The Midwest knows how to brew beer. Earth shattering news right? That’s my point though. Ten years ago, that statement might have actually been more profound and less obvious than it is today, even for seasoned beer drinkers. Discussing the best breweries in America without mentioning Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Founders Brewing would be somewhat difficult. Simply stated, Founders consistently makes beer I want to drink. I mean no disrespect by summarizing such an outstanding brewery with so few words, but isn’t that the aim of all breweries? Okay, I will try again. Founders consistently makes beer we all want to drink because the beers’ complexity, attention to detail, and creative style are as prevalent in the year-round beers as they are in the specialty and seasonal brews. Kudos to Founders for not defaulting to their year round offerings for this year’s event and bringing out the big boys.

Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market: Yes

Beer #1: KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) (Imperial Stout / 9 %)

Beer Advocate: A+ (1745 Reviews) – #8 Beer in the World
Rate Beer: 100 Overall, 99 Style


Notes: In the world of craft beer, the terms over-rated and over-hyped are tossed around often. This beer is neither. This monster of a stout is brewed with coffee and chocolate before it is cave-aged in bourbon barrels for over a year. If you have yet to try this beer, which is an issue in and of itself, do not leave SAVOR without doing so.

Beer #2: Double Trouble (Imperial IPA / 9.4 %)

Beer Advocate: A- (1078 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 99 Overall, 98 Style
Notes: This DIPA is one big beer.  You will get a lot of pine, grapefruit, and citrus on the nose and plenty of bitterness throughout the taste. A bit of residual sweetness from various malts are present, but not at the front of the profile.

One of my fondest Founders memories involves the Big Hunt and a good friend Darren Corrao (@djcorrao). While attending the rare Michigan beer night at The Big Hunt, I was with Darren when he first experienced Founders’ Canadian Breakfast Stout. I thought he was about to cry when he tried this for the first time. While Canadian Breakfast Stout is a rare treat, the rest of the Founders lineup is always delicious and available in our area.

This profile is a part of the SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.