GRAND RAPIDS — Canadian Breakfast Stout will be the second release in Founders Brewing Co.’s Backstage Series, according to Vice President/Director of Marketing Dave Engbers.
The brew hits retail shelves Oct. 3 (in 750-milliliter bottles) with a taproom release party on Oct. 1.
There has been a great deal of anticipation and speculation regarding the second Backstage release after the success of Blushing Monk, the series debut, this summer. I spotted a bottle of Blushing Monk on a Grand Rapids grocery store shelf and snagged it for just under $14.
While it wasn’t what I expected, the brew at least meets its hype. Deep, blood-red in appearance, it captures both the sweet and sour elements of raspberry (so apparent in the first sniff) with a prickly carbonation that makes it sit on the tongue like a champagne.
Blushing Monk is certainly more sweet than sour. Founders’ signature, in my book, is its ever-apparent hoppy-ness. With Blushing Monk, the hops are there, but the powerful sweet raspberry flavor makes them very hard to detect and leaves almost no bitter aftertaste. Overall, it’s not your typical “beer beer,” but it certainly pleases the palate. I can see why it was chosen as one of the Backstage releases.
As for Canadian Breakfast Stout, it seems the logical choice as the second release in the series — it’s popular at many beer festivals, but you have to go to the taproom (and at the right time) for a taste of CBS.
Canadian Breakfast Stout is an Imperial Stout brewed with a blend of coffees and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels (most recently used to age pure Michigan maple syrup). The final product has had stellar reviews and is currently the fifth-highest rated beer in the world on www.BeerAdvocate.com.
The Backstage Series gives drinkers a chance to uncap at home some of the brewery’s “more eclectic beers that have historically only been available on the tap” at Founders and bars where kegs are distributed, Engbers says.
The series is dubbed “Backstage” because the releases are limited — and a response to the brewery’s diehard fans.
“To us, it’s kind of using the brewery as the stage,” Engbers says, making these brews backstage. “Releasing small specialty batches is a great way for us to connect to our core beer enthusiast.”
The company is not revealing any additional releases in the series, but Engbers says they will consist of many of the “popular one-offs” offered in the taproom over the years that are favorites among patrons and brewery staff. The company expects to release one more product in the 2011 Backstage Series later this year.
“I think part of what people love about Founders — besides our beer — is that we listen to what they are saying,” President Mike Stevens says. “With our new line, now we can offer them more of what they’ve been asking for.”