I will admit that I don’t drink Karl Straus beer much, as it tends to be a bit pricey and many times I am unable to find anything but IPAs (though this second reason is not unique to Karl), but when I heard about the special at Karl Strauss for a $10 growler that included a fill… well, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Plus, I recently discovered that mosaic hops in a beer make for a great flavor profile.
This one comes from Karl’s Coastal Reserve series, which currently includes three others: Big Barrel Double IPA, Blackball Belgian IPA, and Boardwalk Black Rye. The one I tried was the Mosaic Session Ale. Session ales are essentially lower alcohol beers (no higher than 5%) that define themselves by their drinkability and allow the consumer to have multiple of them without putting them on the floor or knocking out their taste buds.
Much like its counterpart at Ninkasi, this one pours a clean, golden color with not much head. The aroma is grassy and a bit flowery, with some tart fruit like grapefruit, that can’t help but make me think of springtime. The taste quickly shows off the grassiness that shortly after it gives way to strong tart grapefruit flavors. At first I was reminded of a really hoppy IPA, but there was none of the hoppy bite, so it went down easily. The finish leaves mostly tart, slightly sour grapefruit. The only downside to this beer is a slightly sticky, sugary cotton mouth feeling; not tremendously off-putting, but just a little unexpected from so mild a beer.
I’m giving this beer a: