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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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/

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Founders Brewing Co. Unveils Plans for 2018

founderspour_editedAll set for next year, Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially released a 2018 Availability Calendar that is absolutely loaded with new brews, old favorites, and updated packing options.

Just as we always do with all release calendars, Founders Brewing Co.’s full 2018 Availability Calendar is posted below for you to look over at your own pace.  Before we turn you loose, there are a few things on that calendar that we are just dying to point out . . . so let’s knock that out real fast:

  • Breakfast Stout and Backwoods Bastard will be available year-round in 2018.  Yeah, you read that correctly!  Breakfast Stout should seamlessly shift into year-round availability through the New Year while Backwoods Bastard will resurface in late-March to early-April to begin its year-round status.
  • Although the calendar does not mention this, Founders Brewing Co. will be offering Solid GoldAll Day IPARubaeus and all of its Seasonal beers, which include Mosaic PromiseAzacca IPA and PC Pils, in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans in 2018.
  • Double Trouble Imperial IPA will return as a Limited Release in 2018.  It will be available from late-May to July in 4-packs of 12oz bottles across all 46 states that currently comprise the distribution area for Founders Brewing.
  • The Barrel-Aged Series will return in 2018 with KBS (April) and four new releases.  Details about the yet-to-be-named beers will be released throughout the year.
  • Founders is launching a “brand new taproom carryout series called the ‘Mothership Series’. These beers will range from classics like the inaugural release, Red’s Rye IPA, to experimental new styles. They will only be available for carryout in 6-pack bottles at [all Founders Brewing Co.] taproom locations.”
  • Finally . . . a bit of bad news: Founders will say “goodbye to some favorites, like Imperial Stout, Curmudgeon and reDANKulous” in 2018.  Since the brewery is known to regularly bring back old favorites (see Double Trouble & Red’s Rye IPA above), it assures that this is more of an “until we meet again” scenario.

Alright, that’s a wrap on all that we wanted to cover.  Be sure to check out the full calendar below so that you can properly prepare for an amazing 2018 with Founders Brewing Co. Prost!

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Tasting Notes – The Classics: KBS (2017) from Founders Brewing Co.

KBSfeature_editedThis week’s segment of Tasting Notes shows some appreciation for the classics by taking a look at the 2017 vintage of KBS from Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

As we reported a little over a month ago, Founders Brewing Co. initiated their annual frenzy within the craft beer community on April 1 when they began to distribute this year’s vintage of KBS.   Known as “one of the craft world’s most prized annual releases,” this highly coveted Imperial Stout is brewed with generous amounts of coffee and chocolate.  Once the brewing process is completed, the beer is then aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year “in caves that were at one time gypsum mines, beneath Grand Rapids.”  This all results in an 11.8% ABV offering filled with complex layers of indulgent chocolate, coffee and bourbon.  Although KBS is an incredibly limited offering that quickly sells out each year, we have still seen it on shelves at various locations in Alabama and Florida.  If you strike out at the bottle shop, your best bet is to track it down on tap at fine beer bars and restaurants throughout the distribution area of Founders Brewing Co.

Any day is a good day to get into a glass of KBS, so let’s pop the top on this bottle and take down some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for KBS (2017) from Founders Brewing Co.

Appearance: A steady pour of KBS produces two fingers of creamy, mocha-colored foam resting above a body that is black as pitch.  Completely opaque, there is absolutely zero opportunity for light to find its way through this brew.  Over time, the head reluctantly falls to a chunky top cap that dutifully notches the glass with lace after each sip.  Simply a gorgeously presented Stout.

Aroma:  The aromatics open with rich, lush notes of fine chocolates.  In particular, dark chocolate and bitter cocoa nibs develop nicely to fill the bulb of the glass and hit the nose on every approach.  This shifts to a lightly bitter, but wonderfully roasted note from the coffee and malts.  Vanilla, molasses and just a grace of bourbon close out the profile.

Taste:  Molasses, brown sugar, and dark caramel notes get the party started in the flavor department.  A massive chocolate presence follows closely behind with tones of cocoa, dark chocolate and milk chocolate.  Roasted malts provide a hearty grain presence that readily supports a heavenly vanilla note and a blatant bourbon quality.  This immense flavor experience eventually subsides to leave behind a lingering note that strikingly reads as dark chocolate covered espresso beans.

Mouthfeel: This beer is full bodied with a moderate to low carbonation level. This produces a silky-smooth texture that displays some weight and completely envelops the palate.  At 11.8%, the ABV is somehow incredibly tame this year and it actually takes quite a bit of searching to locate a slight tinge of heat near the end of the glass.  Considering its weight and size, the aftertaste does settle in for the long haul to allow the drinker to get lost in notes of espresso roast coffee and dark chocolate.

Final Thoughts:  Imposing. Unapologetic. Beautiful.  These three terms are applicable descriptors for any year of KBS, but it never fails to amaze how each year’s batch seems to take on its own personality.  This year’s vintage absolutely offers up more pronounced tones of vanilla and chocolate than previous releases.  Chocolate . . . it is simply impossible to express with words how much luxurious chocolate fills this glass.  Although the bourbon is clearly present, the beer manages to avoid having that one dimensional barrel character by allowing so many other flavors and aromas to establish themselves.  One of the more remarkable achievements of 2017 KBS is how it handles its ABV presence.  Last year’s batch came out of the gate pretty hot, leaving its drinker with the impression that a little aging could do the beer some good.  Not at all the case with this year’s supply.  This may just be the easiest drinking batch of KBS we have ever experienced, and it easily allows you to enjoy every aspect of this beer as fresh as possible.  Seriously, it is perfect NOW . . . so drink it NOW and as often as possible to learn why KBS has earned a reputation for being one of the best barrel-aged Stouts in the world.  Prost!

 

Founders Brewing Co. Set for National Release of 2017 KBS

KBS_4pkFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced that 2017 KBS is now available across the state of Michigan, and national distribution will begin on April 1.

Although it may be releasing as the second offering of the year in Founders Brewing Co.’s newly established Barrel-Aged Series, KBS has been “one of the craft world’s most prized annual releases” for well over a decade.  This limited release offering begins as an Imperial Stout that has been brewed with copious amounts of coffee and chocolate.  Once the brewing process is completed, the beer is then transferred to oak bourbon barrels and aged for an entire year “in caves that were at one time gypsum mines, beneath Grand Rapids.”  This incredibly labor intensive process produces an 11.8% ABV Stout that is filled with decadent notes of roasted coffee, rich chocolate, and fine bourbon.  “Consistently [ranking] as one of the highest rated beers in the world,” KBS is easily one of the most highly-respected and lauded beers within the American craft beer community.

“KBS is a reflection of who we are as a company and the mark we hope we’ve made with extreme brewing,” said Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers. “Fifteen years ago it debuted as an experiment with no agenda; a beer that no one asked for and initially, one that no-one wanted. The impact of KBS on brewing culture has always exceeded anything we imagined. It’s a perfect example of the innovation that people love about craft, and to labors of love like our Barrel-Aged series that have attained real recognition as a result of KBS.”

The 2017 release of KBS is available in 750ml bottles, 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft.  This limited release made its official debut in Grand Rapids during KBS Week 2017 (March 6 – 11), and it is now currently available throughout the state of Michigan.  2017 KBS will then enter national distribution beginning on April 1.  This will be a gradual roll-out across Founders Brewing Co.’s distribution area, so releases in your area may vary based on date of delivery, the schedule of local distributors, planned local events, etc.  Stay patient, but remain vigilant because KBS never lasts long once it hits a shelf or a tap.  Watch the social media accounts of your favorite craft beer retailers, and be prepared to pounce once it hits your area.  If we get the information in a timely manner, we will also do our best to update this post with KBS release dates in Alabama, Florida and throughout the rest of the Southeast.  Stay tuned and happy hunting out there, folks.  Prost!

Confirmed Releases

  • Alabama (Birmingham) – Friday, March 31
  • Florida (Tampa area) – Friday, March 31
  • Georgia (Atlanta) – Monday, April 3

Vital Information for KBS (2017) from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series, available now in Michigan. National distribution begins April 1
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 11.8%
Added Ingredients – Coffee & chocolate
Treatment – Cave-aged for a year in oak bourbon barrels
Availability – 750 ml bottles, 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/find-our-beer/