There are many reasons why it’s hard to get a bead on how many breweries operate in Colorado. For one, new ones are opening at a lightning pace, keeping the total number in constant flux. For two, there’s the question of which breweries really count? If one company has multiple locations, does each location count as an individual brewery or are they all, collectively, one? Then there are breweries like Centennial Beer Company, a contract brewery. Contract breweries don’t have their own space, their own equipment, their own taproom, they borrow from another brewery (in this case, Crazy Mountain Brewing Company). It was in this way Centennial Beer was able to brew, can, and distribute All-American Red Ale (5% ABV).
Color: All-American Red is crystalline in its clarity with a more-orange-than-red hue and a head of off-white.
Aroma: There’s a surprising amount of malt complexity and peculiarity to All-American Red’s aroma; this beer smells a bit grape-like, wine-y. Certainly, no grapes were used in the brewing process but, sometimes, the right mixture of malts, hops, yeast, and water can create some really odd-ball scents.
Taste: Upon first sipping All-American Red, the thought “weak barleywine” pops into mind. Indeed, there is a leathery, malty, caramel aspect to the beer that is not unlike its more-alcoholic brother (albeit on a much more muted scale). There’s a tiny hop bite in the aftertaste but it’s nothing too notable. Overall, All-American Red features light-and-easy flavors.
Mouthfeel: All-American Red starts wet, fades to dry, and sports a medium thick body that washes down with a silky texture.
Does Centennial Beer—with its lack of facility—deserve to be counted among the vast numbers of Colorado breweries? That’s a judgment call for the individual beer geek to make. However, it is true that All-American was made in Colorado by people living in Colorado thus making it a Colorado beer and a beer worthy of local support. Pick up a six-pack today, help them grow and expand and, one day, perhaps they will have their own brewing space.