Six years ago, a beer like Monsters We Breed IPA wasn’t possible. Not only because Asylum Brewing in Anaheim didn’t yet exist, the hop it highlights, Mosaic, hadn’t yet been invented. Today, Mosiac is the sixth largest hop crop due to its super fruity aromatics it can bring to many beer styles, the most common being the iconic India Pale Ale.
When you put your nose up to a fresh IPA hopped with Mosaic, you’re bound to smell a bucket of freshly-picked blueberries, over-ripe mango, and maybe a waft from some annoying vape blowing clouds of sequoia pine. When I sampled the freshest batch of Monsters at Asylum, it had all that, in addition to that fresh-bag-o’-hops note most would call danksauce.
Mosaic is grown primarily in the Pacific Northwest in Yakima, Washington, which is one of the largest hop-growing regions in the world. One common misconception is hops prefer rainy-moist areas to flourish, however, hop flowers are similar to wine grapes and thrive in dry areas that get lots of sunlight. Yakima happens to be in a high desert area and is perfect for cultivating the world’s best aromatic hops.
Mosaic was developed by Jason Perrault at the Hop Breeders Company who was looking to breed a higher-yielding Simcoe varietal by crossing the popular hop with Nugget. HBC is also known for creating other wildly popular hop varietals like Citra. If you want to get a mental snapshot of what Mosaic is like, head over to Asylum Brewing over on the La Palma Beer Trail!
Asylum Brewing, 2970 La Palma Ave, Ste D // asylumbrewingcompany.com.
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening this June!