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Belt’s Beer Garden: Mosaic to My Ears

Two brews that feature Mosaic hops - Gun Hill’s Salute 2 Mosaic & Hop Butcher’s Cosmic Fountain

Mosaic hops are some of the tastiest hops out there, with a flavor profile that can range from tropical fruits to pine and even floral notes. Their wide range of flavors makes them a perfect addition to an IPA, so it’s no surprise they’re so common.

Today I have two more beers that feature this miracle hop. First up, a beer that only uses Mosaic hops - Gun Hill’s Salute 2 Mosaic.

Gun Hill Brewery calls the Bronx, NYC home and takes its name from a Revolutionary War battle. On January, 25 1777 a fierce and bloody skirmish took place just a few yards from where the brewery sits today when American soldiers dragged a cannon up the hill and repelled an attack from advancing British troops.

Currently they distribute across New England in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island but you can also find their stuff online or, if you’re lucky, in some spots on the West Coast.

Many of their beer names were inspired by that battle and the Revolutionary War in general, such as their Spirit 76 pilsner, Fort Ticonderoga barleywine, and the beer I have for you all today.

I was able to get my hands on a can of their Salute 2 Mosaic, a triple dry-hopped Imperial IPA brewed with Mosaic hops. Each 16-ounce can has a whopping 9.3% ABV and will set you back about $6.

Salute 2 Mosaic poured a bright orange color with a massive amount of head building up. Nearly three fingers of fluffy, dense white foam blocked my entrance to the beer. The bubbles slowly…very slowly…fizzled away and left me waiting for a few minutes before the beer was even accessible.

While I was patiently waiting for the head to dissolve, I was able to get a huge whiff of the surprisingly sweet and inviting aroma this beer had. Huge tropical notes of pineapple, papaya, mango, apricot, and stone fruits burst forward. A bready malt base added an extra layer sweetness underneath the hops.

When the time finally came and I was able to take my first sip of S2M, it began with a super creamy and smooth mouthfeel. The Mosaic hops soon begin their assault, launching a heavy bitter twinge accompanied by a handful of tropical fruits.

Peach, apricot, and pineapple hit first with that hop bite still stinging underneath. The tropical flavors kept on coming, with mango, lemon, and grapefruit swooping down next.

The malts brought some of that biscuity sweetness which played nicely with the already sweeter fruit flavors but their attempted to slice into the bitterness fell flat and, instead, were completely overpowered by the Mosaic hops.

A slight boozy burn hits midway down my throat…the 9.3% showing itself late. But, while the alcohol did show up, it was late enough that it didn’t detract from the other flavors.

Salute then finishes really cleanly. There is no sticky dryness, no lingering hoppy bitterness…it just ends.

The clean finish mixed with the overall sweetness from the hops made this a shockingly sessionable Imperial IPA, even with that huge ABV. Yes, it has that hoppy bitterness that attacks up front but, after a few sips, it calmed down a lot and made this a very solid DIPA.

Next up, a beer that’s more local to me - Hop Butcher For The World’s Cosmic Fountain.

Hop Butcher For The World currently brews in the Chicago suburb of Darien, Illinois (as they have for the past few years) while they look for a more permanent location. This will be their fourth appearance on Belt’s Beer Garden but only their third as Hop Butcher.

A few years back a trademark dispute forced them to lost their old name – South Loop Brewing Co. – and so they turned to a Carl Sandburg poem for their new name, playing on the author calling Chicago the “hog butcher of the world.”

The past few summers they have become one of Chicagoland’s best in creating amazing IPAs, with each being better than the next. Today I have another one of their hoppy beers to share with all of you – Cosmic Fountain.

Cosmic Fountain is New England-style Double IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic, and Waimea hops and was just canned 20 days ago on August 16th. It has a very solid 7.5% ABV with a four-pack of 16-ounce cans costing about $16.

It poured a super murky, muddle straw color that resembled silty water. A finger of eggshell white head topped the brew and quickly faded down into a thin ring around the edge of the glass with a small dusting covering the rest.

This beer had an amazing scent filling the air around me. It was a super juice bomb that featured a massive amount of tropical and citrus fruits. Orange, grapefruit, lemon, berries, and passion fruit were just some of the great features of this brew’s aroma. Behind the fruit was a sugary sweetness and some oaty malts.

My first sip began with a light hum of carbonation and a thicker, creamier mouthfeel.

From there, the juice bomb exploded across my taste buds with all of those fruity flavors from the smell making an appearance in the taste as well.

Notes of berries, orange, and juicy - not bitter - grapefruit were most prevalent, with passion fruit and mango sitting right underneath. The lemon shows up after a few seconds with a slight tartness and a cane sugar sweetness accompanying it, which gives this beer a slight Lemonheads candy taste.

Towards the second half of the beer, the malt profile adds some oaty sweetness and a flaked wheat characteristic that play nicely with the hops while making sure to not step on the hops’ toes. At this point, the hops added some dank pine notes in with the citrus but the fruit remained in control as the lead flavor.

Cosmic Fountain then begins its decent and ends mostly clean with no appearance of the higher ABV at all. The only downfall this brew had was a dry aftertaste…and even that wasn’t bad.

Honestly, this was an impulse buy and…boy am I glad I decided to get this. Their reputation as one of the best producers of hoppy beer in Chicagoland is, once again, upheld. Cosmic Fountains is a near perfect hazy double IPA. If you see a pack, or even a single can, you better buy it!

Out of the 475+ beers seen on BBG, it’s one of just 33 beers (so far) to receive this rating...

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