The Brewers Association’s Craft Brewers Conference is in full swing at the Colorado Convention Center and the beer-centric host city of Denver is letting the out-of-state brewers know that, while quality beer can be found all across this country, the epicenter of craft beer is in the mountains. That statement was made via Centennial State Pale Ale (5.280% ABV—get it?), a 19.2 oz. can of everything great about Colorado brewing. Made with all-Colorado ingredients (including the can itself), Centennial State was technically brewed at Oskar Blues Brewery’s facility but, in fact, nearly every member of the Colorado Brewers Guild played some small part in this beer’s creation.
Color: Topped with fluffy foam like the powder snow of Steamboat Springs, Centennial State is as clear as an untouched mountain tarn and as orange as the hair-do on the Broncos mascot’s or a Rocky Mountain sunset. Sitting in a rounded glass, it looks like well-polished, crystalline amber.
Aroma: An explosion of fruit-scented hops inundate the nose upon first whiff. At first, pineapples and other tropical notes are most prevalent. Then, as the beer warms slightly, hints of strawberry emerge.
Taste: Centennial State is smooth, smooth, smooth; no bitter cringe whatsoever. This beer puts to rest the myth that all hops are extremely bitter. In truth, different hops give off many different types of flavors and, in the case of Centennial State, the tongue agrees with the nose: it’s full of fruity flavors. Again, one first detects pineapple (with a touch of lemon) but that fades into strawberry. There may be a hint of peach lurking in there, too. There are enough malts to keep the beer from tasting like a fruit bowl and the aftertaste suggests a very subtle Starbursts flavor.
Mouthfeel: Not quite as crisp as most pale ales, Centennial State is almost velvety—like melted sorbet. It’s a touch dry with medium thickness.
Centennial State makes it perfectly clear that there’s no better city than Denver to host a Craft Brewers Conference. To try this beer, one must either attend the Craft Brewers Conference, know an attendee who can bring back a can, or keep an eye on social media—a few bars around town may have special tappings of this phenomenal, Colorado-proud beer.