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
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.
Available now: Angry Orchard Tapped Maple, a new hard cider.
Cold wintery breakfasts are the inspiration for Tapped Maple. Angry Orchard used culinary apples from the United States, and Vermont maple syrup in its creation. Once the apple juice fermented into a dry cider, maple syrup was added to create a fun, contrasting flavor.
This cider is especially interesting because the base cider is actually quite dry. The maple syrup – rich in flavor and natural maple sweetness – adds a delicate balance, creating a not-too-sweet cider with a strong maple-forward aroma, and full, round mouthfeel.
Angry Orchard Tapped Maple is available from January through April in 12 ounce bottles.
Ed note: Apparently this cider was released in January. PR was released Mid-Feb.
Wicked Weed Barrel Aged French Toast, a bourbon barrel-aged edition of the imperial stout is now available.
Back in January, the Asheville, North Carolina based brewery release French Toast Stout in cans, limited only to the brewery. The imperial stout is brewed brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup, mimicking the popular breakfast food. Since then, the beer has been upgraded to bottles.
Out in the world now is Wicked Weed Barrel Aged French Toast Stout, a bourbon barrel aged edition of the hit stout. The flavor is a pleasant balance of cinnamon and vanilla, thanks to both the vanilla beans and bourbon oak. As the beer warms the French toast favors really bloom. Get this beer, and some challah and eggs and go nuts. Beer is perfect for breakfast.
Bourbon Barrel Aged French Toast Imperial Stout is a delicious testament to smoldering intensity. Prepare for the smooth vanilla, zesty cinnamon, and sweet maple syrup of the original to be epically enhanced by the finest Kentucky bourbon barrels. This sweet treat’s time in oak barrels has forged an entirely new creation. Taste this beauty after its Bourbon-barrel transformation, and give in to sweet intensity.
Wicked Weed Barrel Aged French Toast Stout is a 12.7 ounce bottle release, hitting distribution starting in late January.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Hair of the Dog Maja, a collaboration with Stockholm, Sweden’s Omnipollo, debuts today.
The base beer is a 10% alcohol by volume barleywine, with nuances of vanilla, maple and bourbon. The beer went into the barrel with vanilla beans in February of 2016. 100% bottle conditioned.
This beer is pale in color and has the aromas of peaches and pleasant memories of the past. In the mouth, pineapple mixes with marshmallow, ample and whimsy. Produced with the help and guidance of our good friends at Omnipollo to provide a truly unique drinking experience.
Hair of the Dog Maja is a 12 ounce bottle release, available the brewery in Portland, Oregon starting today.
Image: Hair of the Dog
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
Expanding the “mash” series month is The Bruery Mash & French Toast. Breakfast beers are here to stay.
As for The Bruery Mash & French Toast, this is your breakfast beer of choice. The barleywine has been bourbon barrel-aged, with cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and maple syrup.
If the allure of rich, caramelized notes or maple character don’t rouse you out of bed, the wafts from our brewer’s kitchen will, summoning you with nutmeg and cinnamon spices and warm vanilla character. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and Mash & French Toast. No utensils required.
Now for the bad news. The Bruery Mash & French Toast is only available to Reserve Society members.