Mosaic Pale Ale
1 pint glass, $3.75, 5.3% ABV
Purchased at Cambridge House Brew Pub, Granby
This is not my first Mosaic single-hop beer in these review pages. Oh no. It probably won’t be my last. And so far, all the Mosaic ales I’ve had have all been quite good.
Mosaic is a brand new hop (relatively speaking). Hell, it was only released in 2012 as HBC 369. But you knew that. (If curious, Washington’s Hop Breeding Company – that’s the HBC – bred Mosaic from Simcoe and Nugget hops.)
Mosaic tends towards the fruity side of hopes, and not pushing forward the delicious citrus notes I love. These have more of a sweeter tropical fruitiness. Did that sound like a bad thing? It’s not.
CHB’s Mosaic pale is really, really good. The aroma alone is beautiful. Sweet, fruity, earthy… and the taste did nothing to diminish my opinion. As I’ve been noting throughout the fall of 2013, CHB’s new head brewer is really kicking butt. I’ve been very pleased with several beers in a row now.
An American style pale ale using fresh picked Mosaic hops! (2nd place at Great American Beer Festival!)
Well, duh, we already knew that. But c’mon guys, modify your verbs.
Anyway, what do YOU think about when you hear “mosaic?” I polled Twitter and the beer fans who follow me predictably said “hops.” But beyond that, “Byzantine art” got a mention as did “stained glass windows.”
My favorite was the two mentions of the old “World Wide Web” browser that Netscape created. God, I remember those early days of the Internet; I was in college and it was just so exciting. And now, here I am, sitting on my couch with a wireless MacBook creating content on the same vastly improved Internet.
Speaking of college, I received my degree from UConn in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. When you study genetics, you learn about mosaicism. And frankly, despite being a “hop-head,” that’s what I first think of when I hear the term “mosaic.”
Simply put, in genetics, a mosaic or mosaicism denotes the presence of two or more populations of cells with different genotypes in one individual who has developed from a single fertilized egg. In other words, an organism with pieces of a wholly separate organism within. There are different types of mosaicism, but you don’t care about all that. (If you do, wikipedia’s page isn’t half-bad.)
Mosaics can present this phenomenon is all sorts of cells, from blood to skin (like the picture here) to egg and sperm cells. Many times a person can end up with nothing more than two differently colored eyes. Other times, the result is a bit more difficult with Turner or Klinefelter syndromes which are varying degrees of sex organ (and more) confusion.
If you follow the insanity of pro cycling doping trials, you may be aware that a few of the more creative cheaters have claimed mosaic blood cells which have been blamed for blood anomalies. Which is sort of hilarious.
And don’t even get me started on chimerism, which can result in some truly crazy, for lack of a better term, situations. Like checkerboard skin or more insidiously, hermaphroditism.
I’ve no idea the true genetic history of HBC 369, but I’m led to believe that it’s not merely a hybrid of Simcoe and Nugget, but perhaps originally a result of some sort of mosaicim within on hop that had unique-yet-healthy qualities. Who knows.
Just keep a look out for CHB’s Mosaic Pale Ale. It’s excellent and drinking a lot of it can lead you to wonder about all sorts of weird genetic anomalies.
Rating vs. Similar style: A+