Here to tell us about his latest adventures in the beer and food pairing world, our Education Team’s finest, Mike Willcox:
Our latest Backstage Series beer, Mango Magnifico, is a unique palate extravaganza all by itself. It enters with a smooth, mellow mango sweetness that caresses your mouth into relaxed submission and finishes with a habanero warmth that is more of a sizzle than a burn. Brews this complex can be the most fun to pair with food.
Most pairings are either about resonance, pairing like flavors with like flavors; or contrast, pairing flavors together that differ greatly but combine in a pleasing way. Mango Magnifico, with a flavor profile that relies heavily on both sweetness and heat, gives you the chance to do both. This is a glass of glow that can cover a lot of territory.
The mango sweetness of this beer is prominent enough to cut right through some truly rich dishes. I would personally stay away from steaks or chops, but Mango Magnifico and some really good barbecue? Good lord! Thinking about what Mango Magnifico would do next to a pulled pork sandwich, a nice brisket, or a half chicken makes me want to quit my job and eat until my heart explodes. The wrong kind of sweet can do awful things to barbecue but the well-balanced mango should contrast with the saltiness and smokey flavors beautifully. That heat at the end? I’ve never met barbecue that is scared of heat, and I hope I never do. Don’t overlook the possibilities of using a little of this beer in your homemade barbecue sauces and marinades either.
If you make a trip to our bustling and grooving taproom soon you can try a snifter next to our pulled pork sandwich, the Backwoods Bastard. Our pulled pork is smoked in house by the rowdies in the deli and I can personally attest to the magic of this pairing. Being a true professional who is dedicated to his work I investigated this myself. Twice. Ok, three times.
Have fun with this beer, ya’ll! The pairing possibilities are endless with this complicated bottle of beautiful. If you find a pairing that knocks rocks your socks off please let us know so that we can try it ourselves, and if anyone decides to try braising a pork belly in Mango Magnifico don’t be afraid to bring some by my office. Much love!
We are so proud to partner with the Barry-Roubaix Killer Gravel Road Race, the largest gravel road race in the world, held right around the corner from the brewery in scenic Barry County, Michigan. The race offers three different length marked courses (22-mile, 36-mile, 62-mile) to accommodate every level of cyclist and awards over $32,000 in cash and prizes to the top finishers. Interested in registering? Go here.
We had 6 free entries to the Barry-Roubaix to give away and, to make it interesting, we asked you all to share a story about the best bicycling ride you’ve ever been on in order to enter to win. The heartfelt, funny and moving stories (and photos) came flooding in and we found ourselves trying not to cry yet again (after the Bring Me to Black Party Contest entries, we thought we’d got it all out but apparently not). Six entries rose to the surface and we think you are going to love them as much as we did. Thanks to all who shared their stories with us and congratulations to the winners!
Joshua Duggan Grand Rapids, MI
There have been so many great rides, but the one most fresh in my head was last July. I had flown to San Francisco for work, but I had Saturday and Sunday for a biking adventure. I rented a touring bike at a tiny shop along a wharf. The day before I had headed north across the Golden Gate Bridge and camped out in a hammock at a state park. I ended up riding on Bolinas Ridge Road, which was less of a road and more of a rock field up and down never ending rolling hills through temperate rainforest drenched by fog and riddled with mud puddles. Continue reading →
As if the natural beauty of their county wasn’t enough to celebrate, Santa Clarans have yet another perk: we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with DBI Beverage San Jose to bring our beer to Santa Clara County, California! Beer will start hitting shelves the week of March 28. Our April releases, KBS and Mosaic Promise, will also be heading that way!
To locate our beer once it hits your market, use our incredibly helpful beer finder. Download our mobile app for even greater accessibility!
For information on launch parties, upcoming events and other sweet news, stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Since launching our Bring Me to Black Party contest, we received over 2,000 love stories, tales of friendship and adventure, thrilling recounts of beer-seeking expeditions and more than a few tearjerkers. Half of our story is how we design and brew the beers you love to drink and this contest gave us the chance to hear the other half: how our beer has become a part of some of your most beloved memories.
Throughout the week, we’ll be sharing stories from the ten winners that will be joining us at Black Party (April 15-17). They will also enjoy private tastings, tours and the opportunity to meet our team. It’s going to be one hell of a weekend!
We’ll be announcing the winning stories throughout this week – keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see the rest of them:
Courtlan Gordon Kalamazoo, MI
My dad, being a huge fan of Founders, took my roommate and I to Grand Rapids to experience his favorite place. He has made us forever fans of Founders. Our video will explain our trip. I would love to win this trip for him!
Reid Moss Berlin, MI
For years, my daughters have known I am fond of great beers. Time and again they have had to listen to me rant about how fortunate we are to live in Michigan, which I consider is undeniably one of the greatest beer states in this nation. Continue reading →
You thought having Rubaeus available year-round was good? How about having it available year-round and in a 9-pack can package? We’re here to tell you that dreams really can come true.
Beginning in April 2016, the affectionately named “Ruby Cube” will be available across our distribution footprint, with taproom availability beginning on March 18. Each “Ruby Cube” will contain 9-12oz cans of Rubaeus and will have a suggested retail price of $17.99.
You’ve been showing Rubaeus so much love on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that it was a no-brainer to make it part of our year-round lineup. We anticipate the momentum will only continue to build as Rubaeus will be more widely available now that it is included in our year-round lineup as a bottled and canned offering. Just think of all the wonderful places you can bring these cans! The beach! A picnic! The top of a mountain! The bottom of a mountain! Your bed! The list goes on and on. Be sure to show us where you take those beautiful cans.
Optimizing the flavor of fresh raspberries, Rubaeus is Founders’ way of celebrating the joys of summer year-round. This stunning berry-red masterpiece is the perfect blend of sweet, tart and refreshing. No question about it, this beer is 100% Founders.
For us Michiganders, February and its freezing temps call for the warmth of some of our favorite rich and comforting dishes – and the best beer to wash those down with? None other than our Dirty Bastard Scotch ale.
Our Education Team‘s finest, Mike Willcox, shares his go-to Dirty Bastard comfort food pairings:
My love affair with Dirty Bastard started when my wife (a Certified Cicerone herself) convinced me to order it next to a pork belly dish at one of our favorite restaurants. The pairing kicked my ass (in the best way possible) and made me fall beard over butt for Dirty Bastard. The Scotch ale’s robust malts swim in your nose, skip over your palate and bathe you in notes of caramelized sugars, banana, toffee, and sweet grains.
I love pairing a Dirty Bastard with a rich dish and watch it sing like a fat lady trying to get something over with. This beer loves to mix it up with fat and salt and has the body to cleanse your palate between bites of richer foods. Set a glass of this bastard next to dishes with pork belly or bacon – maybe some corned beef – anything with some fat to it. Stews with heavy stock and a lot of root vegetables would be gorgeous, but definitely stay away from thinner soups. Dirty Bastard would take a thin broth soup and tromp it all to hell. In fact, screw soup and stew, throw this naughty boy next to some chili. Better yet, consider using it as a base to make your own chili and then drink it next to said chili like we do in our taproom/deli! The possibilities are staggering!
Aged gouda cheese would pair beautifully with Dirty Bastard. Look for gouda so old it’s crystalizing and starting to bite back a little or a young gouda that still has some creaminess and wants to borrow three dollars for some baseball cards. Those are still a thing right? Also you know what else is awesome with gouda? Chili.
Our upcoming beer dinner, March 3 at 6:30pm seeks to explore the many variations in flavor and character that fall under the heading of “dark” beers.
Armed with his trusty smoker and his team of misfits, our head chef, Justin Golinski, will be preparing a five-course menu designed to showcase these beers, which include Project PAM, Porter, Imperial Stout and Backwoods Bastard.
Porter paired with smoked oysters? Ok! A loaded smoked potato next to our Workingman’s Rye Stout? Sounds ruggedly delicious. Panzanella and Project PAM? Perfection! Fish and Chips with Imperial Stout? Sure thing! Bananas foster and Backwoods Bastard? B-B-Beautiful!
Each of our dinners has been a unique take on the beer dinner paradigm and this one looks to be extra special. Make sure to reserve your seat at the table here.
Our Education Department often hosts traditional beer pairing dinners where we explore how certain flavors enhance and interact with our line-up of beers. These are a great introduction to the world of beer pairing, but we recently challenged ourselves to come up with a more advanced way of encouraging beer lovers to expand their palate.
At the end of the day, every palate is different and acknowledging that opens up a whole new world of pairing possibilities. Discussing this raised the question: why can’t a pairing session be all about exploring your own unique palate? Instead of just encouraging people to eat and drink what we think is delicious, why don’t we push people to tell US what is delicious? Through this line of thinking we designed the Founders Palate Exploration Series.
The idea is fairly simple: each session is conducted with a partner and focuses on a specific food “genre.” We’ve hosted past events with our friends at The Cheese Lady (cheese for days) as well as Robinette’s Apple Haus (think donuts, fudge, candied apples and cookies).
Up next? A cured meats event, hosted in partnership with Apertivo on February 25 at 6pm. Join us by purchasing tickets here.
This right here is the recipe for one of the most delicious things we’ve ever put into our mouths. Seriously. This recipe, designed by our head chef/culinary genius Justin G., is a funky twist on the classic beer-batter fish and chips. What do we mean by funky? Well, did you ever think you’d see salmon and the bold Imperial Stout appearing harmoniously in the same recipe? Neither did we, but we’ve since seen the light.
Without further ado, here’s Justin with the recipe:
“Time to finally fire up your FryDaddy if you’ve got one! And I’m talking about the appliance, not the guy that always brings you fries when you’re sad. No FryDaddy? No problem! A large stockpot works just fine and you are more likely to have one sitting around in the ol’ kitchen. I love using salmon for this recipe, which is weird and different, I know, but I urge you to try it. If you prefer a milder fish, I’d suggest cod, mahi mahi or tilapia. Enjoy!”
Over the years we’ve made a name for ourselves by brewing some of the most complex, high-gravity, dark beers available. Every spring, we celebrate these beers at our famous Black Party, where we share some of the dark beers we’ve been experimenting with all year. Black Party is where some of our most sought-after beers – including Project PAM – first made their debut.
This year, we’re giving ten winners the opportunity to win a trip to Black Party! The weekend adventure includes a private tasting (straight from the barrel), meet-and-greet with our co-founders and brewing team, brewery tour, exclusive gear and, of course, the opportunity to try all the beers that will be on tap at the party. Winners will also receive up to $500 reimbursement of any travel expenses plus two nights lodging in downtown Grand Rapids.