Founders Brewing Co. Reveals 2020 Availability Calendar

4_giants_fpo_3-4_mockup-1024x1024Brewery release calendar season is back once again and we are kicking of this year’s round with a look at the 2020 Availability Calendar for Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

As is the norm around here when it comes to beer calendars, we have published Founders Brewing Co.’s 2020 Availability Calendar in its entirety below so that you can examine it at your own pace.  With that said, here are a few juicy tidbits that we would like to highlight before we turn you over to the calendar:

  • The Barrel-Aged Series kicks off with the 2019/2020 release of KBS Espresso – the first variant of KBS – which will have availability into February 2020.  The original KBS will return in February as a Year-Round release. Más Agave (May – July) and Underground Mountain Brown (September – October) are both scheduled to return in 2020. Founders plans to add two new yet-to-be-named offerings to the series during the year – one of which will be a Más Agave variant.
  • The brewery’s Year-Round lineup will see the addition of Unraveled IPA in February.  Unraveled IPA is an “incredibly flavorful and aromatic” Juicy India Pale Ale “dry hopped with traditional hop pellets along with lupulin powder, an innovative hop product that separates lupulin from the hop flower.”  ABV – 6.6%  IBUS – 50
  • Centennial IPA will get some new packaging options in 2020.  Look for this Year-Round to have availability in 19.2 oz. cans and 6-packs of 12 oz. cans beginning in February 2020.
  • 4 Giants IPA, “a mashup of [the brewery’s] four favorite imperial IPAs,” will be available April through June 2020 as a part of the Limited Series.
  • Speaking of the Limited Series, Frangelic Mountain Brown (January – March), Green Zebra (May – August), and Harvest Ale (October) are all scheduled to return.  Founders plans to also add two yet-to-be-named offerings to the series in 2020.
  • The Mothership Series, the brewery’s “ultra-limited, brew team favorite beers only found at [Founders] taproom locations,” will kick off with the return of Devil Dancer on January 22.  Founders plans to release five more Mothership Series offerings throughout the year.
  • The brewery will launch the MI-Exclusive Series in 2020 with the March release of Red’s Rye IPA in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans. As you may have already guessed, the MI-Exclusive Series will see exclusive distribution in Founders Brewing Co.’s home state of Michigan.

That should just about cover all the points we wanted to go over, but there is still a good amount of info left for you to discover on the calendar below. Give it a good look and start getting excited about all the tasty brews headed your way from Founders Brewing Co in 2020.  Prost!

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Tasting Notes: Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Co.

FoundersUndergroundPourFor this edition of Tasting Notes, we journey deep down into the depths of a bottle of Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Released in mid-August as the current installment in Founders Brewing Co.’s Barrel-Aged Series, Underground Mountain (previously introduced as a taproom-exclusive by the name of Barrel-Aged Sumatra Mountain) is an Imperial Brown Ale that has been brewed with Sumatra coffee – roasted in Grand Rapids by Ferris Coffee & Nut – and then aged for a year in Bourbon barrels in the “caves below Grand Rapids.” Crafted to be a true “celebration of the barrel, the bean and everything in between,” Underground Mountain Brown finds harmony as the malts of the Brown Ale base “complement the bold Sumatra coffee perfectly, while time spent immersed in oak creates layers of depth and complexity.”

Underground Mountain Brown is available now and scheduled to stick around through November (as long as supplies last).  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s nationwide distribution area.

Alrighty . . . now that we have properly covered all the particulars behind this brew, let’s get to the bottom of Underground Mountain with some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Co.

Appearance:  A somewhat vigorous pour produces a beer that is a heavily shadowed, dark brown in color and topped with one-and-a-half to two fingers of tan foam.  When held to direct light, cola tones easily push through at the edges while the intensely dark brown holds at the core.  Although quite dark and nearly opaque, the top portion of the pour (about a finger of area where the beer meets the head) reveals that this beer is clear and has a steady carbonation presence coursing within.  Head retention is solid, falling ever so slowly to a thick, creamy ring that drops cloud-like dollops of lace on the glass throughout the experience.

Aroma:  Deeply roasted coffee greets the nose with dark chocolate notes and a gentle dose of earthiness and nuttiness.  The barrel character then rolls in, providing notes of vanilla, oak, and straight bourbon.  Brown Ale character closes the aromatics with rich tones of caramel and molasses.

Taste:  Picking up where the aroma left off, the base beer jumps out first to offer decadent notes of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toffee and toasted grain. This seamlessly shifts to a distinct roasted coffee presence that is beautifully earthy, nutty and chocolaty (both milk chocolate and bittersweet dark chocolate). The bourbon then builds, enrobing the entire experience in a soft layer of oak, vanilla and booze.  Everything here is incredibly smooth and cohesive.

Mouthfeel:  Medium in body with a middling carbonation level, this beer has just the right amount of weight to it to remind you that it is indeed 11.9% ABV while still maintaining a bit of that smooth, airiness you expect from a Brown Ale (this beer does not at all drink like an Imperial Stout or Barleywine and rightfully so). It is mostly sweet on the palate, but the coffee’s bitterness lends a great deal of balance and keeps things from getting cloying.  Getting back to that elevated ABV, it offers a gently building warmth in the throat and belly, but it is not at all out of hand.  The aftertaste is all toffee and bourbon.

Final Thoughts:  Elegantly composed, there is not one aggressive aspect to this beer.  It is clear that the brewing team at Founders applied all of the knowledge that they have obtained from brewing KBS year after year to Underground Mountain Brown because the coffee and bourbon barrel character are both given equal billing.

As notable as that is, probably the most impressive thing about Underground Mountain is how incredibly well it is drinking right now.  The elevated ABV is pretty tame, the barrel character is not at all aggressive, and the coffee has just the right amount of pop to it.  It is wildly smooth for a fresh barrel-aged offering, and we suggest that you do not sit on these bottles for too long (well . . . stash a couple because this beer will be an incredible pairing for those wonderfully brisk fall evenings headed our way).  It is damn near perfect at this point in time, so make sure that you drink Underground Mountain Brown now and drink it often while you have the chance.  Prost!

Underground Mountain to Surface as Next Release in Founders Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged Series

underground_mt_brown_12ozFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) recently sent out a teaser to inform their fans that Underground Mountain Brown will officially launch in August as the fourth release in this year’s Barrel-Aged Series.

Previously introduced as the taproom-exclusive known as Barrel-Aged Sumatra Mountain Brown, Underground Mountain is an Imperial Brown Ale that has been brewed with Sumatra coffee – roasted in Grand Rapids by Ferris Coffee & Nut – and then aged for a year in Bourbon barrels in the “caves below Grand Rapids.” Crafted to be a true “celebration of the barrel, the bean and everything in between”, Underground Mountain Brown finds harmony as the malts of the Brown Ale base “complement the bold Sumatra coffee perfectly, while time spent immersed in oak creates layers of depth and complexity.”

“We first released this beer in the taproom as Barrel-Aged Sumatra Mountain Brown and it was an immediate hit,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “Over the past few years, our fans have been very vocal about asking us to bottle and distribute it and we’re so happy to make it happen. The Barrel-Aged Series is a great chance for us to bring out some of these taproom fan-favorites to a larger audience and we can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks.”

Underground Mountain is scheduled to debut in Founders Brewing Co.’s Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms on August 16 and distribution will follow later that month.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s expansive distribution area. More info to come. Stay tuned! Prost!

Vital Information for Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series; mid-August 2019
Style – Imperial Brown Ale
ABV – 11.9%
Treatment – Brewed with Sumatra coffee & aged for a year in Bourbon barrels
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/