Founders Brewing Co. Provides a Peek at its 2019 Brand Calendar

blushing_monk_bottle_carrier_3-4Brewery release calendar season is upon us once again, and Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has stepped forward this week to reveal a 2019 Availability Calendar that is sure to get quite a few of its loyal fans rather excited.

Just as we have done in previous years with release calendars, we have posted Founders Brewing Co.’s full 2019 Availability Calendar below for you to go over at your own speed. It is pretty self-explanatory, but there are a few pieces of news that we need to pass along before we set you loose on that calendar:

  • The Barrel-Aged Series will return in 2019 with five releases.  Backwoods Bastard (Year-Round), KBS (late March/April 2019) and CBS (November 2019) have all been confirmed and two other releases will be named later in the year.
  • Founders will begin offering All Day IPA in 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles in late January/early February 2019.  All Day IPA will continue to be available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 19.2 oz. cans, 15-packs of 12 oz. cans, 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft. All these formats will be available across the brewery’s entire distribution footprint.
  • The brewery will also begin offering Solid Gold Premium Lager in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans in late January/early February 2019. This new packaging format will replace 15-packs of Solid Gold.  This Year-Round offering will also be available in 24-packs of 12 oz. cans, 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles and 19.2 oz. cans.
  • Blushing Monk, a Belgian-style Ale fermented with pure raspberries, will make a triumphant comeback in January 2019 as a part of Founders Brewing Co.’s Limited Series.  This time around it will be available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles.
  • The voice of the people has been heard and Founders Brewing Co. will bring its fan-favorite Imperial Stout out of retirement for a limited time in December 2019. Imperial Stout will be a Limited Series release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles.

Ok . . . that should pretty much cover everything we needed to go over, but there are still a few things left for you to discover on the calendar below.  Check it out and start getting yourself prepared for another great year of beer with Founders Brewing Co. in 2019.  Prost!

2019-Availability-Calendar_printer-friendly-1

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Tasting Notes: CBS (2018) From Founders Brewing Co.

foundersCBSpourTasting Notes returns for a double dip this week as we take advantage of the very special opportunity to preview a bottle of CBS (2018) from Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Back for the second year in a row and rockin’ some new label artwork this time around, CBS (a.k.a. Canadian Breakfast Stout) is an Imperial Stout brewed with coffee and chocolate – the same base beer as Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) – and then aged in “bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup.” Once its rest is completed, CBS emerges to offer a “transcendental drinking experience” that features notes of “rich maple syrup, roasted coffee and velvety chocolate.”

The 2018 batch of CBS will debut at Founders Brewing Co.’s Grand Rapids and Detroit taproom locations on November 1 and will begin seeing distribution on November 2.  You can expect to find this incredibly limited Barrel-Aged Series release available in 750ml bottles (suggested retail price of $24.99 per bottle) and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of the brewery’s distribution area.

Now that all the background information has been properly handled, what do you say we get into this bottle and see how this year’s batch of CBS is tasting?

Tasting Notes for CBS (2018) from Founders Brewing Co.

Appearance:  Off the pour, CBS is a polished obsidian black in color and is adorned with nearly two fingers of rich and foamy mocha-colored head.  When held to a direct light source, the darkness holds and completely blacks out any light that attempts to find its way through.  The beer is so opaque, inky and glossy that it is actually highly reflective.  The head retention is pretty fantastic for a stout this big, but it does eventually fall – over a great deal of time – to a slight, almost complete top cap that traces thin webs of lace on the glass from start to finish.

Aroma: Dark, roasty grains billow from the glass and carry with them notes of dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, caramel, and a whisper of smoke.  The barrels then flood the experience with boozy bourbon, oak, vanilla, and sweet maple.  Coffee then works its way in to close out the profile with a character that is both bitter (pure, deeply roasted coffee beans) and sweet/rich (think sweetened café con leche).

Taste:  Rich dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hot cocoa with marshmallows, and straight up cacao nibs immediately stake their claim in the flavor department, but eventually relinquish control to those glorious maple-bourbon barrels.  They create a note that is quite similar to that of a maple doughnut – rich maple and vanilla working hand-in-hand with a sweet breadiness – served with a sidecar of smooth bourbon.  Caramel and toasty grains slip through to lend some support alongside a touch of smoke and char. Pulling up the rear again, the coffee finally surfaces in the finish to wash everything down with a deep roast quality that offers the experience a balancing touch of bitterness and earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a medium to mild carbonation level, this Imperial Stout is thick, viscous, and coating on the palate.  Although it is mostly sweet, it does find a remarkably subtle balance thanks to its stealthy hops and the light pops of bitterness supplied by the those notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and heavily roasted grains.  For 11.6% ABV, the alcohol presence is beautifully nuanced, has only a hint of heat, and really only surfaces in the form of bourbon flavor and aroma.  The aftertaste leaves behind traces of coffee, dark chocolate and roasty/toasty grains.

Final Thoughts:  This year’s batch of CBS has found an impressive degree of balance on all levels.  Where the 2017 release came across to us as a little overly sweet and hot/boozy, the 2018 version is – to put it simply and ruggedly – just so damn smooth.  The sweet notes – maple, chocolate, caramel and grain – are brilliantly tempered with a lovely contrast found in black coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and just the right amount of smoke/char.  This balancing act most impressively carries over into the ABV that barely has a presence even though it is pulling double digits.  This all results in one hell of an Imperial Stout that . . . yeah . . . it can be a dessert beer, but its incredibly well-managed level of sweetness also earns it a place at the brunch table or at the fire pit while just enjoying a few brews with friends.

Our final word of advice – Just go ahead and grab a bottle or two of CBS (2018) if you can and drink them fresh. No fancy bottle share required.  Simply treat yourself and someone special to a pour whenever you feel inclined.  Don’t wait for a “perfect moment” because this beer – in the state that it is in now – has the capability to conveniently make any moment memorable.  Prost!

CBS Returns to Close Out Founders Brewing Co.’s 2018 Barrel-Aged Series

CBS-lineupFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced that the highly sought-after Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) will return in November as the sixth and final release in the brewery’s 2018 Barrel-Aged Series.

Back for the second year in a row and rockin’ some new label artwork this time around, CBS is an Imperial Stout brewed with coffee and chocolate – the same base beer as Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) – and then aged in “bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup.” Once its rest is completed, CBS emerges to offer a “transcendental drinking experience” that features notes of “rich maple syrup, roasted coffee and velvety chocolate.”

“We’ve been ramping up our barrel-aged program over the past few years and it’s allowed us to expand our offerings,” said President and Co-Founder, Dave Engbers. “We’re so excited to announce that CBS will be available for the second year in a row. The beer enthusiasts have been very vocal about their love for this beer and we’re happy we can accommodate. It’s what we love to do.”

The 2018 batch of CBS will debut at Founders Brewing Co.’s Grand Rapids and Detroit taproom locations on November 1 and will begin seeing distribution on November 2.  You can expect to find this incredibly Limited Release offering available in 750ml bottles (suggested retail price of $24.99 per bottle) and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of the brewery’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series, November – December 2018
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – ???
Added Ingredients – Coffee & chocolate
Treatment – Aged in bourbon barrels that previously held maple syrup
Fun Fact – On the label artwork: “Fans may notice that CBS’s label is missing a key, iconic element this year. The Mountie has been removed but the feel of the original label is maintained with an image of a bucking horse against a forested background.”
Availability – 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

Founders Brewing Co. Announces the Return of Canadian Breakfast Stout

CBSlabelFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially confirmed that CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) will be released later this year as the sixth and final release in the 2017 Barrel-Aged Series.

Six years may have passed since the last time CBS was bottled, but Founders Brewing Co. is ready to once again treat the craft beer community to this highly sought-after Imperial Stout in December.  Starting with “the same base beer as KBS, an imperialized version of Breakfast Stout” that is loaded with coffee and chocolate, CBS gets its unique and alluring character after being aged in “bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup.”  This treatment results in “what can only be described as a transcendental drinking experience” filled with notes of “rich maple syrup, roasted coffee and velvety chocolate.”

“Well, the rumors are true. CBS will make its long-awaited return this December,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “It would be irresponsible for us to not release CBS again. The beer enthusiasts who have supported our brands throughout the years are vocal and their message is heard loud and clear. We could not be happier to bring back this beloved beer… they speak, we listen.”

CBS will officially release on December 1 with availability in 750ml bottles (suggested retail price of $24.99 each) and on draft.  You can expect to find this limited release offering at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution area.  Quantities will be extremely limited, and CBS is guaranteed to disappear with a quickness.  Be sure to stay tuned to this post as we will do our best to keep you up-to-date with any and all information as it is released. Prost!