Asheville-based Hi-Wire Brewing recently underwent a rebranding campaign, and now its cans look more like something you’d wait in a long line for rather than pick up at the grocery store. Amid this change, however, the excellence of the brewery’s flagship IPA, Hi-Pitch Mosaic, has remained consistent.
Appearance and Aroma
Hi-Wire makes its share of hazy IPAs, but the brewery’s flagship IPA is more traditional in its appearance. Only slightly hazy, Hi-Pitch Mosaic is a beautiful burnt golden orange with a billowy white head of big bubbly foam. You don’t have to lean over the glass to be bowled over with the powerful aroma of Mosaic hops. Hi-Pitch Mosaic makes the most of its namesake hop, with a bold aroma of resinous pine, bright berries, tangerine, and some melon.
The best IPAs balance bitter, fruity, and bright hoppiness with sweet, crisp, and clean maltiness. Hi-Wire’s flagship IPA hits the mark across the board.”
The best IPAs balance bitter, fruity, and bright hoppiness with sweet, crisp, and clean maltiness. Hi-Wire’s flagship IPA hits the mark across the board. Tangerine and melon provide plenty of fruitiness and brighten up the beer. A heavy dose of earthy, dank hops adds further complexity, balancing well with the sweet yet crackery malt.
This beer is unique in how it drinks. It’s certainly not a hazy IPA, nor does it fit in perfectly with the IPAs of either coast. Hi-Wire calls Hi-Pitch Mosaic a Western North Carolina IPA, but if I had to describe it, I’d say it has more in common with the IPAs from Midwest brewers like Three Floyds, Bell’s, or Half Acre. Even though the craft beer market has shifted in recent years with an uptick in the number and success of local breweries with little or no distribution, there is still a place for the mid-sized, regional brewers of the world. But like Hi-Wire, they just have to be willing to adapt—and making damn good beer helps too.