2013 Availability Calendar

We are excited to announce quite a few changes that we’ve made to the Founders brand calendar for 2013. Our new calendar is summarized graphically here:

 

Founders 2013 Availability Calendar

 

Red’s Rye PA

Most noticeably, Red’s Rye PA will only be available on draft year-round, beginning in March or April of 2013. Our bottle release will be limited to a specialty, four-pack release in September and October. The final Red’s Rye PA six-pack batch will ship in February 2013.

This was a hard decision for us to make. We love Red’s Rye PA, and we do not want to limit its availability, but it’s the right thing to do for the sake of the quality of the beer. Red’s Rye PA carries a shelf life of 90 days, which means it is tied with Harvest Ale for having the shortest shelf life of any of our brands. Extensive lab analyses have been conducted, and they have validated this shelf life again and again.

This limited shelf life holds true for Red’s Rye PA in bottles and Red’s Rye PA in kegs; however, the out-of-code Red’s Rye PA that we’ve found in the market has overwhelmingly been bottles. This is mostly because kegs have a faster sell-through rate, but draft has other built-in shelf life benefits such as constant refrigeration and a totally concealed container that protects the beer from light exposure.

By shortening Red’s Rye PA’s period of availability, we alleviate shelf life concerns due to the shorter window of availability. Specialty beers tend to have a much faster sell-through rate than seasonal and year-round beers.

We aren’t taking this decision lightly. We discussed modifying the Red’s Rye PA recipe to extend the shelf life, and researched it for some time, but it simply wouldn’t be the same beer. As difficult as this is, we aren’t willing to compromise our recipe and a beer that we believe in just to get it on the shelves longer.

Finally, by moving Red’s Rye PA into the specialty category, it will be moved from a six-pack to a four-pack package, and the price per bottle will increase. Red’s Rye PA has always been an expensive beer for us to make; its cost is more in-line with our specialty beers, but we blended  our margins for years to try to make it work. In the end, we’ve had to accept that this is the right thing to do for one of our greatest beers. As is always the case at Founders, producing quality beer comes ahead of concerns about profits.

 

Seasonal Lineup: Two Seasons, Six-Packs

In 2013, Founders will offer two seasonals: Breakfast Stout (October through February) and All Day IPA (March through September). Both of these beers will be available in six-packs and on draft. We have hop contracts in place that will allow us to brew enough All Day IPA to ship it out to all of our markets for a retail launch on March 1, and we couldn’t be more eager to share this beer with even more people than in 2012, when we had a limited release. And, yes, if you didn’t catch that, we are going to move Breakfast Stout from a four-pack to a six-pack when it is released again in October 2013, and it will maintain the same suggested retail price of $9.99. [UPDATE: As of August 2013, we made the decision to keep Breakfast Stout in a 4-pack after having switched All Day IPA into our year-round lineup and with an eye out for blended margins with our 2014 seasonal offerings. Stay tuned for the 2014 calendar.]

 

Specialty Updates

Double Trouble will be moving to our specialty lineup, with four-pack and draft availability in May and June.

Next, we have swapped out Cerise in our lineup with a re-release of Rübæus, our raspberry ale that hasn’t been released since 2008. This is a bittersweet change (pun intended). It’s hard to say goodbye to Cerise, but the cherry crop in Michigan this year was devastated and we had little choice. On the other hand, Rübæus is a beautiful beer and is one that we’ve been asked to bring back year after year since we retired it. Rübæus will join our specialty four-pack lineup for a July and August release.

Moving along, you may also notice that we have extended the availability of many of our long-standing specialty beers to two months rather than a one-time release. Our increased capacity has allowed and will allow us to make much more Imperial Stout, Curmudgeon Old Ale and Backwoods Bastard than we have in the past. We are going to do what we can to make each of these beers available for the two full months that are listed on the calendar above, though Backwoods Bastard availability will remain somewhat limited because of the barrel-aging process. KBS, Devil Dancer and Harvest Ale will continue to be small batch releases because of the cost and production constraints of these beers. KBS has moved from a March release to an April release to fit in with our updated calendar. More details on the KBS release will be announced soon.

 

In case that wasn’t enough for you, we may have some more additions up our sleeve for 2013. As we like to say, you never know what Founders is going to do next.

 

**Update as of 2/15/13: Please note that our 2013 calendar has changed a bit. You can find the most up-to-date version here.

 

43 thoughts on “2013 Availability Calendar”

  1. Just out of curiosity, what is the limiting ingredient in Red’s RyePA that has a shelf life of only 90 days? Thank you.

    • At the heart of the complex flavors of Red’s Rye PA is a very complicated list of ingredients, including multiple types of grains and rye combined with several styles of hops. This delicious combination of so many ingredients is delivering the flavor we love, but is also working against a longer shelf life for this beer.

  2. I’m okay with Red’s Rye shifting to specialty and the price increase since it means I know I can get it fresh. Additionally, this topic has brought up a question I’ve had for a while and never found an answer to:

    What IS the shelf life for the beers in Founders’ year-round lineup?

    • Hi Jennie,

      We think you will like Cerise’s replacement, Rubaeus. And we have not announced our Backstage Series releases (e.g., small batches in 750mL bottles) for 2013–those are announced one at a time and are not included on this calendar.

  3. I think these are all fantastic changes, and I particularly applaud the return of Rubaeus. Those of you lamenting the demise of Cerise will not be disappointed. In my opinion, Rubaeus is a far better beer. Thank you Founders for consistently improving, and I can’t wait to hear about KBS this year. Maybe with it being in April we’ll have a better chance of not freezing our butts off when standing in line.

  4. “And, yes, if you didn’t catch that, we are going to move Breakfast Stout from a four-pack to a six-pack when it is released again in October 2013, and it will maintain the same suggested retail price of $9.99″

    Saw a shooting star the other night during a meteor storm… Let’s just say my wish came true. :)

  5. Awesome! FBS six packs @ same 9.99 price point! Best news I’ve heard in awhile, also looking forward to trying all day IPA and Cerise replacement, I think that beer is good but not up to par with some if the other Founders offerings.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys have up your sleeves for backstage series releases, any idea when the first one of 2013 will be & will ther be 4 releases in the backstage program during 2013. Also looking forward to the increase in production of KBS, hope to actually be able to buy a full 4 pack instead of single bottles from every shop I can manage to get a single bottle from.

    Cheers to you Founders!

    Happy Holidays!

    See you in 2013!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Steve. We have not announced our next Backstage Series beer yet and probably won’t for another month or two. No word on what it will be or any Backstage Series release beyond that. Cheers to you!

  6. I do hope some barley wines find their way in there. Just bought my second bottle of bolt cutter. YUM! Also I’d like to taste the sweet nectar of KBS finally! Year after year its gone too quickly.

    • Hi Taylor,

      This calendar does not include Backstage Series beers, like Bolt Cutter, so you never know–we just may brew another barley wine in 2013!

  7. Well at least your excellent lager production isn’t going away. Oh wait, yawn, same old variations on the same old themes. Hey, more fruit flavored beer and goofy stouts. Still waiting for bier from shops like yours…

    • It was a tough decision to make. It will still be available year-round, just on draft. Perhaps you can find a place near you that will fill a growler for you to take home with you. Either way, we appreciate your support.

  8. Is Cerise permanently gone or will it be back in 2014 provided a good cherry crop?! I should have been hoarding more, I’m not prepared for this! Please please please bring it back!

    • We’re not sure if we will bring Cerise back. However, we think you will enjoy Rubaeus, its replacement. Please give it a try when it comes around in July!

  9. I’m quite happy with these changes! I’m looking forward to Rubaeus quite a bit. Did I read correctly that Breakfast Stout will be six packs next year? That, in and of itself, is pretty fantastic! Any plans for Cashew Mountain Brown in the near future? I would take it as draft/bottle or whatever you have it in. Thanks!

    • Hi Dustin,
      Thank you for your feedback! You are correct–Breakfast Stout will be offered in six packs when it comes around again in October 2013. And no word on a re-release of Cashew Mountain Brown… Cheers!

  10. I fully understand this decision. I actually bought a 6-pack of Red’s Rye in October only to get home and find that the bottling date was March. I tried one and had to return it because it tasted nothing like how I remembered Red’s Rye tasting. Delicate beer indeed.

  11. just a few thoughts: first i want to say that i wasnt initially pleased to hear the red’s rye was moving to the specialty catagory because i didnt think it was “big enough” to fill a two month spot. upon further thought, i think its a good decision and it probably fits well with that time of year. also, i always thought that double trouble was too “big” for a seasonal, so this is a good change. i like that devil dancer and kbs are going to a one month seasonal as opposed to two months, which makes them sort of a specialty of specialty, along with harvest ale, which, due to the hop harvest, is understandably a one month specialty. finally, i am very excited to try rubaeus. basically, i love the changes. founders remains the best brewery in the world in my opinion, and my opinion is legendary and easily the foremost and preeminent in all things regarding the relationship between beer and palate.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Mike. We’re glad to have someone with a legendary, foremost, preeminent palate commenting on our blog ;)

  12. It’s a shame to see Red’s Rye going away as a regular 6-pack, but I guess that will just make it that much more special to find it on tap. I can definitely get behind 6-packs of Breakfast Stout.

  13. Wow, that is a lot to take in! Cannot wait to see 6-packs of Breakfast Stout… And to see a staple like Red’s Rye poof will be quite strange. Now, with my new move to Cincinnati, I just have to hope that some KBS makes it there!

    Great updates, as always.

    Cheers

  14. I must say that this is another disappointing announcement. All my favorite Founders beers are becoming less available; All-Day IPA, Double Trouble, and now Red’s Rye. I certainly understand (and support) the concern for quality, but I wonder how much of this is also due to the ever expanding distribution footprint and the need to feed that monster.

    • Our decision to cut back the availability of Red’s Rye PA was 100% based on quality and has nothing to do with our expansion. In fact, we contracted enough raw materials to make more Red’s Rye PA than we were projecting to produce had it stayed a year-round beer (i.e., the % of sales that it has carried for us in years past but at a volume above what we plan to produce in 2013). We’re sorry to disappoint. To an extent, we’re disappointed, too. Red’s Rye PA has always been a favorite of our brewers, owners and staff. However, we have to stick to our mission and values as a brewery, and we are a product-driven company. The product, and its quality, has to come first.

  15. Sarah, not sure Founders is approaching the Red Rye PA problem in the best manner. I much prefer what Troegs and Ithaca do with Perpetual and Flower Power. They release in waves, providing just enough to stores so that it doesn’t extend its shelf life. Then, around two months later stores get another batch. So, you can’t always find those two beers on the shelf, but when you do you can be sure they’re fresh(er). Frankly, I think if you’re going to make Red Rye specialty only because of the issue at hand, then you should do the same with Centennial IPA. I’ve passed on Centennial twice in the past couple of weeks because of bottling dates from May. Obviously, shelf life is a serious issue with beer in general — severely limiting the brew and raising costs seems awkward.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Matthew. As far as the price increase goes, it’s simply due to the fact that Red’s Rye PA was the most expensive six-pack beer that we were producing. It had by far the least margin, and didn’t really make sense, but we kept it around because we all really enjoyed the beer. It was one of the brewers and owners favorite beers that we made. Once we reformulated our brand mix and created a common UPC that in-line priced everything, it gave us the opportunity to keep Red’s Rye PA out in a limited basis and at a more comfortable price point. That being said, this “waved approach” to releasing Red’s Rye PA that you’ve mentioned is a great concept and is not off the table for us. It likely wouldn’t work in the chain world, but it is an option for our top specialty stores and is something that we will continue to consider. Again, thanks for your comments. We appreciate them.

  16. Please dont release KBS on the same day as Dark Lord (3 Floyds) which is usually the last saturday of april. I would like to go to both events and not forced to choose :)

    • Noted. We’re looking at having a brewery release at the end of March–more details will be announced soon!

  17. I love all of the changes that are being made for 2013. Very excited for all day ipa to be around and I am very glad that breakfast stout will be in six-packs in 2013! I love that beer so much. Can’t wait to try rubaeus for the first time and hopefully KBS. Thanks Founders for brewing some of the best beer out there, definitely in my top favorite breweries. I still have to make it out there to visit.
    Cheers and Happy Holidays!

  18. I’m assuming that Red’s Rye will be replaced in the Founder Sampler Case. What might take it’s place? Will it be the Pale Ale, or will it be bottles of the current seasonal beer, or will the case be revamped altogether?

    Thanks for the updates, and look forward to cracking open many Founders beers in 2013!

    • Pale Ale is the Red’s Rye PA replacement in our Pennsylvania variety cases, yes. Happy 2013 to you as well!

  19. Man…bummed to see Double Trouble being so limited going forward. Is there a specific reason for doing so? I didn’t keep any of my 2012 stock thinking there’d be time in 2013 to replenish my supply. So sad…

    • Similar to Red’s Rye PA, Double Trouble is hop forward and therefore has a limited shelf life. It’s not the type of beer that we recommend stockpiling–it’s a “drink it while it’s fresh and available” kind of beer. And, when we looked at historical sales figures, Double Trouble sold really well in the first couple of months of its longer availability (~ 4 months last year), and then lingered on the shelves for too long after that. This two-month window for our non-limited specialties (Imperial Stout, Curmudgeon Old Ale, Double Trouble, Rubaeus, Red’s Rye PA and, to an extent, Backwoods Bastard) is going to be a sweet spot for us moving forward, we think, because we’ve line-priced these beers so that they will be able to share one facing in the chain world, making them more widely available. Plus, it gives us all something new to look forward to every couple of months.

  20. Two questions: Will you be bringing Frangelic Stout back this year, and when can I expect to find you in California? It’s a bit expensive to have friends fed-ex your fine products, and sometimes hazardous.

    • Frangelic Stout is on tap in our taproom right now (check out What’s on Tap here). Or were you referring to our Frangelic Mountain Brown, which was the July release in our Backstage Series last year? We announce Backstage releases one at a time and you never know what’s going to come out next. As for distribution in California, that has not been determined yet. We’d love to be there someday, but it isn’t in our immediate future.

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