For the first time since the 90s, Live Oak Pilz was not my year-end gallon-consumption champ at years close. That distinction belonged to Lone Pint Brewing in Magnolia, Texas, and their genius use of the Mosaic hop in the company's Yellow Rose IPA.

How did a single hop knock my favorite Texas beer off its throne?

Mosaic hops (HBC 369) made a giant splash in Texas craft beer circles last year via Lone Pint's aforementioned Yellow Rose, Hops and Grain's Pale Mosaic and Community's Mosaic IPA.

But what are they exactly?

Grown in the Yakima Valley up in Washington State, and developed by Hop Breeding Company, these hops made their industry debut back in 2012. Speaking genetically, the hop is a daughter (50%) of the legendary Simcoe (YCR 14) and 25% Nugget derived male, the remaining 25% is Tomahawk, Brewers Gold, Early Green, and an unknown variety.

Growers can expect to harvest roughly a ton off each acre of land they plant.

All the geekery aside, what does a Mosaic-powered beer taste like? Imagine driving through the Rio Grande Valley down in South Texas where farmers have set up asphalt-side grapefruit stands for over a hundred years. Buy a fruit from one of these rogue vendors, stab it with your pocketknife and suckle the juice out. That's what a Yellow Rose from Lone Pint tastes like. The hot Texas sun in the Rio Grande Valley.