Monday, 11 August 2014

Founders: Centennial IPA

…featuring pork belly with lime caramel food-pairing.

Beer Deluxe, Federation Square (Melbourne)

Pigs cannot fly, but their bellies make for an excellent pairing with craft beer!
Founders have done it again!  This exemplary, Michigan-based brewery has completely blown me away with its stouts and porters, hence I jumped at the chance at sampling its Centennial IPA. 

On this occasion, Melburnian craft beer enthusiasts were privileged with sampling this exemplary beer from the keg at Beer Deluxe Fed Square; a rare treat given that Centennial IPA bottles and cans can be found just about anywhere.

On the nose, Centennial is grassy, piny and citric-acidic.  Its head dissipates gradually leaving excellent lacing.  This is a bold, malt-driven affair in its texture and mouthfeel, however tremendous hop characters come through with gusto.  Tropical fruit flavours (think stone fruit in particular) hold sway here.  A burst of hop bitterness lingers long into the aftertaste.

The beer serves as a poignant reminder that spring is nearly upon us (in the Southern Hemisphere).  The temperature is set to head north, wildflowers will blossom forth and dark, shadowy beers will give way to those that speak of golden, radiant sunshine.

Alongside Beer Deluxe's awesome pork belly, Centennial does well in balancing the saltiness of the meat and the sugary tang of the lime caramel.  It cuts through yet somehow amplifies the gorgeousness of the fat (some cubes are virtually all-fat and rind - awesome!) while the gorgeously crisp outer layer is rendered all the more beautiful.  This pairing is one that is definitely more about what the beer does for the food.

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