2009 Beers in Review-Best Beer #2

17 12 2009

The final two beers on list come from the same brewery. It was hard deciding between the two because they were so darn tasty. In fact, its kind of a toss up between the two. For the last two weeks, I have been switching them out for each other. But something has to come to come out on top. In the end, it just came down to points.

That is why my number two beer of the year is…

Founders Centennial IPA- Founders Brewing Company Grand Rapids, MI

Photo Credit: Drunkenpolack.com

India Pale Ale

Rate Beer Score: 97 Points

I love Founders beers. In my eyes, Founders can do no wrong. I have tried nearly their entire line and enjoyed every beer. Founders beers are funny! They have a sense of humor. They have literally made me laugh out loud.

The first thing one notices about Founders beers is their bottle art. Now, I am not one who usually falls for a pretty label. I have seen many a pretty label slapped on a subpar beer. However, every label is a work of art. They tell a story and set a mood. Check out these labels. No really! Check them out! They are gorgeous! And more importantly, their beer lives up to promise.

The beer pours golden with excellent bright high notes. There is a slight haze to it because it is unfiltered. This is to help preserve the hops flavor. There is a sturdy head which leads to beautiful lacing along the glass. Right of the bat, one gets amazing floral notes with piney, resiny and bubble gummy notes. This is because Founders dry hops their beers. They stuff the fermenter full of centennial hops–an American hop varietal famous for its sweet, citrusy aroma and high alpha acids. This process of fermenting with hops imparts the subtle flavors and aromas lost in the boil. This technique is more popular in the U.S. where extreme beers are in fashion.

The front end is sweet, citrusy and piney. The mid palate has a lingering maltiness. And the bitterness is smooth and dry on the tail end. That is what is so amazing about this beer. For all the aroma it has, one would expect this beer to be melt-your-face-off bitter. But for a beer with 67 IBUs, the bitterness is not at all painful. Instead, you get all the pleasure of an IPA without any of the pain. That is why this beer made me laugh. I expected to be punished for all this amazing hoppy aroma, and yet it never came! And when I was done drinking it, I realized it would never come. It is like watching a scary movie, and the tension gets real high. And the music is intense, and just when you think the monster is going to jump out…a friendly person jumps out and says something funny! All that anticipation leads up to something you did not at all expect.

This beer is great! I highly recommend finding it. Founders market is growing. It is becoming more and more easy to find. And now they have started selling their Centennial IPAs in six packs, which at $13 is a steal! Grab this beer!

I would serve this in the summer time, with something kind of fatty to balance the hops. I would recommend serving this at 4th of July with BBQ chicken and potato salad. Or with cold fried chicken and macaroni salad. This beer would be delightfully refreshing on a hot afternoon in the park.

And tune back tomorrow to find out which Founders beer made the cut for my favorite beer of the year.

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