Saturday Sip: Surly Todd the Axe Man

Surly Todd the Axe Man

The last time I stopped at the liquor store I brought home six different beers. Half were hopped with Mosaic. Hopsoulution, the Bell’s beer last mentioned on these pages, is hopped with Mosaic. To say Mosaic is having a moment is an understatement.

I remember the first time I encountered Mosaic. I was sipping a Victory DirtWolf and learning that this new at the time hop had a distinct blueberry flavor. Mosaic is pungent, to say the least, a fact that may describe why it has found such widespread use lately. Its aroma and flavor profile of tropical fruit, blueberry and papaya matches up with a lot of the juicy, tropical hops favored in IPAs as well. But Todd the Axe Man, Surly’s West Coast IPA brewed in collaboration with Denmark’s Amager and named for Surly’s guitar-wielding brewer, doesn’t subsist on Mosaic alone.

Citra, the darling hop of a couple years ago thanks to beers like Zombie Dust, makes an appearance as well, adding more tropical fruit, albeit of the melon, gooseberry and passion fruit variety, alongside a substantial dose of grapefruit. The two hops work to balance out a beer that’s a bit of a blend of the old and the new, the citrus and the tropical.

The British Golden Promise malt adds only a touch of biscuit backbone and there’s no signature caramel note typical of most Midwestern IPAs. This is bone dry and a tropical fruit and citrus powerhouse meant to shred palates and showcase two of the most in demand hops on the planet. In this Surly surely succeeds.

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