Our brewery and taproom is nestled in an area of downtown Grand Rapids just a few steps from a large Polish neighborhood where the kielbasa is magical and sauerkraut is king. In a nod to our hometown, our head chef, Justin, has prepared a kielbasa and Dirty Bastard sauerkraut recipe for you guys to try out at home.
“So, this one requires a little bit of legwork. The first step is finding a reputable source for kielbasa. Here in Grand Rapids, we have many authentic meat counters to choose from; my personal favorite is Frank’s. Fritz runs the place and he’s a real sweetheart. If you aren’t local, head to your nearest trusty butcher or at least splurge on something decent at your grocery store. This recipe is a real banger – enjoy!”
Kielbasa with Dirty Bastard Sauerkraut
Ingredients you’ll need:
1lb smoked kielbasa-1 pound (sliced to bite-size)
2lbs rinsed sauerkraut
1 large julienned sweet yellow onion
1 stick of butter
2 or 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 Dirty Bastard-12 oz. bottle (find it locally using our beer finder tool)
Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
Just in time for the holidays, our head chef, Justin, is sharing one of his favorite dessert recipes, a velvety chocolate tart cooked with our Porter. Like the beer, it’s dark, rich and sexy – and the perfect addition to your holiday table.
“I know this time of year can be stressful. And for some, the kitchen can be the most intimidating room of the house. Let’s change all that. This recipe is super easy, and forgiving (we’re talking chocolate here, people). Take your time, reacquaint yourself with your kitchen, chill out and have a beer. You deserve to be happy!”
Chocolate Founders Porter Tart
Ingredients you’ll need:
For the crust:
- 1 cup crushed graham crackers
- 1 tbls brown sugar
- 4 tbls melted butter
For the filling:
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup Founders Porter
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
For the Porter whipped cream:
Apparently, he needed a few months to “figure out some stuff” and “find out who he really is.” Either way, we’re just happy our boy is home and back where he belongs: on the Breakfast Stout label.
While he was away, he left a note inviting those who missed him to call and let him know just how much they were pining for him. 1,800+ voicemails later (some touching, some a little odd), he’s feelin’ the love and happy to be back on the iconic label. Listen to a few of the messages that were left for him:
Spot the baby on shelves here in Michigan? Share a photo with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thanks to our friends at the MLCC for helping us bring the lil’ guy home!
Please join us in welcoming our 2016 availability calendar to the world:
There are some exciting changes introduced in this one, such as:
- Rubaeus is now a year-round offering!
- Azacca IPA has taken the place of Black Rye as our first seasonal offering of 2016.
- Mosaic Promise also joins our seasonal line-up.
- reDANKulous will be available in 4-packs from July-August as it is now part of the specialty series!
- Breakfast Stout has transitioned from a seasonal offering to a specialty. Congratulations, Breakfast Stout!
- We now offer three year-round offerings in our nitro draft series: Nitro Pale Ale, Nitro Rubaeus and Nitro Oatmeal Stout.
- Along with our 750mL Backstage releases, we will have a new seasonal and a new specialty to announce. Stay tuned!
Now go forth and plan the rest of your year!
We are thrilled to announce that with the help of Reyes Beverage Group and Pacific Beverage Company, we will be distributing in Southern California as of January 1, thereby securing our presence in the entire state! Southern Californians can expect to find Founders year-round and seasonal beers in bottles, cans (as applicable) and kegs in retailers throughout the area, with select limited release beers also available after the launch.
“Southern California is home to some phenomenal brewers who have cultivated one of the most passionate beer enthusiast regions in the United States,” said Co-Founder and President Mike Stevens. “We’re confident that the Reyes Beverage Group and Pacific Beverage Group will be a strong and dedicated partner for the Founders brand and we’re excited to introduce our entire portfolio of products to a new audience.”
The following distributors will represent Founders in their respective markets:
- Harbor Distributing: East LA and Orange counties
- Crest Beverage: San Diego county
- Gate City Beverage Distributors: San Bernardino and Riverside counties
- Unique Craft Solutions: West LA and downtown LA
- Allied Beverages-Sylmar: LA
- Pacific Beverage Company: Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo
Stay tuned to Founders website and Twitter handle @foundersbrewing for launch event information. Fans in California can visit foundersbrewing.com/california for information on launch events and more.
In an effort to provide more viable parking options for our brewery and Taproom visitors, as well as protect our lot from non-Founders parkers, we have installed some gates to our parking lot located between Goodrich and Bartlett (just south of our facility).
Beginning Wednesday, December 9 we will validate parking for all Taproom and Company Store visitors for up to five hours, free of charge.
To ensure that your parking is validated, please present your ticket to your bartender/server when cashing out. You’ll receive up to five hours free of charge, after which a $2.00/half hour fee will apply. There is no charge between 11pm-8am so any cars left overnight (safety first!) will not incur any additional charges.
The entrance to this lot is off Goodrich and the pay station and exit are just off Bartlett St. This is a cashless system that accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover cards. Here’s a handy map:
Questions? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to address them.
‘Tis the season to shower your favorite Founders fan with the latest gear from our online store. From flannel jammies to bottle sweaters, here’s a round-up of our favorite gift ideas this year.
The best part? We’re offering free shipping on orders over $100 and $8 flat-rate shipping on all others. Just make sure you place your order by December 19 to get it under the tree in time.
Backwoods Bastard snifter glass – $9
BLiS bourbon barrel matured maple syrup – $25
Bottle sweater – $9
Flannel pajama pants – $30-32
Stonewear mug – $25
Retro pom beanie – $15
Dirty Bastard stone ground mustard – $8
Handmade beer soap by Brickyard Farms – $8
Snifter set – $30
Home bar set – $80
Our friends in the Brooklyn-based soul band Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds have a passion for music that has made them one of the best acts to ever grace our Taproom stage. Since our beginnings in the Brassworks Building, the taproom has nurtured the growth of local, national and international artists alike, along with being our testing ground for new, experimental beers. Over the years, we’ve realized those two things are not mutually exclusive and, in fact, the creative energy that captivates an audience during a live set in our taproom is the same energy that keeps us brewing the best beer in the world. In the first installment in our Founders Presents series, watch Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds in action and listen as we talk about what motivates musicians and brewers alike.
To check out upcoming taproom events, visit our website.
Please join us in welcoming Azacca IPA, an IPA brewed with just one, relatively new, experimental hop as our first seasonal offering of 2016! Azacca IPA will be available across our entire distribution footprint on draft and in 12oz. bottles beginning in January 2016 through March with a suggested retail price of $9.99/six-pack.
Azacca IPA is brewed with Azacca hops, a special variety created by Yakima-based Roy Farms. Named for the Haitian god of agriculture, the Azacca hop boasts intense, tropical fruit notes. Azacca IPA includes a touch of caramel malt to provide a sweet backbone to the citrus, mango and orchard fruit notes in this 7% ABV, 70 IBUs beer. The label artwork symbolizes the god of agriculture watching over a field where the ingredients used to make the beer are being grown.
“It’s no secret that hops inspire us,” notes Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “I love to design beers that showcase the profile of new varieties. One of my favorite things about Azacca IPA is how versatile it is throughout the brewing process; it’s great for bittering, flavoring, aroma and dry-hopping, and the citrus and tropical fruit characteristics make it ideal for an American-style IPA.”
Azacca IPA is the newest addition to our esteemed IPA lineage that includes Centennial IPA, All Day IPA, Red’s Rye IPA, Devil Dancer, reDANKulous and Double Trouble.
Azacca IPA kicks off our seasonal calendar starting in 2016, with availability from January 2016 through March, dependent on distributor shipments. Our entire 2016 availability calendar will be announced later this month.
Thanksgiving is here and we’re ready to gather around the table to feast on our favorite dishes. But, what to drink? Mike Willcox from our education team is here to breakdown which beers from our line-up will pair perfectly with the classic Thanksgiving dishes, from the “diva” of the table, cranberry sauce, to the creamy closer, pumpkin pie. Enjoy!
- Turkey is the main dish and, thus, deserves special attention. Pale Ale is a nice pairing for roasted turkey, and if you go the deep-fried route it would be even better. The light hop bitterness will do wonders to cleanse your palate between each bite.
- Porter is another great option. The toasty notes and hints of bitter chocolate would resonate well with the bird and the rich poultry will pair well with the velvet mouth feel.
- If you happen to be cellaring any Curmudgeon Old Ale, now may be the time to crack it open. Something with a bit more substance and a little mellow sweetness night be a nice contrast and Curmudgeon Old Ale has both in spades. The caramel malts and the residual sweetness from the molasses will contrast nicely with the savory turkey – the flavors will play together deliciously.
- The herbaceousness and coy sweetness of Spectra Trifecta is going to slip right behind the savory turkey and make that umami just absolutely pop. Spectra Trifecta is an amazing food beer, but when it comes to savory meats with a little salt to them, it really gets the chance to shine. Spectra Trifecta would be ideal for most of the items on the list.
- Dirty Bastard is almost tailor made for pairing with pork, especially a glazed ham. The punchy caramel and toffee notes of the Dirty Bastard malt bill will roll right into a glazed ham and allow the salty, savory aspects of the meat to mellow and chuckle their way to the background – still there to play – but not stealing the show.
- A nice hearty stuffing is just begging to be served alongside Porter. If you use mushrooms in your stuffing (like my bubby used to) then even better! Stuffing is all about umami and richness with an occasional bright twinkle of sweet or sharp from the carrots, celery, and onions. Porter will roll right in with the umami and contrast with the sweet and sharp, pushing them to the front of the palate.
- The sweet malt flavors of Dirty Bastard and the savory bread will make for a completely different experience. Worth trying!
- Cranberry sauce is hard because it has SUCH a presence. It’s a bit of a diva and if you aren’t careful with who you set it up with its going to get pouty and ruin the night for everybody. All Day IPA isn’t a bad idea, it’s light and refreshing and the bitterness from the hops might have an interesting time dancing with all of that tart, and the bright sour sweetness of the cranberries might take those citrus notes from the beer and end up in the guest room groping away on top of the coats.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
- Porter all the way. I won’t even suggest anything else. The earthy potatoes and the toast of the Porter will resonate gorgeously.
- The mellow sweet malts of the Dirty Bastard and the earthy sweet of the sweet potatoes will stroll across your palate hand in hand leaving you thankful you cracked open that bottle.
- Any beer will go well with dinner rolls. Dinner rolls are at every dinner because they go with… well… everything.
- Unless you’re serving something with a lot of flavor like brussel sprouts (in which case go with Porter, baby) then you should be good with whatever you are pouring with the rest of the meal.
- I don’t know if this is customary for everybody, but my family usually has a light salad with tomatoes and cucumbers lightly dosed with vinaigrette. The slight hop bitterness of All Day IPA is fantastic with the fresh refreshing flavors of the salad and the citrus notes of the beer add a little zing to the vinaigrette.
Green Bean Casserole
- The flavors of the beans and the hop bitterness of All Day IPA should meld well and bring out some of the citrus of the beer. Mosaic Promise, if you can find it in your area, may be another one to consider with this dish.
- Pale Ale all the way. Corn is a simple, filling side dish with a hint of sweet and a lot of vegetal character. Any beer with a lot of weight is going to eclipse the corn. Pale Ale has enough character with its light citrus and slight hint of bitter, but for the most part it is going to let the corn be the star of the show. It’s a great option to clean the palate and have the stage ready for the next act.
- Pecan Pie has a flavor all of its own – sweet and nutty and just touch of bready from the crust. The chocolate and coffee notes of Porter are just waiting to enhance the nutty flavors, and the sweet of the pie will take that bitter chocolate and get it blushing.
- What’s a better way to cap off the night than a slice of pumpkin pie and the bourbon barrel-aged deliciousness that is Backwoods Bastard? Backwoods has a rich, malty sweetness with notes of vanilla and a hint of bourbon burn from its time in the barrel. Add a slowly melting dollop of vanilla ice cream and this is a match made in heaven.
That’s all, folks! Cheers to a enjoying Thanksgiving with family, friends, great food and even better beer.
This month The Bastards of Founders take center-stage in celebration of the return of the elusive, bourbon barrel-aged Backwoods Bastard and the arrival of the “Dirty Dozen,” a 12-pack of Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale cans. We’ve partnered with Untappd to reward anyone who checks-in either of these bad attitude beers between November 16 and December 16 with The Bastards badge. Check-in both and earn a special place in our hearts and admiration from your craft beer-loving friends.
Dirty Bastard consistently ranks among the top Scotch Ales and is available year-round on draft, 6-pack bottles and now in 12-pack cans. Think of Backwoods Bastard as the bourbon barrel-aged uncle of Dirty Bastard. It features warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts and is available for a limited time on draft and in 4-pack bottles.
In honor of the Backwoods Bastard himself, we’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of our favorite down-home country tunes. From Dolly “it takes a lot of money to look this cheap” Parton to Johnny “The Man in Black” Cash, we think this is the perfect list to sit on your porch and tip back a beer to. Cheers!
For a direct link to this playlist, click here. To follow Founders on Spotify, click here.
Prior to our annual company party, we thought it’d be a good idea to ask employees what Founders means to them. The answers were spread across a pretty wide spectrum, ranging from “opportunity” to “shifties and camaraderie” with a few exercises in alliteration thrown in too. The number one answer, though? Family. Dysfunctional, yes, but family nonetheless. See for yourself:
Thank you for letting us do what we do. We love you!
Feel free to share this with your friends or drunk uncles! You can also check it out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Say hello to the fourteenth addition to our popular Backstage Series: Project PAM. Like all Backstage Series beers, Project PAM will be sold in 750 mL bottles. It will be available in our Taproom starting on November 20, 2015 and will be available across our distribution footprint in late November with a suggested retail price of $14.99.
Black IPAs have long been a staple in our Taproom and at our annual Black Party – a celebration of experimental, dark beers – and Project PAM combines this with our deep, abiding love for barrel-aging. It’s an invitation to venture into the shadows of our brewers’ minds and discover their mad genius. In development under a shroud of secrecy for years, Project PAM is brewed with an abundance of hops including, Chinook, Nugget, Centennial, Amarillo, El Dorado and Mosaic. It’s balanced with Crystal and Midnight Wheat malts and finally aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels to add complex oaky bourbon notes and the sweetness of maple syrup. Project PAM clocks in at 10.8% ABV.
As for the origins of Project PAM’s name, it will forever remain a bit of a mystery – but, we will share that it’s a nod to the cellar coding system used by Jason Heystek, the head of our barrel-aging program and star of the dark and brooding label that adorns its bottle.
Our Backstage Series is made up of boundary-pushing, experimental beers. We affectionately call it “the brewers’ playground,” where intent is to take the diehard Founders fan experience to a wider audience—though all of the beers are released in limited batches. Since its introduction in the summer of 2011, our Backstage Series beers have quickly become some of the most sought-after releases in the industry.
We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Dirty Bastard Scotch ale in a 12-pack of 12 ounce cans, affectionately known as the “Dirty Dozen”. These 12-packs will be available in our taproom on 11/4 and across our entire distribution footprint starting in November. Like our other can packages, the suggested retail price for the Dirty Dozen is $17.99.
“Dirty Bastard is the beer that put us on the right path,” said Dave Engbers, co-founder. “It’s the beer that gave us the confidence to brew beer for enthusiasts like ourselves instead of trying to brew beers for others.”
Our year-round Scotch ale is dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. It is complex in its finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it a bad attitude worthy of its name. Dirty Bastard is one of our original beers and the one that saved us from the brink of bankruptcy, simultaneously putting us at the forefront of the extreme beer movement.
In honor of Breakfast Stout, we made a list of our favorite songs with “baby” in the title. From Sir Mix-A-Lot to The Supremes, we think this list can get anyone grooving.
For a direct link to this playlist, click here. To follow Founders on Spotify, click here.
Each fall our home city of Grand Rapids hosts ArtPrize, an open art competition decided by public vote and expert jury. 162 locations throughout the city, including our Taproom, display works of art by artists from across the world. More than $50,000 is awarded to the winning artists each year.
We’re thrilled to present work by six artists here in our Taproom. A look at the work of these talented individuals:
Arista is a Michigan native currently living and working in Durango, Colorado. She creates large-scale image transfers on found materials ranging from linoleum to plexiglass.
Katy is an undisputed Grand Rapids staple, like furniture or Mr. Burger, but with the added advantage of being able to shoot awesome photos. One can often hear her infectious, raucous laughter echoing against the buildings downtown as she photographs an outdoor concert. Katy’s work is just as energetic as she is, almost jumping off the film, ready to come to life.
MaryJo Fox Fell
MaryJo is a Grand Rapids native currently living and working in Lowell, MI. Working primarily with acrylic/water paint, she enjoys experimenting with unique surfaces to display her nature-inspired images.
Daniel hails from Phoenix, AZ, but currently lives and works in Ypsilanti, MI. His six-painting series of oil-based work combines traditional Panamanian patterns combined with traditional Western forms of representation to illustrate the historical importance and ecological diversity of the Panama Isthmus. The result is a visually striking series that also educates the audience on a part of the world they may know little about.
Josh lives and works in Grand Rapids. From a young age, Josh has had a passion and drive for artistic pursuits. His current work features sharp, graphically-dynamic images created with acrylic and spray paint on wood
Nuel is a Chicago native who moved to Grand Rapids at a young age and has not strayed far since. Working out of his local studio, he creates stunning, visceral pieces out of traditional and non-traditional mediums alike.
Come down to the Founders Taproom during ArtPrize to check out their incredible work!
Our 2015 ArtPrize beer, Spectra Trifecta, is a masterpiece created by two of our very own artists, Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki and label designer Alexis Brooke. Alexis’ nature-inspired drawings pair perfectly with the nontraditional, earthy ingredients used to brew this Kolsch-style beer, which includes lemongrass, chamomile and ginger. It’s a nod to the power in experimentation – whether it be with grains and hops or markers and watercolors – and the brave act of sharing one’s creations with others. Check out the video above, or click this link, to get an inside look and listen behind the creation of the beer – both inside and out.
Proceeds from the sale of Spectra Trifecta will support future programming of the ArtPrize organization, which 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. Learn more about the beer and the partnership here.
We are beyond excited to announce that we’re bringing our beers to the West Coast! We will start distributing in Northern California and Nevada starting in October 2015.
“We’re thrilled to continue to expand our distribution in the West where there is such appreciation for craft beer.” said Co-Founder & CEO Mike Stevens. “Northern California and Nevada are hubs for beer enthusiasts and we’re excited to add Founders to their list of choices. We think West Coast beer drinkers’ choices just got a lot harder.”
The following distributors will represent Founders in their respective markets.
- Matagrano Inc. in San Francisco and San Mateo counties
- Markstein Beverage Co. of Sacramento in greater Sacramento and all surrounding counties
- Delta Sierra Beverage LLC Modesto in greater Modesto and all surrounding counties
- Eagle Distributing Co. in Marin, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties
- V. Santoni and Co. in Woodland and Davis
- DelReka Distributing in Del Norte and Humboldt
- Sequoia Beverage Co. in Kings and Tulare counties
- Elyxir Distributing, LLC in Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterrey counties
- Foothills Distributing in Chico, Redding and surrounding counties
- Morrey Distributing in greater Reno
- Capital Beverages Inc. in greater Lake Tahoe and Carson City
- Blach Distributing Co. in Humboldt, Pershing, Lander, Eureka, Elko, and White Pine counties
- Valley Distributors Inc. in Churchill and Mineral counties
- Nevada Beverage Co. in greater Las Vegas including Clark, Lincoln, Nye and Esmeralda counties
We will offer all of our year-round and seasonal beers in bottles, cans (as applicable) and kegs throughout each state. There may also be some limited releases available at select craft beer retailers following the launch—stay tuned to our events page and Twitter handle for launch event information.
Check out all of the states in which Founders is available here.
We sold a whopping 2,900+ beer cheese dips this past month and to celebrate this beloved Taproom deli dish, we’re sharing the recipe with you!
Our head chef, Justin, was kind enough to break it down.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- (1) 8 oz. block of cream cheese
- 2 oz. grated smoked Gouda cheese
- 1/2 cup Centennial IPA
- Small handful of baby spinach
- 1/2 small red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon Dirty Bastard mustard
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Got all that? Here are your next steps:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F), combine all ingredients and bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring halfway through. If desired, broil the dip for 5 minutes for additional crust/color on top. Serve with toasted bread and tortilla chips.
Fairly easy, incredibly delicious and now yours to enjoy. Share photos with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter if you give it a try.
See other recipes we’ve previously shared:
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