GRAND RAPIDS — Over 7,000 people gathered in front of Founders Brewing Co. on Saturday for Founders Fest, which celebrated the brewery’s 15th anniversary.
The festival, which combines beer with music, food and art, expanded this year to have two music stages for 10 bands that played throughout the day. Amongst the bands who performed were The Crane Wives, Four Finger Five, Soulive and the FBC All Stars.
With lines that grew throughout the day, trying one of Founders’ specialty ales was a bit challenging, but worth the wait. I was able to try Frangelic Mountain Brown (the upcoming release in Founders’ Backstage Series) and Red’s Rye PA with Bourbon.
Frangelic Mountain Brown poured a clear brown with little to no head, and featured an aroma full of coffee. The taste of this brew was coffee-heavy, with some oak and roasted malt as well. The medium mouthfeel was surprising for a Founders specialty ale, but was welcomed on this hot summer day.
Likewise, the cask tapping of Red’s Rye PA with Bourbon was both refreshing and flavorful, with some fruit, rye, oak and a little bit of bourbon mixed with some moderate hops.
Other specialty ales that were tapped included KBS, Devil Dancer and a cask of Centennial IPA with Ginger. Founders also had a variety of “standard” beers available, including:
- Centennial IPA
- Founders Fest Wheat
- Dirty Bastard
- Red’s Rye PA
- All Day IPA
- Pale Ale
- Solid Gold
As people enjoyed their Founders brews, they were treated to a wide variety of entertainment — from bands to circus acts. Artists and other vendors were also present at the event.
Food was also available from local vendors The Cottage Bar, What the Truck, Mi Tierra, The Corner Bar and The Pita House.