It’s Always Hazy (Mosaic) | Swinging Bridge
Finally made it to 2021 and, lo and behold, we’re in the 2020 Director’s Cut/Extended Edition. I should have just purchased the VHS copy of 2020. There is still beer being made, so that means there is still beer to review! I’ll come out of the gate swinging in 2021. How about an all-Mosaic beer with some light IP theft from Swinging Bridge Brewing Company.
Swinging Bridge Brewing Company opened in River Falls, MN on March 17, 2017 by Dustin Dodge and Mike O’Hara via an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign. It takes its name from the Swinging Bridge suspension bridge at Glen Park in River Falls. It shut down in September 2019, but reopened in February 2020 as a brewpub in partnership with Junior’s restaurant.
If you’ve listened to the podcast, you already know about my Mosaic blindness. I can still smell and get flavors off of Mosaic-hopped beers, but it comes off as much less than the room-filling aroma and big citrus and fruit flavors that my co-host Ryan routinely describes. So an all-Mosaic beer? Challenge accepted (but I know my limitations)!
It’s Always Hazy pours a lovely gold color with about two fingers of head. The head slowly evaporates until a nice thin layer remains. That gold color really glows and pops in the light and…hey, is that my finger on the other side of the glass? What kind of hazy is this? Turns out it uses a kviek yeast so that may explain some, um, clarity present. But overall this hazy looks spectacular.
Upon smelling, I actually get something! Green onion notes hit me first, followed by some pine and grass. Digging deeper some melon and grapefruit show up, with slight notes of pineapple and citrus as well. While not surprising that I did get some nose flavors, it was surprising (to me) that this was double dry-hopped (DDH) with Mosaic. Usually DDH beers fill the room and pop out of the glass aromatically, but this one keeps itself restrained. Mosaic blindness strikes again!
Much like the aroma and appearance, some of It’s Always Hazy acts like a hazy beer and some of it doesn’t. Little to no bitterness reminds me of a hazy beer, but then the dry finish comes and spoils that notion. Any of the citrus, pineapple and mango notes on my tongue immediately leave with that dry finish, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good in that no sweetness exists at all, bad in that the flavor leaves really quickly. Again, due to my Mosaic blindness the flavor (for me) never really hit big. Any fruit or citrus notes are very slight and not in the juicy realm.
Again straddling some hazy line, the carbonation comes in at a medium to low level, with some of the beer sticking around at the end of the tongue. The ride across the tongue maintains a smooth and pillowy feel, making this an easy one to finish off.
For me, the label’s off on this one (good thing we’re #tablethelabel in 2020). Some consumers might buy this expecting something closer to a typical hazy beer – big fruit and juicy notes, can’t see through it, on the sweet side. It’s Always Hazy functions closer to a Brut IPA in my eyes, with some fruit and citrus aromas and flavors and a very dry finish. It would have liked more bitterness and flavor coming off it however. That being said, I gladly (and quickly) finished my 16 ounce can with ease. It’s Always Hazy is a very sessionable and easy to drink beer. It’s just not a hazy IPA at all.