founders breakfast stout It all started with an espresso bean. Over a decade ago, Dave Engbers, co-founder of Founders Brewing Co., was offered a chocolate-covered espresso bean while bartending at the Founders’ Taproom in Grand Rapids. Washing the bean down with a Founders Porter, Engbers decided to launch an experimental trial with beer, chocolate and coffee. The oats were added to the mix, and Breakfast Stout came together as arguably the most popular seasonal we make.

Named one of the top stouts in the world, Breakfast Stout starts with the best ingredients. Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki uses a proprietary process to combine two types of imported chocolate, oats and a Colombian and Sumatra blend from Grand Rapids artisanal roaster, Ferris Coffee and Nut. The coffee lover’s consummate beer, Breakfast Stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.

Founders Breakfast Stout is a limited release available in 4-packs with a suggested retail price of $10.99 across our distribution footprint, launching in September through December.


Portland, MI– On Saturday, Aug. 12, the Portland Main Street Program presents Beerfest on the Bridge from 3 – 8 p.m. on the historic Veterans Memorial Bridge in downtown Portland.

Constructed in 1890, the bridge offers a historic and exciting entrance into downtown Portland.  With the boardwalk and Grand River, Veterans Memorial Bridge has made Beerfest on the Bridge one of the most attractive and talked about festivals in the state.

Portland’s mayor, Jim Barnes, was new to the craft beer community when the planning of this event first happened back in 2014 – 2015.  He now understands beerfests are unique from other events and Portland has the perfect spot to bring together fans of craft beer and show off the downtown.

“Portland’s Beerfest on the Bridge provides the opportunity to enjoy the best of Michigan’s craft beer as it should be enjoyed, on a warm summer afternoon, along the banks of a lazy-flowing river, surrounded by a few hundred like-minded beer aficionados,” Barnes said.

This will be the third year of the festival held on the historic bridge.  The beerfest will host 12 breweries, a cidery, and a winery with over 50 selections including craft soda for designated drivers.

The featured brewed and fermented beverage providers will be Arbor Brewing Company, Bell’s Brewery, Cranker’s Brewery, EagleMonk Pub and Brewery, Ellison Brewery, Founders Brewing Company, Grand Armory Brewing, Lansing Brewing Company, Leelanau Cellars, Saugatuck Brewing Company, Schmohz Brewery, Steele Street Brewing, The Gallery Brewery and Uncle John’s Hard Cider.

There will also be a couple exclusive options.  Cranker’s Brewery will be debuting its Hoppy Habanero; Schmohz Brewery will be infusing its Bonecrucher Stout with Ice Cream,; and, in collaboration with Saugatuck Brewing Company, the Portland Strong Series will be making its return this year with Portland Strong Rhubarb Red Rye Ale.  Eric Proctor, the event’s organizer and promoter, said the Portland Strong Beer is a way to remember and celebrate the community.

“After the tornado hit in the summer of 2015, a lot of eyes were on our community as we came together to clean up and rebuild,” Proctor said.  “#PortlandStrong was born and we decided to pay homage by creating a beer to commemorate the events following that day in June.”

It’s not just about the beverages though.  There will be live music and a selection of food options from Sweet Caroline’s BBQ and Catering, Nolo’s Soul and Maria’s Tacos.

Tickets are $40 for VIP entry, which includes an extra hour of the beerfest (with entry at 2 p.m.), a logo tasting glass and 15 tasting tickets – 3 oz. each.  The regular, advance ticket includes a logo tasting glass and 10 tasting tickets – 3oz. each.  Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate on the day of the festival for $35. Save $5 per ticket by purchasing tickets before August 12.  Advance tickets are also available at the Portland Party Store, where ticket purchase will include a free Beerfest on the Bridge pint glass while supplies last.

For more information on the festival and to purchase tickets, visit


We love summer, and we love the beers that define it for us. Below are just a few beers we thought you all would like to check out and drink before this balmy season comes to a close.

Sparkle from Petoskey Brewing

summer beerThere’s barely a head on this golden, clear-as-crystal beer. It’s the epitome of summer drinking in my glass, because Petoskey Brewing decided to make their ‘Sparkle’ beer a Classic American Lager.

A whiff of crackers, some bread crust, grassy hops, and I’m on my way to tasting this little number. I receive a pleasant twinge of sweetness before a drying effect settles in. I’m left with a balancing, barely-there bitterness to round it out. A simple and to the point kind of a beer. Prepare yourself for true pleasure by pairing this summer quencher with seafood of the crustacean variety.

Even better, this beer comes in a  pint sized can, which means bringing this beer along when heading to the lake is a must.


Cake Walk from Right Brain Brewery

A cake walk, hey? AND it’s a Vanilla Cream Ale? Don’t mind if I do…

SummerBeer (6)Lovingly subtle Madagascar vanilla is in the nose, which is enveloped mostly by the aroma of corn. They suggest a “floral” note on the bottle and I don’t disagree, what with me thinking of lavender and lilies when I smelled it.

The mouthfeel is to die for! Incredibly smooth and pillowy, I gulp the beer down and find an explosive, yet not overwhelming, vanilla note. This dies down into the remnants of corn characteristic, and eventually into a lingering, small sense of bitterness.  It’s not sweet, but rather crisp. A very welcome thing on a hot day.

I’d explore this beer with cold cucumber soup, crab, or a béchamel and white cheddar grilled cheese.


Power of Love from Short’s Brew

SummerBeer (2)This, my friends, is a shandy-style ale. They chose to utilize rosemary and raspberry lemonade, and man, does it ever remind me of eating red popsicles in the summer while sitting on my mom’s lap. I’d get occasional whiffs of the American style lager she was drinking, and this shandy ale here brings those two scents together once again. No wonder they called it “Power of Love.”

As expected, the lemonade, raspberry, and rosemary scents make their way into my nose. I sip a bit and stagger a little at the sweetness, though it does make me want to freeze this beer in an ice tray and eat it as a popsicle….

A tiny bit of bitterness escapes at the very end, letting you know this is still part beer after all. It’s bright, fruity, sweet, and the perfect pairing with lemon basil chicken salad.


Tasmanian Hatter from New Holland Brewing Company

12oz-TasmanianHatter_Label_2015It’s an aroma bomb of dank, garlic, juicy mango and pineapple hops.  So far so good, now let’s dive in.

This ‘Galaxy India Pale Ale’ is punchy as all hell in the nose, but transforms itself into a sweet, bitter, and chewy beer that focuses on mouthfeel. It’s well rounded, flavorful, yet doesn’t feel disorganized.

Tasmanian Hatter can go in many directions with pairing, but I’d especially save this one for a roast rabbit with mango chutney or brisket tacos with pineapple slaw on a corn tortilla.



Mackinac Island Fudge Stout from Arbor Brewing Company

SummerBeer (4)What better way to end a meal in the summer than with a hot fudge sundae? Let’s re-create our own by pouring a little of this brew onto some ice cream and relish in the fact that chocolate beer and ice cream are a classic hit for a reason.

Here we are then, with the dark brown brew that is the Mackinac Island Fudge Stout. It’s got medium body, a little bit of acidity, and a creamy chocolate (almost tootsie roll candy) flavor that emerges in the flavor and aroma. Not overbearing or dense, this beer is a great way to get your chocolate fix even on the warmest of days.

You should also consider using this beer in a recipe for braised pulled chicken with beer mole sauce, using this fudge stout for the mole sauce.

Get out there, enjoy your continuing palate exploration, and live up the rest of the 2016 summer with season-perfect brews.


michigan craft beer

LANSING, Mich—Craft beer enthusiasts are passionate about Michigan brews…and February is the perfect time to fall in love with rich, chocolaty and fruity beers. As you head out with your sweetheart this year for Valentine’s Day, consider ordering up a pint of one of these deliciously romantic Michigan made libations recommended by the Michigan Brewers Guild.


Espresso Love (7.5%ABV | 15 IBUs). Oatmeal and 20 pounds of fresh roasted 100% fair-trade coffee, from the nearby Ugly Mug Café Brewed, contribute to a mildly chalky espresso character balanced by a rich, sweet creamy maltiness. The coffee finish dissolves into chocolate, with a slight roasty bitterness. Pairs well with desserts, especially dark chocolate, raspberries, and cheesecake.

ARCADIA ALES, Battle Creek

Cocoa Loco Triple Chocolate Stout (7% ABV | 39 IBUs). This award-winning beer gets its rich flavor from Simpson Chocolate, Weyerman Chocolate and Crisp Chocolate malts. The addition of lactose lends the beer a creamy quality- not unlike a milkshake- while the Blackstrap Molasses adds rich, burnt, syrupy flavors.  Flavors of baker’s chocolate and espresso dominate, while rich malty flavors and a subtle kiss of hops add nice balance, making this a truly one-of-a-kind BIG beer.

BELL’S BREWERY, Galesburg / Kalamazoo  

Smitten Golden Rye Ale (6.0% ABV | 42 IBUs). This spring seasonal offers rustic flavors from rye malt combined with citrusy, resinous hop aroma from Pacific Northwest varieties to create a crisp, refreshing take on the classic pale ale.


Ancho Chili Dutch Double Chocolate Porter (5.3% ABV). There’s a special magic that happens between chilies and chocolate that was first utilized in ancient Latin America and still weaves its spell today. Ancho Chili Dutch Double Chocolate Porter showcases the perfect balance of chili flavor and warmth combined with dark chocolate. This is not a hot pepper beer – the warmth from the chilies builds slowly, enhancing the character of the beer without becoming dominant. Far from being a novelty beer, the richness of chocolate malts and Dutch cocoa combined with the deep, smoky flavor imparted by whole Ancho chilies while the beer is conditioning will keep them coming back for more.


Imperial Cocoa Cherry (9% ABV | 80 IBUs). This robust imperial stout is like chocolate covered cherries in a glass, complete with a kiss of cherry sweetness—like a loving embrace. This beer will pair well with all of your Valentine’s Day desserts.


Founders Porter (6.5% ABV | 45 IBUs). Described as “Dark, Rich and Sexy,” this beer pours silk black with a creamy tan head. The nose is sweet with a strong chocolate and caramel malt presence and no absence of hops gives this beer the full flavor you deserve and expect…it’s cozy like velvet. This 2010 World Beer Cup silver medalist is described as “a lover, not a fighter.”


Lion Heart (6.8% ABV | 36 IBUs). Forget the box of chocolates, let your lover’s sweet tooth indulge in the Lion Heart, an amorous robust porter made even more sensual with the addition of raspberry puree and cacao nibs. Luscious chocolate notes balance against the coffee and roast malt profile with accents of fruity tartness from the raspberry.

Susie Q (4.9% ABV | 16 IBUs). What’s better than a bouquet of flowers for your craft beer sweetheart? A bouquet of flavor from Susie Q, a cream ale brewed with hibiscus and rose hips. Soft smelling as a rose and light as a sunny day, Susie Q exhibits light malt sweetness which transitions to delicate citrus and floral flavors of the rose and hibiscus.


Winter Nights (8% ABV) – the toasted aroma, smooth maltiness and slight chocolate and coffee notes give this winter warmer the tools to keep you and your loved one warm on a cold winter night!

JOLLY PUMPKIN, Dexter / Ann Arbor / Detroit / Traverse City 

iO Saison (6.8% ABV). Part of the Baudelaire series, this beer will capture the hearts of art and artisan beer lovers alike. Drawn in by the historic elegance of the label design and then held tight by the rapture of flavors, it will be released in limited quantities. iO Saison is brewed in a lovely fashion, with rose hips, rose petals and hibiscus. Yet, don’t be easily deceived by her looks, for like love – she can be oh so dangerous. Available in late February.


Love Fuel (3% ABV | 6 IBUs). This raspberry Berlinerweiss looks like pink lemonade and smells like a fresh combination of fruit and German yeast with a tasty, bubbly flavor.


Doctor Love (8% ABV | 18 IBUs). This imperial red ale with ale brewed with eight different invigorating herbs and a touch of flavor hops.

Love Potion #8 (7.5% ABV | 32 IBUs). This double chocolate stout is brewed with four different invigorating herbs, to get the blood flowing.

Sacred Gruit (5.8% ABV | 4 IBUs). The flagship gruit brewed with 3 different herbs that stimulate the mind, create euphoria and enhance sexual drive. For a little added fun, try the Peach Gruit, with peace juice added.

Chocolate Vibrant Stout (9% ABV). This imperial stout is full of flavor from chocolate, with aphrodisiacal herbs added for her pleasure.


Sweetheart Stout (5.8% ABV | 35 IBUs). This oatmeal stout is blended in three steps, with pureed raspberries.


The Poet (5.2% ABV | 37 IBUs). This is a romantic offering for Valentine’s Day. This beer reveals a rich, smooth malt character enveloped in tones of roast and chocolate. A soft mouth-feel brings luxurious flavors and a soothing aroma. The Poet is as versatile as it is delicious – the perfect accent to any chocolate dessert.

NORTH PEAK BEER, Dexter / Detroit

Dubious Black Chocolate Stout (5.3% ABV | 50 IBUs). Sporting its “giant man-eating beaver” icon, this beer pays homage to Northern Michigan’s Beaver Island. This beer has the perfect combination of chocolate with roast and black malts, resulting in a smooth and rich beer. Judicious use of hops brings out a complex, yet subtle bittering, finished off with a big Goldings nose. This swirl of aroma, flavor and body is underscored by the rich, dark chocolate that is added at the end of the boil.


Shot Through the Heart (9.5% ABV | 30 IBUs). This imperial porter is aged on cacao nibs, giving it a big, smooth, malty sweetness, with notes of dark chocolate, dried fruit and caramel.

ROCHESTER MILLS BEER CO., Rochester / Auburn Hills

Milkshake Stout (5.3% ABV | 20 IBUs). The combination of four different malts, along with a low hop level creates a deep dark beer featuring rich, roasted, malt flavors. The addition of lactose (milk sugar) adds complexity, body, and a residual sweetness lending a smooth creamy texture to this full-flavored brew. Once a seasonal offering in the pub, now prominently featured in state-wide distribution due to popular demand.

Paint Creek Porter (6.0% ABV | 21 IBUs). This pub-only offering is a robust beer that features a rich, velvety chocolate malt flavor that will compliment any chocolate dessert.


Hoplust IPA (7.1% ABV | 70 IBUs). A profoundly hoppy hand-crafted American IPA, with a proprietary blend of six different hop varieties for a unique flavor experience. An intense bouquet of fresh hops will greet you on the nose, followed by the bursting tropical, citrus and piney flavors on your palette. The approach to this IPA is to focus more toward satisfying the craving for hop flavor than bitterness.


Hot Loins. A beer brewed with aphrodisiacs: Pomegranate, vanilla, honey and the most powerful aphrodisiac of all time – Tongat Ali – aka long jack.

Love Knife (6.7% ABV – 45 IBU) is a brownish red Belgian ale that explodes with aromas of strawberry, banana, and nectarine. Malt sweetness is quite low, allowing for the fruit flavors to be apparent throughout the beer.

Of course, there are countless other beers to LOVE…and the best is the one in your hand. Hopefully, that’s locally-crafted here in Michigan!

hopcatGrand Rapids–HopCat Grand Rapids is celebrating their anniversary January 23, but the party lasts all month long.

The celebration got an early start this Saturday with a release of special collaboration beers.

On January 23rd the official anniversary party will feature HopCat exclusive beers including bottles of Red Nymph and Oil Spiller.

hopcatFans of Hopcat’s famous fries can come hungry and enter the Crack Fries eating contest. The contest is $5 to join and all proceeds will be matched by HopCat and donated to the Humane Society of West Michigan.

The celebration continues on January 24th, as HopCat hosts a special anniversary beer dinner focused on house-brewed and collaboration beers paired with a four ­course, off­ menu meal. Tickets are $30 and the full menu of beer and scratch-made food is available here.


Look for these special releases at the anniversary party on January 23:

Atwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Teufelbock

Arcadia ­Bourbon Barrel Aged London Porter

Dark Horse ’14 Plead The Fifth

Arbor ’14 Demetrius

Rochester Mills ­Bourbon Barrel Aged Snow Dazed

Saugatuck ­Big Bitch Barleywine

Arcadia ­Shipwrecked Porter

Tapistry ­Batch 200

Vivant ­Belgian Weiss

Epic ­Big Bad Baptist

Founders ­ Project PAM

Mikkeller ’10 From: To: Via:

Perrin ’13 Bourbon Barrel Aged Rye Wine

Shorts ’14 Bourbon Wizard

New Belgium ’14 La Folie

HopCat ­Unicorn on Acid

HopCat ­I’m Not Sorry

HopCat/New Belgium Collaboration ­ Imperial Chocolate Cherry

HopCat ­Smore’s Sassiness Porter

HopCat ­ ATTN: Brett

HopCat Oil Spiller

HopCat ­Red Nymph

Lake Ann Brewery

Breweries come in all shapes and sizes. Some breweries have massive distribution reach, while others stay within their small towns. Some breweries experiment with ingredients while others focus on quality brews of traditional recipes. Some breweries attract people from far away, while others become a place for locals to catch up and enjoy each other.

Upon walking into Lake Ann Brewing Company (LABC), it is clear that it has become the small town’s meeting place. The beer is exceptional, the environment is comfortable, and the people are friendly. LABC has become a favorite with reliable brews that locals enjoy. You won’t find off the wall beers with unusual ingredients. Instead, you’ll find an array of styles of quality beer from blonde ales to IPAs to stouts and porters. You’ll also find local wines, meads, and ciders amongst its 24 taps.

Lake Ann Brewing

“Our customers are not checking in on Untappd. They’re here to have a good beer and enjoy each other. Take our blond ale. It’s nothing crazy, but it’s a good blond ale and it’s what a lot of the people who come in here are looking for,” said owner and head brewer Matt Therrien.

LABC opened earlier this Spring in Lake Ann and has already made an impact in the area. Lake Ann sits roughly twenty minutes outside of Traverse City, and boasts a large population for a small village. For those that don’t want to make the trip into Traverse City, where the beer scene is bustling, LABC is the perfect solution.

Therrien has been homebrewing since the 1990s, but didn’t see the potential of a brewery in Lake Ann until recently. After putting a hold on working in construction six years ago, he focused on brewing quality all-grain brews with a new homebrewing set-up. Meanwhile, a long-standing building sat vacant in downtown Lake Ann. After much discussion with his wife, Therrien put an offer on the building in October 2013.

Therrien used what he had learned from homebrewing, as well as advice from other local brewers, including Tina Schuett of Rarebird Brewery, to put together what he thought would work best for his location and his community. For instance, as a homebrewer, he had dealt with his fair share of kegging, and knew he did not want to keg at the brewery.

“We have six serving tanks instead. It’s much more efficient, the beer is even, and cleaning is much easier,” said Therrien.

He also bypassed a 3-barrel system, and instead installed a 7-barrel system. Hearing from others about growing pains and batch sizes, he knew a 7-barrel system would work much better for what he envisioned. Even with these careful considerations, Lake Ann Brewing Company opened quietly ahead of schedule in June.

“We didn’t make an announcement beforehand because we were unsure of how long things would take,” Therrien said. “And after we made it through our first week, we thought, ‘we’ll be alright.’”

And in the six months they have been opened, things have continued to be “alright.” Whether it’s a weeknight or a Saturday evening, the taproom sees a consistent flow of traffic. Locals stop in often to visit with each other. In fact, Therrien himself can often be seen chatting with locals he knows well.

Located right next door is The Stone Oven, which happily delivers to LABC. This adds to the atmosphere and gives patrons another reason to visit. Not only can they get a crisp and clear brew, they can also order a delicious pizza and have it delivered to them in the taproom.

“We have a great location, we’re the only place in town, and we have great food next door. It’s great!” said Therrien.

Brewery Vivant

Grand Rapids — December 20 will find Brewery Vivant celebrating their 5th year of business in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids. To mark this occasion they are serving rare and exciting beers, special dishes, and announcing a sour beer program as well as releasing a wood-aged sour beer Anniversary Ale in a 500ml bottle — a change of pace as Vivant is known for their canned beers.

“We are launching our new sour beer program in glass bottles versus cans as higher CO2 volumes are part of this old­-world style of wood aged beer. The bottle provides champagne bottle-­like protection from brewing with these wild yeasts,” says owner and president, Jason Spaulding.

Vivant is known for their bold flavors both in the glass and on the plate. Their kitchen was voted Best European Restaurant for 2015 by Grand Rapids Magazine. They famously use fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients in a wide array of Belgian and French inspired dishes. They frequently use ingredients grown in the Vivant Garden, a small plot of land located a mile away from the pub.

The anniversary party will raise funds for the neighborhood’s elementary school, Congress Elementary. “We see our business as vehicle to do good things within our community,” says owner & sustainability director Kris Spaulding.

Vivant has been awarded Sustainable Business of the Year by the West Michigan Business Forum. They are the first commercial brewery in the nation to receive Silver LEED Certification from the USGBC. Additionally they are 100% renewable powered, a silver ­level Bicycle Friendly Business, and are a certified B Corporation. Beer the Change®