Best Pale Ales and IPAs 2010: #2 Founders Centennial

15 07 2010

Last December, we named Founders Centennial our #2 favorite beer of the year. Because of that, it should come to no great surprise that it is our #2 favorite IPA.

We chose Founders Centennial as one of our favorite IPAs for how smooth and floral it is. It has amazing hop aroma from being dry hopped and unfiltered. But what is so amazing for all the hoppy nose, the bitterness is subdued. This is the perfect IPA for people who love hop aroma but don’t quite care for big in-your-face bitterness. It is a delicious beer.

Centennial Hops are a classic American hop varietal. Famous for their spicy, floral qualities as well as its amazing bitterness, the Centennial hop is an all around workhorse and an excellent choice for a really complex and interesting IPA.

Founders Centennial IPA

Photo Credit: @Joe Foodie CC

Rate Beer Score: 98 Points (98 for Style)

Aroma: Big hop nose full of citrus (grapefruit mostly with a hint of lemon and orange oil) with some spicy grass, sassafras and bubblegum notes. Malty back end helps balance the beer back.

Appearance: Hazy (unfiltered to help retain dry hopping qualities) copper gold with thin, white head. Persistent medium-sized carbonation.

Taste: Hop forward with surprisingly little bitterness. Hops are spicy and bright with notes of rosemary, grapefruit and sassafras. Nice use of biscuit malt to mellow out the end. A lingering fruitiness on the back of the palate with some slight soap bubble bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with strong, prickling carbonation. Medium-bodied and no lingering astringency.

This IPA would go well with a cheese plate of English cheddar, bloomy soft cheeses and a grassy blue cheese. It would also go very well with ribs or anything grilled meat that had a bit of sweetness to it.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Rate Beer Score:
96 Points (98 for Style)

Ken Grossman has a lot to be proud of. Celebrating 30 years with Sierra Nevada, he has been a leader in the American Craft Brew world. His brewery is setting environmental standards for the beer world. His beers are the epitome of simplicity. And he, essentially, introduced Americans to full flavored hops. Really by accident, in fact. Ken found importing British malts and hops too expensive for too poor of quality. And so, he used whatever American ingredients he could get his hands on. The result is the American Pale Ale.

Sierra Nevada is so ubiquitous, it is almost cliche. But it got there by being a really good beer. Full of crisp, hop flavor and rich with malts, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is an extremely well made beer. And we are so lucky to have it.




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