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Belt’s Beer Garden: making a Mosaic

This week I have two Mosaic IPAs for you to try

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I love themed weeks and this week it’s all about Mosaic hops.

I’ve looked near and far to find two different brews that both showcase the tasty hop, which can add citrus, pine, herbal, or tropical fruit qualities to beer.

Let’s start in the Lone Star State with Community Beer Co’s version of the Mosaic IPA.

Community Beer Co. calls Dallas, Texas home and has four year-round beers in addition to four more seasonal brews. Currently, you can only get them in parts of the Lone Star State. I was lucky enough to find them as far north as Amarillo…but it looks like they mainly are available in Dallas and Austin areas.

I grabbed one of their four staples: Mosaic IPA. A six pack costs about $10.99, just above average.

This version of the Mosaic IPA poured a bright amber color with loads of bubbles inside but not many building atop the beer. Despite all that fizz you see inside the glass in the picture above, there was only about half an inch of off-white head that ever really built up. Even then the limited foam faded into just a dusting rather quickly.

The aroma this beer gave off was quite nice. It was front-loaded with tropical fruit (like grapefruit and pineapple and light melon) while having a slightly dank pine quality underneath. The malts were also there in the smell, with a mild bready aroma that cut down on the bold hops this beer used.

My first taste followed my nose quite remarkably. Up front is just a mild carbonated fizz that gives way to a slight doughy malt profile. From there, the tropical flavors the Mosaic hops impart on the beer spike. Grapefruit and honeydew melon danced across my palate, as did a slight alcohol burn. That didn’t really surprise me though as this IPA is souped-up with an ABV of 8.6%!

After the tropical flavors, on the backend of the sip, it was the pine qualities emerged. That left an earthy hop bitterness on the back of my tongue that lasted between sips. Luckily this beer didn’t end on a dry note or that bitterness might have been amplified, as so often happens.

This beer is quite hoppy and, in addition to the high ABV, packs a punch with 85 IBU…which can sting you towards the end of the sip. However, the malts bring the beer back down to earth with a semi-sweet toasted quality near the end of the flavors.

As I continued to drink the beer down, the foam didn’t do much to stick to the glass. It left a few light lines that indicated where the beer had been located on my glass; but, for the most part, my vessel was left unmarked.

Mosaic hops are a great addition to any IPA…so I fully support any beer made with an massive amount of them. This brew is no different.

Overall Community Beer Co’s Mosaic IPA was pretty good…but there were a few drawbacks. While I love hoppy brews, this one had a bitter punch that reminded me more of a double IPA. And, speaking of DIPAs, the high ABV and big boozy bite that accompanied this brew also made this one feel more on the double side of things.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t like this beer. On the contrary, it had a lot of awesome flavors. It wasn’t my favorite beer…but it is certainly a beer I’ll be going back to. Buying the six-pack was the right way to go. 8/10

8 beers

Next up, I head over to Oregon for Cascade Lakes’ take on this style.

Cascade Lakes began way back in 1994 and calls Redmond, Oregon home - just north of Bend in central Oregon. They brew six year round beers (three of which are IPAs) and a variety of seasonal/rotating brews as well. Right now you can find their bottles in Oregon and Washington but you can also find them on draft at a few taps throughout the country, so that’s cool.

I picked out one of their seasonal beers to go with the previous review; their Mosaic IPA.

Their take on the Mosaic IPA packs a mere 6.5% ABV (which is actually still pretty solid) BUT it will only cost you $7.99 for a six pack of bottles…so the price point is a bit lower than the former brew.

It poured a bright copper color with minimal head. There was never more than a thin layer of foam on top the beer but what little head there was sure was thick and sticky. The eggshell white bubbles created one of the densest, yet thinnest, cover I’ve seen on a beer…the picture above doesn’t really do it justice.

On the nose, this version has a more complicated aroma. There are the tropical fruit notes like Community’s has but there are also herbal and grassy notes that subdue the fruit. A light pine and some hay qualities back the beer as well.

As I brought the beer to my lips, it started with a smooth creamy mouthfeel and had a body a little bit on the medium-heavy side of things. There was just a dash of carbonation before the hops and malt drove the flavors out.

The bright tropical flavors of grapefruit and pineapple actually led the charge out of the gate. The grassy characteristics of the Mosaic hops then slowly faded in along with a light caramel sweetness to cut into the aggressive hops. There is a little dankness to this brew as well, hiding beneath the other flavors.

Towards the end of the sip it was the pine characteristics of the Mosaic hops came out, providing a dash of bitterness before the flavors completely faded from memory (at 66 IBU it’s nothing too bitter though). Along with the pine, there is a slight dryness that lasts for a few moments before that too fizzles out.

When the beer starts to disappear from the glass, the head really shines. Literally every inch of my cup as covered in solid bubbles, with thicker lines marking the former resting spots of the liquid.

Overall this was another really good Mosaic IPA…Mosaic hops are just really awesome. There were really great flavors and it was quite sessionable for being as heavy as it was. The malts and hops balance each other really well here though, as the malt adds a tad bit of sweetness to offset the grassy characteristics this version has. The easy drinkability and lower price point certainly don’t hurt either.

Unfortunately this beer is not available year round in six packs (but you can still find bombers of it all year…but I have no clue what those cost). You can only find it through the end of this month…so you better hurry! 8.5/10

8.5