Founders Frootwood debuted in 2017. For the first time since its release, Frootwood returns to the brewery’s taproom this month- nationally in January 2022.
The beer was a big hit amongst the brewery’s barrel-aged beer fans. Frootwood is a cherry ale, aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. As you might recall, one of the Founder’s most requested beers is also aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels – Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS).
A flavor Battle Royale.
From the moment this story hit Beer Street Journal 2017, the readers were worried the beer would have too much cherry. Or even worse, being too sweet or too boozy. The result was actually a “Battle Royale” of flavor. Each sip pulled you three ways. The main contenders are bourbon, cherries, and maple syrup – each fighting for dominance. When you hear someone say a beer is “all over the place,” Frootwood is a great example of just that. We hope the latest release is just the same.
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.
Founders Frootwood is a 12-ounce bottle release, as well as draft. Estimated retail $15.99 4/pack.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Founders KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa a new variant of the brewery’s famed KBS Stout debuts in November.
For years, the ‘Ides of March’ brought the seasonal release of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, aka KBS. Like everything in beer brewing, things change. Founders shifted KBS to year-round status and started releasing variants of the venerable stout.
…the sumptuous, deep coffee and chocolate flavors of KBS rise to the next level with a swirl of cinnamon and a hint of vanilla to create a sweet-but-not-too-sweet barrel-aged drinking experience. It’s a whole new spin on KBS that’s sure to sweeten your spirits.
Joining Founders KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa will be the return of KBS Espresso. Both will be available in 12-ounce bottles and draft across the brewery’s distribution starting in November 2021.
Style: Imperial Stout (w/ Vanilla. Chocolate. Cinnamon. Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Limited Release.
Debut: November 2021
Founders KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge, a variant of the well-known Kentucky Breakfast Stout, debuts in October.
This is just the second variant the brewery has released of KBS after KBS Espresso debuted earlier this year. This edition is brewed with Mackinac Fudge Coffee and maple syrup, then aged in oak bourbon barrels.
“We’ve been enjoying beers brewed with the Mackinac Fudge coffee in our taproom for years, and now we’re finally bringing that treatment to KBS. It takes the chocolate flavor traditionally found in KBS to a whole new level. Add in a hint of maple syrup and now you have an elegant, yet explosive new flavor experience.” – Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki.
Founders KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge will be available in the taproom on October 8th, shipping nationally shortly after, with the exception of Mississippi. The estimated retail price is $24 dollars/4 pack.
Debut: Early October 2020
Founders 4 Giants IPA is headed to the brewery’s 50 state distribution footprint in April.
This new 9.2% alcohol by volume India pale ale is a mashup of four different imperial IPAs. The sum of the four parts is what Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki says captures “the essence of what I think is the classic Imperial IPA.”
“Everything about it is totally in-your-face, but the flavor dynamics still manage to work together to create a well-balanced beer that is extremely fun to drink.”
Founders 4 Giants IPA will be available in 12-ounce bottles and draft nationally starting in April 2020.
Style: Imperial IPA
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Limited Release, April-June.
Debut: April 2020
Founders Brewing has been embroiled in a very public racial discrimination case. This afternoon, the Grand Rapids, Michigan brewery issued a statement about the case, additionally stating the case has been settled. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
Below are the statements from Founders and Tracy Evans in their entirety.
This is a developing story…
We are pleased to settle this case and focus on the future. Through recent discussions with Tracy, we listened, engaged in self-discovery, and reached common ground to make amends. We agreed that nobody be viewed at fault here. Most importantly, this serves as an opportunity to place our full attention on the work we now have to do, as a company of more than 600 dedicated team members, to rebuild our relationships.
Significantly, we are committed to moving the cause of diversity and inclusion forward for Founders. We want every employee to feel valued, respected and safe. We abhor discriminatory action of any type and believe that beer should bring people together and not divide.
-Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, Co-Founders
I am not going to say too much here but I want the world to know the power we have when we step forward and make ourselves heard. Upon hearing us, businesses also have the power to make changes or not. I don’t know what happens from here within the doors of Founders Brewing Co. I do know this; we have legal resolution and we have started looking at how ALL of this is affecting human lives. I don’t know what Dave and Mike have planned for the future, but I know that that “seeing color” and valuing people for who they are, and their collection of experiences is the mission. Learning from our mistakes is also part of the mission. Founders as a whole made some bad choices. I, as an individual made some mistakes but on this day we look to move forward. When someone offers to change, as humans we have a few choices and I have made the choice to see what Founders does with the path that they are about to take. To those that were affected by all of this within Founders and had nothing to do with this, I apologize. To the few of those that were affected by this and you are a part of the problem, I hope you listen to what your company is about to start saying. Craft beer is about coming together and celebrating our differences and no dollar amount should make a company want to forget that. A company is nothing without its workers and you deserve to be valued as such and there should be a clear line of what those goals are. As there are still people working for Founders that I still love very dearly, I hope for nothing but the best for Founders in the future. I will also be moving on and continuing this fight around the world as the issues that I experienced at Founders are not just a Founders issue, they happen everywhere and I vow to continue to be a vessel to help both employers and employees become better at acknowledging, understanding and dealing with them.
Love you all, thanks for the support and let’s continue to stand up for what’s right.
Founders Civilized Brut IPA is slated to be the first seasonal release by the Michigan-based brewery going into 2020.
The hazy India pale ale is in full control of the hoppy category in the United States, and there are industry rumblings that the category will swing away from the string of turbid, triple dry-hopped releases and back to the IPAs you can actually see through. In the case of Founders, it will be the Civilized Brut IPA.
The Brut IPA is defined by the effervescent, champagne-like mouthfeel the IPA – though few breweries have pulled this off very well. Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki on this future release:
“Dry, sparkling, hop-forward IPA. Civilized Brut has just the right amount of bitterness and hop flavor to not overwhelm the clean and dry finish of this beer, while the high effervescence makes it feel like a party in every sip.”
Founders Civilized Brut IPA will make its debut in both of the brewery’s taprooms on October 30th. Look for it in 12-ounce cans in both 6-packs and 15-packs, as well as draft nationally in November 2019.
Style: Brut IPA
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Seasonal Release.
Debut: Late October 2019
Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel is taking a majority stake in Founders Brewing.
In late 2014, it was announced that Mahou would be taking a 30% equity stake in the Grand Rapids-based brewery. Now, Mahou San Miguel is upping that equity stake to 90%.
According to MiBiz.com, papers have been filed documents with the Michigan Liquor Control Board, indicating Spain’s Best Beer Company, an affiliate of Mahou San Miguel would be assuming 90% ownership of Founders Brewing.
The remaining 10% stake will be held by co-founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers.
Earlier this year, the same entity took a 70% stake in Colorado’s Avery Brewing.
Founders has now released a statement on the majority purchase, shortly after the news broke:
- Mahou will assume the larger stake in early 2020.
- All shareholders in the brewery will be bought out, except Engbers and Stevens
- Founders states no brewery processes will change with this equity purchase
- There are no plans for Mahou San Miguel to purchase 100% of the company
- No Mahou brands are or will be brewed in Michigan
- The is no intermingling or relationship with Avery, other than shared ownership
If you are wondering “why” Founders sold the additional 60%, this is the only comment Beer Street Journal has the moment:
We decided to partner with Mahou Group in late 2014 to help strengthen the legacy of our brewery; to ensure it would last for generations to come. As Spain’s largest and oldest brewery, Mahou Group values legacy above all else and that value was critical in informing our decision to partner with them. Mahou Group has allowed us to grow and thrive as an autonomous partner and, even with their increased investment, the plan is to continue to allow us to pursue our dreams as we always have.
The brewery states the financial terms of the deal are confidential and will not be disclosed.
An email to Mike Stevens has not been returned.