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
Founders Solid Gold Lager debuted nationally on March 1st of this year. Soon, this “Solid” addition to the brewery’s lineup is going to get bigger. 19.2 ounces bigger. The big cans are coming soon. The release date for these larger cans hasn’t been announced. We assume before the end of the year.
Original release info below.
Over the past few months now, we’ve said 2018 will be a big year for lagers and Pilsners. Let’s offer this new release from Founders as more evidence. Solid Gold Lager got its start in the Founders taproom in Grand Rapids, Michigan years ago. Their brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki has completely overhauled the recipe ahead of this forthcoming national launch.
Founders Solid Gold is a beautifully crisp, clean lager. There’s a touch of lemony citrus aroma that fills the glass and lingers in the smooth, grainy finish. Has Founders challenged the concept of a lager? If nothing else, they have succeeded in making it stand out a bit. The use of Lemondrop hops definitely puts a subtle lemon zesty elegance what some might call a “simple beer”. Solid Gold is beautiful – from pour to finish. If you aren’t convinced yet, hopefully, the pricing will. 6-packs should retail around $7.99, while 15-packs will run $14.99. That’s about a dollar per can, making it one of the most competitively priced lagers on shelves.
Founders Solid Gold Lager is the first year-round beer by the brewery to launch exclusively in cans. Look for it nationally starting March 1st.
Availability: 12oz Cans. 19.2oz Cans (COMING SOON). Year-Round
4.4% ABV, 20 IBUs
Founders Barrel Runner will join the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series in June.
The weather is finally warmer, perfect for sipping this pirate-themed, rum ladened offering – Founders Barrel Runner. The base beer is an imperial India pale ale brewed with mosaic hops, that has been aged in rum barrels.
This is the 4th release in the Michigan-based brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series lineup this year. Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS), Backwoods Bastard and brand new Founders Dankwood (bourbon barrel-aged red ale) have hit shelves ahead of this release.
“I drink tiki cocktails probably more than I should and looked to them for inspiration when creating Barrel Runner. You get a lot of bright, tropical character from the abundance of Mosaic hops plus a nice kick of oak and rum from the barrels. Add a tiny umbrella and you got yourself a beer perfect for enjoying poolside.” – Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki.
Founders Barrel Runner will be available in 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles and draft, starting in June 2018.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, 22oz Bottles, Draft. June-August
Debut: June 2018
Founders Green Zebra returns to cans in April.
For more than five years, Founders has brewed a beer for the ArtPrize competition hosted in the brewery’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previous releases in the lineup include Pale Joe, Spectra Trifecta, and Mosaic Promise.
Founders Green Zebra, is a goes-style ale brewed with watermelon and sea salt. A new packaged style for Founders, as well as being the first ArtPrize release that has been canned.
“We love playing with expectations when it comes to brewing our ArtPrize beers and Green Zebra is the perfect example of that. The gose style is very unique and pretty unknown, even amongst craft beer drinkers, and we wanted to bring our version of it to a larger audience. For the first time ever, our ArtPrize beer will be available across our entire distribution network so even more of our fans can get to know this style we’ve fallen in love with.” – Dave Engbers, Co-Founder and President
Jacob Wiseheart, an employee of Founders taproom created the label artwork.
Founders Green Zebra will be available again in 12-ounce cans and draft again starting April 13th.
4.6% ABV, 10 IBUs
Image: Founders Brewing
Founders Dankwood is coming to the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series in April.
The Grand Rapids, Michigan based brewery has taken a “big, bold” imperial red ale, and aged it for a while in bourbon oak barrels. The resulting beer is described by Founders as having “rich caramel notes emerge from the depths of the IPA, highlighting strong malt character while the bourbon barrel-aging develops the complexity”.
Founders Dankwood will be the third release in the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series, following the venerable KBS in March, and Backwoods Bastard (the brewery’s newest year-round beer) in April.
Expect both 750-milliliter bottles, 12-ounce bottles, and draft.
Founders Tank Bender debuts in October, celebrating the brewery crossing the 20-year mark.
A barrel-aged eisbock has been chosen to mark the double decade milestone, a first for the brewery. The style is created by freezing water off the beer, leaving behind a much stronger beer. Apparently, the brewery bent one of their fermentation tanks in the process, thanks to collapsing ice.
A liberal addition of Munich malt highlights the toasty and dark fruit notes while a stay in bourbon barrels tames those intense flavors.
Those looking to get their hands on Founders Tank Bender will have to make a trip to the 20th-anniversary party on October 14th. Founders is only offering this special release at the brewery to the fans that been active since the beginning, “…to illustrate the importance of our home base”.
750-milliliter bottles will be available on October 14th, both individually, and in special gift sets with glassware.
Founders DKML, a barrel-aged malt liquor, has been formally announced for release in the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series this July.
Hot on the heels of Kentucky Breakfast Stout, and recently released Doom, is a completely new style for the Grand Rapids, Michigan based brewery – a malt liquor. The base beer is brewed with corn, plus a lager yeast that has been cultivated by Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel, a strategic partner with Founders.
Founders DKML is not only dry-hopped, but aged in bourbon barrels.
“With DKML I wanted to do something totally original, and I don’t know anyone in the craft beer world who is barrel-aging malt liquor. After some early trials, we ended up with Mahou’s lager yeast to brew a really amazing malt liquor, and then we did what we do best – barrel-aged it. The bourbon barrel smoothed it out while giving it that ‘kick’ you would expect from an imperial malt liquor.” – Jeremy Kosmicki, Brewmaster
Founders DKML will be available in 12 ounce bottles, 750 milliliter bottles, and draft in the taproom starting in July, 2017. The brewery’s 46 state footprint will receive it in late-July.