Beer Education

A Brief History of Solid Gold

Gather ’round, have we got a story for you! This time, we’re diving into the history of our newest year-round addition: Solid Gold:

It’s 2003. Craft beer is in its early years – only 376 microbreweries are operating in the country (compare that to 6,372 in 2017! Source: Brewer’s Association) and Founders is one of them. At the time, our brewery was located in a small space in the Brassworks Building in downtown Grand Rapids. The taproom hosted a lot of craft beer enthusiasts and they would often bring friends or family who were not craft beer enthusiasts. So, we needed a beer for those folks.

Our head brewer at the time developed lighter version of our Pale Ale dubbed – get this – Extra Pale Ale. This was the first iteration of what would become Solid Gold. This beer was perfect for the big beer loyalists who didn’t yet have an appreciation for IPAs or stouts.

Can of Founders Solid Gold

Extra Pale Ale stayed on the taplist consistently. Around 2007, our current Brewmaster, Jeremy Kosmicki, wanted to adjust the recipe. He thought it would benefit from some corn (ain’t nothing wrong with brewing with corn) in the grain bill as the original recipe contained none. It was dubbed ‘Solid Gold’ because, as Jeremy puts it, “it was a solid, golden ale.” Simple enough.

Since 2007, Solid Gold has been a regular feature in the taproom, serving as a bridge into craft for the big beer drinkers and a lighter option for the craft drinkers. Around 2009 or so, Solid Gold inspired the many recipes that were developed as Jeremy was working out All Day IPA. He wanted it to have the easy-drinkability, but with tons of hop flavor. We think he nailed it.

Anyhow, enough about All Day IPA, back to Solid Gold. A couple of years ago, around 2016/2017, we began talking about launching a light-bodied, easy-drinking lager and recipe experimentations began. Our proven mainstay was headed to distribution! 

Jeremy had developed his lager-brewing skills (our friends at Mahou gave some helpful advice as well) and applied them to his recipe revamp. After a number of iterations, the favorite was selected: a lager with corn and the right hit of lemondrop hops. An easy-drinking, refreshing lager.

We launched Solid Gold as a year-round brand in March 2018 and it’s taken off. While we love to brew big, full-flavored IPAs, barrel-aged stouts, porters and more, we also love a light, drinkable lager and Solid Gold is proof of that.

Founders Solid Gold tap handle

Learn more about our history here.



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