Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Centennial IPA

Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 7.0%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Pair With:
Man Law #SF49: No Chunkage in Beer. As the third Founders brew to be reviewed on this site, it should be clear by now: this is one hell of a brewery, and Centennial IPA would certainly back up that fact. However, I must begin this review with my one and only gripe about Founders IPA: what the hell is floating in my beer?? I notice the bottle says it's "dry hopped, unfiltered". Here's a suggestion guys--BUY SOME DAMN FILTERS!! I admit that I've never brewed a beer in my life, but it seems very unappealing to have mysterious pieces of God-only-knows-what floating in an otherwise masterful brew. Let's chalk it up to my selection of six packs, perhaps one that was a bit too aged or was infested with chipmunk doody. Whatever. Now that I've got that off my chest, let me heap on the praise.

In the world of craft IPA's, few can compete with Founders' product. The beer pours beautifully--very bubbly, slight head that quickly dissipates, dark golden brown hue. The smell will clear your sinuses and sent this Hophead into a tizzy--very strong, despite the stinky chick candle burning right next to me (perhaps another Man Law--Don't Mix Good Beer and Chick Candles). The taste is nearly perfect--very hoppy, somewhat offset by a good amount of malt, and that slight tinge of sweet citrus which counteracts the overall heavy bitterness of a fine IPA. The aftertaste is very strong, but hey--that's how it should be. I would definitely consider Founders to be in the upper echelon of craft IPA's, though not quite as masterful as their finest brew, Red's Rye, which has been appropriately praised by a fellow Beer Dork. I would place Founders Centennial IPA slightly below those produced by Bell's, Dogfish Head, and Stone but equal to or better than the fine products from New Glarus, Three Floyds, and Tyranena. Now please, can we make a pulp-free version?

[Editor's Note: Unfiltered beer is for real real men, Nigel. It helps prevent hangovers, usually isn't pasteurized (which is strictly for candy asses anyway) and adds a level of complexity that filtered beers can't hold a candle to, especially if the beer is aged. And besides: bitch, bitch, bitch … —Eddie Glick]

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on November 15, 2006.
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