Quiz time! When
was the first microbrewery founded, does anybody know? What’s that, did
someone say 1980? Do I hear 1977? How about 1908? If you believe the guys at
Coeur D’Alene Brewing of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, their brewery was founded in
1908. At least, a brewery with the same name was which never re-opened after
prohibition. The current incarnation was established in 1987 and is well
known for its TW Fisher line of beers.
Centennial Pale Ale is not named for the Centennial varietal of hops grown in the nearby Pacific Northwest. Rather, it was brewed to commemorate the 100th birthday of the state of Idaho. And you thought all they made there were potatoes. Centennial was entered in the pale ale category of the Great American Beer festival in 1987, and it won a gold medal, not a bad start for the brewery’s first year.
The company operates a brewpub in Coeur D’Alene called TW Fisher’s. This was Idaho’s first brewpub, opening in 1987 shortly after the state legalized brewpubs. As far as I know, they don’t serve a potato ale (though Steven’s Point Brewing in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin does, called Spud). Some of the beers they offer include Cherry Porter, Red Oktober which is their fall seasonal, Huckleberry Weizen, and Festival Dark.
Coeur D’Alene Centennial Ale pours to a dark orange color with a thick creamy had formation and a big buttery nose. The palate is big and malty, big and buttery, big and chewy. There’s a full malt mouthfeel here and notes of caramel are abundant. I’m also getting lots of candy style butterscotch flavor here from a chemical called diacetyl that is commonly found in many English style ales. Some beer aficionados loathe diacetyl, but I feel it adds body and depth to a beer, especially an English style ale. The brew finishes with a balancing hop bite that is slightly minty but not overly aggressive.
This was delicious with country-fried steak, mashed potatoes and biscuits all smothered in country gravy. The rich malt and bitter hops cut right through the heavy gravy quite nicely.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.