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.
Founders CBS will return to the brewery’s Barrel-Aged lineup again on November`1st. This is last time you’ll see it for some time.
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. Since then, CBS has made just two more times, with the latest release missing the iconic Canadian Mountie rider. Why? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police filed a legal cease & desist over the depiction of the Mountie seen in the Beer Street Journal pic below. We know it’s not a titillating story, but it solves the mystery behind the horse with no rider on the last bottle.
CBS will return November 1st as the 5th release in the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series, in both 750-milliliter bottles and new 12-ounce bottles. According to Founders, this is the last time this beer will be released in the foreseeable future.
Founders Underground Mountain Brown will be the 4th release in the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series this August.
Brewery fans know this beer under a different name, Barrel-Aged Sumatra Mountain Brown. Founder takes an imperial brown ale, adds Sumatra coffee, and ages it in bourbon barrels in their caves for nearly a year. This release follows new margarita-inspired Mas Agave, presumably on shelves now.
A team of malts complements the bold Sumatra coffee perfectly, while time spent immersed in oak creates layers of depth and complexity. A celebration of the barrel, the bean and everything in between.
Founders Underground Mountain Brown will be available in 12- ounce and 750-milliliter bottles, as well as draft, starting in mid-August.
11.9% ABV, 30 IBUs
Founders Pilsner has a fresh new look this year.
Founders Mas Agave will be the 3rd Barrel-Aged Series release in 2019, following Backwoods Bastard and CBS.
This margarita-inspired release is an imperial gose, brewed with agave and lime, and aged in tequila barrels. According to Founders, the tequila gives this beer “just the right amount of kick”.
The label is inspired by Day of the Dead imagery, especially the altars built to honor loved ones.
Founders Mas Agave will be available in 750-milliliter bottles, 12-ounce bottles, and draft in May 2019