Style: Mixed Fermentation Dry-Hopped American Wild Ale
From: Tulsa, OK
Brewery’s Note: “Funky Gold Mosaic is a dry-hopped sour ale. We took Prairie Gold and dry-hopped it with a huge amount of Mosaic hops. The end results are tropical, sour, and an all-around new beer drinking experience! This beer is great fresh, but will continue to develop as the wild yeast continues to work in the beer.”
Note on the Base Beer: “Prairie Gold is a dry, highly effervescent saison fermented with a mix of ale yeast, wine yeast, lactobacillus and 2 strains of brettanomyces. This beer highlights the various yeasts and bacteria used to make it. Lemon, pear, white wine grapes, and a touch of funk dominate the flavor and aroma in this champagne like beer.”
The beer pours a translucent, pale yellow with greenish tints. It forms a full, foamier head of eggshell white, soap-sudsy bubbles, which sit as a regal crown above the beer and slowly leaves a tundra mountain-scape of thick lacing as it recedes. On the nose, the beer is beautifully expressive of that Mosaic hop. Peach skin oozes into blueberry, watermelon rind, scratchier pineapple, and definite dank pine needles. An earthy, lemony must sits around the nose, too, and overripe mango bursts and bubbles in the cracks. Slight spinach and shallots gristle below the rich, tropical nose of the beer, and in all I see this far more as a wonderful expression of hops on the nose than as something funky, sour, or wild. The base beer seems to have melded its way beautifully into the hops and left itself simply as a palate for the hops to paint themselves over. On the tongue, the beer tastes of lactic sour and citric tartness, balanced by tropical fruit sweetness and just a splash of minerally earth. Hop bitterness enters in the middle sip on gentle waves that suggest heavy hops, yet never bury the tongue, nor really even sting the tongue, and only leave a gentle dryness and balance in the mouth. This tastes like pineapple mango juice, with the citric bite gaining just a touch more complexity from the lactic edges, and the fruit flavors being fully expressive but not quite as sweet as a true juice would be. I could drink this juice in the morning. I almost want more bitterness here to remind me of what this beer began as, but as is it is beautifully balanced between acid, light bitters, and fruit sweetness. This is Nantucket Nectars’ Pineapple Orange Mango, except with very little if any orange. It is tropical fruit juice in a balanced and delicious form. In the mouth, it is medium bodied, with a certain fullness that is also reminiscent of fruit juice to me. The carb is full and slightly chewy, with just a hint of effervescence tingling over the tongue. The beer feels crisp in its citric snap, yet full and slightly oozy on the tongue, and I am continuously thinking of a thinner fruit juice mixture. When the beer leaves, the mouth is left dry, yet lip smacking. Acid pools from beneath the tongue and along the gum-line, while the top of the tongue is gently wet with a sheen, and little to no astringency bites anywhere. A gumminess does linger on the teeth, suggesting more acid than I originally sensed in the beer, and this eventually leading to a slight chalkiness developing in the mouth. Overall, I think I’ve already said all I can on this beer. It is a thinner tropical fruit juice. I could drink it for breakfast. It is delicious. This is not a one-trick pony beer, though. It demonstrates phenomenal integration of the hop-flavor and citric sour crispness without nearly any of the hop bite (the wonders of dry-hopping…). From the base beer, you lose much of the smooth malt and subtle hay, but you are left with such a rich beer in its place that I find it hard to complain. It’s also worth noting that Prairie Gold is a rather subtle beer on the palate, so the heavy expression of hop-fruit without the base beer isn’t all that surprising. This is like a Mosaic IPA (Spacecake or Lost Nation’s Mosaic IPA) with nearly no bitter bite. It is more pineapple and mango juice than blueberry themed, but still carries some of that nuance. It’s lovely, and apparently ages very gracefully and wonderfully. Prairie does their funk nice.