Name: Founders Brewing Mosaic Promise

Style: American Pale Ale

Country: U.S.A.

ABV: 5.5%

Beer Description: Founders Brewing is from Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the premier beer brewing cities in the United States. The brewery is a cornerstone of American craft beer and has a number of year long releases as well as plenty of special ones. The Mosaic Promise is not one of their regular releases. Instead, Founders Mosaic Promise is only available between April and September each year. It’s a promise that they (hopefully) keep every year, because it’s a pretty good beer.

As the name would suggest, the Mosaic Promise is a single hop pale ale showing off the wonderful Mosaic hop as well as the Golden Promise malt. Other than water and yeast, this is all that goes into this beer. It’s single hop and single grain. Mosaic is a very versatile hop, so it’s a great choice for a single hop beer. Often times, single hop beers can miss a little something. They lack the depth and full hop profile other beers have. If you’ve read our guide to hopping, you’ll know that different hops have different pros and cons, so using only one hop in a beer risks accentuating the cons of a particular hop.

Mosaic is an American hop, so it’s no surprise that this is an American style pale ale. The hop has plenty of the citrus and pine that we’ve all come to know and love in an American hop, but is also quite fruity with a bit of spice. It’s really a mixture of everything. The relatively high alpha acids in this hop make is a good candidate for bittering as well. So it’s a good all rounder.

The beer pours a light golden straw colour, so there’s one promise kept right there. The malt is, in fact golden. The beer also has a nice light head and a light and visible carbonation. It’s going to be a good one.

Mosaic has great aroma properties, so it’s great that there’s nothing else in the beer to interrupt the hop aroma. It’s a fruity aroma that is simultaneously light and heavy at the same time. The fruit is of berry tones with earthy herbs thrown in for good measure. Slight tones of vanilla seem to come through as well, but that’s hunting for some sort of malt characteristic in a more hop forward beer.

The bitterness of this beer is very forward. At 50 IBU, it’s pushing the boundary a little bit of an American pale ale. The malt back bone, in a way, doesn’t support the bitterness of the beer and it comes off a little bit thin. What the taste lacks in depth though, it makes up for due to the sheer brilliance that is Mosaic. It’s simply an amazing hop. So the taste is able to push past the general bitterness with notes of citrus and pine that would often only be found by combining two different hop varieties. That said, for beer drinkers who prefer a bitter kick without the weight or the alcohol of a ballsy IPA, the Mosaic Promise by Founders Brewing is a good choice.

This beer is strange in a few ways though. Often, the bitterness of a beer comes at the end of the flavour profile. Instead, the Mosaic Promise puts its bitterness up front and then follows this up with other American flavours like pine and citrus. The aroma of the beer gives no hint of what’s to come. It goes from fruit in the aroma to bitter and piney in the flavour. This is Mosaic creating an interesting profile on its own. Is this a cohesive journey? No. But it’s a journey none the less. A journey that can only be taken using only Mosaic.

Founders made a promise with this beer. They promised a beer that would have light malt and would showcase Mosaic. They accomplished this perfectly.

We’re often hard on single hop beers here. But Mosaic is the right choice of hop for a single hop beer. There’s just so much to it. If you still have time, pick up this beer and give it a go. Otherwise file this review away and try it next year. It’s well worth the interesting journey.

Check out other reviews of American pale ales.

Go to other Founders Brewing reviews.