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Belt’s Beer Garden: A Case of the Mondays

Monday Night’s Cardigans of the Galaxy & Smith & Lentz’s Mosaic IPA


There’s no better cure for a case of the Mondays like a good beer.

And, if one brewery knows that, it HAS to be Georgia’s Monday Night Brewing.

Monday Night Brewing is making their second appearance on BBG. The Atlanta, Georgia based brewery started after a few friends from a Bible study group wanted to get to know each other better and began brewing on Monday nights.

From that, they opened MNB in 2006 which has taken off and now expanded to a second location is southwest Atlanta that focuses on their barrel aged and sour beers, along with some experimental stuff. You can now find them in the major cities throughout Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.

I found their beer, Cardigans of the Galaxy, and, based on the name alone, I had to try it.

This double IPA was brewed with a slew of hop varieties – Citra, Columbus, Comet, Ekuanot, Mandarina Bavaria, Mosaic, Simcoe, and, of course, Galaxy. It clocks in with a huge 9.5% ABV and 95 IBU and is sold in four-packs of 16-ounce cans that run a tad higher in cost, at $16.

When poured, this DIPA was a mostly translucent golden straw color with a finger and a half of dense eggshell-white head that fizzled down relatively quickly to a slight dusting across the top.

Cardigans had a juicy tropical bouquet emitting from it. Dank notes of melon, mango, grapefruit, and other citrus notes filled the air with a hint of hoppy citrus rind bitterness lingering in the background.

For being 9.5% and close to triple digits in IBU, it certainly smelled much lighter and more like a typical West Coast brew.

The taste started with some mild carbonation and a thicker, almost chewy, mouthfeel to it. From the little effervescence sprung forward those bold hoppy flavors. It wasn’t quite as juicy as the aroma had indicated, although all the citrus notes were there. Melon and grapefruit led the way with tangerine, mango, and orange peel following suit.

As the tropical notes emerged, so too did a swift moving and far reaching dryness that sucked all the moisture out of my mouth before the sip had even reached its midway point.

Amid the dryness, the melon and orange remained persistent on my taste buds and, although it wasn’t too obvious in the actual taste, the high alcohol content added a slight burn to everything; warming my chest and making the beer sit slightly heavy.

The flavors in Cardigans actually ended rather quickly and cleanly, simply leaving behind that super dry feeling and a few notes of dank citrus rind bitterness.

All in all, this was a somewhat easy to drink double. The huge citrus flavors made it taste, and go down, like a litter brew at first…but the dryness, the booze, and the thickness of Cardigans made it sit on the heavy side, impeding the speed at which it could be drank.

This one won’t be around long so if you’re a fan of puns, tropical flavors, and high alcohol contents, this beer is for you. Just be warned, it is very dry.

It turns out I have an affinity for beers hoped solely with Mosaic hops because up next is the fourth beer to be featured on BBG named “Mosaic IPA”. This time from Tennessee’s Smith & Lentz.

Back in 2014 Adler Lentz and Kurt Smith relocated from Texas to East Nashville and started Smith & Lentz. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the beers became readily available to the public.

From what I’ve seen/found, they’re still only available in the Nashville area but they might have a larger distribution than that and be available throughout Tennessee, if not in other states as well.

Today I have their Mosaic IPA, a West Coast IPA aggressively hopped with Mosaic hops. Each 16-ounce can has a solid 6.8% ABV and you can find four-packs for the cost of $13, which is a tad higher than average.

This beer poured super dark for an IPA. It was a dark, dark copper color…almost like a glass of iced tea. No more than a finger of off-white foam ever billowed up and, what little head there was, quickly dissipated to a mere dusting within a few moments.

The aroma was incredibly sweet – like sugary sweet (also like iced tea). It had a bubblegum like aroma that mixed in notes of grapefruit, peach, and apricot with a biscuity and caramel backing to it. The Mosaic hops were really prominent here.

My first swig started off surprisingly smooth with very little carbonation and a watery mouthfeel. The flavors slowly crept forward, with the stone fruit leading the way.

Apricot and peach started it off before some lightly tart citrus began to mix into the blend – mostly lemon, grapefruit, and orange. However, this beer was really balanced and wasn’t just about those Mosaic hops.

As the color had indicated, this brew had a decent helping of malt in in it and, midway through, that maltiness showed up. As the hops offered up a slightly bitter pine flavor, the caramel and bready malt flavoring really began to peek through and showcased the sweeter malt flavors while still allowing the hops to be the star of the show.

From there everything began to slowly fade away. But, before it all disappeared, there was a sugary-sweet lemon flavor and a dash of bitterness that finished it all off.

Mosaic IPA then ended really cleanly. All that remained afterwards was a stone fruit sweetness and a hint of hoppy bitterness.

Overall though, this was a great showcase for the Mosaic hops. It was balanced, tasty, and worth the price of admission. When I saw the color, I was a little skeptical but it turned out to be a really tasty brew. A little too sweet on occasions but still good none-the-less.