Origin – United States of America
Style- Indian Pale Ale
Boy, are we glad we found Founders! Describing themselves as ‘beer enthusiasts’ rather than ‘brewers’ these boys from Grand Rapids, Michigan who founded Founders in 1997, and then actually lost money for the following 12 years, now produce 900,000 barrels annually…impressive. What is more impressive is that they are also now rated in the top 100 brewers worldwide and have won more medals than the city has water crossings! History has it that founders and owners Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, who still clearly remember hand glueing 6 pack cases, turned the place around when they got advice from their bankruptcy lawyers that given they could no longer pay the rent, that they should go out swinging! At the time, having only ever produced run of the mill ambers and pale ales, I’m told that one afternoon over a few beers they agreed “if we’re going to go down, let’s make beers we want to drink.” It’s where the slogan ‘Brewed For Us’ actually came from, and how the brewery’s first hit, the 8.5% Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, came to be. And there has been no turning back since that moment, with every beer produced now crafted to push the limits of taste; complex, in-your-face ales, huge aromatics, bigger bodies, and tons of flavour. Whether its envelope-pushing craft beers brewed with random yeast strains, or fermentation barrels previously used for Tabasco, nothing is beyond the boundaries. Which makes this 7.2% ABV IPA perfectly suited to that mould. Somewhat surprisingly given its high ABV, this Centennial IPA (which was inspired when one the brewers’ mates ordered a competitors IPA at a birthday party, telling him the Founders IPA was too boring!) is as easy to drink as most sessional IPA’s, which can get you in trouble when ordering a third! Pouring a reddish copper colour, the smell is all citrus and pine notes, with some brown sugar, caramel and tangerine in there too. As far as taste, it is sweet, dry, malty and crisp in well-balanced proportions- impressive for what I assume, given its name, is a single-hopped brew. Now that you’ve found these Founders hold on tight, with 2 standard drinks per tinny, it may make for a wild ride!