Craft beer drinkers are on a never-ending quest to drink new and different beers. To help satisfy this thirst, breweries–along with their year-rounds and seasonal beer offerings–often produce one-off / side-project small batch beers that are unique and act as a departure from what the brewery is traditionally known for. In some cases, these small batch beers become year-round or seasonal offerings. This weekend I am drinking a “Side Project” brew that has returned for a second year. This weekend, Terrapin Beer Company’s Mosaic (Side Project 19) is What’s on Tap.
Opened in 2002 Terrapin has been a mainstay in the craft beer booming city of Atlanta. In 2011 Terrapin’s minority interest sale to Miller Coors caused shock-wave through the craft beer industry however, Terrapin’s brews have maintained the same level of quality and more drinkers can enjoy Terrapin’s beers.
Side Project 19 is almost a hodgepodge of styles of beer; it is a rye, it has hoppy-IPA qualities, and has a bitterness to it that is akin to an Old or Strong Ale. What I love about this beer is the split in the hops and rye. Before even sipping the beer you smell the hops and citrus (I think pineapple), then you get the rye which has earthy / grassy notes. But the taste is the opposite, rye first with an almost bread-like flavor and then the citrusy-hops with a touch of sweet toffee flavors. The beer finishes with a crisp bitterness.
I wanted to pair this brew with a food that also has just as many different flavors and notes. So I am drinking Side Project 19 with Bison Lamb Chili. I wanted the gaminess of the lamb and bison to compliment the heat of the jalapenos and the combination of those two pairs well with the flavors of the beer; remember “big flavor food pairs with big flavor beer!” But regardless what you are eating, this weekend enjoy Terrapin’s Mosaic Side Project 19.
Alcohol by Volume: 6.6%
Original Gravity: 15
Color (SRM): Dark Amber / Ruby
Malts: Two-row pale, Rye, Munich, Crystal 45, Crystal 65, Crystal 85
Hops: Mosaic, Mosaic (dry hop)