Watch our brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki explain the conception of All Day IPA, what a Founders session ale is all about and why this beer is Brewed for Us.
The Brewers Association has chosen our hometown of Grand Rapids as the location for the 36th Annual National Homebrewers Conference, taking place June 12-14, 2014. Slots are still available if you’re interested in attending!
The conference includes the following:
- 55 different seminars
- 80 expert speakers
- Keynote address by our co-founders, Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens
- Club Night—wacky and tasty as ever
- Thousands of delicious homebrews
- A chance to experience Beer City USA
Furthermore, every conference attendee will receive one bottle of a custom Founders beer brewed by our brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki and brewer Laura Houser in collaboration with local homebrewing legend Jeff Carlson. Oak-Aged Rye IPA is brewed with Munich and Crystal malts and a huge percentage of rye malt. It’s bittered and flavored with German Magnum and Perle hops, heavily finished and dry-hopped with Cascade hops hand selected from the Yakima Valley. This 7.2% ABV ale is aged for multiple weeks on American white oak and carries 55 IBUs. Bottles of this beer will only be available to conference attendees. It will not be available anywhere else.
Here are a couple of photos of Jeremy, Laura and Jeff brewing this beer on our classic brewhouse:
We’re also doing a few events in our Centennial Room and beer garden in the days leading up to the conference. Be sure to check out all of the events and sign up for them as many are ticketed and have limited seating!
We plan to introduce Dissenter, an Imperial India Pale Lager (IPL) brewed with a wide variety of tropical, citrus-forward hops, this August to mark the tenth installment in our Backstage Series. Like all of our Backstage Series beers, Dissenter will be sold in 750mL bottles, with a suggested retail price of $11.99 per bottle.
Dissenter is the first lager we’ve brewed since Noble Lager, a beer that hasn’t been in our production cycle for twelve years. Dissenter is our argument in favor of the potential for complex lagers, clocking in at 8.7% ABV and 70 IBUs.
This beer is a departure from our other releases for a couple of reasons: All of the beers in our standard lineup are ales, which are fermented at warm temperatures, whereas lagers are fermented cold. Plus, Dissenter uses a different kind of yeast from other Founders beers. Test batches of the Imperial IPL were brewed using our pilot system and have been on tap in our taproom off and on throughout the past few months. The longer brewing process used for lagers gives this beer an exceptionally clean finish, allowing the clear beauty of the hops to shine.
“With Dissenter, we’re releasing yet another Backstage Series beer that doesn’t fit within standard beer style guidelines,” said Co-Founder and Vice President of Brand & Education Dave Engbers. “And that’s the point. It’s a celebration of the creativity of our brewing team, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with the growing circle of beer enthusiasts.
Dissenter will be released in limited quantities across our distribution footprint beginning on Friday, August 1, and will be available at our taproom that same week. Look for one more Backstage Series releases from us in 2014.
We announced our lineup of eleven Philly Beer Week 2014 events today, including an All-Star Road Show event on Sunday, June 1, from 4-11pm at World Cafe Live. “All-Star” refers to both the draft lineup and the FBC All-Stars, the official brewery band, who will be playing a live show that evening.
The All-Star draft lineup for the Road Show will include some of our specialty and Backstage Series releases, a few taproom one-offs never before on draft outside of our taproom in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and some surprises. There will be 18 beers on tap.
Workout will open the night followed by the FBC All-Stars—a super group made up of the brewery’s finest musicians (including brewers, the production planning manager, warehouse manager, deli manager, taproom manager, two bartenders, and a cook)—for an entertaining evening of music and beer.
Tickets are $10/ea with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Live Connections. They can be purchased here beginning on Friday, April 18, at 10am EDT right here: http://bit.ly/1m317tb.
The All-Star Road Show official after party will start at 11pm at BRU Craft & Wurst.
Other Founders Philly Beer Week events include an annual beer dinner at the South Philly Taproom on Monday, June 2, and tap takeovers at spots including the Prohibition Taproom, Lucky’s Last Chance and Varga Bar. All events can be found on our site right here. Or on this poster:
To celebrate the release of All Day IPA in 15-packs this month, we’re asking you to submit your session with All Day IPA using #FoundersSession via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Entries are posted to our Facebook page. We’re picking weekly winners, who will each receive two All Day IPA can glasses. Then, we’re opening things up to a public vote on our Facebook page from April 28 to May 4. The winning photo in the public vote will receive an All Day IPA prize pack, and the winning video wins a trip for two to Founders Fest 2014!
So, to keep it simple, this is what you do: Use our website beer locator or mobile app to find yourself some All Day IPA, take a video or photo of your session while enjoying it and you may win a trip to our biggest party of the year.
We are very happy to announce the lineup for Founders Fest 2014!
Founders Fest 2014: A Celebration of Beer & Music, June 21, 2014 3-11pm
This year’s lineup includes:
Modern Day Funk, Brooklyn, NY
Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Brooklyn, NY
Electric Duo, Brooklyn, NY
Funk, Jazz, Afro-Beat, Brooklyn, NY
Americana, Rock-n-Roll, Yorkville, IL
Progressive Bluegrass, Grand Rapids, MI
Indie, Rock-n-Roll, Grand Rapids, MI
Super Group of Founders Employees, Grand Rapids, MI
For more info on this year’s Founders Fest, check out the event page.
Tickets will go on-sale Friday, April 18, 2014 at noon EST via Eventbrite.
We’re headed west! We’re expanding our distribution territory to include the Grand Canyon State, with Hensley & Company slated to represent our brand across the entire state of Arizona beginning in April.
“Arizona is our first truly western state of distribution,” said Co-Founder and CEO Mike Stevens. “There are a lot of Michigan natives in Arizona, and it’s a state with a developing craft beer scene, so it made sense for us to open it this spring.”
Residents of Arizona can expect to find our year-round and seasonal products, both in bottles and on draft, in the first shipment. The launch is set for the week of April 21. Specialty releases will follow our release schedule from there.
To recap, we’re opening five new states in April, including Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana in addition to Arizona, bringing our total distribution footprint to 32 states. Here’s our updated distribution map:
We’re expanding our distribution territory once again, this time to include the Volunteer State, with a network of distributors slated to represent our beer across almost the entire state of Tennessee beginning in April.
“We’ve been distributing in most of the states surrounding Tennessee for years,” said Co-Founder and CEO Mike Stevens. “Beer enthusiasts in Tennessee have been growing the craft beer scene, and they’ve been patient with us. We’re excited to be able to bring our beer to them.”
Founders distribution coverage will include the four major metropolitan areas of Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville. Residents of Tennessee can expect to find Founders’ year-round and seasonal products on draft in the first shipment. Bottles will begin arriving in the next shipment, and specialty releases will follow our release schedule from there.
Opening Tennessee brings our total distribution footprint to 31 states. Check out our updated distribution map right here:
Something fun for cyclists planning to come to town for KBS Week: We are once again partnering with Kisscross Events to host the annual Barry-Roubaix bicycle race, which is the largest gravel road race in the country. The event kicks off the region’s cycling season and challenges thousands of bikers against the Barry County elements, elevation, gravel, rocks, sand and mud, and possible snow and ice.
The sixth annual Barry-Roubaix, named after the classic Paris-Roubaix race in France, will begin and end in downtown Hastings, Mich., (about 40 miles southeast of Grand Rapids) on March 22. Registration is currently open at www.barry-roubaix.com.
The race begins at 10 a.m. and is open to the public. The Founders after-party and Velocity USA awards ceremony takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free to the public. The Sweet J Band will also be on hand jamming on the awards stage from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Barry-Roubaix encourages racers of all levels and of any age by offering four racing categories, including the following:
- The Hammer Nutrition Chiller, 24 miles ($60 registration per rider)
- The Smith Optics Thriller, 36 miles ($60 registration per rider)
- The 616 Fat Bike category, 36 miles ($60 registration per rider)
- The Foundry Cycles Killer, 62 miles ($70 registration per rider)
Specialized Bikes, Freewheeler Bike Shop, Greenware and Delta Subaru are presenting sponsors of this year’s race.
For more information, please visit www.barry-roubaix.com or contact Rick Plite, Race Director, at 616.863.3291 or rickplite AT gmail DOT com.
We’re expanding our distribution territory to include three new states: Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Founders beer is expected show up on shelves and draft lines in these new markets starting in April.
Founders will be represented by Quality Beverage in Oklahoma; Buquet Distributing, Schilling Distributing, Mockler Beverage, Southern Eagle Sales & Service, Champagne Beverage and Southwest Beverage in Louisiana; and Premium Brands of Northwest Arkansas, Coco Beverage and Golden Eagle of Arkansas in Arkansas.
“For the most part, these are states we’ve been looking at opening for a while now,” said Co-Founder and CEO Mike Stevens. “They’re part of a new region for us that we’re calling the South Central region. It includes Texas, which we opened last year, as well as Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, which we’re opening all at once. Regardless we’re excited to be bringing our beer to enthusiasts across all of these three new states.”
Residents of these states can expect to find our year-round and seasonal products, both in bottles and on draft, in the first shipment. Specialty releases will follow our release schedule from there.
Opening these new states will bring our total distribution footprint to 30 states. Check out our new distribution map right here:
We recently received some copies of Locally Brewed to sell in our company store. The writer, Anna Blessing, profiles 20 breweries in the Midwest, including Founders. It’s a beautiful book, and we think Anna has represented us and many of our friends well.
One of our favorite features is the “Brewer’s Playlist” included for each brewery. Blessings asked brewers to submit about 15 songs that they love to listen to while at work (or otherwise). If you’ve ever toured a brewery in action (like ours on Saturdays and Tuesdays!), you know that music tends to be one of the things that makes breweries go ’round.
These playlists represent each brewery’s personality. Here’s our eclectic mix, for you to brew to, work to, party to…
The main purpose of this first version of our app is a beer locator (modeled after our website’s beer locator) that allows you to find our beer in your area, wherever you are. It includes a comprehensive beer menu, with beautiful photos and beer availability information, and was created by Fusionary, a digital studio with offices across the street from the brewery.
We’ve been wanting to create this app for some time now. One of the most common questions we get is, “Where can I find X beer in X city?” This new tool will give you the power to answer this question yourself—because we know you always have your phone on you. Let’s just hope you remembered your house keys this time.
Download the app now and keep in mind that we plan to add new features to it in future iterations.