Brewery: Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Style: American IPA
As a lifelong citizen of the Midwest (so far), I am a very big fan of the craft beer scene here. When I lived in Michigan, I had two “go-to” breweries: Bell’s and Founders. The latter, Founders, is located right in the middle of my old stomping grounds, Grand Rapids. Their Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is one of my all-time favorite beers, and pretty much anything they release is of high quality. Tonight I opted for their Centennial IPA, which I am giving a fresh take on thanks to my new-found love of IPAs.
The first thing I noticed about this beer was its 7.2% ABV label on the bottle. This added kick is quite noticeable upon the initial tasting. In contrast to many American IPAs, Centennial is more complex. My first two tastings were surprisingly underwhelming — something was different about this, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. On the third taste, everything clicked. The citrus notes came rushing through, with grapefruit leading the charge. The floral hops made an appearance and lingered on the tongue. There was slight bitterness, but it was kept to a minimum.
I’m not sure what put me off of the initial tasting, but this beer certainly got better over time. While the hops are always present, it seems that the malt prevents them from exploding the way one might expect. Still, this is an eminently drinkable beer, a nice smooth offering that packs a little extra punch. This is a strong effort from Founders, and a great summer beer.