owned website leaks passwords so I thought I should probably check Google. Either my web research talents are limited to obscure factoids (see: Cashew on wikipedia), or I didn't review this beer.

Gene's post gave a pretty good overview of the brewery and their sense of humor, so I won't repeat that here. Gene alluded to their "weird-A$$ names" but it's much more than names which make them bizarre.What catches my attention is the artwork Flying Dog uses on its bottles.

The best way to describe the bottle artwork on every single thing they brew is disturbingly messy, grotesque, and vaguely sinister. I've shied away from serving this beer to people with weak stomachs purely because of how horrifying the bottles are.

Anything this weird has to have a story behind it -- or lots and lots of drugs. In this case, it's both. Their bottles are designed by Ralph Steadman, best known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson. Ralph is the gonzo artist. If nothing is ringing a bell here, check out "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and crawl out from under that rock.

Without boring you with Art History (you can read Wikipedia and pretend to be smart just as easily as I can,) let's use Tire Bite as an example. The label features a half demon dog biting a spinning tire while gore flies from his angry clenching jaws. He's covered in blood and built like the corpse of a dead wrestler. If that doesn't scream "put me out at a wedding banquet!" I don't know what does.

Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale

This beer is one of the best Golden Ales around. It pours a transparent golden color (duh,) and maintains carbonation for the entire time you drink it. It has a small white head that dissipates but is continually maintained by the fizz. This is definitely not a dark beer; there's no coffee flavors or overt bitterness here. It's just sweet, cold, and clear. At 5.1%, it's pretty much in the mid to low range for ABV.

The smell is sweet honey with just a touch of citrus hops. It's an extremely clean smelling beer with none of the usual breadiness. The hops become more pronounced the more you sniff and if you're a hop hound like me it makes your mouth water. The taste is sweet and clean with a very pleasant mouth-feel. It hits you with a cool burst of sweetness that quickly fades into a vaguely hoppy and oat-like flavor. It almost reminds me of a very toned down version of honey nut cheerios in ice cold milk, minus the dairy and breakfast implications.

The most notable thing about this beer (and why it's one of my favorites) is that it's extremely cooling and refreshing. There's nothing I'd want more on a hot day, it's clear and crisp but doesn't sacrifice flavor for "liteness." Forget corona, this is a beach beer. Next time you're mowing the lawn, look no further (and make sure you have a dead-man switch.)

Have you ever turned down a beer because of the label? Let me know in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, sounds like I might actually like this one. I can't remember if you gave me a sip or not...