1 draught pint, $?, 5.8% ABV
Purchased at Prime 16, New Haven
[Note: I enjoyed this at a pre-release event when it was just called “Mosaic IPA” Shortly thereafter, NEBCO name it Supernaut, which is a great name. As a result, this page was originally written when it was called Mosaic but I’ve gone back and edited it a little bit now that it is Supernaut – I felt it was worth it and you’ll see why. Sabbath, baby.
Also, NEBCO made more Supernaut and has had it for growler fills in Woodbridge a couple times in 2013, AND it’s been made available to some bars and restaurants. So what you’re about to read contains some seriously incorrect availability info.]
Ok, here’s how the (apparently?) annual New England Brewing Company tap takeover at Prime 16 works.
It starts before lunch and goes past midnight. NEBCO loads the joint up with kegs of their standard line-up of world-class beers. They release a schedule of hourly cask and rarity releases. People show up in the afternoon, but of course it’s not until 5 PM or so that it gets really busy.
I don’t know how much thought NEBCO puts into the release schedule, but it appears to be created with intent. The Mosaic IPA release was set for 7PM – Prime time at Prime 16.
I had joined some friends for dinner so I was comfortably sitting at a table and not fighting the masses at the bar. I should mention that the Prime 16 veggie burger is very good – and different. Mushrooms and pecans dominated, rather than soy product. I was impressed… But my dining partners, mostly folks who work at J. Timothy’s in Plainville, were surprised at my choice. Then they tucked into some wings while making it very clear how inferior they were to J. Tim’s famous wings.
They speak the truth.
Someone else who speaks the truth is Jay from Leaf and Yeast, who was also with me at the table. He’s a real beer writer who knows far more than I do about this stuff. My man was in near-ecstasy all night. Don’t believe me? Check out his Live-Blog of the Tap Takeover here. Good stuff.
As the time approached 7 o’clock, Jay mentioned to our server that he would like to have the Mosaic. She noted the time and stated that the schedule is rigid; we’d have to wait until seven. (This rule applied to every hourly release, even earlier in the afternoon when it wasn’t very busy. Respect.)
I piped up that I would like one too, as did a couple others at the table. This is when the FEAR set in.
Actual, palpable FEAR. Yes, by 6:45, the bar area was jam-packed with nerds like me trying to be one of the rare people to enjoy a NEBCO Mosaic IPA in 2013. There would only be 40 or so. I’m not really sure as with such things, rumors fly. But it was very clear that not everyone who wanted a glass of this stuff was going to get one. (Note: I didn’t realize they were brewing a larger batch, naming it Supernaut and putting it on tap at the brewery a couple months later.)
My tablemates had mentioned to our server that they were “in the business” and that despite their annoying habit of not ordering food before the sixth asking, they’d be sure to “take care of her.” I was hoping these insider nudges would score us the Mosaic.
At 7, We could hear the kerfuffle over in the bar as guys who had positioned themselves for a shot at getting a glass were getting muscled aside by other guys who hadn’t. Craziness and…
At about 7:02, our wonderful server arrived with 4 glasses of the stuff. FOUR. Our little table got like 10% of the entire NEBCO yield for 2013! (As noted, this was not technically true. But it sounds exciting!)
”It’s an IPA brewed with 100% Mosaic hops. It is 5.8%, 65 IBU’s, is draft only and most importantly is named after a kick ass Black Sabbath song.”
NEBCO. Famously (infamously?) brief with their descriptions. But who cares, because they allow me to perhaps introduce you to one of the best relatively unkown Sabbath songs there is: Supernaut. It really is “kick ass” so you should go listen to it right now. Go. Now.
It contains the lyrics:
Got no religion, don’t need no friends
Got all I want and I don’t need to pretend
Don’t try to reach me, ’cause I’d tear up your mind
I’ve seen the future and I’ve left it behind
So with NEBCO’s 668 Neighbor of the Beast, are they trying to tell us something? Is NEBCO run by a bunch of atheist old school metal guys with a passion for some of the best beer in the world? And you people wonder why I love them so much? (Sure, I’ve made a ridiculous leap here, but who cares. No one reads these things.)
This is beautiful beer. These new hop varieties are just amazing. Having had two Citra hops beers earlier in the day, and remembering what Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin single hops were like… I think Mosaic is my second favorite new hop behind the Citra. I love it. (I know, there are more new varieties coming down the pike.)
It smells ridiculously good. The citrus is there, but so are the deeper pine and resin notes. It drinks incredibly well and tastes like a dream; citrus up front, spiciness on the finish. It’s like everything good about different ales all in one beer.
Mosaic hops are very hard to get for now. I know my friend Mark at Relic is releasing a Mosaic IPA this weekend (Valentines 2013) in Plainville. I’m telling you, it’s the hot new thing.
So while there’s pretty much zero chance of you ever tasting this beer, unless you live near New Haven and really, really care to get it, you should consider yourselves lucky just to know it exists.
In ma bellah!
Overall Rating: A+
Rating vs. Similar style: n/a