We will be participating in the Brewer’s Grove Project to benefit the Friends of GR Parks during the week of August 4-10: We will have a 100-Year Oak IPA (Centennial IPA aged on oak) on tap in our taproom only during that week, and we will be donating $1 from each pint sold to the Urban Forest Project. This project is being recognized across breweries in the Grand Rapids area as a collaboration in honor of our Beer City USA designation.
As part of this project, there will be a ceremony and tree planting event on October 17 at Riverside Park, so save the date! They plan to begin roughly at 4pm to plant the trees in a “planting party” where the goal is to pay for 100 trees (plant 30 at this event) and then dedicate the area as Brewer’s Grove at the ceremony. They have obtained an open containers permit so fans and volunteers can bring growlers. There will also be a large inflatable screen showing a beer movie at dusk. Please stay tuned for more information.
All Day IPA cans will start showing up on shelves next month! These new 12-packs will be available in all of our markets in August, with the exception of Texas and Florida, which are expected to get shipments of cans in September.
Our suggested retail price is $17.99 per 12-pack.
Here are some photos of the Founders Family from our test run:
Tom Harbaugh and Clarke Gilbert, two of our packaging team members, by the first pallet of All Day IPA cans:
Co-founder Dave Engbers with one of the first cases:
Cheers from our Director of Brewery Operations Alec Mull and our VP of Operations Brad Stevenson:
We’re looking forward to sharing this new package with all of you!
This guy didn’t make it, but if you can hold on just a bit longer, we’ll be there for you, Floridians! (Thanks to Twitter follower @FLfreak for sending this cartoon our way, adapted from the original work by Funday Morning.) After multiple delays, due to the expansion of our production facility taking longer than we anticipated and continued growth in our existing markets, we are pleased to confirm that our beer will be available in Florida starting the week of August 19 through our partners Brown Distributing. We will be launching with all of our year-round and seasonal products, and we have a few special events planned next month.
Founders fans in Florida have been incredibly patient with us and understanding of our need to grow responsibly—for that we thank them!
And, for those of you keeping track, this is our updated distribution footprint, effective August 19:
Due to high demand for the newest addition to our lineup, All Day IPA, we have decided to move it from our seasonal to our year-round lineup. We’ve updated our availability calendar for the remainder of 2013, for your convenience. Print it out, save it to your computer, use it as a desktop background, whatever you need to do:
Also, Breakfast Stout will be available as early as mid-September, dependent on distributor shipments, with official availability across our footprint in October, and it will remain in a 4-pack. Stout Season will run through the end of 2013 (through December). 2014 seasonal releases will be announced later this year.
A fun recap of Founders Fest 2013:
Thanks to Kevin Cole for producing this video and to Alexis for letting us use footage from and audio of their live performance of “Fantastic Magic”.
We hope to see all of you again next year!
Tickets for the on-site, taproom release of Mango Magnifico con Calor will go on sale beginning Saturday, June 29, at 11am EST. We’ll be doing a ticketed, 4-day release, running Thursday, August 1 through Sunday, August 4, to precede the release to our distribution footprint on Monday, August 5.
Mango Magnifico con Calor [Magnificent Mango with Heat] is a never-before-released, high-gravity fruit beer brewed with mango and a touch of 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. A refreshing drink for the warm summer months.
Each ticket reserves the right to purchase two bottles of Mango Magnifico, at $13 each (tax and deposit are included), ONLY on the date specified on your ticket. All reserved bottles are to be picked up at the brewery in Grand Rapids, MI (exact location TBA) during pick-up hours (12pm-9pm).
IMPORTANT: ALL TICKETS ARE BOTH NAME AND DATE SPECIFIC AND ARE NON-TRANSFERRABLE. NO EXCEPTIONS WHATSOEVER. DON’T ASK!
Get more information and purchase your tickets right here: http://foundersbrewingmango.eventbrite.com/.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
A huge thank you to the people of Philly for showing Founders such a great time during Philly Beer Week 2013!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Co-founder Dave Engbers toasted to Beer City USA Grand Rapids in our taproom on Monday, May 20, at 6:16pm. Check it out:
Thanks to our very own Kevin Cole for capturing this!
Also, be sure to check out The Beer Truck’s photos from the evening.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
ArtPrize, the radically open, international art competition, today announced that we have signed on as a premier leadership sponsor and will be the official brewery of ArtPrize for the next five years. The agreement will allow both us and ArtPrize to capitalize on our respective platforms and nationwide growth.
“We approached ArtPrize because we love this community and we love what the event has done for this city,” said Mike Stevens, co-founder and CEO of Founders Brewing Co. “Our taproom has been a venue since year one, so we anticipate ArtPrize, just like everyone else. We chose to increase our commitment this year and can’t wait to pair our world-class beer with the most engaging art event in the world.”
Elements of the partnership include offering Founders beer at all official ArtPrize events, signage, promotion, merchandise, specialized glassware and other specialized items during the 19-day event. Additionally, the brewery will be recognized as a major sponsor at all ArtPrize events, and will be featured on the ArtPrize promotional poster.
“ArtPrize is always open to new, strategic ways to partner with leading and emerging national brands. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome them as the exclusive brewery of ArtPrize,” said Daryn Kuipers, interim executive director for ArtPrize. “Both Founders and ArtPrize are two organizations that are defining Grand Rapids’ reemergence. Both organizations have heritage, values and roots in this community and will make an excellent partnership.”
With its mix of public voting and juried awards, ArtPrize explores the tension between the professional and populist in an epic conversation. The fifth edition of the popular art competition will take place Sept. 18 – Oct. 6, 2013. Artist Registration for the 2013 event will open on Monday, April 22.
We’re officially announcing Founders Fest 2013, which will take place on the streets of downtown Grand Rapids once again, from 3-11pm on Saturday, June 22. This is our sixth annual outdoor festival celebrating two of the things we love most: beer and music. We’re expecting 6000 or more beer and music lovers to gather on Grandville Avenue between Cherry and Bartlett for the festivities.
“Founders Fest is our biggest party of the year,” said Mark Dorich, Festival Coordinator and Founders Director of Retail Operations. “It’s always a great time celebrating with our community, and we’re really excited about this year’s music lineup.”
A wide range of musical talent will be rocking out at this year’s Founders Fest, with national act G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE coming in from Philadelphia, PA, with some hip hop/blues to headline. Other performers include IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK with funk from New Orleans; MAN MAN, also of Philadelphia; electro rock from Founders taproom repeat performers ROSTER MCCABE of Minneapolis; horn-driven tour de force, Chicago’s LOWDOWN BRASS BAND; and bluegrass sweethearts LINDSAY LOU & THE FLATBELLYS of Ann Arbor. Hometown crowd favorites ALEXIS join local Latin rock crew CABILDO, and a super-group of Founders employees return as the FBC ALL-STARS to round out the entertainment line-up.
This year’s event will again feature local food vendors as well as a Local Artists Row, which showcases the various works of some of the area’s finest artists and designers. There will be other strolling and surprise entertainers sprinkled throughout the day. And, of course, there will be plenty of beer available, including our year-round offerings and quite a few taproom one-offs. The entire festival will be outdoors on the street; the indoor taproom space will be closed for the day.
Founders Fest is a celebratory “thank you” to Grand Rapids and West Michigan for getting us to where we are today. We’ve been a part of the Grand Rapids scene since 1997 and have grown our brewing tradition from modest beginnings to being one of the highest rated breweries in the world.
“We look forward to Founders Fest every year,” said Co-Founder & CEO Mike Stevens. “Beer and music bring people together, and we love being able to put on an event that does just that. It gives us the opportunity to get our family, friends and community together for a day so that we can toast to all of them.”
We’re also partnering with The High Five Program, a local community organization that assures the prevention of litter and significant reduction of waste streams at large-scale events, for the second year. With help from High Five, we managed to achieve over 90% waste diversion last year and hope to beat that rate this year.
Guarantee yourself entry to Founders Fest 2013 and save a little cash with advance pre-sale tickets:
Discounted advance ticket sales will again be available starting Friday, April 19, at the Founders taproom, as well as online, via http://foundersfest2013.eventbrite.com/. The event is limited to ages 21 and older.