Bolt Cutter: 15th Anniversary Barley Wine

Update: As of 11/7/12 at 11:27am, all of the tickets for the Bolt Cutter release in our taproom have been sold.

 

Today we are officially announcing the release of Bolt Cutter, a 15% ABV barley wine brewed in celebration of our 15th anniversary and the next release in our Backstage Series. The beer will be available in our taproom through a ticketed release system November 11 through 16 and in stores November 19. Tickets for the taproom release go on sale online at Brown Paper Tickets beginning Saturday, October 6, at 11am.

Bolt Cutter is a cellarable barley wine with an ABV of 15%. Dry-hopped with a mountain of Cascade hops, it’s balanced by a malty sweetness and spicy complexity, resulting from barrel aging some of it in bourbon barrels, some in maple syrup-bourbon barrels and some not at all (standard fermentation only). We’ve allowed the beer to mature in bottles and kegs since July so that it would be perfect for its release next month. Bolt Cutter pours a deep copper color and is best sampled at different temperatures to allow the flavors to unfold.

Bolt Cutter bottle shot

And there’s a story behind the name.

“Years ago,” says Co-Founder, President & CEO Mike Stevens, “when our brewery was located on Monroe, we were defaulting on our loan. Eventually, the bank called and threatened to chain our doors shut if we didn’t come up with the money that we owed them. We had seven days to come up with half a million dollars.”

“So I bought a pair of bolt cutters,” says Co-Founder, Vice President of Brand & Education Dave Engbers. “We were determined to keep our doors open and to keep brewing beer, no matter what it took. Luckily, we never had to use them.”

Engbers keeps the bolt cutters in his office as a reminder of how far we’ve come and the journey we’ve taken since brewing our first beer in November 1997.

To thank all of you in West Michigan and beyond for your years of support, we are throwing a free anniversary party on November 17 in our taproom. We hope to see you here so that we can all celebrate together.

 

Mug Club Renewals for 2013 Membership

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again…time for Mug Club Renewals!

The renewal period begins at 11am on Wednesday, October 3, and concludes on Friday, November 30, giving 2012 Mug Club Members nearly two months to re-up their memberships for 2013.

As in years past, it is only $50 to continue to enjoy the benefits of a Founders Mug Club Membership: a personalized mug (with a handle!); $1 off all beers, all day every day; $2 off on Wednesdays; and $2 off growler fills any day of the week! Mug Club Members can also enjoy discounted entry to select Founders events like Founders Fest, Harvest Party and Black Party, and the opportunity to be a part of a positive, welcoming, and thriving community.

 

2013 Mug Club Information Poster -- all details are covered in the text in this post

 

Here’s how to renew:

Prior to 11:00am on Wednesday, October 3, current Mug Club Members will have a renewal form placed in their mug (if you lose yours or need another copy, a bartender or server will be more than happy to provide you with a replacement). After receiving the form, simply provide the requested information (name, current mug #, DOB, email address, what you’d like on your mug next year), show your ID, pay $50, and you’re good to go for 2013! At time of payment, a Founders employee will ensure you’ve filled out all of the necessary fields. Note: If you elect to have an image etched on your 2013 mug (instead of or in addition to a name), a $5 engraving fee applies.

Renewing during this two-month period not only ensures your spot in the 2013 Mug Club but guarantees entry at the $50 price point. Plus, if you sign up during the month of October, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a $50 Founders gift card! That’s like getting your 2013 Mug Club Membership free!

After November 30, membership cannot be guaranteed. Signing up by 11/30 is the only way for 2012 Mug Club Members to guarantee being a part of the 2013 Mug Club.

On December 1 at 11am, remaining spaces in the Mug Club will be up-for-grabs for $60, on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if all 2012 Mug Club Members renew, there will be no room for new members, as Mug Club capacity is limited. Essentially, new Mug Club sign-ups work in the same fashion as renewals: Fill out the form, show a valid ID, pay $60 (or $65 if you’d like an image), and you’re good! You’ll be issued a temporary Mug Club ID card with your name and number, though your benefits will not begin until January 1, 2013. (Mug Club Membership is for the calendar year.) At that time, temporary ID cards can be exchanged for permanent ID cards, and the 2013 mugs will arrive shortly thereafter, typically by the beginning of February. (Since all the mugs are hand-etched by a real person, it takes some time.)

If you have any questions regarding these membership details, please see your bartender or server!

 

Update as of 11/1/12: Mug Club Member #415, Brian, won the drawing for the 2013 Mug Club Contest–he won a $50 Founders gift card!

 

Furniture City Stock Ale Brewed in Celebration of the Grand Rapids Public Museum Beer Exhibit

When the Grand Rapids Public Museum opens the doors on its “Thank you, BEER” exhibit next month, it’ll do so with its own signature beer to add to West Michigan’s rich craft brewing history. In celebration of the museum’s historic beer exhibit, we’ve brewed a limited-edition Furniture City Stock Ale that will be sold exclusively in West Michigan. Profits from sales of the 6.7% ABV beer will be donated to the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Furniture City Stock Ale bottle shot

Furniture City Stock Ale is a malt-forward beer brewed with seven different varieties of malts and grains. Our version of this historic style of beer pours a deep mahogany and is smooth and easy to drink. Each 750mL bottle has a suggested retail price of $6.99 and will be available at participating West Michigan retailers beginning on Monday, October 8. Our taproom will also be pouring this beer on draft and selling bottles out of our coolers.

“When we learned what the team at the museum was thinking for the ‘Thank you, BEER’ exhibit, we knew we had to introduce a commemorative beer in celebration,” said Dave Engbers, our Co-Founder and Vice President of Brand & Education. “Our motivation for Furniture City Stock Ale isn’t about Founders; it’s about celebrating the rich history of brewing in our community, and its vibrant resurgence today, while offering a return ‘thank you’ to the fine folks at the museum who came up with this excellent exhibit.”

The “Thank You, BEER!” exhibit opens at the Grand Rapids Public Museum on October 13 and runs through December 30, 2012. In addition to the ongoing exhibit, the museum will host a brewers challenge, beer education programs and food pairing events throughout.

We produced just 80 barrels of Furniture City Stock Ale. We have no plans for subsequent production, so the commemorative ale will be around only while supplies last.

 

All Day IPA Is Now a Seasonal Offering

As we welcome in Stout Season, we will soon be saying “so long” to our new friend All Day IPA. But this isn’t goodbye. All Day IPA will be released across our footprint beginning on March 1, 2013.

All Day IPA bottles on ice in a red Coleman cooler

When we first launched All Day IPA in February of this year, we were limited by a hop shortage and could only brew enough to distribute it to our home state of Michigan, along with Ohio, North Carolina, and Chicagoland. Based on new contracts, we will not have the same constraints on production of All Day IPA in 2013 and will be able to release it to all of our markets for the first time.

As we move forward, our seasonal lineup will transition between Breakfast Stout in the cooler weather months (roughly October through February) and All Day IPA in the warmer weather months (March through September). The former “seasonal” beers, Double Trouble and Cerise, will be added to our updated specialty four-pack series, joining four other beers with two months of availability each. Our full 2013 availability calendar will be announced soon.

Referring to the lineup change, President & CEO Mike Stevens says, “It just made sense. Beers like Double Trouble and Cerise have ingredient limitations; they fit into our brewing schedule more smoothly as specialties. And All Day IPA has always felt like a warm weather beer to us. We’re excited to get it to more people in 2013.”

All Day IPA will be available through the end of September 2012 in Ohio, North Carolina, and the greater Chicago area. Our last couple of batches were brewed for our home state, where you’ll be able to find the beer through October.

 

 

This Is Stout Season.

Say goodbye to sunburns and uninspired citrus-soaked summer pilsners; we do nothing but offer bold flavor for the craft beer palate, and we’re doing it again this month with the arrival of this year’s Breakfast Stout. It will be available on tap and in bottles across our 23-state footprint beginning September 21. This beer carries a suggested retail price of $9.99 for a four-pack of 12-ounce bottles.

Breakfast Stout (a world-class ranked beer on BeerAdvocate.com and a top-50 beer at Ratebeer.com) is brewed with an abundance of oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Kona and Sumatra coffee, making it the perfect beer to enjoy during cooler weather. Breakfast Stout is available throughout the cooler months (September 21, 2012, through February 28, 2013), making it the clear choice for craft beer enthusiasts who value great taste more than calendar credentials.

“I get asked all the time to name my favorite Founders beer,” says Dave Engbers, Co-Founder, Vice President of Brand & Education at Founders Brewing Co. “To me, they’re like children…you love different things about each one, but you love them all the same. Breakfast Stout is the beer I love to drink after the leaves begin to turn. It pairs perfectly with roaring fires, hearty foods and flannel shirts.”

A countdown to the beginning of Stout Season can be found at stoutseason.com, and the Twitter conversation can be followed at #StoutSeason. Oh, and here’s our tribute to the sad summer “beer chicken”:

 

Founders Taproom: ArtPrize Venue

The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is gearing up for the fourth annual ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition, which means our hometown will be focused on art from September 19 to October 7. We’re a venue again this year and are excited to be showing the work of nine different artists in our taproom space.

Stop in to see the work of these artists:

William Wanick will be showing “Steve and the Things That Are Bothering Him”. He will be submitting a 2-D painting created with spray paint and paint marker. This image is representative of his work:

Willaim Wanick ArtPrize 2012

Joshua T. Smith will be showing “Victory” made using an art board, oil paint and aluminum leaf. This is a photo of his painting in progress:

Joshua T. Smith's painting Victory

Jordana Dickinson will be showing a functioning rug made out of Centennial IPA, Dirty Bastard and Red’s Rye PA six-pack carriers in a piece called “Dirty Reds Centennial Shag”:

Jordana Dickinson

Mike Kapetyn will be showing a kayak made from wood (western red cedar, reclaimed redwood, aspen and walnut) with inlays of a compass rose and the Great Lakes in a piece named “Achieve”:

Mike Kapetyn

Cathy Fox is showing “September Morning”, a photograph taken on Singer Island, Florida, and printed on Giclee canvas:

Cathy Fox

C.A. Durfee will be performing his piece “FOOTPRINTS on a SMALL FRAGILE PLANET” using “solar pyrography” (designs created focusing the sun through various lenses). This is a photograph representative of Durfee’s work:

Jake Kosten will be showing “Kratos”, a photograph exploring the way smoke moves through space and the forms our imaginations create within the smoke:

Jake Kosten

Pennie Johnson will be submitting an acrylic painting on canvas that is currently untitled. This image is representative of her work:

Pennie Johnson

Lastly, W. Anthony Taggart will be showing a photograph that is not available for online viewing yet. His piece is called “Lady of the Rain”.

 

See you in our taproom, art and beer lovers!

 

All photos were pulled from our venue page on ArtPrize.org.

 

Founders Beer Cheese Dip Recipe

Our beer cheese dip (from our deli menu) is one of the hottest sellers in our taproom, and our deli manager Justin Golinski is cool enough to share the recipe with you all.

Founders Beer Cheese Dip with a Red's Rye PA

Our beer cheese dip is pictured above on our taproom patio alongside a Red’s Rye PA.

 

Ingredients

1 pound cream cheese (softened)

1 ounce smoked Gouda cheese (grated)

6 ounces Founders Centennial IPA

1/2 ounce fresh baby spinach

1/2 medium-sized red bell pepper (diced)

1 garlic clove (minced)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine and mix all of the ingredients thoroughly in a casserole dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Serve with crostinis, toast points and/or tortilla chips.

 

Founders Is Now Available…Where Exactly?

We’ve begun distribution to quite a few new states in the past couple of months, and we understand if you’ve lost track. To help you out, we made this little map to show you where we distribute our beer as of today:

Founders distributor coverage as of August 21, 2012

Here are the dates of the first shipments to our most recently added states:

  • Upstate New York: May 11, with some areas’ distributors picking up shipments as late as June 29
  • Maine: May 29
  • Connecticut: June 29
  • New Hampshire: July 24

We appreciate the warm welcome that we’ve received in these new-to-us states so far; thanks to all of you who have welcomed us and thank you to the markets that have given us the support to grow to this point.

**Please note: We do distribute our beer in the District of Columbia.

 

 

Our Brewhouse Is the First of Its Kind Installed in the U.S.

Please check out this video produced by Krones, the machinery manufacturer that supplied us with some of our equipment, including the CombiCube B brew house that we began brewing on last fall. It includes an interview with our brewmaster, Jeremy Kosmicki, and great footage of our packaging line, cellar, and brew house.

 

Taproom Closed July 29 & 30

Our taproom will be closed ALL DAY on July 29 and 30 for our first-ever employee getaway. The deli and company store will be closed, as well, and there will be no Discfunktional Sunday.

We’ll also be using this opportunity to re-surface the taproom floors and make some other improvements so that your Founders experience will be better than ever!

The taproom, deli, and company store will all re-open at 11am on Tuesday, July 31.

 

July is Michigan Craft Beer Month!

Please check out this information from the Michigan Brewers Guild about Michigan Craft Beer Month!

Michigan Brewers Guild Celebrates 15 Years With Annual Summer Beer Festival,
“15th Anniversary Ale” Collaborative Brew & Craft Beer Month Designation

(LANSING, Mich) – July 2012 is a big month for craft brewers in the Great Beer State as the Michigan Brewers Guild celebrates its 15th anniversary with its annual Summer Beer Festival, the release of a “15th Anniversary Ale” Collaborative Brew and the official designation of Michigan Craft Beer Month.

Michigan craft beer month logo

The Proclamation

Earlier this month, Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) introduced Senate Resolution No. 160 while 18 Michigan Representatives including Representative Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford) introduced House Resolution No. 102, both of which declare July as Craft Beer Month in the state of Michigan.

“It is always an honor to be able to recognize thriving Michigan-based businesses,” said Rep. MacGregor (R-Rockford). “It should be the role of government to get out of their way and support them when we can. My resolution to recognize July as ‘Craft Beer Month’ was a small ‘pat on the back’ to a successful and growing industry of our state.”

“With summer upon us and Grand Rapids claiming the title of ‘Beer City USA,’ it is the perfect time to celebrate Craft Beer Month in Michigan,” said Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor). “We are excited about the opportunity to tout the benefits to our statewide tourism efforts and the investment in our local economy that craft beer represents.”

The Collaborative Brew

The 15th Anniversary Ale is a strong Pale Ale—more like a strong IPA or a Double IPA—coming in with an 8% ABV with 80 IBUs. These brews will be available at participating member breweries, as well as at the Summer Beer Festival.

“When you buy Michigan beer you are supporting local businesses and you are helping to provide local jobs,” says Eric Briggeman, Guild President. “And, with this 15th Anniversary Brew, we are also helping Michigan’s agriculture industry because we are asking brewers to use wheat that is grown and malted in Michigan, as well as Michigan-grown hops.”

The Festival

The 15th Annual Michigan Summer Beer Festival will be held July 27-28 at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti’s Historic Depot Town District. More than 60 Michigan craft breweries will showcase 450-plus craft beers at the two-day festival, which runs from 5-9pm on Friday, July 27, and 1-6pm on Saturday, July 28.

Admission tickets are $30 for Friday (in advance—$35 at the gate, if any are available) and $35 for Saturday (in advance—$40 at the gate, if any are available). Each admission ticket includes 15 drink tokens, each redeemable for a 3-ounce sample. Additional drink tokens are available for 50 cents each. Advanced tickets for the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival may be purchased online, at participating member breweries and limited retail locations around the state. Attendees must be 21 or older to attend. Designated driver tickets are available online and at the gate for $5 each.

This year’s entertainment lineup includes: DJ Rob Ericksen, Stone Clover, L’aith Al Saadi and Jason Dennie on Friday the 27th and DJ Danny Boy Peron, Jason Waggoner Band, and Amy Gore & Her Valentine on Saturday the 28th.

The Guild

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry conservatively contributes well over $24 million in wages with a economic contribution well over $133 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #5 in the nation—thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”

Founded in 1997 and celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2012, the Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the community of brewers, to increase the sale of Michigan Craft Beer, to contribute culturally and economically throughout the state, and to monitor and assure a healthy brewing industry. By working collaboratively with proponents of craft beer, the organization strives to achieve 10% share of all beer sold in Michigan by producing world-class events, increasing public awareness, educating consumers, and encouraging responsible consumption.

Plus, the guild shares its birth year with us!

Michigan Brewers Guild 15th anniversary logo

MICHIGAN BREWERS GUILD TIMELINE:

1997—Creation of Michigan Brewers Guild
1998—Inaugural Summer Beer Festival, July (Greenmead, Livonia)
2000—Summer Beer Festival Relocates (Frog Island, Ypsilanti)
2004—Summer Beer Festival Relocates & Expands to 2 Days (Riverside Park, Ypsilanti)
2005—Inaugural Winter Beer Festival, February (Old Town, Lansing)
2007—Winter Beer Festival Moves to Grand Rapids (Fifth-Third Ballpark, Comstock Park)
2008—Inaugural UP Fall Beer Festival, September (Mattson Lower Harbor Park, Marquette)
2008—Inaugural Detroit Fall Beer Festival, October (Eastern Market, Detroit)

For more information, including a list of Michigan craft breweries, visit the Michigan Brewers Guild website, or check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Founders Brewing Co. is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.

 

 

Founders Fest 2012 Recap

A big thank you to everyone who came out to to Founders Fest 2012 on Saturday, June 23! We think the party was a great success, and those of us in the Founders Family enjoyed sharing it with all of you.

Words can only say so much videos can say more. Please check out this recap of the event, shot by Kevin Cole, one of our sound engineers, with music by Afro Zuma (they performed at the fest, and you’ll see them throughout the video).

 

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