Thanksgiving Pairing Suggestions

Thanksgiving is here and we’re ready to gather around the table to feast on our favorite dishes. But, what to drink? Mike Willcox from our education team is here to breakdown which beers from our line-up will pair perfectly with the classic Thanksgiving dishes, from the “diva” of the table, cranberry sauce, to the creamy closer, pumpkin pie. Enjoy!



  • Turkey is the main dish and, thus, deserves special attention. Pale Ale is a nice pairing for roasted turkey, and if you go the deep-fried route it would be even better. The light hop bitterness will do wonders to cleanse your palate between each bite.
  • Porter is another great option. The toasty notes and hints of bitter chocolate would resonate well with the bird and the rich poultry will pair well with the velvet mouth feel.
  • If you happen to be cellaring any Curmudgeon Old Ale, now may be the time to crack it open. Something with a bit more substance and a little mellow sweetness night be a nice contrast and Curmudgeon Old Ale has both in spades. The caramel malts and the residual sweetness from the molasses will contrast nicely with the savory turkey – the flavors will play together deliciously.
  • The herbaceousness and coy sweetness of Spectra Trifecta is going to slip right behind the savory turkey and make that umami just absolutely pop. Spectra Trifecta is an amazing food beer, but when it comes to savory meats with a little salt to them, it really gets the chance to shine. Spectra Trifecta would be ideal for most of the items on the list.


  • Dirty Bastard is almost tailor made for pairing with pork, especially a glazed ham. The punchy caramel and toffee notes of the Dirty Bastard malt bill will roll right into a glazed ham and allow the salty, savory aspects of the meat to mellow and chuckle their way to the background – still there to play – but not stealing the show.


  • A nice hearty stuffing is just begging to be served alongside Porter. If you use mushrooms in your stuffing (like my bubby used to) then even better! Stuffing is all about umami and richness with an occasional bright twinkle of sweet or sharp from the carrots, celery, and onions. Porter will roll right in with the umami and contrast with the sweet and sharp, pushing them to the front of the palate.
  • The sweet malt flavors of Dirty Bastard and the savory bread will make for a completely different experience. Worth trying!

Cranberry Sauce 

  • Cranberry sauce is hard because it has SUCH a presence. It’s a bit of a diva and if you aren’t careful with who you set it up with its going to get pouty and ruin the night for everybody. All Day IPA isn’t a bad idea, it’s light and refreshing and the bitterness from the hops might have an interesting time dancing with all of that tart, and the bright sour sweetness of the cranberries might take those citrus notes from the beer and end up in the guest room groping away on top of the coats.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

  • Porter all the way. I won’t even suggest anything else. The earthy potatoes and the toast of the Porter will resonate gorgeously.

Sweet Potatoes 

  • The mellow sweet malts of the Dirty Bastard and the earthy sweet of the sweet potatoes will stroll across your palate hand in hand leaving you thankful you cracked open that bottle.

Dinner Rolls

  • Any beer will go well with dinner rolls. Dinner rolls are at every dinner because they go with… well… everything.

Roasted Vegetables 

  • Unless you’re serving something with a lot of flavor like brussel sprouts (in which case go with Porter, baby) then you should be good with whatever you are pouring with the rest of the meal.


  • I don’t know if this is customary for everybody, but my family usually has a light salad with tomatoes and cucumbers lightly dosed with vinaigrette. The slight hop bitterness of All Day IPA is fantastic with the fresh refreshing flavors of the salad and the citrus notes of the beer add a little zing to the vinaigrette.

Green Bean Casserole 

  • The flavors of the beans and the hop bitterness of All Day IPA should meld well and bring out some of the citrus of the beer. Mosaic Promise, if you can find it in your area, may be another one to consider with this dish.


  • Pale Ale all the way. Corn is a simple, filling side dish with a hint of sweet and a lot of vegetal character. Any beer with a lot of weight is going to eclipse the corn. Pale Ale has enough character with its light citrus and slight hint of bitter, but for the most part it is going to let the corn be the star of the show. It’s a great option to clean the palate and have the stage ready for the next act.

Pecan Pie

  • Pecan Pie has a flavor all of its own – sweet and nutty and just touch of bready from the crust. The chocolate and coffee notes of Porter are just waiting to enhance the nutty flavors, and the sweet of the pie will take that bitter chocolate and get it blushing.

Pumpkin Pie 

  • What’s a better way to cap off the night than a slice of pumpkin pie and the bourbon barrel-aged deliciousness that is Backwoods Bastard? Backwoods has a rich, malty sweetness with notes of vanilla and a hint of bourbon burn from its time in the barrel. Add a slowly melting dollop of vanilla ice cream and this is a match made in heaven.

That’s all, folks! Cheers to a enjoying Thanksgiving with family, friends, great food and even better beer.



The Bastards Untappd Badge

This month The Bastards of Founders take center-stage in celebration of the return of the elusive, bourbon barrel-aged Backwoods Bastard and the arrival of the “Dirty Dozen,” a 12-pack of Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale cans. We’ve partnered with Untappd to reward anyone who checks-in either of these bad attitude beers between November 16 and December 16 with The Bastards badge. Check-in both and earn a special place in our hearts and admiration from your craft beer-loving friends.


Dirty Bastard consistently ranks among the top Scotch Ales and is available year-round on draft, 6-pack bottles and now in 12-pack cans. Think of Backwoods Bastard as the bourbon barrel-aged uncle of Dirty Bastard. It features warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts and is available for a limited time on draft and in 4-pack bottles.


The Backwoods Bastard’s Down-Home Playlist


In honor of the Backwoods Bastard himself, we’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of our favorite down-home country tunes. From Dolly “it takes a lot of money to look this cheap” Parton to Johnny “The Man in Black” Cash, we think this is the perfect list to sit on your porch and tip back a beer to. Cheers!

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


What Does Founders Mean to Us?

Prior to our annual company party, we thought it’d be a good idea to ask employees what Founders means to them. The answers were spread across a pretty wide spectrum, ranging from “opportunity” to “shifties and camaraderie” with a few exercises in alliteration thrown in too. The number one answer, though? Family. Dysfunctional, yes, but family nonetheless. See for yourself:

Thank you for letting us do what we do. We love you!

Feel free to share this with your friends or drunk uncles! You can also check it out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Next Backstage Series Release: Project PAM

ProjectPAM_bottle_web2Say hello to the fourteenth addition to our popular Backstage Series: Project PAM. Like all Backstage Series beers, Project PAM will be sold in 750 mL bottles. It will be available in our Taproom starting on November 20, 2015 and will be available across our distribution footprint in late November with a suggested retail price of $14.99.

Black IPAs have long been a staple in our Taproom and at our annual Black Party – a celebration of experimental, dark beers – and Project PAM combines this with our deep, abiding love for barrel-aging. It’s an invitation to venture into the shadows of our brewers’ minds and discover their mad genius. In development under a shroud of secrecy for years, Project PAM is brewed with an abundance of hops including, Chinook, Nugget, Centennial, Amarillo, El Dorado and Mosaic. It’s balanced with Crystal and Midnight Wheat malts and finally aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels to add complex oaky bourbon notes and the sweetness of maple syrup. Project PAM clocks in at 10.8% ABV.

As for the origins of Project PAM’s name, it will forever remain a bit of a mystery – but, we will share that it’s a nod to the cellar coding system used by Jason Heystek, the head of our barrel-aging program and star of the dark and brooding label that adorns its bottle.

Our Backstage Series is made up of boundary-pushing, experimental beers. We affectionately call it “the brewers’ playground,” where intent is to take the diehard Founders fan experience to a wider audience—though all of the beers are released in limited batches. Since its introduction in the summer of 2011, our Backstage Series beers have quickly become some of the most sought-after releases in the industry.


Dirty Bastard to be Released in 12-Pack Cans

We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Dirty Bastard Scotch ale in a 12-pack of 12 ounce cans, affectionately known as the “Dirty Dozen”. These 12-packs will be available in our taproom on 11/4 and across our entire distribution footprint starting in November. Like our other can packages, the suggested retail price for the Dirty Dozen is $17.99.


“Dirty Bastard is the beer that put us on the right path,” said Dave Engbers, co-founder. “It’s the beer that gave us the confidence to brew beer for enthusiasts like ourselves instead of trying to brew beers for others.”

Our year-round Scotch ale is dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. It is complex in its finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it a bad attitude worthy of its name. Dirty Bastard is one of our original beers and the one that saved us from the brink of bankruptcy, simultaneously putting us at the forefront of the extreme beer movement.


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!

Page 1 of 1712345...10...Last »