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founders detroit

Founders Brewing Co. announced today that, for the first time in their 20-year history, they will open a second taproom. The new facility will feature a fully-operational brewery and retail taproom located in the lower Cass Corridor neighborhood in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, a burgeoning cultural hub adjacent to sports arenas, music venues and more.

founders detroit“Having been born and raised in the metro area, Detroit has long held a special place in my heart,” said Mark Dorich, Founders’ Vice President of Retail Operations. “It’s a hard working, no-nonsense, culturally diverse and musically-inspired town, which happens to have the best sports teams in the country. Some of our strongest support has come from the east side of Michigan, and we could not think of a better place to expand our taproom experience. We anticipate creating a taproom that is inspired by what we do in Grand Rapids, but unique in its own Motown way. We’re excited to be a larger part of ‘the D’!”

Based in Grand Rapids since 1997, Founders’ decision to open a second taproom in Detroit reaffirms their longstanding commitment and pride in their home state of Michigan. The new location will include a full-service taproom serving unique menu items and locally-made Founders beers from the on-site brewery, in addition to the classic Founders lineup. Founders plans to staff the facility primarily with Detroit-area employees in an effort to contribute to local job growth and economic revitalization. Hiring will begin in summer 2017.

The 14,000 square foot building is located at 456 Charlotte St. and will undergo construction beginning in summer 2017. The grand opening is targeted for winter of 2017. Founders has partnered with Midtown Detroit Inc. and Invest Detroit on the development of the property.

“The introduction of a brand like Founders Brewing Co. to the South Cass neighborhood will have a catalytic impact and attract others to invest,” said Sue Mosey, executive director, Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Midtown Detroit Inc. has partnered with Invest Detroit to bring the development to life.  

“We are again pleased to partner and co-invest with Midtown Detroit, Inc. to facilitate the redevelopment of a building in this emerging district,” said Dave Blaszkiewicz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Invest Detroit. “Sue Mosey and her team have done an amazing job of attracting new businesses to the community. This location for the highly recognized Founders Brewing Co. will be a critical asset to encourage additional investment to revitalize the surrounding area.”

 

founders detroit

 

Founders explains further, and answers a few more questions before they’re asked:

Why are we opening a taproom in Detroit?

Our commitment to our home state of Michigan was established long ago and we intend to continue fulfilling it, even as our reach elsewhere increases. We have toyed with the idea of opening another taproom for years now and, when finally moving forward, it was a no-brainer choosing Detroit as the city to host it.  Not only do we have tons of fans on the east side of the state, we also have a personal history and love for Detroit. Both our Culinary Director and Vice President of Retail Operations hail from metro Detroit and have long been petitioning that we deepen our roots there.

While our Grand Rapids taproom is and always will be home to us, we feel it is important to spread the Founders love and allow even more of our fans the opportunity to experience drinking from the source themselves.

What will the taproom experience be like?
We are in the initial planning stages so there is not much information to share at this point, but we will keep you all updated as the project progresses.

Will the taproom be modeled after the Grand Rapids taproom?
The Detroit taproom will certainly take inspiration from the Grand Rapids location, but it isn’t intended to feel like a duplicate of it. We recognize and appreciate that Detroit and Grand Rapids, despite being in the same state, have a number of distinctions and our intention is to celebrate and embrace those. Every effort will be taken to ensure that the Founders culture represented in the Grand Rapids taproom comes through just as passionately in our Detroit location.

Will we brew at this location?
Yes, we plan on brewing at this location and will create beers unique only to it. In addition to those, we will also offer our year-round, seasonal and specialty beers on tap as well. Our Barrel-Aged Series beers will be on tap depending on availability.

How are we staffing this location?
We will open up a select number of positions internally to our current staff however the vast majority of jobs will be new hires and filled locally – we anticipate over 100 new jobs total. This process will extend from summer 2017 through winter 2017.

How will this impact the local economy?
Not only will the presence of this taproom create jobs in Detroit, we anticipate it will drive in more traffic to the lower Cass Corridor neighborhood. Located adjacent to arenas and music venues, the location is already seeing the beginnings of revitalization and we strive to be at the forefront of it. Our Grand Rapids location helped to spur the revitalization of the downtown neighborhood it is located in and we anticipate the same will happen in the lower Cass Corridor.

 

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Founders Brewing Co. is happy to announce the fourth annual KBS Week, in honor of the release of KBS this year. The beer will be available starting March 13 in Michigan and April 1 across the remainder of the brewery’s distribution footprint, which includes 42 states. Visitors and residents of Grand Rapids will be able to enjoy it March 6-11 when it is tapped at various local establishments as well as the taproom release party.

KBS Week

KBS is an imperial stout brewed with massive amounts of coffee and chocolate and then aged in oak bourbon barrels in the caves beneath Grand Rapids. KBS is the second installment in the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series, a lineup of 6 different barrel-aged beers released throughout the year. It is consistently ranked as one of the highest rated beers in the world, according to Ratebeer.

KBS Week began in response to the overwhelming notoriety KBS has developed over the years and a desire to share that with the West Michigan beer-loving community on a broader scale. This year will mark the 4th annual KBS Week and fifteen Founders-supporting bars and restaurants in the Grand Rapids area will each tap a keg of KBS during a designated timeslot between March 6 and 10. KBS Week will culminate with the Founders taproom release party, where KBS will be poured all day on Saturday, March 11.

“Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) is a quintessential representation of who Founders is as a company and the legacy we’ve established in the industry,” 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, at first, no one wanted. The outcome was and is magical and we think it’s a perfect example of the innovation that is central to craft beer culture. We love the chance to celebrate the phenomenon of KBS each year and to share it with the West Michigan community first in gratitude for their support. ”

Bottles of KBS available for pickup in the Founders taproom will be released using a pre-ticketed reservation process via Ticketfly. Bottles can be reserved beginning on Saturday, February 18, at 11am EST, and they will be available for pickup March 7-12, 2017.

A handful of area hotels will be offering KBS week packages—including discounted room rates, limited edition gear in rooms and more—with information available on the Experience Grand Rapids website.

KBS will be available throughout Michigan on Monday, March 13 and throughout the rest of the Founders’ distribution footprint on April 1.

For full KBS Week details, head to kbsweek.com.

 

frootwood

Kicking off their 20th anniversary year, Founders will release Frootwood, a cherry ale aged in oak barrels that have previously held both bourbon and maple syrup, as the first release in their Barrel-Aged Series.

At the end of last year, Founders announced the early-2017 launch of a brand new series that celebrates their highly regarded barrel-aging program, which is responsible for popular beers like KBS and Backwoods Bastard. Throughout the year, they will be releasing six different barred-aged beers, including KBS in April 2017 and Backwoods Bastard in November 2017. Frootwood leads off the series.

Frootwood is a cherry ale aged in oak barrels that have previously held both bourbon and maple syrup. Frootwood will be available in some states as early as January, with remaining states seeing it by February. Founders will release it in the taproom on January 13, 2017 and it will have a suggested retail price of $14.99/4-pack and $11.99/750mL bottle. The entire Barrel-Aged Series lineup will be offered in both 750mL bottles and 4-packs of 12oz bottles.

“A light-bodied cherry ale is probably not the first thing that comes to someone’s mind when they consider a barrel-aged beer,” said Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers. “We love playing with expectations and Frootwood is proof of that.”

Founders will announce the remaining three releases in the Barrel-Aged Series later in the year.

 

Founders announced their 2017 availability calendar today, confirming several momentous changes to the brewery’s lineup. The year ahead also holds significant importance as the brewery’s 20th anniversary year.

Beginning in 2017, Founders will launch a brand new series that celebrates their highly regarded barrel-aging program, which is responsible for popular beers like KBS and Backwoods Bastard. Throughout the year, they will be releasing six different barred-aged beers, including KBS in April 2017 and Backwoods Bastard in November 2017.

Details about three of the additional beers in the series will come later in the year, but today the brewery announced the first release, Frootwood.

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Frootwood is a cherry ale aged in oak barrels that have previously held both bourbon and maple syrup. Frootwood will be available in some states as early as January, with remaining states seeing it by February. Founders plans to release it in the taproom on January 25, 2017 and it will have a suggested retail price of $14.99/4-pack and $11.99/750mL bottle. The entire Barrel-Aged Series lineup will be offered in both 750mL bottles and 4-packs of 12oz bottles.

foundersFounders will also release their entire seasonal lineup in 15-pack cans, in addition to 6-pack bottles, beginning with Azacca IPA in January 2017, though some regions may see it even sooner. Azacca IPA will be available January – March; PC Pils will be available April – August; Mosaic Promise will be available September – December.

foundersAll Day IPA will also be offered in a new package, a 19.2oz single-serve can, beginning in early 2017. All Day IPA has seen tremendous growth since it was first packaged back in 2012 and that momentum informed the brewery’s decision to begin canning it in 2013. Founders has since been the first in craft to release the 15-pack of cans with All Day IPA and looks to expand upon its success with the 19.2oz single-serve can format, which customers can expect to find at venues like convenience stores, ballparks and arenas.

“We are amazed at what 2017 looks like for the brewery,” says Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers. “Mike and I see the launch of the Barrel-Aged Series and the continued growth of All Day IPA as the culmination of years of hard work and sticking to our guns. We can’t think of a better way to kick-off our 20th anniversary.”

The 2017 calendar also reflects the departure of Pale Ale and Devil Dancer. Pale Ale Nitro will still be available on draft across the brewery’s distribution footprint.

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traverse city beer week

Typically, November in Northern Michigan means dark skies before 6:00 p.m., shorter business hours, and an exodus of summer and fall visitors. However, Traverse City Beer Week keeps the area energized with a wide array of special events meant to highlight the creativity and successes of the Traverse City beer scene. This year’s Traverse City Beer Week took place from November 11-17, and contained over 50 events.

tcbeerweek-2

And while Traverse City Beer Week might attract some outside visitors, it is also a great opportunity for locals to enjoy their hometown before winter settles in. With special tastings, exclusive tappings, and unique pairings, it is easy to find a quick stop after work or enjoy an evening out with friends.

This year, The Little Fleet held a different themed event each night of the week. Monday was Founders Bingo. It was free to play, and various Founders brews were on tap, including some exclusive free samples. The Founders rep was also on site to call numbers and give away prizes.  

On Tuesday, The Little Fleet hosted a rare release from Lagunitas, a world premiere of Slow Tako from Brewery Vivant on Wednesday, a sour beer night on Thursday, and a Seafood Dinner on Friday.

Most of these events were casual, making it easy to stop in after work for something special. For instance, Sour Beer Night featured sour beers on tap from various breweries, including Jolly Pumpkin, Short’s, and various cellar exclusives. The weather was warm enough to sit outside, which made an exclusive beer after work even more enjoyable.

Other breweries and taprooms throughout downtown held similar style events. Rare Bird Brewpub hosted a Founders and Dark Horse Tap Jam. Upon walking into Rare Bird, it appeared to be an average evening. However, with a closer look, brewery reps were giving away swag and taps featured an equal selection of Founders and Dark Horse brews. Founders KBS was on tap, as well as Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Imperial Stout from Dark Horse. This was only the second time that the barrel aged version of Plead The 5th Imperial Stout had been on tap in Traverse City.

7 Monks Taproom has become known for its unique pairings and themed events during Traverse City Beer Week. This year, the taproom dedicated an evening to Traverse City’s brewing history. The Filling Station brewed a historically inspired Kratochvil Bohemian Pilsner to be a featured tap for the evening, and a large beer history timeline was on display. So, with a pilsner in hand, many visited with friends during happy hour while also examining the timeline. The timeline featured artifacts, maps, and interesting information regarding some of Traverse City’s first breweries.

harvest party

Founders Brewing Harvest Party is one of our absolute favorite parties of the year, celebrating the annual release of Harvest Ale, the award-winning wet-hopped ale! Harvest Party is an all-day, ages 21 and up event in the taproom focusing on their hoppiest offerings. This Saturday, October 15 your paid entry nets you access to the event, a commemorative 2016 Harvest Party pint glass, and a complimentary pint of Harvest Ale or any Class 1 beer. There will be live music from 5pm-close, special food offerings, firkins, one-offs, rarities, and some beers brewed just for the event!

*There are no advance tickets for Harvest Party, just cover day-of only. Admission is $10 for the General Public, $8 for 2016 Mug Club Members.

Live music will be provided by:

Horse Feathers (Folk Rock from Portland, Oregon)

The Hackensaw Boys (American Roots, Punk & Bluegrass from Charlottesville, VA)

Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta (Psychedelic Cumbia from Chicago, IL)

Riley Anglen & The Big Guns (Soulful Blues, Gospel & Southern Rock from Nashville, TN)

founders

Founders announced today that is will release Lizard of Koz, an imperial stout brewed with blueberries, chocolate and vanilla aged in bourbon barrels, as the second Backstage Series beer of 2016. This is the first time Founders has released Lizard of Koz.

This one is near and dear to our hearts. Our Brewmaster, Jeremy Kosmicki, wanted to make the birthday of his little sister, Liz, a special one. So he did what he does best and brewed a stout using a few of her favorite ingredients: fresh Michigan blueberries, rich chocolate and vanilla – aged in bourbon barrels to round out those beautiful flavors. Liz was floored and we think you will be too.

“Lizard of Koz represents everything we love about the Backstage Series,” says Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers, “Inspired, creative, a little bit out there and exploding with flavor. The perfect way to cap off 2016.”

Each 750mL bottle of this rich, tart stout has a suggested retail price of $18.99 and will be available in limited quantities across Founders’ distribution network, which currently includes 39 states, in December. ABV is yet to be determined as brewers are currently pulling the beer out of barrels.

The Backstage Series is made up of boundary-pushing, experimental beers. Affectionately called “the brewers’ playground,” intent is to take the diehard Founders fan experience to a wider audience—though all of the beers are released in limited batches. Since its introduction in the summer of 2011, Backstage Series beers have quickly become some of the most sought-after releases in the industry with past hits including Bolt CutterCBSCurmudgeon’s Better HalfBlushing MonkDoom and 2016’s first release, Mango Magnifico,

 

About Founders Brewing Co.

Established in 1997 by two craft beer enthusiasts—Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens—with day jobs and a dream, Founders Brewing Co. brews complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics and tons of flavor. Founders ranks among the top 20 largest craft breweries in the U.S. and is one of the fastest growing. The brewery has received numerous awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival and RateBeer and BeerAdvocate users often rate its beers among the best in the world. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, Founders is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild. For more information, visit foundersbrewing.com and follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook for more updates.

 

Michigan Guild

LANSING, Mich—Ten (10) brewery members of the Michigan Brewers Guild were awarded medals at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Competition, in Denver, Colorado—the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence, presented by the Brewers Association.

In all, 286 medals were presented in 96 unique beer categories covering 161 different beer styles (including all subcategories). Winners were chosen from 7,227 competition entries (nearly 9 percent more than the 6,647 entries in 2015 and surpassing all previous participation records) from 1,752 breweries hailing from 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.

The competition also saw its biggest-ever panel of judges, with 264 beer experts from 12 countries, including the U.S., and 170 competition volunteers.

Michigan Brewers Guild member received the following awards:

GOLD

  • Dirty Frank Stout — River’s Edge Brewing, Milford
    Category 89: Export Stout
  • Raucher – Wolverine State Brewing Co., Ann Arbor Category 34: Smoke Beer

SILVER

  • Expedition Stout – Bell’s Brewing Co., Galesburg
    Category 32: Aged Beer
  • reDANKulous – Backstage Series – Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids
    Category 63: American Imperial Red

BRONZE

  •  Angelina – Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids
    Category 30: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
  • Kusterer Original Weissbier – Cedar Springs Brewing Co, Cedar Springs
    Category 75: German-Style Wheat Ale
  • Broadway Light – Detroit Brewing Company, Detroit
    Category 38: American Style Cream Ale
  • Bangin The Mash – Latitude 42 Brewing Co., Portage
    Category 88: Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
  • Good Mooed Milk Stout – Railtown Brewing Co, Dutton
    Category 91: Sweet Stout or Cream Stout
  • Live Wire – Roak Brewing, Royal Oak
    Category 55: English IPA

 

The Great American Beer Festival invites industry professionals from around the world to sit together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, taste beers in each specified style category. The ultimate goal of the judging panel is to identify the three beers that best represent each beer-style category as described and adopted by the GABF.

Five different three-hour judging sessions take place over the three-day period during the week of the festival, with judges assigned to evaluate beers in their specific area of expertise. Breweries are awarded points, which are tabulated to arrive at the top three place medals in each category. The judging panel awards gold, silver or bronze medals that are recognized around the world as symbols of brewing excellence. These awards are among the most coveted in the industry and heralded by the winning brewers in their national advertising. Medal distinctions are as follows:

  • GOLD: A world-class beer that accurately exemplifies the specified style, displaying the proper balance of taste, aroma and appearance.
  • SILVER: An excellent beer that may vary slightly from style parameters while maintaining close adherence to the style and displaying excellent taste, aroma and appearance.
  • BRONZE: A fine example of the style that may vary slightly from style parameters and/or have minor deviations in taste, aroma or appearance.

Now in its 35th year, the Great American Beer Festival is the granddaddy of all U.S. beer festivals, offering the largest collection of U.S. beer ever assembled. Sponsored by The Brewers Association, the festival features more than 3,800 different beers from 780 breweries throughout the country. More than 60,000 attendees and 3,600 volunteers gathered at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver for the 3-day event.

Michigan’s brewing industry continues to grow in the total volume of beer produced and sold, as well as in the number of breweries. Michigan currently ranks #5 in the nation in terms of the total number of breweries and the Guild proudly represents its highest number of members at 210 (and continually growing)—thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.” Michigan’s breweries are located in every area of the state, operating as community-focused small businesses that collectively employ more than 7,000 individuals and pay more than $144 million in wages. The overall impact of the craft beer industry in Michigan totals more than $608 million.