Brew Review: Mongo IPA

1 Oct

Brew: Mongo

Brewed by: Port Brewing Co.  (San Marcos, CA)

Style:  American IPA (8.5% ABV)


A smaller brewery from CA that doesn’t get much product up to the Midwest, that is unless you of course live in Chicago.  I should just move to Chicago since it has all the beer I would need and still growing in terms of the beer community.  It just makes sense.  Anyway, this beer was named after a cat that took up residence at the brewery in San Marcos who unfortunately lost its 9 lives after a very short while on this planet.  So they named a tribute beer after it.  Kinda cool for the cat, it is depicted on the label surfing a huge wave, so I guess it was a pretty badass cat. “Mongo just pawn in game of life.”

Mongo pours out a hazy orange marmalade color.  Like a tropical sunset, it was like the color of an apricot or on the lighter side of a cantaloupe’s insides.  On top of this good looking brew rose a big billowing head about 2 inches that floated like a cloud on its bed of nectar.  

The nice thing about this beer was that it smelled similar to the way it looked.  There were citrus and fruity hops jumping out at me right from the start. The brew smelled tropical, grapefruit and a hint of pine.  Basically the hops are all I really got from the aroma but they were really juicy smelling.

The taste was also somewhat tropical.  I picked up tastes of mangos, citrus fruit and a bitterness that stuck out because of all the hops that were used in making this pungent brew.  The hops definitely are on showcase here as I could only pick up on a small amount of sweet malt lurking behind the iron curtain of the hops.  Surprisingly this beer is not totally out of balance.  From the massive amount of hop additions I was expecting that this as going to be heavy on the hops and really sort of out of touch with whole balanced IPA approach (see Northwest Passage from Flat Earth).  Being pleasantly surprised like this is never a bad thing. 

The one negative that I can comment about is that this beer seemed to be missing something, sort of a crisp bite maybe that cuts through most anything like lots of IPA’s.  The hop oils might have been a bit much that left a sticky feeling in the mouth instead of cleansing the palate and leaving me wanting more.  Other than that this is a really solid and balanced beer.  I would probably try to search more out if I didn’t have Furious and Masala Mama available to me at all times.


Final Grade: B


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