Beer Reviews

The Fanny Pack!

For the fans!

We asked, you voted, and the results are in!  The Fanny Pack is a fan-selected collection of certified bangers from our tasty history. That’s right, some of your favorite brews are back in action: Peach Dodo Gose, Cougar Blonde Ale, Puma Pilsner and Mosaic Pale Ale. Too good to be true? Just downright awesome?!? Yes, yes, and then some.

Keep an eye out for the Fanny Pack on shelves near you beginning this week. It’s been a while since some of these brews have been out in the wild, so a bit of re-introduction may be in order. To get the lowdown on these tasty encores, read on!

Reviews are done by Travis Houston, our Sensory Specialist, Certified Cicerone, and FOBAB Judge.


Cougar (Blonde Ale, 4.8%)

Malts: Pilsner, Wheat, Acidulated

Hops: Ekuanot, Crystal 

What is the origin story of Cougar?

In the days before craft lager became common and ubiquitous, most breweries’ lightest offering was a blonde ale. For us, this was Cougar, brewed to be a light and refreshing alternative to Truth, our flagship IPA.

Why do you think this struck a chord with fans?

As light and refreshing as Cougar is, it still delivers plenty of flavor. Featuring notes of crisp, crackery malt, mild honey-like sweetness and just a hint of balancing bitterness.  Cougar finishes with a clean, subtle grain character that lingers pleasantly.

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Cougar is exceptionally well balanced. Clean, cracker-like malt notes give way to a slight hint of floral hop bitterness. 

What makes you want to drink this beer?

Cougar and summer are a perfect match! Cougar is light, bright, and finishes with just enough malty sweetness to draw you in for another sip.

Appearance: Straw color with good clarity and fluffy, white foam

Smell: Clean, crackery malt, with the slightest floral hints.

Taste: Grainy, with hints of malty sweetness and just enough balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with medium carbonation and a mild, lingering malt sweetness.

What foods would pair well with Cougar?

Cougar pairs perfectly with a cheeseburger.

Ideal glassware for Cougar?

A standard shaker pint glass.


Mosaic (Pale Ale, 5.6%)

Malts: Pale Ale, Golden Promise

Hops: Mosaic

What is the origin story of Mosaic?

When this brew debuted, American pale ales were incredibly popular. New hop strains were being developed at an accelerated pace, and everyone was excited to explore the new flavors they could create. We had a rotating power pale ale series, many being beers brewed with a single hop, all utilizing the popular new varietals. With Mosaic’s reputation already established as an excellent dual-purpose hop (see below), it was an obvious choice to use in a pale ale.

This was one of the most popular single hop pale ales ever brewed by Rhinegeist. Why do people love this hop so much?

From the moment it was introduced about a decade ago, Mosaic (the hop) has been beloved by both craft brewers and drinkers alike. A dual-purpose hop is a varietal that can be used both early in the boil to add bitterness, as well as late in the boil and in dry hopping to contribute aroma and flavor. Mosaic is the quintessential dual-purpose hop varietal. Adding it early in the boil creates a clean, pleasant bitter character in the finished beer. Adding Mosaic late in the boil, or using it to dry hop post-fermentation, creates an aromatic bouquet of blueberry, orange, mango, and even hints of stone fruit. The name Mosaic is a reference to the broad spectrum of pleasant fruit aromas and flavors that this hop can unlock . 

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Mosaic (the beer) brings out all the best aspects of Mosaic (the hop). Aromas of pithy grapefruit, fresh orange, and hints of berries and mango burst from the glass. The malt bill is clean and crisp, with just enough sweetness to balance the bright, fruity hop character.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

This hop is like a cheat code, unlocking crazy bouquets of aroma and flavor. And this beer is the perfect example of what Mosaic hops can do. The depth of flavor is as impressive as it is delicious.

Appearance: Light gold with good clarity and thick, white foam. 

Smell: Pithy grapefruit, fresh orange, mango and mixed berries. Hints of cereal malt sweetness.

Taste: Massive, fruity hop flavor is backed by medium bitterness and mild malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

What foods would pair well with Mosaic?

Mosaic would go great with fried chicken.

Ideal glassware for Mosaic?

A shaker pint glass, or even better, anything with an inward curve to capture and release those intense hop aromas.


Peach Dodo (Gose Sour Ale with Peaches, 4.4%)

Malts: Pilsner, White Wheat, Acidulated

Hops: Cascade

What is the origin story of  Peach Dodo (and goses in general)?

Gose is an extremely old style of beer, most likely originating around the year 1000 CE in the Saxony village of Goslar, along the Gose river. Located Northeast of Bavaria, this region wasn’t under the restriction of the Rhineheitsgebot, the purity law that limited the ingredients used in brewing to barley, water, yeast and hops. Gose is historically brewed with a malt bill that’s at least 50% wheat, and finished with the additions of both coriander and salt. The beer also traditionally undergoes open fermentation, where natural lactobacillus creates sour, lactic acid. Gose’s popularity faded along with the rise of lagers, which largely took their place as the refreshing, warm-weather drink, but the style was rediscovered and popularized by craft brewers in Germany, the USA, and many other countries.

When we first launched Peach Dodo, we used a process called “kettle souring,” where there are actually two separate fermentations that occur. The first happens in the kettle, hence the name, where lactobacillus bacteria is kept at a high temperature to create lactic acid, which is the main sour character in this style of beer. After that, the beer is boiled following the usual brewing process, which also kills off all that lactobacillus. Standard brewer’s yeast can now be pitched into the beer, allowing the regular, alcohol-producing fermentation to take place. We also add fresh peach juice, and allow it to completely ferment as well. With all that said, there have been major advances in the development of saccharomyces (standard brewer’s yeast) strains that also produce lactic acid while creating alcohol. This means we can now brew “kettle sour” style beers without the need for the lactobacillus fermentation step. This not only saves time and resources, but these newly developed yeast strains produce lactic acid without also producing unpleasant sulfur compounds, which are an unwanted by-product of the lactobacillus method.

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Crisp, clean acidity, mild additions of salt, and fresh peach juice all combine to create a brew that’s as flavorful as it is refreshing. The fruit character gives the initial impression of sweetness, enhanced by mouth watering acidity, that’s quickly washed clean by palate-cleansing salinity.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

It’s been incredibly hot lately, and we still have plenty more summer to go. Peach Dodo is thirst-quenching and palate cleansing, making it the perfect beer to pair with food, or to enjoy on its own while sitting in the shade on your deck.

Appearance: Light gold with slight haze and thin, white foam

Smell: Sour clean lactic aroma with a peachy, slightly fruity undertone and no hop aroma.

Taste: Moderately sour from a hefty presence of lactic acid. Sourness is complemented by the fruity flavor of peach—very light. Moderately grainy, medium-low salinity.

Mouthfeel: Light body and medium carbonation.

What foods would pair well with Peach Dodo?

Peach Dodo would go great with poke or sushi.

Ideal glassware for Peach Dodo?

A standard shaker pint glass.


Puma (Pilsner, 5.2%)

Malts: Pilsner

Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Saphir

What is the origin story of  Puma?

Traditional Pilsners are among the most beloved styles within the craft brewing industry. Combining the best characteristics of a lager with the intense flavor of hops can create an amazing brew, and we wanted our own iteration. Puma became our version, drawing inspiration from various traditional Pilsners, along with a few American craft offerings.

This is a house favorite that also resonates with our fans. What is so appealing about Puma?

As I mentioned above, Pilsners are lagers that are heavily hopped. The hops used are typically of the floral, European variety. This union produces a brew that’s dry, effervescent, and packed with flowery hop aroma. People just love a good pilsner!

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Loads of floral aromas, like geranium and lavender, sit atop a delicate lager base, allowing their flavor to entirely dominate the aroma. Early hop additions in the boil increase the bitterness, enhancing the crisp, dry finish.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

Puma is brewed as close to a traditional Pilsner as possible, and it shows. This beer tastes timeless and classic.

Appearance: Light straw with good clarity and fluffy white foam.

Smell: Fresh geranium and lavender with hints of water cracker and malt.

Taste: Medium bitterness and extremely dry

Mouthfeel: Thin, crisp and effervescent.

What foods would pair well with Puma?

Puma would go great with a Cobb salad.

Ideal glassware for Puma?

A standard shaker pint.