Centennial IPA from Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan pours a deep and fiery honey-amber colour with a small white head that leaves a frothy collar, a thin film and oily rings of lace that slide back into the beer. This American IPA has strong aromas of pine, caramel-sweetened malts and grapefruit juice, a hint of black tea and a mossy funk that I can’t quite put my finger on.
The packaging of Centennial IPA is primarily a canvas like green colour with two robed angelic figures supporting a stylized yellow wordmark. A description of the beer is found on the six pack sleeve along with images of what I presume to be employees and friends of the brewery. A best before date is stamped on the shoulder of each bottle.
The rich berry, citrus and nectarous tropical flavours of Centennial IPA are backed by hearty sweet grains that balance a bitterness that is assertive but never overpowering. This ale is full bodied with low carbonation, is grainy and quite oily on the tongue. The bitterness returns in the finish, bringing coffee and lemon oil notes that remain in the aftertaste.
Centennial IPA is probably the best all-around American IPA I’ve ever had, full stop. Its strength, balance, bitterness and flavour are all finely tuned and remarkably consistent from batch to batch. The fact that its price is on par with domestic brands and often arrives in Ontario stores within two weeks of bottling makes for a nice bonus.
I have enjoyed Centennial IPA with spicy fare like samosa and shawarma, as well as with grilled chicken, burgers, chickpea salad and kettle chips. This ale is listed at roughly 75 LCBO stores and is widely distributed throughout the Midwest USA.
Type: American IPA
Region: Michigan, Grand Rapids
Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 6 x 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 7.2%