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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Azacca IPA Makes Seasonal Return for Founders Brewing Co.

azacca_ipa_fw_canFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced the return of one its seasonal favorites, Azacca IPA.

Meant to celebrate “the versatility of a single-hop in an American-style IPA”, Azacca IPA is Founders Brewing Co.’s liquid love letter to Azacca hops – “named after the Haitian god of agriculture” – that were sourced from Yakima-based Roy Farms.  These featured hops supply the beer with “an intense tropical aroma with hints of citrus and mango” while “a touch of caramel malt gives a sweet backbone to support [that] righteous fruit character.”  Azacca IPA comes in at 7% ABV and 70 IBUs.

Azacca IPA is rolling out now and will be available through March 2019.  You can expect to find this Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans (suggested retail price of $8.99), 15-packs of 12 oz. cans (suggested retail price of $17.99), and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution territory.  Prost!

Vital Information for Azacca IPA from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Seasonal, November 2018 – March 2019
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 7%
IBUs – 70
Featured Hops – Azacca
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 15-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

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. Sends Mosaic Promise Out for a Seasonal Run

2018_MosaicPromise_Featured_FWFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced that Mosaic Promise Single Hop Ale is hitting craft beer shelves and taps now to serve as the brewery’s current Seasonal release.

First released in 2014 as a part of Founders Brewing Co.’s ArtPrize series, Mosaic Promise has once again returned as a seasonal offering and this time around it will be wearing “a new can design, which celebrates the artsy heritage of this beer.”  Although the packaging may have been given a bit of an update, craft beer fans can rest easy knowing that Mosaic Promise remains the same SMaSH beer (Single Malt and Single Hop) that they fell in love with four years ago.

Literally living up to its name, Mosaic Promise is “brewed exclusively with Mosaic hops, and a single malt, Golden Promise.”  This seemingly simple recipe results in an “extremely drinkable” Mosaic Promise (5.5% ABV) that has “juicy mango and earthy pine flavors combine with powerful aromas.”

Mosaic Promise is rolling out now and will hang around through October 2018.  You can expect to find this Seasonal brew available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans (SRP $9.99), 15-packs of 12 oz. cans (SRP $17.99) and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Mosaic Promise Single Hop Ale from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Seasonal, August – October 2018
Style – American Pale Ale
ABV – 5.5%
IBUs – 50
Featured Hop – Mosaic
Featured Malt – Golden Promise
Fun Fact – On the label artwork: “First released in 2014 as the official beer of ArtPrize, the international art festival held each September in Grand Rapids, the original Mosaic Promise package design label is inspired by a stained-glass window on permanent display in the Founders taproom.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 15-packs of 12 oz. cans & 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/

Trigo Slated to be Founders Brewing Co.’s Next ArtPrize Series Offering

2018_Trigo_FeaturedFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) recently sent out a little teaser to inform fans that Trigo Hoppy Wheat Lager will arrive in September 2018 as the next installment in the brewery’s ArtPrize Series.

Spanish for “wheat”, Trigo is a Pale Wheat Lager that Founders Brewing Co. brewed to benefit ArtPrize, “an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days each fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan.” To ensure that the art of lagering is properly represented in this beer, Founders reached out to their friends at “Mahou San Miguel to bring the recipe for Trigo to life.” By combining San Miguel’s “lager-brewing expertise” with Founders Brewing Co.’s “hopping expertise”, Trigo (6.3% ABV, 35 IBUs) comes together to be “a clean and crisp wheat lager with big, American-hopped aromatics.”

“Trigo is the culmination of many of my favorite aspects of craft beer today,” says Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “A collaboration with Alejo, one of my friends from the R&D department of our partner Mahou San Miguel, it features some of my favorite hop varieties in a way that highlights their flavor and aromatic characters without letting the bitterness get over the top. This is the next generation of lagers, brewed for those of us who love American hops and a well-balanced, satisfying beer. It’s the perfect combination of tradition and innovation, and a great fit for our ArtPrize portfolio.”

Trigo Hoppy Wheat Lager will officially debut in Founders Brewing Co.’s taproom on September 7 and distribution will begin in mid-September.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans (suggested retail price of $9.99 each) and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and throughout the rest of the brewery’s 46 state distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Trigo Hoppy Wheat Lager from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited, September 2018
Style – Pale Wheat Lager
ABV – 6.3%
IBUs – 35
Fun Fact – On Trigo’s label artwork: “As we have done for the past three years with Spectra Trifecta, Pale Joe and Green Zebra, we reached out to our immensely talented Founders Family to create a piece of original work for the label. This year, that honor went to culinary team member Cody Levon, an incredible kitsch painter whose work emulates the beautiful methods of the old masters.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

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Craft Brewers Nationwide Collaborate on Epic Bottle Auction For ‘We Are Stoneman Douglas’ Charity Event

50 vintage and rare signed bottles from over two dozen breweries will auction online to raise funds for victims’ families and survivors of the tragic Parkland, FL shooting.

 

OAKLAND PARK, FL (April 5, 2018) – Following the horrific events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida this past February, brewers from across the country are coming together to offer assistance and support to those affected most. Over two dozen brewers nationwide have donated rare and vintage bottles of beer — many of which are signed by owners, founders, and head brewers from companies such as Stone Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and more — in what has become an epic and unique lot of craft beer for the ages.

This lot is being auctioned online via the We Are Stoneman Douglas site (https://one.bidpal.net/wearemsd, click “Auction Items” on menu) with proceeds benefiting the Broward Education Foundation’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas fund. One hundred percent of all funds generated by this project will directly benefit the families of victims, survivors, and those affected by this tragedy. A second lot of signed barrel-aged and vintage beers from Funky Buddha Brewery, and a private dinner for 30, will also be auctioned.

This online auction (with over 50 other incredible auction items) is being organized by the Parkland Golf & Country Club located in Parkland, FL with assistance from Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Florida. Individuals can bid on the online auctions through Sunday, April 8th. Due to regulations, these bottle lots will be available for local pickup only.

“This has been an amazing show of support and solidarity from brewers around the country, most of whom signed on and contributed unbelievable beers within minutes,” says Ryan Sentz, co-founder of Funky Buddha Brewery and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate. “Although this tragedy was horrific beyond words, we can take heart in the incredible response from the community and others that shows we have the strength and bravery to rise above it and make a true difference in people’s lives.”
 
Bottles include (pictured above):
Funky Buddha Lot:
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**Editor’s Note: The writers at Mashing In typically prefer to write their own content, but we all decided it was best to immediately post this press release verbatim due to its important subject matter and the timely nature of this auction.**

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 Co. Introduces Solid Gold Premium Lager

2018_SolidGold_FeaturedFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has announced that Solid Gold Premium Lager, the brewery’s newest Year-Round offering, will officially release on March 1.

Arriving as a revamped take on a Founders taproom classic by the same name, Solid Gold is a beautiful non-filtered, golden Lager that has been created especially “for sessionable drinking.”  A recipe featuring lager yeast, corn and lemondrop hops yields a refreshing Solid Gold (4.4% ABV) that is meant to “appeal to classic lager drinkers but adds a craft character, to balance natural sweetness with a touch of citrus.”

“We built Founders on an attitude of no regrets,” shares Mike Stevens, Co-Founder and CEO of Founders. “An attitude of taking risks to bring the best beer possible to our fellow renegades and rebels. Never brewing to style, but always brewing what we want to drink. Our take on a classic, Solid Gold is a drinkable golden lager brewed with the highest quality ingredients. Challenging what a lager can be? That’s something we won’t regret.”

Solid Gold will launch exclusively in cans – the first Founders Year-Round release to do so – on March 1.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans (suggested retail price of $7.99), 15-packs of 12 oz. cans (suggested retail price of $14.99) and on draft at craft beer friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution network.  Prost!

Vital Information for Solid Gold Premium Lager from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Year-Round, launching March 2018
Style – Lager
ABV – 4.4%
IBUs – 20
Featured Hops – Lemondrop 
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 15-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/