Founders Centennial IPA | Founders Brewing Company

1,959 Reviews
Founders Centennial IPAFounders Centennial IPA

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
65 IBU

Added by beernut7 on 08-13-2002

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Reviews: 1,959 | Ratings: 8,231
Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma of draft IPA, hop leaf and malts, and grapefruit. Simple, citrus juicy. Not astringent rather fruit, melon, juicy fruit gum. Some lace. Initially very large head. A nice smooth drink. Easy mouthfeel, body on the light side. Very very drinkable.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: single finger head with a thin rim of retention. Hazy to cloudy crimson with gold hues body. Lots of lacing.

S: very nice floral, citrus and oaky aroma. pretty much perfect.

T: Nice mildly citrusy, woody and floral hop taste. This beer gets all of the flavoring out of the centennial hops used.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: about as good of a centennial hopped beer I have had.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the 4th Anniversary event at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest, citrus fruit, and malt. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a mapleleaf red with a blooming white head. smells really hoppy from every angle, and a bit of amber malty sweetness as well., but only mild. taste is not as punchy as the smell, but this is a strong beer. sweet rather than bitter from all the hops, and very well balanced for such a bold ipa. effervescent carbonation makes it dance in the mouth and the centennial hop crispness provides a quick but memorable finish. went really well with a grilled angus burger covered in brie cheese and caramelized onions. hides its 7.2% alcohol very well.

edit: just had this from the bottle, and its in another class. i bumped taste and overall from 4 to 4.5 because this is amazing. not sure if i got a bad keg, old lines or what, but this beer pops off from the bottle. the flavor is like drinking a friggen christmas tree, so bright in flavor and feel, and there is a really oily fresh hop character that was absent in the draft version. just fantastic stuff, and my review of the tap pour does no justice to how good this really is in bottled (or other tap) form. super bitter, the malt sweetness is totally gone, and this is the most perfect highlight of the centennial hop on the market. wow.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this for a second time and found it to be a lot better the second time around. This pours out as a nice yellowish gold color with a decent looking white head on it. The smell is heavy with pine and some citrus. The taste is wonderful, it's very strong with hops and just relentless on the tastebuds. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light but still has a great body to it. Very good beer!

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured clear amber with just a trace of head.
S: Very aromatic with smells dominated by the infusion of hops.
T: Flavors of hops and piney oils dominate the taste, but are well-balanced and not completely overpowering. The finish is a bit dry.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate.
D: Relatively easy to drink; the alcohol content is well masked.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As far as IPA's go, this one is a bit more balanced than most, having many moments throughout the session where it's indistinguishable whether the bold citrus hops gain precidence or the medium caramel malt govern.

The single 'Centennnial' hopped beer has a tremendous hop fragrance, flavor, and bitterness. A huge burst of fresh oranges, perfume, and candy-crusted confectionate malt aroma swirl into a complex and whimsical aura above the glass.

The look almost doesn't matter because of the intesity of aroma and flavor. But the beer has a simple and staple look with a medium golden-sunkist color, good head formation, fair retention, and a mild dry-hop haze. It looks like a lot of other IPA's.

Although the look is quite average, the outstanding aroma transfers to an outstanding taste. Juicy ripe orange-hop flavor set the tone as secondary notes of grapefruit, pineapple, appricot, and mangos dance on the periphery. Quite tropical fruit dominant with the hops and sublte esters. Confectionate sweetness gives a light caramel, powdered sugar, sweetheart candies that seem to evaporate in the mouth. The balance is both bold and delicate. No frills, just greatness.

The body is exquisitly drinkable with a lightly efforvescent tone that is effortless to drink. Initially creamy and rounded, but whisps away with a sweetly powdery, dry texture. Bittered late for great balance, and perhaps a little extra kick with an orange zest, grapefruit acidity.

Generally the single-hop beers are a great exercise in understanding hop flavor but usually suffer with a lack of depth and complexity. This beer does no such thing. An abundance of fruit juices, acidity, and variety offers a new flavor in every sip. IPA's just don't get better.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, a souvenir from a visit to Michigan a few weeks ago. Seraphim abound...

This beer pours a slightly hazy pale golden amber hue, with two fingers of foamy light beige head, which leaves a decent array of bubble-wrap lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of muddled bitter citrus, bready caramel malt, and further earthy hoppiness. The taste is tropical fruit, restrained caramel malt, softly bitter citrus peel, and leafy, earthy hops. The carbonation is on the down low, the body medium weight, a wee bit zippy in the way of the hop, but nonetheless generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the caramel malt subsumed by a burgeoning, if a bit late, overarching citrus/pine bitterness.

A drinkable enough IPA, but kind of lacking in the zazz, the verve, the je ne sais quoi, if you know what my West Coast lurvin' gob is talkin' 'bout...

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The clear amber colored liquid arrives at the bar topped by a couple of inches of foam that leave a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Grapefruit pith and pine with a hint of toffee

Taste: The toffee arrives up front and provides the backbone for the dominance of grapefruit pith and pine; crisp and clean with a bitter, citrusy finish though the malts persist underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation

Overall: My kind of IPA - lots of citrusy hop flavor and just enough backbone from the malt

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Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy but clear, amber-colored. The head falls flat a bit quicker than I'd like, but it does leave behind a bit of wispy lace.

Smell: Very citrusy; lemon, grapefruit and a bit of orange. Pretty hop-oriented with little discernable malt presence beyond a hint of honey-like sweetness.

Taste: Pale bready malts appear first, laying the foundation for bold hop flavors of grapefruit and lemon rind. A touch of caramel sweetness appears briefly before being swept away by the bittering hops. The finish reveals a moderate spicy hop smack, nothing too sharp; just right for an easy-drinking IPA.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and semi-dry while still maintaining a respectable malt backbone. Excellent balance; any more malt and this would be too sweet for me.

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Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks exquisite...tons of creamy foam and spindly webs of lace. Rings form as the glass is drained.

This IPA seems to have a bigger bready pale malt presence than others. Hop aroma is floral and subdued. A funky grain aroma competes a little with the cleanliness of the hops.

Flavor is bready and crackery, less bitterness than I was expecting. Centennial seems to be the steady, even-keel hop to the more brash and in-your-face varieties. The malt is equally showcased, adding body to the middle, with a drying finish. Aftertaste is clean and lightly herbal. It would be easy to have several in a sitting.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.98/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle 01/20/2012. 7.2%. 65 IBUs. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Antwerp Beer Passion Weekend 2011 stemglass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery - though I often find American breweries make IPAs poorly.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. I'm a firm believer most IPAs are best served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of beige colour, nice soft cream, great thickness, and excellent retention (5+ minutes) for the above average ABV. Colour is a murky nontransparent nonopaque dull copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Hops: slight oily piney hops and some more floral/citrusy hops. Bitterness is present underneath, but largely disguised by the dominant oily pine. Clean bright malts lie underneath. A mild strength aroma.

T: Too oily - especially from the open through the midpoint. Somewhat piney. Citrus and floral hops get lost in the mix. The bitterness punches through on the climax, destroying the balance. An ideal IPA balances its bitterness; this one does not. Clean malts lend it a decent foundation, but when the hops clear in the first half and the foundation is all that's left, the effect is not a good one. A vague weird ester comes through on the finish to ill effect. Some slight cream. Structurally imbalanced as well: the vast majority of the flavour is present after the midpont. Pre-midpoint, the beer feels empty and neglected. Overall, the oily quality just ruins the build for me. Somewhat complex, but not at all a subtle brew. The hop layering promised by the aroma is absent from the flavour profile.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also wretchedly oily. A touch overcarbonated and slightly too thick to boot. Moderate on the palate; neither too heavy nor too light but not ideal.

Dr: Feels like a failed attempt. This IPA fails on two major counts: the hop bitterness isn't adequately balanced and the hop oil isn't controlled in the mouthfeel. At its best moments, it tastes like piney nectar. At its worst, oily hops compete with naked dull malts. I had high hopes because it's Founders, but my expectations were far from met. A disappointing offering from Founders. It's only my second beer from them, but I quite enjoyed the first. I look forward to tasting more of their offerings.

Best served cold.

Probably drinks best from a conical pint glass.

A bad candidate for aging.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (courtesy of Hogtownharry): Poured a deep hazy amber color ale with a huge slightly off white foamy head with excellent retention. Aroma of citrus hops is clearly detectable but nice semi-sweet malt presence provides good balance. Taste is also quite strong on citrus hops with nice malt base. Body is above average and I really enjoyed the low filtration level.

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Photo of oline73
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle was purchased at the brewery and poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Beer pours amber in color with a half inch white head. Some head remains throughout.

Smell: I first notice citrusy hops with mild floral notes, after that comes sweet caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a mildly dry finish. Carbonation is on the low side, but definitely not under carbonated.

Taste: Hops dominate initially with hints of citrus peel and herbs. There are also mild floral notes. Sweet caramel malt then shows up and mixes with the hop bitterness quite nicely. The hop bitterness remains throughout the finish of each sip.

Drinkability: This is a very good IPA. I would definitely be willing to drink a few of these in a sitting, and will come back to it in the future.

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Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured out an amber/reddish color with a small, white head. It was cloudy and left a little lace.

S - It smelled of tons of hops and grasses. Also, a sweet malty nose.

T - The hops were a little understated considering the powerful smell. A nice sweet caramel malt taste is also very present.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - A pretty good IPA. It is not overly hoppy, but nicely blended/balanced.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange-amber in color with a cream-colored hear. Good lacing.

S: Lots of hops coming out of this one--mostly citrus with some floral mixed in.

T: Lots of grapefruit hops, obviously of the Centennial variety. Good malt backbone as well. Sightly sweet all around.

M: Medium-bodied with minimal alcohol presence.

D: Another solid offering from Founders. An all-around very solid IPA.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/29/2014. Pours slightly hazy orange/amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, pine, floral, grass, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of bright citrus/floral hops and light-moderate malt balance; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, pine, floral, grass, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon/orange zest, pineapple, pine, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of juicy citrus/floral hops and light-moderate malt balance; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible IPA. All around outstanding complexity and balance of juicy citrus/floral hops and light-moderate malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours with one finger of off-white head, topping off a slightly hazy, golden brown body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Pungent pine and citrus hops with notes of orange, grapefruit, and clove. Some biscuit and caramel notes in the background.

T - Toasted malt and light caramel up front with some pine and citrus hop notes. Notes of grapefruit appear in the middle with some pepper and more toasted bread. The grapefruit character comes to dominate in the finish with pithy bitterness and a bit of pine in the background. Dry caramel and toast sit on the palate and moderate the hops in the aftertaste.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - The hop character in this beer is undeniable, but there is really quite a strong malt backbone that never loosens its grip on your palate. The hop character is that of a fairly standard IPA with lots of pine and citrus and less tropical fruit than I might have expected. It is an enjoyable beer, but the malt is just a bit too dark and thick for my taste and it bogs down the hop character and keeps it from shining through the way that it might under other circumstances.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnt orange with a fluffy white head that leaves this sheets of lace as it settles,I love in your face hoppy aroma big pine and spruce along with some lemon pith makes the mouth water.Big hoppy piney flavors hit ya right off the bat along with some lemon rind but a nice caramel maltiness really intermingles well with the big piney,citrusy hop.Big and hoppy but extremely well balanced the alcohol is well hidden making it to easy to drink.Very nice.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Delivered to the bar, my pint of Founders Centennial IPA is a mostly clear orange-copper (or perhaps 'amber-bronze') with golden highlights beneath a frothy head of 'antique'-white foam. The head retention is quite good, and it leaves spots and streaks all about the glass.

The nose offers a combination of delicate citrusy hops and softly caramel-tinged malt. I should note, however, that it is clearly more hoppy than malty - it's not a perfectly balanced "combination".

The combination of malt and hop IS more balanced in the flavor though, with the piney and citrusy hops bouncing atop a billowing blanket of gently caramelish and subtly biscuity malt. It reminds me of very crusty bread that, left for one moment longer, might have started to burn. The hops are oddly rounded; a bit raspy, and also a bit citrus-rind chalky, but not particularly citrusy or piney - more of a clouded blend... there are suggestions of grapefruit, pine, pineapple, mango, and melon.

A very solid bitterness backs it, but there's more than enough malt there that it never seems really bitter. It has it's bitter moments, sure, but it's not overly aggressive. It's almost blocky. And I guess that's what makes this beer work. One one side it's got a big ball of malt, and on the other it's got a wedge of bitterness against it. In the middle raspy, piney, and citrusy hops poke out at you. It's balanced, but it's certainly ready to split at the seams.

Big beer! Worth trying.

Oh, and I should mention the strength. Although it does clock in at a solid 7+ %, it never shows it at all.

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Photo of chinchill
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Clear amber with a smallish off-white head. Despite the size, the head has good retention and leaves plenty of sticky lacing.

Aroma: very fruity and a bit floral with hints of cotton candy. Smells like it will be sweet but I suspect not.

T - There is a lot of sweetness here, most noticable when the beer first hits the front of the tongue, but then a good hop hit takes over turning the flavor more piney and much more bitter. I found the bitterness, however, under control, thanks to the malt sweetness. Plenty of flavor, including hints of orange peel and red grapefruit. Presents a nice dynamic palette.

M - Full for style. Smooth but with light carbonation tingle and a very slight roughness from the hops or alcohol.

O - An outstanding IPA, although a single hop variety, even if Centennial hops, is not my ideal formulation.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper with a 1/2 finger of creamy brite-white head. Full retention with a thick ring around the edges and a nice thing layer across the top that leaves a huge swathe of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is naturally fresh Centenniel hops that impart a bit of a piney edge but also more prominant floral notes and some spice. There is also the fresh feel of citrus and a strong base of malt sweetness underneath that rounds things out.

The taste is more of the caramel sweetness taking control up front that then melds into citrus tones, hop bitterness and spice, and a light piney punch. Nice but not nearly as assertive as the aroma was. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy carbonation and smooth feel on the palette. Finishes with a subtle bitter dryness that creeps along on the tongue.

Fresh, tasty, and quaffable, this is an all around solid American IPA from Founders. A bit more fresh hop feel in the taste would have gotten into another level for me but as it is, there's a lot worse choices out there.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is strong, very hoppy and complimented by notes of citrus and caramel.

T: The taste is extremely balanced from start to finish. The combination of hops bitterness, caramelized malt and citrus sweetness blend together excellently. The hops flavor is the slightly more dominant one and comes out a little bit in the after-taste, but that’s to be expected.

M: Very smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean & dry finish.

O: This beer has all of the elements to be the one that you stay with all night long. It’s very tasty, has a good kick, not-too-filling and is another one of those beers where you just keep craving the next sip.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Poured clear, honey color with a dissipating white head. Aroma is of grass and citrusy hops. Bitter hops right up front in the taste, with piney citrus notes coming through, and mild malts in the background. Light-medium mouthfeel with some bitterness in the aftertaste; overall nicely drinkable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very light hazy golden copper in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation and quite a bit of tiny particles of sediment in suspension. The beer has a finger tall beige head that reduces to a thin film covering 95% of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Quite a strong aroma of multiple kinds of hops - I get intense aromas of grapefruit, citrus, and floral hops.

T: The beer has a very nice malt body that matches well with the intense flavors of the different hops and balances the beer out. There are grapefruit, citrus, and floral hop notes along with some pine/resin oiliness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and slightly dry in the finish.

O: This beer is quite easy to drink and enjoyable, hiding the ABV quite well. This beer is a little too intense and too strong (ABV) to be a sessionable beer.

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Founders Centennial IPA from Founders Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 8,231 ratings.
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