We are excited to announce quite a few changes that we’ve made to the Founders brand calendar for 2013. Our new calendar is summarized graphically here:
Red’s Rye PA
Most noticeably, Red’s Rye PA will only be available on draft year-round, beginning in March or April of 2013. Our bottle release will be limited to a specialty, four-pack release in September and October. The final Red’s Rye PA six-pack batch will ship in February 2013.
This was a hard decision for us to make. We love Red’s Rye PA, and we do not want to limit its availability, but it’s the right thing to do for the sake of the quality of the beer. Red’s Rye PA carries a shelf life of 90 days, which means it is tied with Harvest Ale for having the shortest shelf life of any of our brands. Extensive lab analyses have been conducted, and they have validated this shelf life again and again.
This limited shelf life holds true for Red’s Rye PA in bottles and Red’s Rye PA in kegs; however, the out-of-code Red’s Rye PA that we’ve found in the market has overwhelmingly been bottles. This is mostly because kegs have a faster sell-through rate, but draft has other built-in shelf life benefits such as constant refrigeration and a totally concealed container that protects the beer from light exposure.
By shortening Red’s Rye PA’s period of availability, we alleviate shelf life concerns due to the shorter window of availability. Specialty beers tend to have a much faster sell-through rate than seasonal and year-round beers.
We aren’t taking this decision lightly. We discussed modifying the Red’s Rye PA recipe to extend the shelf life, and researched it for some time, but it simply wouldn’t be the same beer. As difficult as this is, we aren’t willing to compromise our recipe and a beer that we believe in just to get it on the shelves longer.
Finally, by moving Red’s Rye PA into the specialty category, it will be moved from a six-pack to a four-pack package, and the price per bottle will increase. Red’s Rye PA has always been an expensive beer for us to make; its cost is more in-line with our specialty beers, but we blended our margins for years to try to make it work. In the end, we’ve had to accept that this is the right thing to do for one of our greatest beers. As is always the case at Founders, producing quality beer comes ahead of concerns about profits.
Seasonal Lineup: Two Seasons, Six-Packs
In 2013, Founders will offer two seasonals: Breakfast Stout (October through February) and All Day IPA (March through September). Both of these beers will be available in six-packs and on draft. We have hop contracts in place that will allow us to brew enough All Day IPA to ship it out to all of our markets for a retail launch on March 1, and we couldn’t be more eager to share this beer with even more people than in 2012, when we had a limited release. And, yes, if you didn’t catch that, we are going to move Breakfast Stout from a four-pack to a six-pack when it is released again in October 2013, and it will maintain the same suggested retail price of $9.99. [UPDATE: As of August 2013, we made the decision to keep Breakfast Stout in a 4-pack after having switched All Day IPA into our year-round lineup and with an eye out for blended margins with our 2014 seasonal offerings. Stay tuned for the 2014 calendar.]
Double Trouble will be moving to our specialty lineup, with four-pack and draft availability in May and June.
Next, we have swapped out Cerise in our lineup with a re-release of Rübæus, our raspberry ale that hasn’t been released since 2008. This is a bittersweet change (pun intended). It’s hard to say goodbye to Cerise, but the cherry crop in Michigan this year was devastated and we had little choice. On the other hand, Rübæus is a beautiful beer and is one that we’ve been asked to bring back year after year since we retired it. Rübæus will join our specialty four-pack lineup for a July and August release.
Moving along, you may also notice that we have extended the availability of many of our long-standing specialty beers to two months rather than a one-time release. Our increased capacity has allowed and will allow us to make much more Imperial Stout, Curmudgeon Old Ale and Backwoods Bastard than we have in the past. We are going to do what we can to make each of these beers available for the two full months that are listed on the calendar above, though Backwoods Bastard availability will remain somewhat limited because of the barrel-aging process. KBS, Devil Dancer and Harvest Ale will continue to be small batch releases because of the cost and production constraints of these beers. KBS has moved from a March release to an April release to fit in with our updated calendar. More details on the KBS release will be announced soon.
In case that wasn’t enough for you, we may have some more additions up our sleeve for 2013. As we like to say, you never know what Founders is going to do next.
**Update as of 2/15/13: Please note that our 2013 calendar has changed a bit. You can find the most up-to-date version here.
We announced yesterday that we are going to donate over $5,000 in proceeds from the sale of our 15th anniversary beer reservation tickets to Grand Rapids Whitewater (GRWW). As you may recall, we used a ticketed reservation system for people to reserve their bottles of Bolt Cutter for purchase during the week leading up to our 15th anniversary party, which took place on Saturday, November 17.
As longtime supporters of GRWW, we donated the initial $25,000 needed to secure a commitment from the Downtown Development Authority for an equal amount of money that was used to get the river revival project started.
“Founders is a wonderful partner. They have played a key role in helping us get where we are today,” said Chris Muller, co-founder of GRWW. “The money will be used to help pay for the costs as we enter Phase II of our study.” Click here to read more about Phase I.
Here’s a depiction of how restoring the rapids to the Grand River will change the landscape of Grand Rapids (the top photo is the existing landscape and the bottom photo is a rendering of what the river would look like after GRWW is finished restoring the rapids):
Our President and CEO Mike Stevens currently sits on the board of GRWW, and we also give taproom customers the opportunity to donate one dollar from the cost of filling up a growler to the project.
Swooping in to visit us over the holidays? Please make note of the following special hours in our taproom:
- Thanksgiving Day (11/22): CLOSED
- Christmas Eve Day (12/24): Limited Hours – 12pm-5pm (taproom, deli and company store)
- Christmas Day (12/25): CLOSED
- New Year’s Day (1/1): Opening Late (3pm for taproom, deli and company store)
- Company Store Extended Holiday Hours
- During the Month of December, our company store will be open:
- 11am-11pm, Monday-Saturday
- 3pm-9pm, Sunday
Otherwise, our taproom’s regular hours are Monday – Saturday from 11am – 2am and Sunday from 3pm-2am.
We look forward to seeing you!
If you’ve purchased a ticket for the Bolt Cutter bottle release, then you already know what day you’re coming in to pick up your bottles. But do you know what time? Bolt Cutter bottles can only be picked up during our Company Store’s regular hours.
Here are the business hours for our Company Store during the week of Bolt Cutter bottle release:
- Day 1, Sun Nov 11: 12pm-9pm
- Day 2, Mon Nov 12: 12pm-9pm
- Day 3, Tue Nov 13: 12pm-9pm
- Day 4, Wed Nov 14: 11am-11pm
- Day 5, Thu Nov 15: 11am-11pm
- Day 6, Fri Nov 16: 11am-11pm
All ticket holders can purchase their reserved bottles in the Company Store anytime during business hours on the date specified on their ticket.
Don’t have tickets for Bolt Cutter yet? As of 9:00am on Monday, October 22, tickets are still available for days 3, 4, and 5. Head over to Brown Paper Tickets and guarantee yourself the opportunity to purchase a bottle or two of Bolt Cutter!
For the full story on Bolt Cutter, check out Sarah’s blog post.
The Bolt Cutter Bottle Release culminates at our 15th Anniversary Party on Saturday, November 17! It’s an all day, free party for those ages 21+, and we hope you’ll come celebrate with us!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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”:
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:
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:
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”:
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”:
Cathy Fox is showing “September Morning”, a photograph taken on Singer Island, Florida, and printed on Giclee canvas:
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:
Pennie Johnson will be submitting an acrylic painting on canvas that is currently untitled. This image is representative of her work:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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).
Our next installation in our Backstage Series, Frangelic Mountain Brown, will be released beginning on Monday, July 2.
To reiterate our previous announcement, while there will not be an official release party for Frangelic Mountain Brown at our taproom in Grand Rapids, the beer will be available on draft in the taproom beginning Monday, July 2. The focus of bottle sales will be in Founders’ distribution footprint.
In our taproom, we will be allowing one growler fill per customer once the beer goes on tap when we open at 11am.
We’re excited to share this beer with all of you. The use of hazelnut coffees in the brewing process gives Frangelic Mountain Brown distinct flavor and aromatics, with sweet and nutty notes beautifully balanced. We think you’ll enjoy it. We do.
We announced earlier today that Frangelic Mountain Brown would be the next release in our 750mL Backstage Series, with availability beginning in July.
Part of what makes Founders Backstage Series so much fun is the period of speculation before the next release is announced. But the purpose of the series is to bring some of our most sought-after beers, which have been available primarily in the taproom and at a few select events, to a much larger audience. Frangelic Mountain Brown will be the fourth release in the series, joining Blushing Monk and Canadian Breakfast Stout from 2011 and Curmudgeon’s Better Half, which was released in February of this year.
Frangelic Mountain Brown is the quintessential taproom “one-off” beer: Founders’ brewers created the Mountain Brown series for their taproom in Grand Rapids in 2007. Frangelic Mountain Brown is the 16th iteration in the series of popular brown ales—and it likely won’t be the last. The singular characteristic of this beer comes from the use of hazelnut coffees in the brewing process. The beer has distinct aromatics with sweet and nutty flavors beautifully balanced. Founders is known for its beers made with coffee (i.e., the Breakfast Stout series), but this is both the brewery’s first brown ale and its first beer brewed with hazelnut coffees to be bottled. It clocks in at 9% ABV.
“The goal of the Backstage Series is to allow those beer enthusiasts who don’t have the ability to make it to our taproom an opportunity to experience some of the beers that, historically, have been limited to our taproom and a handful of high exposure events,” Engbers said. “Although these beers are not brewed in large volume, it is our intention to distribute them to all of our markets.”
While there will not be an official release party for Frangelic Mountain Brown at the brewery’s taproom in Grand Rapids, the beer will be available on draft in the taproom beginning Monday, July 2. The focus of bottle sales will be in Founders’ distribution footprint.
The next beer to be released in the series later this year will be a celebration of the brewery’s fifteenth anniversary, though the beer’s style is yet-to-be revealed. The release party for this beer in November will be Founders’ first to require advance tickets. The KBS release party in spring of 2013 is expected to be an even larger festival-type event–be on the lookout for more detail to come.
We have released 190 one-of-a-kind Founders letterpress posters, available for purchase in both our on-site and online stores for $75 each.
There are parallels between letterpress and the brewing processes: letterpress is becoming a lost art—similar to how the art of brewing was almost lost until its recent rebirth—and both require a great sense of design, a high degree of craftsmanship and strong attention to detail.
Each of these Founders posters was hand struck, one at a time, by a team of three operators/artists, and has been printed on 100% Cotton, 140# Archival Legion Revere, standard white paper. The press used was a Vandercook 219AB Proof Press (1950s era) with an adjustable bed; it was originally owned by the Detroit Society of Arts and is still housed in downtown Detroit. The ink is a Van Son Letterpress ink, Rubber Based plus. Owosso Graphics in Owosso, Michigan, made the plate. Due to the complexity of the project, the printing plate was created using an acidic etching onto a solid magnesium plate. From there, this magnesium plate was mounted onto a 1″ thick wood base and prepped for striking. Here’s a video (with original music by Founders favorites Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys!) that demonstrates the process:
Handmade letterpress prints are highly desired collectibles and have the added benefit of looking great in a home bar. Founders’ lead designer and artist on this project, John Cymbal of Driven Solutions Inc., shares some decorating tips: “These prints deserved to be framed carefully in either a thick wooden black frame or an ornate vintage silver frame. Yours should be hung on the wall where it can be viewed with a refrigerator full of Founders within arms reach, because simply reading this poster will make you thirsty.”
**Get yours here!
We need your vintage FBC stuff!
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.
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