Call for Founders Memorabilia!

We need your vintage FBC stuff!

Examples of the types of goods we’re looking for. Clockwise from top left: A ticket to the 2006 Breakfast Stout Breakfast, a Rübæus label, a poster from the 2005 Black Party, and an old Breakfast Stout Breakfast mug.

If you have any Founders Brewing Co. treasures from the past 15 years that you are willing to donate, we will do our best to put it on display in our taproom for others to enjoy! Help us “dress up” the brewery with any news articles, pictures, posters, glassware (we’d especially love some old Mug Club mugs), t-shirts, stickers, buttons, hats, flags, tin-tackers–anything that captures the history of Founders.

We make great beer, but we don’t claim to have been anything close to great archivists since starting the brewery in 1997. We’d really appreciate you digging up any of the things that remind you of your favorite Founders experiences over the past 15 years. We’re going to make something kickass with all of the things we receive–and the more cool stuff we get, the more kickass it will be!

If you have items to donate, please contact Christina McDonald at christinam [at] foundersbrewing [dot] com or (616) 325-2694 by June 1.

 

Linchpin White IPA: Our Collaboration with Green Flash

On April 12, we announced that we’ve partnered with like-minded California brewer, Green Flash Brewing Co., to produce a first-time, limited release called Linchpin White IPA. Our Brewmaster, Jeremy Kosmicki, partnered with Chuck Silva of Green Flash last month in San Diego to develop the beer. It will debut during the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego and move on to limited release beginning May 2012. Both of our breweries have been brewing up several of the world’s top flavor-forward ales, so we decided it could be fun to come together to collaborate on an uncommon and emerging beer style.

“Founders makes world-class beer,” says Green Flash Brewing Co.’s Co-founder and President, Mike Hinkley. “It’s not available in San Diego, so I always look to taste some when I am on the road. Our Sales Chief, Jim Kenny presented the idea, and I was immediately all for it. Then Chuck and Jeremy settled on White IPA. I can’t wait to tap these kegs and share this innovative new release with the national community of craft beer fans.”

Each brewery is known to push boundaries in creating risky, new, flavor-forward styles that appeal to the true beer aficionado. Because Founders is not currently available in San Diego, the collaboration will allow the California craft beer lover a chance to experience our beer in their native state. Green Flash will release Linchpin White IPA on draft during May’s Craft Brewers Conference with events to take place as follows:

 

  • Tuesday, May 1: Tapping of First Keg  – Green Flash Tasting Room & Beer Garden 3–9pm

 

  • Friday, May 4: Hamilton’s & Regal Beagle Release Parties Begin at 5pm
  • Each bar will feature Linchpin White IPA
  • Other draft selections from Green Flash and Founders will also be on tap for the evening
  • Representatives from Founders and Green Flash will be in attendance

 

 

Beer Details: Linchpin White IPA

“There’s a lot going on in this beer with two yeast strains, copious amounts of wheat malt, and a big focus on ‘C’ hops to deliver a citrus explosion,” explains Green Flash Brewmaster, Chuck Silva. “In fact we lined up more than a dozen hop varieties in the brewery to select three hops with the biggest citrus character to dry hop the beer.

“This golden beer pours with beautiful, frothy white beer foam that lasts due to bottle conditioning. Gently rousing the yeast that settles in the bottle will result in a fuller texture and a more cloudy white appearance. The citrus aromas that jump from the glass are largely tangerine up front with other types of citrus notes that mingle with the Belgian yeast esters. Hop flavors of bitter orange zest dominate the brew and linger to the finish with a nice play of American and Belgian yeast combo.”

A beer with so many components can be held together with a “Linchpin”. The official “Linchpin” of this beer is the skillful collaboration between the two breweries to create a unique hop-forward brew. Linchpins are symbolic: two simple shapes that combine to strengthen a bond amongst many different pieces.
Linchpin White IPA will be released during the May 2012 Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego and will then be available in limited supply via bottle-conditioned 22oz bottles and by the keg for special release events nationally in May and June 2012.

 

About Green Flash Brewing Co.

Green Flash Brewing Co. is located in San Diego, California, and was founded in 2002 by Mike and Lisa Hinkley. Brewmaster, Chuck Silva, leads brewing operations. Green Flash is an award-winning brewer of fine, hand-crafted ales, and specializes in brewing assertive and distinctive beers, such as the nationally acclaimed West Coast IPA: an award-winning beer whose wide acceptance has helped define a category.  Green Flash brews ten styles of beer regularly, on draught and in bottles as well as a growing lineup of seasonal and special offerings, including several barrel-aged beers, throughout the year. Please visit the Green Flash website for more information

 

We’re on Instagram!

To those of you that are part of the Instagram community: we’ve joined it, too! Follow us under the username @foundersbrewing. If you aren’t on Instagram, it’s a free app that you can download on your smartphone (it was originally created for the iPhone, but it just recently became available on the Android).

We posted photos of our production facility this morning and will continue to post pictures from our taproom, festivals, beer dinners, the brewery, and more. Here are a couple of photos we’ve taken so far:

The cellar on a Thursday morning. Testing out week old Centennial IPA straight from the tank. Aromatics don’t get much better than this.

Can’t see through the runoff of this stout, on our old brew house right now, even with a flashlight. This one will be available at Black Party in our taproom on April 21.

We hope to see you (and your photos) on Instagram!

 

Hop Testing

Reason #4398 being a brewer is a sweet gig: hop testing. To ensure that we’re always using the highest quality ingredients in our recipes, we test different ingredients from time to time. Recently, a few of our brewers tested some potential new hops and we happened to have a camera on hand. Check it out:

Hops, ready for testing!

Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki checking out the aroma on one of the hop samples.

Brewer Adam Schmitt checking out another hop sample.

 

Mug Club Expansion

We’re expanding our mug club and will be accepting new members beginning when our taproom doors open, at 11am, on Saturday, March 24.

Thanks to careful planning, ingenuity, and a little elbow grease, we were able to create more shelf space behind the bar in the taproom. More space = more mugs = more mug club members!

Here’s a few of the perks of being a Mug Club Member at Founders:

  • You get your own personalized mug, etched with a name (or whatever text you choose) and mug number.
  • The mug has a handle.
  • You get to take the mug home at the end of the year.
  • You get $1 off beers all the time, and $2 off on Wednesdays, Mug Club Day.
  • You get $2 off growler fills.
  • You get in at a discounted price to select Founders events (Founders Fest, Harvest Party, Black Party, etc).
  • You get to be part of the coolest club in the world! (According to us. We’re biased. But this is our blog.)

 

Wanna be a member? Here’s what you do and how it works:

  • On Saturday, March 24, at 11am, new memberships will officially go on sale.
  • You must be 21 to purchase a Mug Club membership.
  • You must be present (no phone or internet orders) and be in possession of a valid ID.
  • Cost is $60.
  • Memberships last for the duration of the calendar year. (It is solely a membership for the rest of 2012.)
  • You cannot buy a membership as a gift.
  • Your benefits begin as soon as the transaction is processed.
  • Upon purchase, you will be issued a temporary mug ID card with your mug number on it. Your personalized mug will arrive shortly thereafter.
  • Mugs are non-transferrable.
  • You will have to opportunity to renew your membership in the fall for the 2013 Mug Club.

 

KBS Release Party Update: Looking Ahead

Folks,

We wanted to reach back out to everyone about this past weekend’s KBS release event. We first want to thank those of you who took the time to give us valuable constructive criticism; we’ve spent the better part of the week sorting through each and every one of your emailed suggestions. The passion, both positive and negative, in your well-thought-out communications is a testament to how lucky we are to be in the beer community.

We are making a dramatic improvement on organization, efficiency, and communication plans for our future releases so that everyone involved can enjoy the true spirit of the experience. It would be misleading to say that everyone will get an allocation of KBS next year, but we can assure you that we are producing approximately three times the volume for the 2013 release. However, with the demand for this beer, reduced allocations will still be in place at next year’s event.

One overwhelming piece of advice that we received was to go to a pre-sale ticketed lottery system. We have a plan to implement such a system in a way that will benefit both event attendees and a charity that the brewery believes in. The entire day will be reworked to ensure that access to KBS, in bottles and on tap, will be clearly communicated, in order to better accommodate more beer enthusiasts. We’re excited to share these details when we announce our next release.

In looking back at last weekend, we find success in the lessons we’ve learned. We’re confident that our future release events will be a blast to those that come out to visit the brewery. Our ultimate goal is to make some of the country’s best beers, and much of the fun lies in sharing it with the extended Founders Family, which is made up of beer enthusiasts like you.

Thanks for all of your support; we are humbled and grateful for all of the advice received over the past week.

Cheers,

Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers
Co-Founders
Founders Brewing Co.

 

KBS Release Party

Early this morning we made the decision, right or wrong, to limit the purchase of Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) bottles to 1/2 case per person rather than the full case that we have done in the past and that we had communicated to our consumers.

First of all, we want to thank everyone for their support, their loyalty, and their appreciation for good craft beer–if nobody cared about KBS, we wouldn’t be sending out this communication because there would be no issue. The turnout for our release today was a testament to the dedication of the beer enthusiasts and to how far our industry has come over the years.

When we saw how many people had come from across the country to buy KBS, we were taken by surprise. We knew we couldn’t make everyone happy: with over 1000 people in line and only 315 cases to go around, the decision was made to try to get KBS to as many dedicated beer enthusiasts as possible so that the majority of those in line didn’t leave empty handed (though some still did). We cut our individual allocation in half; 634 people bought KBS and we ran out before the last 362 people got to the front of the line.

There is no way for us to predict what the response will be to releases like this. Last year, we were able to take care of the majority of those that waited in line, and we increased the number of cases for the release this year as much as we could. Unfortunately, because this beer is aged for about a year in bourbon barrels in the caves beneath Grand Rapids, we brewed it about a year ago–when we were still limited to the production capacity of a 30 bbl brewhouse. Next year’s release will be about three times the size, because we were able to brew it on our new 85 bbl brewhouse just recently. We understand that this will still, most likely, not get supply up enough to match demand for this product, but we see it as an improvement.

Our vision for our release parties has been to get the core beer enthusiasts to our brewery for a fun time, to foster new friendships and new stories to tell. We’ve always wanted it to be more about the experience than the beer that folks leave with, and we’re sorry if that experience today was tarnished for anyone because of the decision that we made early this morning.

We ask any of you that want to express your feelings about how our KBS bottle release was run to email us. The only way for a growing company like us to learn from events like this is for us to hear directly from the people that attended. We appreciate any constructive criticism that you’re able to send our way. Please send your email to info [at] foundersbrewing [dot] com with ATTN: KBS RELEASE PARTY in the subject line. We will collect these emails and will use them to re-evaluate the process through which we distribute KBS in the future.

Thanks again for all of your support and understanding.

 

–Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, co-founders

 

Iowa, Here We Come!

As you may have heard if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, our beer will be released in Iowa beginning on Monday, March 19. We’re excited about entering the Hawkeye State! We have a network of nine distributors that we’ll be using to cover the entire state, from Des Moines to Sioux City to Decorah to Keokuk.

 

a map of Iowa with the Founders beer bottle lineup overlaid

Ready or Not…

 

Also, we’ve received many questions so far about KBS from Iowans: KBS will not be available in Iowa this year, because we had already shipped all of the KBS that had been packaged before we began shipments to Iowa. The one exception to this is the release party that we are having at Reds Alehouse in North Liberty on March 20, beginning at 4pm, where a 1/6 bbl (a small keg, also known as a torpedo keg or a log) of KBS will be tapped.

 

 

Porter Chocolate Cupcakes

Thanks to Lauren Janicki for sharing this story and recipe (and these photos) with us!


These started as a Guinness Chocolate Cupcake recipe my friend passed along. It was a great idea but the cake itself still needed something.

I tossed around the idea of trying it with better beer, and the recipe got shelved until the urge to bake hit—at the same time as the desire to avoid going out in the Michigan winter for ingredients. While searching the pantry, the coveted last bottle of Founders Porter appeared before my eyes, and inspiration hit. The complex, chocolatey flavor of the Porter was exactly what the cake wanted.

Reviewed by my father as “the best chocolate cake in the world” (he may be biased), it was demolished in no time. [see photos below, from before it was demolished]

Porter Layer Cake pre-frosting

 

Porter Layer Cake with frosting

It recently appeared again in cupcake form for more great reviews at Valentine’s Day parties:

 

Porter cupcake next to pink tulips

Here’s the recipe, slightly adapted from the original:

Ingredients

1 (12-ounce) bottle Founders Porter

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey’s)

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 24 muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Porter, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the sour cream.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet Porter mixture.

Divide the batter among the muffin tins (I got about 30 out of one recipe).

Bake 20-25 minutes, until risen, and set in the middle (check with a toothpick, it should come out dry) but still soft and tender. Cool before removing from the tins.

**This also works as a 9″ layer cake. Just bake it a bit longer and use the toothpick test to gauge baking time.

The original recipe includes an espresso frosting which is perhaps a bit on the sugary side for the rich, slightly less sweet cupcakes. I highly recommend pairing them with your favorite semi-sweet chocolate frosting or ganache for the best dark, rich, sexy beer cupcake.

 

Our Story

Check out this quick video with some behind-the-scenes peeks at our production facility, beautiful shots of beer being poured in our taproom, and a bit of brewery history from our co-founders. Our beer is what it is because of the people that work here: hear it straight from their lips.

 

Founders Brewing: The Story from Founders Brewing Co. on Vimeo.

 

RateBeer Best of 2012 Results

 

RateBeer

We are honored and humbled to have been ranked the second best brewery in the world, two years in a row, and to have our KBS rated the fourth best beer in the world, both by RateBeer.com.

Thanks to all of you for supporting us in doing what we love every day and for allowing us to share it with you.

 

Bottling Better Half!

We had an extra-large crew lending a helping hand on the bottling line today because we were running something special: 750mL bottles of Curmudgeon’s Better Half, the next beer in our Backstage Series, to be released on Monday, February 13! (See this blog post from last month for more information.)

Here are some pictures of the newest addition to our Backstage lineup (and the happy Founders Family working hard)!

 

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