Untappd Founders Hop Head Badge

We’re partnering with Untappd to do a special Founders Hop Head badge that Untappd users will be able to unlock for one month, from June 27 to July 27.

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What does this mean?

For those familiar, it’s similar to becoming a “mayor” on Foursquare. Untappd is a mobile app that allows users to “check-in” to drinking different beers. During the month that our badge is active, Untappd users will have the opportunity to unlock it (a.k.a. earn it) if they like us on Untappd and then check-in to drinking at least 2 of our hoppy beers. Included in that list are the following offerings:

  • Centennial IPA
  • Red’s Rye PA
  • All Day IPA
  • Double Trouble
  • Devil Dancer
  • Doom

And, if you hadn’t noticed, we keep a running tab of all Untappd checkins of our beers on certain pages of our website. Check out the Latest Checkins posts on the right hand side of the Our Beer page right here for an example.

Do you have what it takes to be a Founders Hop Head?

 

Inspired Artist Black IPA To Be Released in Honor of ArtPrize

We announced today that we will introduce Inspired Artist Black IPA, a powerhouse IPA brewed using malted midnight wheat and a unique variety of hops with tropical characteristics, this August. Proceeds from the sale of this new ale will benefit ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition that takes place annually here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Inspired Artist will be sold in the state of Michigan both on draft and in 12 oz. bottles with a suggested retail price of $9.99 per 6-pack.

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In April 2013 we inked a deal with the organization to make us the official brewery of ArtPrize for the next five years. The premier leadership sponsorship deal included offering our beer at all official ArtPrize events, signage, promotion, merchandise, specialized glassware and other items. It also included permission for us to use the ArtPrize identity marks (logo and graphics) on any co-packaged items, including beer. We expect to release a new beer for each year of our five-year partnership with ArtPrize.

“When we started talking with ArtPrize about a partnership, we knew we wanted to make a unique beer in honor of the annual event,” said Dave Engbers, our co-founder and vice president of brand and education. “Black IPA is a boundary-pushing style that felt like a good fit to pair with ArtPrize, an organization that encourages conversations around the definition of art.”

Inspired Artist Black IPA gets its color from a malted black wheat base; the interesting style that results in the malt bill’s fight to balance the plentiful hops used will make you think twice about what a black beer should be. It clocks in at 7.5% ABV and an impressive 88 IBUs.

Proceeds from the sale of Inspired Artist Black IPA will support the future programming of the ArtPrize organization. ArtPrize 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. As an innovator in redefining what beer can be, we believe that experimentation is central to the human experience—whether one experiments with grains and hops or paints and clays—and that sharing one’s creation with the public is a brave act worth celebrating. More than 400,000 people are expected to attend ArtPrize 2013.

“Art brings us together in conversation, just like the experience with a good beer,” said Christian Gaines, executive director of ArtPrize. “We are thrilled to have Founders as our official brewery and Inspired Artist Black IPA as a new, specially co-packaged beer to enhance the community’s experience.”

Inspired Artist Black IPA will be available for a limited time starting on Monday, August 26, across our Michigan distribution footprint. It will be released in our taproom on draft starting on Monday, August 26, as well [Note: this date has been edited since original posting]. Bottle availability in our taproom will follow. Inspired Artist Black IPA will be featured at official ArtPrize events.

This year marks the fifth edition of ArtPrize, which will take place Sept. 18 – Oct. 6, 2013. Our taproom will be a venue for the fifth year running.

 

About the artist who created this label

Unencumbered by rules, Kevin O’Rourke bridges wide varieties of artistic disciplines in his work, fusing elements of graphic design and advertising verve into frenetic art. His work is nationally lauded and has been featured on concert posters for artists ranging from The Flaming Lips to Sonic Youth. He is a graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Check out more of his work right here.

 

Philly Beer Week 2013: Thank You!

A huge thank you to the people of Philly for showing Founders such a great time during Philly Beer Week 2013!

Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki, Co-Founder Dave Engbers, Brewer Laura House and Events Coordinator Christina with the Hammer of Glory (HOG) at the POPE

Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki, Co-Founder Dave Engbers, Brewer Laura Houser and Events Coordinator Christina McDonald with the Hammer of Glory (HOG) at the P.O.P.E.

Dave and Mike before the doors opened

Co-founders Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens before our World Cafe Live FBC All-Stars Road Show event

Extra special thanks to the following spots for hosting us during the week:

 

Our brewery band, the FBC All-Stars, had a great time playing their first show on the road at World Cafe Live along with Workout! We hope to do it again.

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The taproom’s Rob Burt (drums) and Deli Manager Justin Golinski (vocals) rock the stage during the FBC All-Stars performance

 

 

Production Expansion Update

The seamer on our new canning line

The seamer on our new canning line

Over the last couple of months we have been tight on production, and we have watched warehouse inventories, including ours and those of our distributors, affected by a perfect storm of activity. The good news is we’ve watched sales in our existing markets continue well beyond the craft industry average, and thus we’ve had to continue expanding our facility to meet future needs. The not-so-good news is our production facility expansion—with our brew house extension, improvements made to our bottling line, the installation of a high-speed canning line and the addition of several 600 bbl fermenters, all taking longer than anticipated—has affected our ability to provide proper inventory quantities for all of our markets.

After several months of effort, we can now say the end is near, and we are wrapping up our production facility updates. However, during this process, we had to undergo downtimes, which led to inventory levels becoming significantly reduced. It’s important for us to maintain a focus on our core brands in our current markets; as such, we must make some difficult decisions.

In the best interest of our wholesaler partners, retail accounts and craft beer consumers, we will hold off opening planned new markets at this time, including Florida, which was scheduled for a July launch. We also will not be introducing the new package launch of All Day IPA in 12-pack cans next month. Please know that these difficult moves affect many parts of our business but should be done for both short- and long-term success. Until we have built up core brand inventories in all markets again and are comfortable in meeting existing demand, these opportunities must wait a bit longer.

We are confident this won’t take long and hope to be able to embark on these new projects as soon as possible. We appreciate your support and your patience with us as we grow.

 

Mango Magnifico Is Our Summer 2013 Backstage Series Release

We plan to introduce Mango Magnifico con Calor [Magnificent Mango with Heat], a fruit beer brewed with mango and a touch of habanero, this August to mark the seventh installment in our Backstage Series. Like all Backstage Series beers, Mango Magnifico will be sold in 750mL bottles. It will have a suggested retail price of $12.99 per bottle.

MangoMagnifico_Bottle_MockUp

Mango Magnifico is a never-before-released, high-gravity fruit beer brewed with mango and Michigan-grown habaneros. Each 750mL bottle of this 10% ABV ale is intended to be shared. Not a traditional fruit beer, the delicate tropical fruit in Mango Magnifico is punctuated by a hint of heat, increasing the overall depth of flavor and adding another level of complexity. It will be a refreshing drink for the warm summer months.

“Mango Magnifico, like the entire Backstage Series, is intended to push the boundaries of what is commonly accepted in beer styles,” said Co-Founder and Vice President of Brand & Education Dave Engbers. “The Backstage Series is the perfect conduit to showcase our brewing team’s creativity.”

We’ve had success with their interpretation of fruit beers, including the likes of Cerise, Rubaeus and Blushing Monk. But Mango Magnifico is one-of-a-kind.

Mango Magnifico will be released in limited quantities across our distribution footprint beginning on Monday, August 5, and will be available at the brewery’s taproom the week prior. We expect to release one more Backstage Series beer in 2013.

 

Pure Michigan Beer Contest Winner

Pure Michigan Beer Contest Winner: Vanilla Stout

Announcing the beer that won the vote for the Pure Michigan contest that we closed out at the beginning of this month: Vanilla Stout! Thanks to the over 1,200 of you that voted for your choice! Vanilla Stout was in a close race with Apple Ale at the end and only won by a handful of votes.

Our brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki is working on formulating the recipe, and it will be on tap only in our taproom throughout the month of July to celebrate Michigan Craft Beer Month. We hope to see you here in Grand Rapids this summer to try this one-of-a-kind beer—be sure to look for Pure Michigan Vanilla Stout on our chalkboard.

 

Urban Waters Federal Partnership Endorses Grand Rapids Whitewater

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of the Interior has announced that the Urban Waters Federal Partnership is including the Grand River is one of 11 new locations that they’ve pinpointed to restore waterways, help local economies, create jobs and protect Americans’ health. Essentially, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership is a group of 12 federal agencies that coordinate and pull together local bodies to help projects like Grand Rapids Whitewater come to fruition.

Grand Rapids Whitewater (GRWW) is a project that is near and dear to our hearts that is looking to restore the Rapids to the Grand (River). We’ve kept you up-to-date on the project’s progress and have donated proceeds from special release tickets sold for our on-site releases to the cause. This is a project that will create neighborhoods, that will bring businesses and people downtown, and that will connect the city of Grand Rapids around the Grand River, which is why this city was founded in the first place. As GRWW co-founder Chris Muller says, “When someone says, ‘Grand Rapids…but where are the rapids?’ I’d love to point at something.” We would, too, and that’s why our co-founders and business partners have been behind this cause from day 1, donating the seed money to get the program off the ground.

Representatives at the Gerald R. Ford Museum for the Urban Waters announcement on 5.10.13

The federal announcement in support of this project took place at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. In attendance were the chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and officials from the U.S. departments of Interior and Agriculture(see photo above).

The 11 new project locations are:

  • Big River and Meramec Watersheds in St. Louis, Mo
  • Delaware River Basin (Cooper River) that covers Philadelphia, Camden, N.J., Chester, Pa., and Wilmington, Del.
  • Grand River in Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Green-Duwamish River in Seattle
  • Mystic River Watershed in Greater Boston
  • Martin Pena Canal in San Juan, P.R.
  • Middle Blue River in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Middle Rio Grande in Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Passaic River in Passaic, N.J.
  • Proctor Creek Watershed in Atlanta
  • Western Lake Erie Basin in Toledo, Ohio

Check out this announcement in the Wall Street Journal for more information.

And here’s an artist’s rendering of what the Grand River will look like with the rapids restored:

Painted Rendering of Grand River with rapids restored

 

Grand Rapids is Beer City USA 2013

It was announced today that our hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, won the vote again for Beer City USA, and this time Grand Rapids won it outright. We shared the title with Asheville, North Carolina, last year.

Our fellow Michigan cities Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor also made the top ten list this year.

Check the announcement, with final vote counts and more information, made by Charlie Papazian right here. This announcement also marks the kickoff of American Craft Beer Week, which lasts May 13 through May 19 and is a celebration of the culture and community of small and independent craft breweries here in the U.S.

 

Thanks to everyone who voted in the Beer City USA poll, and we hope to see you out (and online) celebrating craft beer this week!

 

Beer City USA Voting

Let’s get ready to rally! Beer City USA voting began today and ends on Saturday, May 11 at 2am EST.

Our hometown of Grand Rapids, MI, shared the title with Asheville, NC, last year, a city that had held the title for three years running before we tied with them.

Vote here: https://polldaddy.com/poll/7078031/.

 

Important Voting Details
  • Those running the voting this year have communicated that they are going to only allow one vote per IP address, so it is extra important to spread the word to all of your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, strangers, etc.
  • Real time voting results will not be viewable during this year’s voting period, unlike last year when anyone who visited the voting page was able to see what cities were pulling ahead. This means it’s important to keep the momentum going all week long!
  • If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag for voting and sharing info is #beercitygr.

 

 

Help Us Choose a Pure Michigan Beer Style for the Taproom in July

Head over to the Pure Michigan blog to vote for a Pure Michigan beer that we’ll pour in our taproom during the month of July to celebrate Michigan Craft Beer Month. Now through Friday, May 3, you can vote on the beer style that you want to see available in our taproom: Vanilla Stout, Apple Ale or Wheat IPA. We haven’t brewed these beers before, and we’ll be ordering ingredients and brewing based on what all of you choose. Vote here!


 

North Cellar Expansion

A time lapse video of our north cellar expansion, which began in November 2012 and finished up at the beginning of this month. The video shows completion of an addition to the Founders cellar space both from outside of the building and from the interior, as well as adding new fermentation tanks and ripping down a wall in the packaging hall.

Videographer: Kevin “The Scientist” Cole

Music by Jason Heystek, Founders Brewing Co.’s Head Cellar Operator

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