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!

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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. Resurrects Curmudgeon’s Better Half for 2018 Barrel-Aged Series

2018_CurmudgeonsBetterHalf_ClusterFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced that Curmudgeon’s Better Half will make a long-awaited return on August 24 as the fifth release in the brewery’s 2018 Barrel Aged Series.

Last bottled back in 2012, Curmudgeon’s Better Half is finally making its way back to allow Founders Brewing Co.’s long-standing but now infrequently released Curmudgeon Old Ale to once again feel “the tender embrace of oak and sweet maple.” Meant to be the sweeter side of the relationship, Curmudgeon’s Better Half (12.7% ABV) is “a harmonious matrimony of [Founders Brewing Co.’s] deceptively smooth old ale brewed with molasses and time spent aging in bourbon barrels that have previously held maple syrup.”  This all results in a beautiful counterpart that is “sweet, rich and utterly delicious.”

“The flavor profile of Curmudgeon’s Better Half has lots of rich specialty grains, toasted malts, caramel malts, and, of course, the perfect hop balance” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “After that it spends some time in bourbon barrel which gives you vanilla and coconuts tones and the maple gives you the perfect amount of sweetness.”

Preceded by KBSBackwoods BastardDankwood and Barrel Runner, Curmudgeon’s Better Half will officially serve as the fifth release in Founders Brewing Co.’s 2018 Barrel-Aged Series. A yet-to-be-named sixth offering will round out the series later in the year.

Curmudgeon’s Better Half will turn up in Founder Brewing Co. taprooms on August 24 and distribution will follow later that month.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles (SRP of 16.99 each), 750ml bottles (SRP of 12.99 each) and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of the brewery’s 46 state distribution footprint. Prost!

Vital Information for Curmudgeon’s Better Half from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series. late-August 2018
Style – Old Ale
ABV – 12.7%
IBUs – 35
Treatment – Aged in bourbon barrels that previously held maple syrup
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

Barrel Runner Slated to Join Founders Brewing Co.’s Barrel-Aged Series in June

Barrel_Runner_12oz_bottleFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) recently provided a little teaser to inform fans that Barrel Runner Rum Barrel-aged Imperial IPA will officially release in June as the fourth offering in the brewery’s 2018 Barrel-Aged Series.

Proving that “inspiration . . . for barrel-aged beers can come from the most unexpected places”, Barrel Runner began life as a Mosaic-hopped Imperial India Pale Ale and was then aged in select rum barrels.  The sweet and spicy barrel character melds with those fruity hops to produce a “sweet and hoppy, rich and bright” offering that “will make you believe you’re in the tropics.”

“I drink tiki cocktails probably more than I should and looked to them for inspiration when creating Barrel Runer,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “You get a lot of bright, tropical character from the abundance of Mosaic hops plus a nice kick of oak and rum from the barrels. Add a tiny umbrella and you got yourself a beer perfect for enjoying poolside.”

Preceded by the upcoming releases of KBS (March 30), Backwoods Bastard (available Year-Round beginning in April) and Dankwood (April), Barrel Runner will arrive as the year’s fourth release in the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series.  Two yet-to-be-named offerings will follow Barrel Runner to complete the 2018 Barrel-Aged Series lineup.

Barrel Runner will officially release in June and has plans to hang around through August or as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles (SRP $14.99), 750ml bottles (SRP $11.99) and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Barrel Runner from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series, June – August 2018
Style – Imperial India Pale Ale
ABV – 11.1%
Featured Hops – Mosaic 
Treatment – Aged in rum barrels
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

Founders Brewing Plans to Add Dankwood to Barrel-Aged Series

dankwood_750ml_bottle_web-002Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced that Dankwood will arrive in April as the third release in the 2018 Barrel-Aged Series.

What some may recognize as the taproom exclusive, barrel-aged version of the recently retired reDANKulous, Dankwood is a “big, bold” Imperial Red India Pale Ale that has been aged in oak Bourbon barrels.  The time spent in the barrels pulls out the “rich caramel notes . . . from the depths of the IPA, highlighting strong malt character while the bourbon barrel-aging develops the complexity.”  The finished Dankwood (12.2% ABV, 65 IBUs) emerges as a “dank, sticky and slightly sweet sipper” that is meant to be “the perfect alchemy of wood and hops.”

Preceded by KBS (March) and Backwoods Bastard (Year-Round beginning in April), Dankwood will arrive as the third installment in the brewery’s 2018 Barrel-Aged Series.  Three yet-to-be-named Barrel-Aged Series offerings will follow Dankwood, and they will be announced later in the year.

Dankwood will make its official debut on April 2 and enter full distribution later that month.  This Barrel-Aged Series offering will be available through June 2018 (or as long as supplies last) in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles (suggested retail price of $14.99), 750ml bottles (suggested retail price of $11.99) and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution footprint.

The folks at Founders Brewing promise that more information on Dankwood will be made available soon, and we will be sure to update this post with that info just as soon as we have it.  Stay tuned. Prost!

Vital Information for Dankwood from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series, launching April 2018
Style – Imperial Red India Pale Ale
ABV –  12.2%
IBUs – 65
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

Founders Brewing Co. Prepares for KBS Week 2018, National Release

KBSWeek2018Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has announced that the 2018 release of KBS will officially begin with KBS Week  events held in Grand Rapids and Detroit from March 5 – 10.  National distribution of KBS will follow on March 30.

Known as one of the most sought-after barrel-aged craft beers in the country, KBS is an 11.8% ABV Imperial Stout “brewed with massive amounts of coffee and chocolate before aging in oak bourbon barrels in caves beneath Grand Rapids and at an offsite barrel-aging facility.” Always released in limited supply as a part of Founders Brewing Co.’s Barrel-Aged Series, the first glasses of 2018 KBS will be poured in Grand Rapids and Detroit, Michigan during KBS Week 2018.

“When we started brewing KBS about 16 years ago, very few other breweries were doing anything like it,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “The first few packaged runs were difficult to get off of our hands as there wasn’t much interest in a bourbon barrel-aged coffee-chocolate imperial stout, which seems pretty crazy these days. It has since become a phenomenon and we are happy to celebrate its annual release with the people of Grand Rapids and now, for the first time ever, our loyal fans in Detroit. Here’s to continuing beloved traditions and starting new ones!”

KBS Week 2018 will officially kick off on March 5 and run through March 10 with tap events held in Grand Rapids and – for the first time ever – Detroit.  The schedule for KBS Week 2018 is as follows:

Grand Rapids

Detroit

KBS bottles will be first released through the following taproom pre-order system: “Bottles of KBS available for pickup in the [Founders Brewing Co.] Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms will be released using a pre-ticketed reservation process via Ticketfly. Bottles can be reserved beginning on Friday, February 2, at 11 a.m. EST, and will be available for pickup March 6-11 from both taprooms.”  **We will update this post with the Ticketfly links for Grand Rapids and Detroit reservations once they go live.**

Distribution of KBS will follow the taproom pre-order and begin with the state of Michigan on March 12.  The remainder of Founders Brewing Co.’s 46 state distribution will see KBS on March 30.  Once fully released, you can look for KBS to be available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution footprint.  Like always, you should expect supplies to be limited and the possibility that retailers will set per person limits.  With that said, we wish you nothing but good luck and happy hunting this KBS season.  Prost!

Vital Information for KBS from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series: tappings begin March 5 – 10 at KBS Week 2018 events in Grand Rapids and Detroit; Michigan distribution starts March 12; and national distribution follows on March 30
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 11.8%
Added Ingredients – Coffee & chocolate
Treatment – Cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

BA_KBS2017FeaturedNEW

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!

 

 

Founders Brewing Co. Prepares for Annual Return of Backwoods Bastard

unnamed (58)_editedFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) recently announced that Backwoods Bastard will officially return in mid-October as the next release in brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series.

Although this is the first year it is being released as a part of the brewery’s newly established Barrel-Aged Series, Backwoods Bastard returns as a well-respected veteran of the Founders Brewing Co. portfolio of limited releases.  This fan-favorite offering is a Scotch Ale that has been Bourbon barrel-aged so that it may evoke “lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit.”  Weighing in at an imposing 11.2% ABV, Backwoods Bastard is a slow-sipper that demands your respect.

This year’s batch of Backwoods Bastard will officially release in mid-October and be available while supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles (new this year) and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution network.  Prost!

Vital Information for Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series, mid-October 2017
Style – Scotch Ale
ABV – 11.2%
IBUs – 50
Treatment – Aged in oak Bourbon barrels
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/find-our-beer/

 

Founders Brewing to Add DKML Imperial Malt Liquor to Barrel-Aged Series

DKMLlableFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) sent out a press release today naming DKML Imperial Malt Liquor Aged in Bourbon Barrels as the newest addition to their Barrel-Aged Series.

Billed as possibly being “the first malt liquor worthy of a glass,” DKML Imperial Malt Liquor Aged in Bourbon Barrels will release in July as Founders Brewing Co.’s “first-ever malt liquor” and the next installment in the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series.  Never afraid to think outside the box, the brewers at Founders crafted this malt liquor “with corn and lager yeast cultivated by Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel as part of their partnership.” Once brewed, DKML received “a healthy dose of dry-hopping to achieve the desired flavor profile” and then took on “a smooth sweetness with vanilla tones and light fruitiness thanks to its time spent aging in bourbon barrels.” DKML Imperial Malt Liquor Aged in Bourbon Barrels will be the fourth official release in the brewery’s 2017 Barrel-Aged Series, preceded by Frootwood, KBS and Doom.   Backwoods Bastard will follow DKML later this year, and “there is one remaining beer yet to be announced in the series this year.”

“I’m always looking for new ways to rethink what we have to offer,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “With DKML I wanted to do something totally original, and I don’t know anyone in the craft beer world who is barrel-aging malt liquor. After some early trials, we ended up with Mahou’s lager yeast to brew a really amazing malt liquor, and then we did what we do best – barrel-aged it. The bourbon barrel smoothed it out while giving it that ‘kick’ you would expect from an imperial malt liquor.”

DKML Imperial Malt Liquor Aged in Bourbon Barrels will launch in the taproom at Founders Brewing Co. on July 1, and full distribution will follow later in the month.  Once released, you can expect to find this limited brew available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles (suggested retail price of $14.99 each), 750ml bottles (suggested retail price of $11.99 each), and on draft at craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s 46-state distribution area.  If you have always wanted to tick a Bourbon barrel-aged malt liquor, now’s your chance.  Keep an eye out for DKML next month.  Prost!

Vital Information for DKML Imperial Malt Liquor Aged in Bourbon Barrels from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series, launching July 2017
Style – American-style Malt Liquor
ABV – N/A
IBUs – N/A
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles ($14.99 each), 750ml bottles ($11.99 each) & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/find-our-beer/