Founders Frootwood kicks off a year of barrel-aged releases by the Grand Rapids, Michigan brewery.
Much of the brewery’s barrel-aged offerings are found in the Backstage Series with a couple of exceptions – the highly desired Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) and Backwoods Bastard. Incidentally, the next big barrel-aged release by Founders, known as Lizard of Koz, debuted in December. Blueberries and bourbon were a great way to finish out a really weird year.
February will bring Founders Frootwood is a cherry ale, aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. Speaking of which, Founders ages another ridiculously popular beer in maple syrup bourbon – Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS).
A flavor Battle Royale.
From the moment this story hit Beer Street Journal, the discussion was focused around the flavor. Fear of too much cherry. Fear of the beer being too sweet or too boozy. The result? Honestly, a “Battle Royale” of flavor. Each sip pulls you three ways. The main contenders are bourbon, cherries and maple syrup. Every time you think you have it figured out, you’re forced to go back for more. When you hear someone say a beer is “all over the place,” Frootwood is a great example. Sip this one in a rocking chair while pondering the meaning of life.
We took a crisp, light-bodied cherry ale and hid it away in oak barrels that held both bourbon and maple syrup. After a lengthy sting, it emerged a changed beer, blanketed in notes of warm vanilla and earthy sweetness. The wood proves itself the star of this beer, adding depth and taming the tart cherry while the maple imposes a velvety texture that lingers for not a moment too long.
A few things to note, Founders Frootwood is a 12 ounce and 750 milliliter bottle release, as well as draft. Part of a newly branded “Barrel Aged Series” which will be the new monicker for the brewery’s barrel-aged lineup in 2017 forward. On shelves starting in late January.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Founders Devil Dancer, the brewery’s “triple” India pale ale, has been cut from the 2017 lineup, along with Pale Ale.
The IPA world is constantly changing, and beer fan’s tastes along with it. Devil Dancer was one of the hoppiest in the brewery’s lineup – hopped for 26 straight days, with 10 different hop varieties.
“When you dance with the Devil the Devil don’t change. You do. Massive in complexity, the huge malt character balances the insane amount of alphas used to create it. At an incredible 112 IBU’s it’s dry-hopped with a combination of ten hop varieties. This one can age with the best of them. “
2017 is bringing change. The brewery is realigning barrel-aged beers like KBS and forthcoming Frootwood under the Barrel-Aged Series moniker, as well as placing extra focus on All Day IPA, and their canned offerings.
Founders Mosaic Promise will be promoted to a canned offering in 2017. The beer was originally an ArtPrize series offering in 2014. ArtPrize is the largest art competition in the world that is held in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
Mosaic Promise is brewed with a just one malt (Golden Promise), and a single hop (Mosaic).
Mosaic Promise showcases two unique ingredients: Mosaic hops and Golden Promise malt. The versatility of the hop’s pleasing aroma and flavor characteristics and the traditional barley’s depth of flavor comprise this clean, rich, golden beer. We can brew complex beers with the best of them, but we recognize that there is also beauty in simplicity.
Founders Mosaic Promise is once again available in 12 ounce bottles and draft until September, 2016.
Style: Pale Ale
Malts: Golden Promise
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Seasonal release.
Can Debut: Fall, 2017
5.5% ABV, 50 IBUs
Founders All Day IPA, the Grand Rapids, Michigan based brewery’s highly successful “session” IPA, has had a busy few years.
The first release of the beer over two years ago found fans clamoring for it. Not every state was lucky enough to get it. The next round apparently sold as fast as it shipped.
Not long after that, Founders canned All Day IPA in 12 packs. Then, just to one-up themselves, the brewery released 15 packs that sell for the exact same price.
In 2017, Founders All Day IPA might see a brand new format – 19.2 ounce cans. To date, Founders has not released cans larger than 12 ounces. By the sound of it, this new format is targeted for ballparks, arenas, and convenience stores.
The beer you’ve been waiting for. Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp. An all-day IPA naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatics and a clean finish. The perfect reward for an honest day’s work and the ultimate companion to celebrate life’s simple pleasures.
Currently, Founders All Day IPA is available in 12 ounce bottles and draft, year-round. The new format has not yet been discussed by the brewery.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, 12oz Cans, Draft. Year round.
Debut (19.2oz): Early, 2017
Founders Azacca, a single hopped India pale ale and seasonal offering by the Grand Rapids, Michigan brewery is now available in cans.
The Azacca hop originated in Washington state. In the case of Founders Azacca IPA, Yakima-based Roy Farms. It’s a very tropical (citrus/mango) flavored hop, that recently has become quite popular in the brewing community. The beer first appeared as a seasonal release in early 2016.
Named after the Haitian god of agriculture, the azacca hop has an intense tropical aroma with hints of citrus and mango. A touch of caramel malt gives a sweet backbone to support the righteous fruit character of this beer. Pouring a burnt orange color and registering at 7% ABV, your taste buds will worship the heavenly, hopped delight.
Founders Azacca India Pale Ale was last available seasonally until March of this year. Now, the tropical IPA is back in action in 15 pack cans. 12 packs are so 2014.
Availability: Draft. 12oz Cans
Release (Cans): December, 2016
Founders Lizard of Koz. Read the name, it’s a about to get decadent from here.
Joining the Backstage Series in December, “Lizard” looks to send out 2016 with a bang. The base beer for Founders Lizard of Koz is an imperial stout, brewed with blueberries, chocolate and vanilla. The finishing touch is the bourbon barrel aging.
The name celebrates the birthday of Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki’s little sister Liz. Blueberries, chocolate and vanilla are among her favorite ingredients.
What you’ll taste.
If ever there was a dessert beer, you’ve found it Lizard of Koz. It’s not easy to push the bourbon barrel-aged flavors of a beer to the backseat in a beer, but the chocolate, vanilla, and blueberries have done it. Those three dominate the flavor up front with a lingering vanilla-bourbon boozy flavor lingering in the finish.
Founders Lizard of Koz is a 750 milliliter bottle offering, across the brewery’s 39 states in limited quantities in November, 2016.
Founders Brewing announced today that they will be expanding their distribution territory with the help of the Great Artisan Beverage network of wholesalers. The Grand Rapids based brewery will expand to the state of Washington first, starting in January of 2017. Idaho and Oregon will follow in February of 2017.
“The Pacific Northwest has long been one of the craft industry’s most sacred regions. It was westward that Dave and I traveled in our discovery of craft beers some 25 years ago and we have long anticipated the day that Founders would be sold in this region. Simply put, it’s one of the country’s best craft beer beacons and we are humbled to be able to bring our beer to the consumers of the Pacific Northwest.” – Co-Founder and CEO Mike Stevens
Founders will be hosting launch events in Seattle, Washington January 10-12, 2016