Don't make the mistake of thinking that all India pale ales taste the same or that the pungent citrus-and-pine signature of so many IPAs is the only flavor profile that these bitter brews can manifest. Brewers have dozens of hop varieties at their disposal (with new cultivars being developed each season), and individual varieties can be as disparate as apples and oranges. Mosaic is one particularly beguiling hop variety that is used to great effect by El Segundo Brewing Co. in their Mayberry IPA.
Mayberry demonstrates a mélange of tropical fruit aromas and flavors, from the brightness of pineapple and citrus zest to the more earthy flavors of guava and even a distinct blueberry twang. There's an assertive bitterness that lingers on the palate and enough subtle malt character to provide contrast to the pervading hop character, but that luscious hoppy essence is the core of Mayberry IPA.
The brew was first introduced in late 2013, but the limited availability of the Mosaic hops meant that Mayberry IPA saw only scattered releases last year. El Segundo Brewing Co. has committed to the brand and made the IPA a year-round release for 2015, and the beer is available in 22-ounce bottles and on-tap around town. The intense aroma and subtly sweet palate of the ale make it a brilliant accompaniment to the chile-dusted mango from one of L.A.'s street-side fruit vendors.
Style: 7.2% alcohol American IPA
Price: About $9 for a 22-ounce bottle
Where to find it: The brewery's tap room, 140 Main St., El Segundo; Sunset Beer Co., 1498 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, Select Beer Store, 1613 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, and at beer retailers across Southern California as well as online at www.insidethecellar.com.