2015 ArtPrize Artists at Founders

Each fall our home city of Grand Rapids hosts ArtPrize, an open art competition decided by public vote and expert jury.  162 locations throughout the city, including our Taproom, display works of art by artists from across the world.  More than $50,000 is awarded to the winning artists each year.

We’re thrilled to present work by six artists here in our Taproom. A look at the work of these talented individuals:

Arista Slater-Sandoval

Arista is a Michigan native currently living and working in Durango, Colorado. She creates large-scale image transfers on found materials ranging from linoleum to plexiglass.


Katy Batdorff

Katy is an undisputed Grand Rapids staple, like furniture or Mr. Burger, but with the added advantage of being able to shoot awesome photos. One can often hear her infectious, raucous laughter echoing against the buildings downtown as she photographs an outdoor concert. Katy’s work is just as energetic as she is, almost jumping off the film, ready to come to life.


MaryJo Fox Fell

MaryJo is a Grand Rapids native currently living and working in Lowell, MI. Working primarily with acrylic/water paint, she enjoys experimenting with unique surfaces to display her nature-inspired images.


Daniel Stine

Daniel hails from Phoenix, AZ, but currently lives and works in Ypsilanti, MI. His six-painting series of oil-based work combines traditional Panamanian patterns combined with traditional Western forms of representation to illustrate the historical importance and ecological diversity of the Panama Isthmus. The result is a visually striking series that also educates the audience on a part of the world they may know little about.


Josh Maitner

Josh lives and works in Grand Rapids. From a young age, Josh has had a passion and drive for artistic pursuits. His current work features sharp, graphically-dynamic images created with acrylic and spray paint on wood


Nuel Friend

Nuel is a Chicago native who moved to Grand Rapids at a young age and has not strayed far since. Working out of his local studio, he creates stunning, visceral pieces out of traditional and non-traditional mediums alike.


Come down to the Founders Taproom during ArtPrize to check out their incredible work!


Spectra Trifecta: The Inspiration Behind the 2015 Founders ArtPrize Beer

Our 2015 ArtPrize beer, Spectra Trifecta, is a masterpiece created by two of our very own artists, Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki and label designer Alexis Brooke. Alexis’ nature-inspired drawings pair perfectly with the nontraditional, earthy ingredients used to brew this Kolsch-style beer, which includes lemongrass, chamomile and ginger. It’s a nod to the power in experimentation – whether it be with grains and hops or markers and watercolors – and the brave act of sharing one’s creations with others. Check out the video above, or click this link, to get an inside look and listen behind the creation of the beer – both inside and out.

Proceeds from the sale of Spectra Trifecta will support future programming of the ArtPrize organization, which is an international art competition open to any artist and decided by public vote. Its mission is to promote critical dialogue and collaboration through new, creative ideas among a large and diverse population of people. Learn more about the beer and the partnership here.


Announcing Northern California and Nevada Distribution!

We are beyond excited to announce that we’re bringing our beers to the West Coast! We will start distributing in Northern California and Nevada starting in October 2015.


“We’re thrilled to continue to expand our distribution in the West where there is such appreciation for craft beer.” said Co-Founder & CEO Mike Stevens. “Northern California and Nevada are hubs for beer enthusiasts and we’re excited to add Founders to their list of choices. We think West Coast beer drinkers’ choices just got a lot harder.”

The following distributors will represent Founders in their respective markets.

Northern California:

  • Matagrano Inc. in San Francisco and San Mateo counties
  • Markstein Beverage Co. of Sacramento in greater Sacramento and all surrounding counties
  • Delta Sierra Beverage LLC Modesto in greater Modesto and all surrounding counties
  • Eagle Distributing Co. in Marin, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties
  • V. Santoni and Co. in Woodland and Davis
  • DelReka Distributing in Del Norte and Humboldt
  • Sequoia Beverage Co. in Kings and Tulare counties
  • Elyxir Distributing, LLC in Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterrey counties
  • Foothills Distributing in Chico, Redding and surrounding counties


  • Morrey Distributing in greater Reno
  • Capital Beverages Inc. in greater Lake Tahoe and Carson City
  • Blach Distributing Co. in Humboldt, Pershing, Lander, Eureka, Elko, and White Pine counties
  • Valley Distributors Inc. in Churchill and Mineral counties
  • Nevada Beverage Co. in greater Las Vegas including Clark, Lincoln, Nye and Esmeralda counties

We will offer all of our year-round and seasonal beers in bottles, cans (as applicable) and kegs throughout each state. There may also be some limited releases available at select craft beer retailers following the launch—stay tuned to our events page and Twitter handle for launch event information.

Check out all of the states in which Founders is available here.


Love Our Beer Cheese Dip? Try it at home!

We sold a whopping 2,900+ beer cheese dips this past month and to celebrate this beloved Taproom deli dish, we’re sharing the recipe with you!

BeerCheese2Our head chef Justin Golinski was kind enough to break it down. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • (1) 8 oz. block of cream cheese
  • 2 oz. grated smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup Centennial IPA
  • Small handful of baby spinach
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Dirty Bastard mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Got all that? Here are your next steps:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F), combine all ingredients and bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring halfway through.  If desired, broil the dip for 5 minutes for additional crust/color on top.  Serve with toasted bread and tortilla chips.

Fairly easy, incredibly delicious and now yours to enjoy.  Share photos with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter if you give it a try.



Spotify Brewer’s Playlist

The kickass live shows in our Taproom bring a ton of energy to the front of the house, but behind the golden curtain – deep in the heart of the brewery – we’re rocking just as hard.

Ladies and gents, time to turn it on and turn it up. From Bootsy Collins to Built to Spill, here are some of the songs the production team are currently jamming to:

For a direct link to this playlist, click here. To follow Founders on Spotify, click here.

What song would you suggest the brewer’s consider for next month? Comment below!


Michiganders: The Baby Has Left the Crib

It’s true.

As we gear up for Stout Season, we’re also saying goodbye to a dear friend. The baby of Breakfast Stout is taking some time away from his crib after being booted from the label in our home state of Michigan. However, you’ll continue to see that familiar face in all other states within our distribution footprint – and soon!

So what to do when the law is laid down? We say have a little fun with it. The new Michigan label features a note from our small friend with instructions on how to reach him while he’s away. Just wait and see!

As for New Hampshire, we’re awaiting a decision from the powers that be. Stay tuned to Twitter for an update on which label will appear on shelves this September.

Cheers! BSBottles2015


Announcing New Mexico Distribution!

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Premier Distributing Co. to offer our beers throughout the state of New Mexico beginning in October 2015!


“We’re thrilled to work with Premier Distributing Co. to offer Founders for the first time in New Mexico,” said Co-Founder & CEO Mike Stevens. “The addition of new markets is always exciting, and New Mexico affords us a great opportunity to reach a new audience of beer enthusiasts.”

We will offer all of our year-round and seasonal beers in bottles, cans (as applicable) and kegs throughout the state. There may also be some limited releases available at select craft beer retailers following the launch—stay tuned to our events page and Twitter handle for launch event information.

Check out all of the states in which Founders is available here.


Hop Fourward Untappd Badge


IPA Day? Make that IPA Month! Aromatic, hop-heavy IPAs are the perfect way to celebrate, and we’ve got a few. From the sessionable All Day IPA to the smooth and bitter finish of Double Trouble with its 86 IBUs, there’s something for everyone.

Between August 3 and September 3, check-in to two (2) of our four (4) available IPA offerings on Untappd – All Day IPA, Centennial IPA, Red’s Rye IPA and Double Trouble to unlock the Founders Hop Fourward badge.  Give all four a try while you’re at it!


Spectra Trifecta Brewed to Benefit ArtPrize 2015

We’re excited to announce that we’re going to release Spectra Trifecta, brewed in the traditional Kolsch style, this September. Proceeds from the sale of this new beer will benefit ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition that takes place annually in Grand Rapids, Mich. Spectra Trifecta will be sold in 12 oz. bottles in Michigan, Wisconsin, greater New York City and greater Chicago with a suggested retail price of $9.99 per 6-pack. Draft will be sent throughout Founders’ distribution footprint.
spectra_trifecta_bottleIn April 2013 the two organizations inked a deal that made Founders the official brewery of ArtPrize for the next five years. The premier leadership sponsorship deal included offering Founders beer at all official ArtPrize events, signage, promotion, merchandise, specialized glassware and other items. It also included permission for Founders to use the ArtPrize identity marks (logo and graphics) on any co-packaged items, including beer. Founders expects to release a new beer for each year of its five-year partnership with ArtPrize under the name “Artist Series”. This is year three. Last year’s release was Mosaic Promise, and the 2013 release was Inspired Artist Black IPA.

“I love coming up with the recipe for the ArtPrize beer every year,” said Founders Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “For the past two years, I’ve worked on our pilot system to develop an approachable, lower alcohol beer with tons of flavor. This year’s beer is brewed using a different fermentation process than what we usually use, and is made with some fun, nontraditional ingredients.”

Brewed in the traditional Kolsch style, which requires fermenting ale yeast at a colder temperature and gives the beer a clean finish without fruity yeast esters. This bright, golden beer is brewed with a trifecta of natural ingredients: earthy, floral and slightly sweet chamomile; a touch of citrusy lemongrass; and a hint of spicy fresh ginger. At 5.9% ABV and 20 IBUs, it’s delightfully refreshing.

Founders Family members were given the opportunity to submit their portfolios to find an artistic match for the Spectra Trifecta label, without knowing anything about the beer. Alexis Brooke’s nature-inspired pen and ink drawings fit well with the character of this beer, so she was selected to create the label, with a focus on illustrating the beer’s special ingredients. Alexis is a Grand Rapids native and has been a Founders employee since fall 2014, working in the deli and on the catering team. She’s a musician first, with a passion for singing and playing the blues, and has played a couple of shows in the Founders taproom. But Alexis has drawn since she was a kid. A self-educated artist, Alexis is inspired by nature and a deep love for animals. She created this mixed media piece with markers, ink and watercolors.

Proceeds from the sale of Spectra Trifecta will support the future programming of the ArtPrize organization. ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. Its mission is to promote critical dialogue and collaboration through new, creative ideas among a large and diverse population of people. As an innovator in redefining what beer can be, Founders believes that experimentation is central to the human experience—whether one experiments with grains and hops or markers and watercolors—and that sharing one’s creation with the public is a brave act worth celebrating.

“Founders is now undoubtedly one of the finest craft brewers not only in Michigan but in the entire United States,” said Christian Gaines, executive director of ArtPrize. “We’re immeasurably proud to call Founders the official ArtPrize Brewery and share in the excitement of their new special release, Spectra Trifecta—a culmination of our partnership, built upon a mutual passion for our community and the creativity that resides within it.”

More than 400,000 people are expected to attend ArtPrize Seven this fall.

Founders also partnered with ArtPrize to launch ArtPrize on Tap, now in its second year. From the patios of the Centennial Room, Founders’ private second-floor entertainment space, ArtPrize on Tap offers ArtClub members the opportunity to connect year-round and stay on the ArtPrize insider track, while enjoying Founders food and beer. Founders will premiere Spectra Trifecta at the August installment of ArtPrize on Tap. Held on the third Wednesday of every month, ArtPrize on Tap is free for ArtClub members, and friends of ArtPrize and Founders can join for $10. To learn more, visit artprize.org/artclub.

Spectra Trifecta will be available for a limited time starting on Sunday, September 13, in Michigan, Wisconsin, metro NYC and Chicagoland in bottles and across Founders’ entire distribution footprint on draft. It will be released in the brewery’s taproom on draft and in bottles starting on Monday, September 14. Spectra Trifecta will be featured at official ArtPrize events.

This year marks the seventh edition of ArtPrize, which will take place Sept. 23–Oct. 11, 2015. The Founders taproom will be a venue for the seventh year running.


Next Backstage Series Release: reDANKulous Imperial Red IPA

reDANKulous_bottle_web2We plan to release reDANKulous Imperial Red IPA in August 2015 to mark the thirteenth installment in our popular Backstage Series. Like all Backstage Series beers, reDANKulous will be sold in 750mL bottles, and it will have a suggested retail price of $9.99 per bottle.

reDANKulous Imperial Red IPA is a no frills, bold 9.5% ABV India Pale Ale. It pours a pleasing burnt amber with some sweetness due to the Caramalt and roasted barley used in the malt bill. But hops are the true headliner in this elaborate sensory experience. The spicy, piney, tropical complexities of Chinook, Mosaic and Simcoe hops hit you right away with their dank aroma—and they stick around. Take a sip to have your palate simultaneously walloped and caressed in all the right places. Combined, the hops take the beer to 90 IBUs. It’s not just ridiculous. It’s reDANKulous.

“We love hops,” said Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers. “Simple as that. Our brewers love to experiment with new varieties, new combinations and new techniques. This dank beer is a fun, intense showcase of hops. We hope all of you hop heads out there enjoy it.”

Update: reDANKulous will be released in limited quantities in our taproom and across our distribution footprint beginning on Wednesday, August 19. This will be the second Backstage Series release from Founders in 2015; beer enthusiasts should expect one more release from Founders later in the year.

Check out the making of the reDANKulous label here:


Centennial IPA Untappd Badge

Founders Centennial IPA Untappd badge

Centennial IPA is a celebration of the classic American hop variety. It spotlights the floral aroma and citrus accents of Centennial hops, but has remained a go-to IPA for years because of the malt balance that keeps it from being one-dimensional. So don’t just have one. Have two. One for each of the angels on the label. If you do, you’ll earn the Founders Bi – Centennial badge.

By checking into at least two Centennial IPAs between June 8 and July 8 on Untappd, you can unlock the “Founders Bi – Centennial” badge.


New Markets of Distribution: The Dakotas and Western Minnesota!

We’ve partnered with Johnson Brothers to offer our beers across the Dakotas and in Western Minnesota beginning in June 2015. Beer enthusiasts in these markets will now have the opportunity to enjoy Founders’ world-class products without having to leave their hometowns.


“We’re looking forward to getting our beer to all of the Midwestern states with our new partners Johnson Brothers,” said Co-Founder & CEO Mike Stevens. “As we continue the progress on our facility expansion, it’s going to allow us get our beer to even more enthusiasts this year. And we’re starting with some of our neighbors.”

Founders plans to include all of its year-round and seasonal ales in kegs in the first shipments to these markets, and will follow with cans and bottles in the late summer. There may also be some limited release available at select craft beer retailers following the launch—stay tuned to our events page and Twitter handle for launch event information.

Check out all of the states in which Founders is available here.

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