House Bill 4061 Passed!

Check out this press release sent last week by the Brewers Association; a victory for homebrewers!

Dear AHA, Brewers Association and Support Your Local Brewery Members,

Thanks to all of the calls and emails from supporters, House Bill 4061 has been passed by both the Michigan House (103 yeas, 4 nays) and Senate (38 yeas, 0 nays) and was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder on November 10. The bill was supported by Michigan homebrewers and the AHA, and it allows homebrewers to serve homebrew at meetings and events held at Michigan breweries, bars and restaurants.

Until now, whenever a Michigan homebrew club met at a licensed establishment (microbrewery, brewpub or other establishment with a license to sell alcoholic beverages) for a club meeting, a homebrewing demonstration or a competition, they put their host’s license at risk.

With the passage of HB 4061 these same hosts can now legally invite homebrew clubs and their members to participate in these activities. To ensure it is legal, a club needs written permission from the licensed establishment for their meeting or event.

Currently no “approved form” exists (guidance has been requested). For now, a letter that follows the intent of the bill must include:

  • The date and time of the event
  • The participating club
  • The location of the event
  • That the host acknowledges that it is not in control of unregulated beverages at its establishment (i.e. the club, not the host business, will be serving the homebrew), and agrees to assume liability under section 801(3) for the event.

Many thanks go to bill sponsor Representative Doug Geiss, who is also a homebrewer, and leading bill champion, AHA Governing Committee Chair Chris P. Frey of Saline, Mich.

Thanks for your support of Michigan homebrewers!

 

The release was signed by Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association, and Gary Glass, Director of the American Homebrewers Association.

 

2012 Mug Club: Renewals and Sign-Ups

Calling all current Mug Club Members and all those interested in becoming a Mug Club Member:

We are in the “current member renewal” phase, now through the end of November. If you are a current member, you can guarantee your place in next year’s club & renew for $50 each (note: we will add $5 to your fee if you request a mug image in place of mug name for your customized mug etching), as long as you do so prior to December 1, 2011.

Beginning December 1, sign-ups will be open to all, until capacity is reached.  Enrollment during this time period is $60 each (again, add $5 for mug image in place of mug name), regardless if you are a current or a new member.



 

Beer and Boards: New Founders Skis and Snowboards!

Founders Brewing Co. and Epic Planks Announce Collaborative Ski and Snowboard Line

 

 

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 2, 2011Founders Brewing Co. and Epic Planks announced the release of their collaborative skis and snowboards today.

 

“Founders and Epic Planks have so much in common,” says James Barber, one of the owners of Epic Planks. “We’re both about enjoying life and being more than just a couch decoration.”

 

“We really respect what these guys are doing,” adds Founders Brewing Co. President and CEO, Mike Stevens. “We only use the best ingredients in our brewery, because we know that’s what’s going to make the best beer, and Epic Planks has the same philosophy with the materials they use to make their boards and skis. A quality product takes priority over profitability and efficiency for both of our businesses.”

 

Founders has been committed to supporting innovative and unique active lifestyle initiatives for years. They have sponsored a local bike team for years; donated $20,000 in 2010 to jump start the efforts of Grand Rapids Whitewater, a local nonprofit looking to restore the Grand River to its natural state; and helped kicked off the inaugural Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Races held earlier this year. They saw this as an opportunity to support winter sports nationwide.

 

“The partnership just made sense,” says Founders Vice President of Marketing and co-founder, Dave Engbers.

 

The snowboard in the new Founders line comes in the Stash Park and Stash AMP models and incorporates artwork from Founders’ winter seasonal Imperial IPA, Double Trouble ($425 retail for both boards, including tax). The skis come in either Epic Planks’ first model and flagship, the Crop Duster, or the Vaporizer, and are designed based on Founders’ newest year-round beer, All Day IPA, which will be released in February 2012 ($745 retail for Crop Duster, $690 retail for Vaporizer; both include tax).

 

The first round of pre-orders must be turned in by November 15 for delivery in January 2012. Orders will be accepted at the Founders company store and their online gear site. Other stores may carry the skis in the future—so be on the lookout for further announcements. Those who are in the greater Grand Rapids area are invited to the taproom on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at 6pm, to pick up their skis and/or boards, snag some giveaways, and enjoy a one-of-a-kind, yet-to-be-announced, winter-sports-themed Founders beer on tap for a limited time only.

___

 

Founders Brewing Company opened their doors in 1997 with the vision of creating some of the most unique craft beer in the world. Today, Founders has a loyal following with several beers lauded as winners of national and international awards in their respective categories. In 2009, they were ranked the second fastest growing brewery in the United States, and RateBeer.com rated them 2011’s second best brewery in the world.

Founded in 2009, Epic Planks focuses on innovation, feedback, and progress in order to craft premium handmade skis and snowboards. Guides at a number of Cat Skiing and Heli Skiing operations test their products on a regular basis because Epic maintains that the perfect product development platform is to put their skis and snowboards through the paces on the biggest mountains, every day of the season, by very good riders. They put out products designed for durability, performance, visual appeal, and affordability.

 

Much love to our friends at Epic Planks for helping make this happen!

 

 

Grand Rapids Whitewater’s Progress

After an intense interviewing process, Grand Rapids Whitewater has chosen an engineering firm to come up with plans for returning the Grand River back to its natural state: River Restoration. The firm began surveying the Grand River last week, according to this article by Howard Meyerson in the Grand Rapids Press.

Here’s an excerpt:

 

GRWW wants to restore about a mile of river from the low-head dams downtown upstream to the head of the historical rapids coursed through the downtown area.

River Restoration was contracted to start the surveying process. The company eventually will develop a concept. If the concept gains community approval, then engineering, construction and additional fund-raising would follow.

Carey said community support is crucial on projects of this sort. He saw some important things during his stay in Grand Rapids.

“Thursday was a great steelhead day,” said Carey at a gathering of supporters held at Founders Brewing Co. “We saw that steelheaders were not just taking fish off the dam and that they had insight about where the fish were and when we mapped the bottom, we found they were hanging out on nice gravel beds. That’s important to know because the river is so straight and uniform.”

__

Read the full article for more information about River Restoration’s next steps and our involvement with GRWW.

If you visit our taproom, you can support GRWW’s efforts by adding $1 to your tab (as a straight donation), donating $1 when you refill a growler, or when you buy our custom GRWW growlers ($1 of your purchase goes directly to GRWW). Ask your server or bartender about it next time you grab a pint!

Here are some photos of the folks from River Restoration surveying the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids.

Engineers prepare to survey the Grand River with a fisherman in the background.

 

Engineers survey the river from their boat.

 

An engineer surveys the Grand River on foot.

 

New Brewhouse!

It’s a day we’ve been looking forward to for a long time now: Our new brewhouse is cranking out its very first batch as we type! (Dirty Bastard is doing the honors.)

Our old brewhouse will continue to be utilized to brew specialty batches and taproom-only beers. This means that, in total, our brewing capacity has increased from 30bbl to 115bbl per turn.

Here she is:

 

Our new brewhouse!

 

Director of Operations Alec Mull and Head Brewer Jeremy Kosmicki take a quick break from their hard work to pose for a photo by our new equipment:

 

 

CBS Allocations and Pricing

From our company president and CEO, Mike Stevens:


Folks,

We feel that it’s necessary to address a few of the concerns surrounding the release of our Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS). We understand the frustrations stemming from the lack of availability of this beer and are looking forward to the day when we can produce much more of our specialty brands. As some of you are aware, we have been undergoing constant expansion for the past few years and have been working toward a master plan that will increase our annual brewing capacity by four times our current level. We are happy as hell to share that our new brewhouse is now on line and that we just recently started brewing into the new system. We plan to use this new system in 2012 to increase production of our specialty items to better service the demand for them. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the next couple of 750ml (Backstage Series) releases as well as the 2012 KBS release will still be scarce, because these beers were brewed on the old (smaller) system. But after that we should be off and running toward much greater availability.

On another note, there seems to be some concern or confusion on how are beers are allocated per state. We are proud to be a Michigan-based brewery and all specialty releases take this into consideration. We at Founders will never forget our home state market. In terms of CBS, the state of Michigan received an allocation of 21% of the entire batch of CBS. No other state saw more than 12% of the total availability. That being said, no state is treated more fairly than another (including MI). Distributor allocations are simply based on a representation of total number of accounts they represent for Founders. Should rumors of this exist to the contrary, know that they are just that: rumors.

Lastly, we’ve noticed that retail price gouging is also being discussed. I can only give you the brewery’s position on this, but please know that, legally, once we sell our products to our wholesaler, they in turn sell it to retailers throughout our states of distribution. We have no control over what this retailer will charge for the beer. We do establish our suggested retail pricing, but we cannot enforce this whatsoever. When we hear of retail price gouging, it annoys us as much as it annoys you. Our recommendation to our wholesalers in dealing with retailers that are gouging is to communicate that, if the retailer does not stop overcharging, they will jeopardize their ability to receive Founders specialty items in the future.

In short, we just want to set the record straight on these few items floating around on the blogs and make everyone aware that we are working day and night to fix the capacity concerns with our specialty products. We make this beer because we are extremely passionate about creating the best liquid we know how to produce. We started this business as home brewers and still look at ourselves as such. We know that some of you might never get your chance at a CBS bottle, but we feel it would be a greater disappointment to have never shared this product at all.

Cheers,

Mike Stevens | President & CEO

 

 

KBS at 2.7 Miles Up

Taking a moment to share something from our inbox:

 

“Founders Crew,

I live in Denver, CO, and hiked Quandary Peak (elevation 14,265) just south of Breckenridge this past Saturday. Atop the summit of this beautiful peak, I surprised a fellow beer enthusiast with an ’09 KBS (his first). You should have seen his face when I pulled the bottle out of my CamelBak—it was priceless and awesome! Anyways, I think this might be the highest place on Earth a KBS has been enjoyed, so I thought it’d be fun to share a photo with y’all.

–Bryan Turner”

Man holds a bottle of KBS and a cup to drink it from atop a mountain peak.

 

We’re doubly impressed that Bryan had the foresight to carry a cup up with him so that the KBS could be decanted.

Have you taken Founders somewhere incredible (maybe somewhere even higher than 14,265 feet)? Let us know in the comments, upload your photo to our Flickr page, or feel free to email us directly at info [at] foundersbrewing [dot] com!

 

Canadian Breakfast Stout: Taproom Release Information Announced

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 1, 2011—Founders Brewing Co. Vice President/Director of Marketing Dave Engbers announced last month that the highly anticipated Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) will be the second release in the company’s 750mL “Backstage Series”. It will be released to the market on October 3, 2011, with a taproom release party on October 1.

The taproom release at 235 Grandville Ave SE in downtown Grand Rapids will begin at 11 a.m. on October 1. There will be about 1700 bottles available for purchase at $18 each. A strict limit of two (2) bottles per person will apply, and all bottles will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Because a line is expected to form before 11 a.m., numbers will be handed out so that the line can remain intact once the taproom doors open. CBS will be featured on draft, and CBS merchandise will be available in the Founders company store, which is on the north end of the taproom. As with all Founders specialty products, growler fills will not be available for CBS.

There has been a great deal of anticipation and speculation regarding the upcoming release after the success of Blushing Monk, the series’ debut, earlier this year. Canadian Breakfast Stout is the epitome of why Founders launched the Backstage Series: it brings some of the brewery’s most sought-after beers, which have been available primarily at the taproom or at a few select events, to a much larger audience.

Canadian Breakfast Stout is an Imperial Stout brewed with a blend of coffees and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that have most recently been aging pure Michigan maple syrup. The final product has had stellar reviews and is currently the fifth highest rated beer in the world on www.BeerAdvocate.com.

“Releasing small specialty batches is a great way for us to connect to our core beer enthusiast,” Engbers explains. “Fundamentally, we are a small brewery, and we love to do things our own way. This isn’t about flooding the shelves with a beer that we hope people will try; it’s about producing the best damn beer we can brew and offering it to those enthusiasts who have supported our passion for great beer.”

The company is not revealing any additional releases in the series, but Engbers says they will consist of many of the “popular one-offs” that have been offered in the taproom over the years and have become favorites among patrons and brewery staff. “I think part of what people love about Founders, besides our beer, is that we listen to what they are saying,” says President Mike Stevens. “With our new line, now we can offer them more of what they’ve been asking for.”

The company expects to release one more product in the 2011 Backstage Series later this year.

 

Canadian Breakfast Stout To Be the Second Release in Founders Brewing Company’s Backstage Series

CBS label

Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 19, 2011—Founders Brewing Co. Vice President/Director of Marketing Dave Engbers announced today that the highly anticipated Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) will be the second release in the company’s 750mL “Backstage Series”. It will be released to the market on October 3, 2011, with a taproom release party on October 1.

There has been a great deal of anticipation and speculation regarding the upcoming release after the success of Blushing Monk, the series’ debut, earlier this year. Canadian Breakfast Stout is the epitome of why Founders launched the Backstage Series: it brings some of the brewery’s most sought-after beers, which have been available primarily at the taproom or at a few select events, to a much larger audience.

Canadian Breakfast Stout is an Imperial Stout brewed with a blend of coffees and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that have most recently been aging pure Michigan maple syrup. The final product has had stellar reviews and is currently the fifth highest rated beer in the world on www.BeerAdvocate.com.

“Releasing small specialty batches is a great way for us to connect to our core beer enthusiast,” Engbers explains. “Fundamentally, we are a small brewery, and we love to do things our own way. This isn’t about flooding the shelves with a beer that we hope people will try; it’s about producing the best damn beer we can brew and offering it to those enthusiasts who have supported our passion for great beer.”

The company is not revealing any additional releases in the series, but Engbers says they will consist of many of the “popular one-offs” that have been offered in the taproom over the years and have become favorites among patrons and brewery staff. “I think part of what people love about Founders, besides our beer, is that we listen to what they are saying,” says President Mike Stevens. “With our new line, now we can offer them more of what they’ve been asking for.”

The company expects to release one more product in the 2011 Backstage Series later this year.

Founders Brewing Company opened their doors in 1997 with the vision of creating some of the most unique craft beer in the world. Today, Founders has a loyal following with several beers lauded as winners of national and international awards in their respective categories. In 2009, they were ranked as the second fastest growing brewery in the United States, and they are currently rated the second highest brewery in the world by RateBeer.com.

 

Founders Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Avenue SW in downtown Grand Rapids, is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild. www.michiganbrewersguild.org.

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