So, your friends call you a hipster because you like your beer hoppy and with an extra few percent ABV. Don’t worry — there are many of us who enjoy a fine India pale ale and must endure the taunting of non-IPA drinkers. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay, and I’d like to invite you to drown your sorrows in a delicious Founders Centennial IPA. This beer has a unique flavor, yet retains the essential bitterness of an IPA. After your first, this will be your go-to when you don’t know what to buy at the beer distributor.
The history of the brewery is necessary to fully appreciate this beer. Founders Brewing Co. creators Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers started their brewery without proper direction, and almost went out of business soon after opening. Then they decided to make “complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor,” as told by their website.
Founders prides itself on being “crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste.” Here, my fellow IPA drinkers, is a brewery that understands us, and furthermore, communicates it in classic brewery style (see the edges of a Lagunitas Brewing Co. label if you don’t know what I’m talking about).
Now, understanding the magnificent brewery that is Founders of Grand Rapids, Michigan, we can explore the Centennial IPA.
While this beer would best be served in a tulip glass, I was prepared only with a pint glass. Nevertheless, the beer poured a beautiful golden amber with an off-white head that would retain for the duration of the drink. If you judge your beers by their attractiveness, consider this one Marilyn Monroe.
As the Founding partners wished, the strong aromas hit you as soon as the glass fills. Earthy, citrusy, and floral are just a few of many words that could describe the sweet smell of this ale. You’ll just have to buy one to experience the rest.
Upon my first sip, I was delighted that the hops, though certainly present, were balanced by the malt and aromatics, as opposed to many IPAs that seem to only accentuate the bitterness of the hops. A hint of pine can be detected which adds to the earthy character of the ale. If I were some kind of punk, I might not include mouthfeel in this review. However, I am no kind of punk, and this beer has fantastic mouthfeel. As I finished my sip, I noticed that the bite is nothing compared to the average IPA — this one goes down smoothly (but be careful, it’s still 7.2 percent).
On that note, I feel that I should mention that the second one was better than the first. I assume that the third would be better than the second, and so on, but I’ll go ahead and stop there.
I’ll end this review with a message: take pride in your IPA. Don’t be “The Most Interesting Man in the World” (you’re not), be one of the chosen few. Grab yourself a Centennial IPA and bask in the glory of your avant-garde taste in beer.