Distribution in Kansas City, KS; Lincoln & Omaha, NE, Starting December 2013

We’re expanding our distribution territory to include greater Kansas City, Kansas, represented by Central States Beverage; Omaha, Nebraska, represented by Premier-Midwest Beverage; and Lincoln, Nebraska, represented by K&Z Distributing. We plan to launch in these three metro areas beginning the week of December 2, 2013.

Kansas City, Omaha and Lincoln residents can expect to find our year-round and seasonal products, both in bottles and on draft, in the first shipment. (Read: These markets will not get shipments of Backwoods Bastard or Sweet Repute for the launch.) Specialty releases will follow our release schedule from there. Stay tuned for our 2014 availability calendar, to be announced next month.

Here’s a rough map of our distribution coverage in these two new states:

Founders_distromap_NE_KS_10.23.13

 

Check out our updated distribution map here:

Founders_distromap_10.23.13

* = Founders does not have distribution in the entire state. Distribution coverage by state:

  • Alabama: Most of Northern Alabama and the Auburn area. Counties covered include the following: Cullman, Jefferson, Lee, Madison, Marshall, Morgan, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Walker
  • Kansas: Greater Kansas City
  • Minnesota: Greater Minneapolis
  • Nebraska: Greater Lincoln and Omaha
 

Grand Rapids-Area Breweries To Dedicate Brewers Grove and $8000 to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

Seventeen Grand Rapids-area breweries, including Founders, will host a dedication party for the Brewers Grove being planted at Riverside Park on Thursday, Oct. 17. The Brewers Grove is made of 30 trees, all sponsored by sales of tree-inspired beers sold in Aug. at the participating breweries. Ours was called 100-Year Oak IPA—those of you who drank it in our taproom in August helped raise money for this cause! Collaboratively, area brewers were able to raise over $8,000 to establish the Brewers Grove and plant trees throughout the city. This money is placed in a “tree bank” with Friends of GR Parks and used to not only plant the 30 trees as part of the Brewers Grove, but also in parks all across the city.

On Oct. 17, the public is invited to celebrate as area volunteers plant 30 trees to make up the Brewers Grove in Riverside Park. With authorization from the city, the public is permitted to bring their own beer to celebrate responsibly (pick up a growler from our taproom on your way to the park). Food trucks will be on site.

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A dedication ceremony will began at 7:00 P.M. with emcee Amy Sherman from Great American Beer Trail. Following the dedication Sherman will present a short film about the project.

At dusk, the event will conclude with the Grand Rapids premier of the Michigan Beer Film. The film features the explosive growth of the Michigan Craft Beer industry. It takes the audience to meet brewers, bloggers, foodies and farmers who are spearheading the movement.

WHEN:       THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2013
4:00 P.M. – Volunteers arrive for tree planting
5:30 P.M. – Public welcome
7:00 P.M. – Brewers Grove dedication ceremony
Movie will began at dusk.

WHERE:     Riverside Park (North end by baseball diamond)
2001 Monroe Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505

 

Sweet Repute Is Our Winter 2013 Backstage Series Release

We plan to introduce Sweet Repute, a wheat wine aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels, this December to mark the eighth installment in our Backstage Series. Like all Backstage Series beers, Sweet Repute will be sold in 750mL bottles. It has a suggested retail price of $17.99–$19.99 per bottle.

sweet-repute

Our brewing team painstakingly choreographed each layer of this beer’s characteristics, starting with a healthy wheat and roasted malt base and adding clean, fragrant hops. It’s one hundred percent barrel-aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels and bourbon barrels over the course of sixteen months, then blended using carefully calculated ratios for the ultimate final product. The resulting 12.6% ABV liquid pours a bright warm russet with a stubborn ivory head and an intoxicatingly sweet nutty aroma. We put Sweet Repute in a larger bottle with sharing in mind.

“We’re excited about this one,” said Co-Founder and Vice President of Brand & Education Dave Engbers. “Every sample we’ve pulled from the barrels down in the caves has been incredible.”

Sweet Repute will join the ranks of our world-class barrel-aged beers, such as Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS), Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS), Backwoods Bastard, Curmudgeon’s Better Half and many, many more taproom-only ales.

Sweet Repute will be released in limited quantities across our distribution footprint beginning on Monday, December 2, and will be available at our taproom the same week. This will be our last Backstage Series release in 2013, with more releases to come in 2014.

 

2013 European Beer Star Awards: Two Medals!

We’re honored that two of our beers were awarded medals from the European Beer Star 2013 competition:

 

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Mango Magnifico con Calor won a gold medal in the herb and spice beer category.

 

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And our Porter won a bronze medal in the Baltic-style porter category.

 

The Brewers Association calls the European Beer Star “one of the most respected and recognized beer competitions in the world.” A total of 1,512 beers from 40 countries participated in the 2013 competition, an increase of 11% over the previous year!

“Winning the gold medal award for such an experimental beer is a testament to the fact that North American craft breweries, including Founders, are now being recognized internationally for pushing the envelope in creating new and exciting flavor profiles—and for doing it well,” said our Co-Founder Dave Engbers.

Mango Magnifico con Calor was one of 10 American beers to take a gold medal at the awards.

The final decisions were made on August 23: an expert committee consisting of 102 people evaluated the beers during an all-day blind taste taste held in the Doemens Brewing Academy in Gräfelfing, Germany. The prizes were awarded on September 18 during a ceremony held at the Drinktec in Munich.

At the European Beer Star, beers are evaluated solely based on sensory criteria: color, aroma, head and taste. The jury, which consists of brewmasters and selected beer experts, tests the beers in a blind taste test. The tester is only aware of the types of beer, but not the brands. The European Beer Star Award especially values authentic, full-flavored, high-quality beers full of character. In each of the 51 different beer categories only one gold, silver and bronze medal is awarded. It is an international competition.

 

Centennial IPA Cans in the Works

Following the recent release of All Day IPA in cans, our team is preparing to put Centennial IPA in 12-pack cans, as well, likely to go on shelves at some point early in 2014. We have designed the packaging and are in the process of determining what this new package will require from us in terms of production capacity. We hope to share more details, including a launch timeline, later this year.

CENT_IPA_Can_Final_WEB

 

Taproom Closed Sept. 3 – 15 for Construction; Reopen Sept. 16

As we’re nearing the end of our expansion completion, we’re seeing changes happen and happen quickly. The trailers that we were using for our company store and bathroom have been removed from our “front yard” to make space for our construction team to finish up work on our beer garden. Because of this, our store is currently online only (with free shipping!) and will be until our taproom reopens next month. And our new bathrooms have been installed and are looking sharp:

New taproom bathrooms!

Also included in this expansion progress is a period of time for which our taproom and deli will need to close to the public. Monday, September 2 (Labor Day) will be our last day that we will be open to the public until our reopen to the public on Monday, September 16. We will have normal hours on September 2, and then will be closed to the public for the next 13 days.

Pretty soon we will have real photographs rather than just renderings (!!), but this is just part of the new space that we will be ready to share with you one month from today:

And we have a few fun surprises in store, including a special treat for those of you who have been visiting us since our days on Monroe Ave…

ArtPrizers rejoice: We will be reopening just in time for ArtPrize and will be excited to feature our Inspired Artist Black IPA during that time, with proceeds to benefit ArtPrize programming.

The opening of our event rental and educational facility will happen later this fall.

 

Company Store Downtime

Our on-site company store will be closed for remodeling starting Monday, August 12, so that the space out front of our taproom can be transformed into a beer garden (see below)! Our on-site store will reopen when the rest of our expansion is complete in September. We encourage you to visit our online store in the meantime, where we will offer free shipping on all orders during our downtime. And be sure to visit us when we reopen for a whole slew of new Founders glassware, wearables and more!

Founders Beer Garden Rendering Aerial View: Opens Fall 2013

For additional product information and assistance with order placement, please call our company store team at (616) 325-2846.

 

Brewer’s Grove Project: Taproom Beer to Benefit Friends of GR Parks

We will be participating in the Brewer’s Grove Project to benefit the Friends of GR Parks during the week of August 4-10: We will have a 100-Year Oak IPA (Centennial IPA aged on oak) on tap in our taproom only during that week, and we will be donating $1 from each pint sold to the Urban Forest Project. This project is being recognized across breweries in the Grand Rapids area as a collaboration in honor of our Beer City USA designation.

Very old Oak tree

As part of this project, there will be a ceremony and tree planting event on October 17 at Riverside Park, so save the date! They plan to begin roughly at 4pm to plant the trees in a “planting party” where the goal is to pay for 100 trees (plant 30 at this event) and then dedicate the area as Brewer’s Grove at the ceremony. They have obtained an open containers permit so fans and volunteers can bring growlers. There will also be a large inflatable screen showing a beer movie at dusk. Please stay tuned for more information.

 

All Day IPA Cans Coming in August

All Day IPA cans will start showing up on shelves next month! These new 12-packs will be available in all of our markets in August, with the exception of Texas and Florida, which are expected to get shipments of cans in September.

Founders All Day IPA can

Founders All Day IPA 12-pack in cooler

Our suggested retail price is $17.99 per 12-pack.

 

Here are some photos of the Founders Family from our test run:

Tom Harbaugh and Clarke Gilbert, two of our packaging team members, by the first pallet of All Day IPA cans:

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Co-founder Dave Engbers with one of the first cases:

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Cheers from our Director of Brewery Operations Alec Mull and our VP of Operations Brad Stevenson:

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We’re looking forward to sharing this new package with all of you!

 

Florida: We’re Coming!

FoundersFloridaComic

This guy didn’t make it, but if you can hold on just a bit longer, we’ll be there for you, Floridians! (Thanks to Twitter follower @FLfreak for sending this cartoon our way, adapted from the original work by Funday Morning.) After multiple delays, due to the expansion of our production facility taking longer than we anticipated and continued growth in our existing markets, we are pleased to confirm that our beer will be available in Florida starting the week of August 19 through our partners Brown Distributing. We will be launching with all of our year-round and seasonal products, and we have a few special events planned next month.

Founders fans in Florida have been incredibly patient with us and understanding of our need to grow responsibly—for that we thank them!

And, for those of you keeping track, this is our updated distribution footprint, effective August 19:

Founders_distromap_7.16.13

 

 

All Day IPA Moving to Year-Round Lineup

Due to high demand for the newest addition to our lineup, All Day IPA, we have decided to move it from our seasonal to our year-round lineup. We’ve updated our availability calendar for the remainder of 2013, for your convenience. Print it out, save it to your computer, use it as a desktop background, whatever you need to do:

2013 Availability Calendar Updated Fall

Also, Breakfast Stout will be available as early as mid-September, dependent on distributor shipments, with official availability across our footprint in October, and it will remain in a 4-pack. Stout Season will run through the end of 2013 (through December). 2014 seasonal releases will be announced later this year.

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