Founders CBS will return to the brewery’s Barrel-Aged lineup again on November 2nd. This time the horse is missing its rider.
One of the most demanded beers in Grand Rapids, Michigan based Founders Brewing’s lineup is CBS, aka Canadian Breakfast Stout.
The imperial stout is brewed with a blend of coffee and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that have most recently been aging pure Michigan maple syrup. Folks go insane at the mere mention of this beer.
The first time the world saw bottles of this release was in October of 2011, as the second release in the brewery’s Backstage Series.
Since then, the Backstage Series has grown eventually morphing into the Barrel-Aged Series. Fans begged, but CBS was still missing from the lineup until December of last year.
Today, the brewery has officially confirmed that Founders CBS will be available again in the Grand Rapids taproom and distribution for a third time (in bottles) on November 2nd. This time – the horse has thrown its iconic Canadian Mountie rider. Why? The brewery filled us in, but have a few things to wrap up surrounding it before we can divulge more.
Founders Curmudgeon’s Better Half, originally the third release in the brewery’s Backstage Series, returns in August.
The grumpy “Curmudgeon” on the label is best known for appearances on hiatus old ale by the same name. In February 2012, the brewery released Curmudgeon’s Better Half as a part of their Backstage Series, now known as the Barrel-Aged Series.
Curmudgeon’s Better Half is the familiar old ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. (Similar to Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout.) Fan demand prompted the return of this boozy treat.
Six years later, how is it? Let’s take it back to December. Christmas saw the return of another legendary beer in Founders lineup – Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS). The fans clamored and traded for it like it would cure cancer. The reviews ended up being a little mixed, and here’s our theory why. It’s been a quite a while since the last release, and so many barrel-aged beers have come and gone in that time span. Folks built it up in their minds over the years to a level CBS couldn’t achieve, no matter how good it actually was.
Curmudgeon’s Better Half was pretty great in our opinion six years ago and really hasn’t been subjected to this mental buildup over the past half decade. We never thought we’d see it again. With the first sip, we are instantly reminded of the subtle beauty of this beer. There aren’t a lot of old ales running around breweries these days. The original Curmudgeon was brewed with molasses and had a touch of sweetness that mixes with hints of brown sugar and caramel. This version aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels didn’t throw “Better Half” over the top. Each sip is a subtle symphony of vanilla oak, sweet maple, caramel malt, with a finishing alcoholic heat and lingering sweetness. A slow sipper after dinner, or in a rocking chair on a porch as the sunsets. Our love affair was rekindled immediately.
Every year, the brewery plans to bring new creations to their coveted Barrel-Aged Series, but a few releases from the past beg to be re-released. Founders fans have been begging for Curmudgeon’s Better Half to return since it’s release 6 years ago. “This was a beer that needed to get back into the rotation,” says Barrel Maestro, Jason Heystek.
Founders Curmudgeon’s Better Half will make its return starting August 24th in the new 12-ounce bottle format, 750-milliliter bottles, as well as draft.
12.7% ABV, 35 IBUs
Evil Twin Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Toasted Coconut Cake Break is a future bottle potential. The name is quite the mouthful.
Evil Twin is in the process of building their first brick and mortar location in New York City. In the meantime, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso has “gypsy” brewing stateside at various breweries -one being Westbrook Brewing in South Carolina.
The origin of this mega-collaboration starts as Evil Twin’s Biscotti Break and Westbrook Brewing’s Mexican Cake Imperial Stout. The two brewing teams combine the two beers into one beast of a beer – Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break. They didn’t stop there. Barrel-aged variants surfaced Double Barrel Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break, aged in Marsala wine and bourbon barrels, and Evil Twin Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break.
if you didn’t know pastry stouts are alive and well in the brewing industry, then let this serve as your official notice. Half the lines at breweries on Saturdays are for pastry stouts. A beer name like Evil Twin Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Toasted Coconut Cake Break is enough to make a beer geek break out in a sweat.
Evil Twin Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Toasted Coconut Cake Break is slated to be a 22-ounce bottle release. The brewery has not yet announced this offering.
Evil Twin Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break debuts as October comes to a close.
What started with two highly sought after beers: Evil Twin Biscotti Break and Westbrook Brewing’s Mexican Cake Imperial Stout. Since Evil Twin was gypsy brewing until Westbrook’s roof, the brewery’s opted to combine the two beers into one beast of a beer – Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break. The result was dark, bold and complex.
Now some barrel-aged variants will be available to fans – Double Barrel Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break, aged in Marsala wine and bourbon barrels, and Evil Twin Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break.
The latter uses the base mash-up, an imperial stout brewed with coffee, cinnamon, almonds, cocoa nibs, vanilla and habanero peppers, aged in maple bourbon barrels. A mouthful? Yes. Sound delicious? Of course.
Evil Twin Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break will be available in 22-ounce wax top bottles for the first time in the last week of October.
There’s a new breakfast beer in coming to Kansas City, Missouri. Boulevard Requiem for a Pancake debuts on March 1st.
This beer starts with a smattering of oak barrels that held Woodinville Whiskey Co. rye and bourbon, before aging maple syrup. These little eight-gallon barrels were perfect for a small batch beer for tap room patrons and friends.
The brewery rested an imperial brown ale into the twice used barrels and waited.
Boulevard Requiem for a Pancake will be available to the public at the brewery on March 1st, in 12 ounce bottles.
It’s hard not to judge a book by it’s cover. The same goes for beer. As beer gets infinitely more creative, so has the artwork that goes along with it. Atlanta’s Second Self Beer didn’t just brew a great beer and slap a label on it. Manic Pixie Dream is a “next level” kind of collaboration.
This story starts a bit before the beer was brewed. Brewery co-founder Jason Santamaria has been a fan of Keith P. Rein’s artwork for a while. The guy is best known for the Slaughterhouse Starlets Series. Basically, he takes famous females like Winona Ryder or Taylor Swift and juxtaposes them into a murdery, Dexter-like composition. When Santamaria married his wife Liz, he noticed Keith P. Rein to be the dominant in each other’s art collection.
All Santamaria needed was a good reason to reach out to is favorite artist. As it turns out, Rein has always wanted to do a piece for a beer can. Manic Pixie Dream was born.
The Second Self team went big when it comes to the beer. The base is an 11% alcohol by volume Russian imperial stout, that has been aged in Blis barrels. The mere mention of Blis will make a beer fan salivate. Blis Gourment is a Michigan based company that ages maple syrup in bourbon barrels. After the maple syrup is drained, what you have left is a playground for one hell of an awesome beer. As an added bonus, Second Self infused locally roasted Batdorf & Bronson coffee.
Santamaria and Rein weren’t satisfied with just creating one label. Especially with a beer as complex as this one. Blis barrels are hard to come by, and recipes like this one are expensive. Ultimately, this beer is in short supply. Created simply for your own happiness. A bit like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl movie trope.
Coined in 2005 by film critic Nathan Rabin after watching Kirsten Dunst’s character in Elizabethtown, MPDG is a “bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” Other examples include Kate Hudson’s character in Almost Famous, Natalie Portman in Garden State, or Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot.
With Manic Pixie Dream in mind, Rein drew four different iterations of Pixie. Each label breaks out a component of the beer – Coffee, Maple Syrup, Bourbon, and Grains. Besides the incredible artwork, the beer is fantastic. Truly a sipper, where the each of the components starts to pop as the beer warms. After the barrel-aging, you’re drinking at near 14% alcohol by volume beer.
Second Self is holding a special release event on February 26th where attendees can purchase all four cans. The brewery is planning on making Manic Pixie Dream a series going forward, with an evolving list of styles (including a sour/wild ale).
This is one of the few times we have found ourselves torn between the beer or the artwork that’s more exciting. A few more sips and we might just decide.