Posts

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., – Founders Brewing Co. announced today that they will release Curmudgeon’s Better Half as the fifth installment in the 2018 Barrel-Aged Series. Curmudgeon’s Better Half, an old ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels, is preceded by Dankwood, Backwoods Bastard, KBS and Barrel Runner in the series. This marks the first time the beer has been bottled since 2012.

What tames an old ale like Curmudgeon? The tender embrace of oak and sweet maple, that’s what. That’s right, Curmudgeon’s Better Half features the brewery’s recently retired old ale, Curmudgeon, as the base beer. Aged for months in bourbon barrels that have previously held maple syrup, the result is sweet, rich and utterly delicious.

“We’re tasked with bringing out a handful of new barrel-aged beers a year and some of them may be new inventions and others, like Curmudgeon’s Better Half, will be hits from the past,” said VP of PPIL/ Barrel Maestro, Jason Heystek. “This was a beer that needed to get back into the rotation.”

Curmudgeon’s Better Half will be available in 4-packs of 12oz bottles, 750mL bottles and on draft in the Grand Rapids and Detroit taproom beginning on August 24 and everywhere else later that month. It will have an SRP of $16.99/4-pack and $12.99/750mL bottle although prices will vary by market. 12.7% ABV and 35 IBUs.

“The flavor profile of Curmudgeon’s Better Half has lots of rich specialty grains, toasted malts, caramel malts, and, of course, the perfect hop balance” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “After that it spends some time in bourbon barrel which gives you vanilla and coconuts tones and the maple gives you the perfect amount of sweetness.”

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 10 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.

About the Barrel-Aged Series
Crafting legendary barrel-aged beers is an exercise in patience. We start by brewing complex, world-class beer worthy of time in a barrel. Then, our experience and years spent mastering our craft means we know exactly when it’s been aged to perfection. After one sip, you’ll know – it was worth the wait.

 

cellar

We’ll admit, on occasion, it’s really good to be us. Founders Brewing Co. did something they rarely do, and we had the honor to be a part of it. They broke character, and extended an exclusive invitation to a very short list of trusted writers and photographers in craft media across the U.S. to peek behind the curtain at what makes them and what they do so unique.

Unprecedented, they offered a private tour of the caves where all of their Barrel-aged Series and experimental one-offs hibernate until Jason Heystek, VP Lead Guitar, and Jeremy Kosmicki, Brewmaster, say, “They’re ready.”

cellar

Jason Heystek & Jeremy Kosmicki,

The caves—yes, literal caves—are naturally held between 40°-55° F, perfect for cellaring beer. Founders has access to a figurative gold mine, spiderwebbed throughout old gypsum mines approximately 85’ underground, somewhere beneath the streets of Grand Rapids. Well, we know where they’re located. With a little Googling, the savvy can find them, too. But. Unless you know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, you’re not getting in, or in the elevator.

We spent the day rubbing elbows with Founders’ founders, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, talking 20 years of history filled with hits and their fair share of misses, but zero regrets.

cellar

Mike Stevens & Dave Engbers

Heystek and Kosmicki were our personal tour guides. With screwdriver and rubber mallet in rubber-gloved hands, Heystek casually displayed why he’s the man. Repeatedly dipping a barrel thief (sanitized every time, we might add) into vintages of popular limited releases being secretly aged in brandy or scotch scotch barrels, experimental recipes with fruit and salt in gin barrels, or KBS (who cares what year?!), Heystek let us drink straight from the barrel beer that most people will never know existed. We were only able to drink after we picked our jaws up off the floor. We can say now that, at the time, we saw barrels of CBS, but weren’t able to talk about it. They even made us prick our finger and sign an NDA. Trust us, it took everything we had not to spill the beans.

After we reemerged, we also visited Founders’ new production facility, which defies comprehensible size. Let’s just say it’s big enough to house some of the estimated 15,000 barrels from the caves when they’re finally ready to see Founders’ Taproom, or hit distribution—if the rest of the world is as lucky as Grand Rapids.

We were gifted an experience you can’t put a price tag on. We’re talkin’ Golden Ticket access: level Charlie Bucket. Here’s proof.

 

Photography: Steph Harding

 

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.

 

Founders Brewing Co. announced today that Pale Joe, a pale ale brewed with coffee, will be released on draft and in 6-pack bottles this September. Proceeds from the sale of Pale Joe will go to benefit ArtPrize 2016, the world’s largest art competition held annually in Grand Rapids, MI.

Most coffee beers begin with a dark, stout or brown ale base. Not this one. Your eyes will tell you one thing, but your palate will tell you another. Light in color but full in flavor, this golden ale features notes of gently roasted, fruit-forward coffee. Pale Joe features a special blend of high-end Ethiopian coffee expertly roasted by our hometown neighbors at Ferris Coffee and Nut. It’s the lovechild of your favorite iced coffee and, well, beer. Pale Joe comes in at 5.4% ABV.

Founders Brewing“Pale Joe came out of my current infatuation with pale, sessionable beers,” says Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki, “Being the ArtPrize beer, I wanted to play with expectations so I experimented with adding coffee to a lighter, pale ale. Turns out, using gently-roasted, fruit-forward coffee adds a nice roasty flavor that does not complete with the malts in the beer.”

This is the fourth beer brewed to benefit ArtPrize. Previous releases include Inspired Artist Black IPAMosaic Promise and Spectra Trifecta.

Founders Family members were given the opportunity to submit their portfolios to find an artistic match for the Pale Joe label, without knowing anything about the beer. Lead Cellar Operator and Kendall College of Art & Design graduate, Aaron Rossell, was chosen for his striking character illustrations and unexpected use of color. Aaron developed the character of Pale Joe, a leathery, dirty-overalled man as a symbol of  blue-collar, hardworking, coffee-sipping Midwestern farmers with the hope that he can help bridge the gap between artists and common-folk.

ArtPrize, an international art competition, promotes critical dialogue and collaboration through new, creative ideas among a large and diverse population of people. As an innovator in redefining what beer can be, Founders believes that experimentation is central to the human experience—whether one experiments with grains and hops or markers and watercolors—and that sharing one’s creation with the public is a brave act worth celebrating.

“We’ve always been thrilled with our strong relationship with Founders, the official brewery of ArtPrize and one of the best craft brewers in the United States,” noted Christian Gaines, ArtPrize Executive Director. “Our partnership, now in its fourth year, is built upon a mutual passion for our community, and a shared commitment to challenging the familiar — exemplified in Founders’ latest special release for ArtPrize Eight, Pale Joe.”

This year marks the eighth edition of ArtPrize, which will take place September 21–Oct. 9, 2016. The Founders taproom will be a venue for the eighth year running.

Pale Joe will hit shelves beginning September 13 in Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New York City and Boston, MA with limited availability on draft across our remaining distribution network.

GRAND RAPIDS — Many craft beer enthusiasts around the world watched this week’s episode of the Esquire Network’s “Brew Dogs,” filmed in Michigan. MittenBrew attended the world premiere viewing at Founders on Wednesday and we’re bringing you more of the inside story.

Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki was chosen by the show’s producer to co-brew with Scotland’s  James Watt and Martin Dickie. The intensely flavored eisbock they created was brewed under the ice on Higgins Lake, or “Lake Higgins” as the lads referred to it.

The brew team brainstormed recipes and came up with a list of specialty ingredients to include that would represent various parts of Michigan.

“We worked together to find suppliers. I recommended BLiS for the maple syrup that we used. The ‘Brew Dogs’ folks identified the fermented pepper supplier, The Brinery, out of Ann Arbor,” Kosmicki said.

Spent BLiS maple syrup barrels have been utilized by Founders for aging the backstage series brews Curmudgeon’s Better Half, Canadian Breakfast Stout, Sweet Repute and an extra special version of Sweet Repute XXX, that was aged three years in a barrel.

“We didn’t have a close connection with ‘Brew Dogs’ before filming the show, but of course we were aware of their beers and their brand. They’re known for being experimental and pushing the envelope, and we were excited to be part of showing them Michigan craft beer culture,” Kosmicki said.

The production team also compiled a list of “Top 5 Craft Beer Bars” and “Top 5 Craft Breweries” they visited while in Michigan.

Choices for craft beer bars were Graydon’s Crossing, The Meanwhile Bar, Ashley’s, Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, and HopCat at number one.

Bell’s tops the list of craft breweries, followed by Jolly Pumpkin, Short’s, Dark Horse and Arbor Brewing.

This episode, titled “Brew Dogs: A Subzero Beer Pairing,” is scheduled to re-air on Esquire Network Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. It will also air following next week’s new “Brew Dogs” episode at 11 p.m.

GRAND RAPIDS — Many craft beer enthusiasts around the world watched this week’s episode of the Esquire Network’s “Brew Dogs,” filmed in Michigan. MittenBrew attended the world premiere viewing at Founders on Wednesday and we’re bringing you more of the inside story.
Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki was chosen by the show’s producer to co-brew with Scotland’s  James Watt and Martin Dickie. The intensely flavored eisbock they created was brewed under the ice on Higgins Lake, or “Lake Higgins” as the lads referred to it.
The brew team brainstormed recipes and came up with a list of specialty ingredients to include that would represent various parts of Michigan.
“We worked together to find suppliers. I recommended BLiS for the maple syrup that we used. The ‘Brew Dogs’ folks identified the fermented pepper supplier, The Brinery, out of Ann Arbor,” Kosmicki said.
Spent BLiS maple syrup barrels have been utilized by Founders for aging the backstage series brews Curmudgeon’s Better Half, Canadian Breakfast Stout, Sweet Repute and an extra special version of Sweet Repute XXX, that was aged three years in a barrel.
“We didn’t have a close connection with ‘Brew Dogs’ before filming the show, but of course we were aware of their beers and their brand. They’re known for being experimental and pushing the envelope, and we were excited to be part of showing them Michigan craft beer culture,” Kosmicki said.
The production team also compiled a list of “Top 5 Craft Beer Bars” and “Top 5 Craft Breweries” they visited while in Michigan.
Choices for craft beer bars were Graydon’s Crossing, The Meanwhile Bar, Ashley’s, Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, and HopCat at number one.
Bell’s tops the list of craft breweries, followed by Jolly Pumpkin, Short’s, Dark Horse and Arbor Brewing.
This episode, titled “Brew Dogs: A Subzero Beer Pairing,” is scheduled to re-air on Esquire Network Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. It will also air following next week’s new “Brew Dogs” episode at 11 p.m.


Home     About     News     Services     Contact Us



Sign Up To Get The Latest Brews