Hops. The main bittering component of modern beer. It's a green flowing bine of the species Humulus lupulus. It's a huge component of beer flavor and gives it that distinct bitter flavor.
This week, we're taking a look at a beer that's part of a series from Due South Brewing Co. that focuses on one particular type of hop at a time. And this week, it's the Dry Hopped Series Pale Ale brewed with Mosaic.
Due South has a reputation for hops. It has received a Gold Medal in the Best Florida Beer Competition for Category 5 Imperial IPA and has used the bitter plant to create a wide spectrum of hop-forward beers. But with this series, which was started in September of last year, it is striving to highlight a single hop variety and perhaps educate the consumer in the process. Every two months, it tries a different hop and puts it in this same base pale ale, a straightforward 5.1 percent alcohol-by-volume beer.
Hops, like many plants, come in a variety of flavors. Just as apples or dogs come in different breeds,
so too do hops. It takes a bit of agricultural meddling to produce new varietals, but scientists are good at what they do and figure out how to make plants that taste better, are more resistant to disease, and have greater yields.
For this particular entry in the series, they used Mosaic, an aroma hop variety developed by Hop Breeding Co. LLC that was released in 2012. According to usahops.org, "it offers a unique and complex blend of floral, tropical, fruity, and earthy characteristics that translate very favorably into several styles of beer." It's relatively new and has become a favorite of American craft brewers.
Here, the ale pours a brilliantly clear pale orange with a decent head that dissipates to a nice settled bank of foam. The beer leaves some great sticky lacing that coats the glass in a continuous stream of hop aromas. Those aromas are full of tangerine, marmalade, and flowery pollen while bringing a hint of piney dankness that struggles to break free. It's full-flavored, with a moderate body and malt backbone, some tangy bitterness, mild pine, and some lingering hints of earthy bitterness on the back end.
It's everything you'd want in a local APA, or at least it should be. At least, it is for me.
This Mosaic Dry Hopped Series Pale Ale is available in six-pack cans at the Due South Brewing Co. taproom for $9.99 and will soon be replaced by another hop variety. I saw El Dorado on the board this week, so it'll most likely be that. There are still some six-packs available — just check under the cans to see which entry in the series it is. You won't be disappointed in whatever you pick up.
Due South Brewing Co. is located at 2900 High Ridge Road, Suite 3, Boynton Beach. Call 561-463-2337, or visit duesouthbrewing.com.
Doug Fairall is a