Name: Founders Brewing Company
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Available in DC Market: Yes
What you need to know: You probably know this brewery from the yearly mass hysteria they cause when releasing Canadian and Kentucky Breakfast Stouts. In 2011, Ratebeer ranked Founders the second best brewery in the world, no small feat. Founders famously makes beer that they like to drink, and they hope you like it, too. Their philosophy is “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.” Judging from the results, it seems you are like them. Last year, Founders crossed the 50,000 barrels threshold.
Beer #1: All Day IPA (IPA / 4.7% ABV)
Beer Advocate: 88 (155 ratings)
Rate Beer: 95 overall, 92 style (157 ratings)
Notes: While Founders’ products are available in DC, this particular beer is not, so local SAVOR-goers are in for a treat. At “only” 42 IBU, it’s not a hop bomb, though you’ll taste a bit of grapefruit pith and pine, with a bready malt backbone. This beer finishes dry in the style of Russian River’s Blind Pig IPA. And at 4.7% alcohol by volume, you can drink a lot of it and still operate machinery [note: do not test this].
Beer #2: Curmudgeon Old Ale (old ale / 9.8% ABV)
Beer Advocate: 89 (794 ratings)
Rate Beer: 98 overall, 97 style (898 ratings)
Notes: There is a ton of molasses in this beer, which is also oak-aged. All Day IPA gives you hops, this beer gives you malt, and lots of it. You may pick up notes of toffee, caramel, chocolate, raisins, figs, and plums. It’s definitely a sipper, and as it warms some liquor-like qualities may appear. The 2010 version won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Old or Strong Ale category.
Founders is doing something very interesting at SAVOR this year, playing a “high-low” game in terms of ABV. By bringing two different styles of ale, one hop-heavy, the other grain-heavy, they’re showcasing their variety, and what makes them one of the best, most-interesting breweries on the craft beer scene.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 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.