FOUNDERS BREWING COMPANY
Out of Grand Rapids, MI, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers started Founder’s with this philosophy, “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.”
- All Day IPA (94 Points)
- Azacca (90 Points)
- Backwoods Bastard (96 Points)
- Black Rye (96 Points)
- Breakfast Stout (97 Points)
- Centennial IPA (95 Points)
- Cerise (87 Points)
- Dark Penance (95 Points)
- Dirty Bastard (92 Points)
- Dry Hopped Pale Ale (80 Points)
- Porter (88 Points)
- Red’s Rye PA (93 Points)
- Rubaeüs (92 Points)
- Curmudgeon (98 Points)
- Devil Dancer (96 Points)
- Double Trouble (99 Points)
- Harvest Ale (97 Points)
- Imperial Stout (100 Points)
- KBS (97 Points)
- Mosaic Promise (96 Points)
- Palm Reader (91 Points)
- Project Pam (93 Points)
- Spectra Trifecta (77 Points)
- Sumatra Mountain (98 Points)
- Sweet Repute (92 Points)
ALL DAY IPA: 94 Points
This Session IPA has an IBU of 42 and is released seasonally between March and September in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The beer you’ve been waiting for. Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp. An all-day IPA naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatics and a clean finish.”
My Description: This beer has great flavors, a crisp and clean body, and a refreshing finish. All Day IPA is just that, you can pick up a six pack of this beer and watch the whole game without getting stupid drunk like other high alcohol IPA’s. Of course, the body of the beer is light and thin, but with a 4.7% alcohol content this should be expected. The head was the only negative to this beer; if the body of the beer is thin and non-existent, the head will replicate that. It has a below average, white colored head that faded quickly and left minimal lacing. The aroma brought this beer back, immediately one will notice a strong citrus hop fragrance accompanied by some woodsy hops and a touch of grass. It is roughly light/medium bodied with a good carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is dominated by the taste of grapefruit hops, this is accompanied by notes of woodsy hops and a hint of lemon. The aftertaste is moderately bitter but doesn’t linger for too long. This beer is really nice and a great option for a low ABV beer. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with chicken sandwiches, pizza rolls, or steak fries.
ABV: 4.7% Color: Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10
AZACCA: 90 Points
This IPA is released as a seasonal in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Named for the Haitian god of agriculture, the Azacca hop boasts intense, tropical fruit notes. Azacca IPA includes a touch of caramel malt to provide a sweet backbone to the citrus, mango and orchard fruit notes in this 7% ABV, 70 IBUs beer. The label artwork symbolizes the god of agriculture watching over a field where the ingredients used to make the beer are being grown.”
My Description: The Azacca hop is a nice addition the the hop library providing enjoyable tropical notes. This IPA begins with a large, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is the best part of this beer, the hops smell so fresh and potent with huge notes of mangoes, citrus hops, and other tropical notes. Azacca is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile isn’t as potent as the aroma but tasty none-the-less. A mild caramel malt backbone holds up notes of tropical hops, citrus hops, and a hint of woodsy hops. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with lingering mango notes. Overall, this IPA is very smooth and clean with nice flavors. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with coconut shrimp, Hawaiian pizza, or jerk chicken.
ABV: 7% Color: Dark Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5/10
BACKWOODS BASTARD: 96 Points
This ale is aged in oak bourbon barrels and has an IBU of 50. It is available seasonally in the month of November in 12 oz. bottles; so if you find it, pick it up because it is rare.
Brewer’s Description: “Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice, and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.”
My Description: This is a strong beer with powerful flavors and a fan favorite for whiskey drinkers. It has a pretty good head for this level of alcohol and it lasts the whole way through. The lacing is minimal but it is present. The aroma is very robust and complex; it is slightly sweet with notes of chocolate, bourbon, alcohol, and port. It almost has the smell of strawberry Twizzlers. The first thing you will notice when you drink this beer is the strength. It has an apparent alcohol flavor and you will feel the alcohol as you drink it but that isn’t a negative thing for this kind of beer; it is expected and welcomed because you buy these beers for the strength and the flavors. The flavors include a semi-sweet body that has tastes of chocolate and coffee with a hint of cherry. The whiskey flavor is apparent throughout the beer but not overpowering; it is subtle and enjoyable. The aftertaste is slightly dry with only a hint of hops which was slightly surprising considering the IBU. I recommend this beer for the person who likes strong beers and whiskey. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with steaks, brisket, or a good cigar.
ABV: 10.2% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
BLACK RYE: 96 Points
This Specialty Ale is released seasonally between January and March in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “We’ve reached into the vault and pulled out a cult classic from years ago. Before Black IPAs were all the rage, we made a dry-hopped dark ale with copious amounts of rye malt. Black Rye is a perfectly balanced blend of German- and American-grown hops, premium 2-row barley and heavily kilned rye and wheat malts. As with many of our offerings, there’s no style category that can contain this beer. It’s an original.”
My Description: An excellent brew for the season. The rye blends so nicely with the roasted malts and the bitterness level is spot on. This beer begins with a good sized, beige colored head with a great retention level that holds most of the way leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is strong and pleasant with notes of rye, pine hops, chocolate, and roasted malts. Black Rye is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This is a delicious combination of flavors. A slightly sweet toffee note is immediately overtaken by roasted malts and rye. Pine hops, earthy notes, and some char are welcoming additions and the alcohol is completely hidden. The transition to the aftertaste is very smooth and the finish is moderately bitter with lingering hop notes. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled lamb chops, roasted duck, or chocolate desserts.
ABV: 7.5% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10
BREAKFAST STOUT: 97 Points
This is a seasonal oatmeal stout that is available from September to December. It has an IBU of 60 and available on draft or in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.”
My Description: This is a damn good stout. It starts off with a thin but dense caramel colored head that really does last forever. It also leaves an abundant amount of lacing that is beautiful to see. The aroma is strong with the smell of freshly roasted coffee with a hint of dark chocolate; the aroma smells so nice and inviting. After the first sip, I felt the need to put down the glass and savor the moment. This beer is super smooth and easy drinking. This full bodied stout delivers a strong coffee flavor in the beginning that is delicious and fresh followed by a dark chocolate aftertaste that is slightly dry and bitter. This has an IBU of 60, which is usually where IPA’s are but you won’t feel that level of bitterness in the taste. This is best served around 45°-55°F and pairs nicely with grilled chicken, hamburgers, and pork chops.
ABV: 8.3% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10
CENTENNIAL IPA: 95 Points
This India Pale has an IBU of 65 and available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Get ready to bask in the glory of the frothy head’s floral bouquet. Relish the citrus accents from the abundance of dry hopping. This one’s sweet, yet balanced. Malty undertones shake hands with the hop character for a finish that never turns too bitter.”
My Description: This IPA is exquisite for many reasons but you have to love bitterness to love this beer. It has a bubbly head that is light tan in color and provides great retention as well as some decent lacing. The aroma has an immense citrus hop fragrance that is accompanied by a floral hop scent that is just delightful. The flavor isn’t complex at all; it is hops the whole way through but it is how these hops taste that make this beer great. They are not sharp or harsh and the bitterness is not overwhelming or too little. Everything seems just right with the texture and the strength of the beer. Not to mention that there is just a hint of sweetness to the beer that gives it a nice balance. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with burgers, BBQ chicken, or grilled fish.
ABV: 7.2% Color: Bronze Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 7/10
CERISE: 87 Points
This Cherry Ale is available seasonally between June and August. It has an IBU of 15 and available in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Using only fresh Michigan tart cherries, this beauty tantalizes with intense flavors combined with a no-hesitation malt bill. Adding fresh cherries at five separate stages of fermentation achieves the ultimate balance between tartness and sweetness.”
My Description: This is a nicely made cherry ale. It has a white colored head that starts off thin and sparse but holds on the whole way through producing some nice lacing. The aroma is milder than I anticipated; it is soft with minor notes of cherries, tart, and a little floral. The texture of this beer is also soft accompanied by a higher than usual carbonation level. The flavor of the cherry is a nice balance between sweet and tart. If you hold the beer in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing, the cherry taste gets stronger. This is an all around easy drinking ale that is best served at minimum 45°F to really appreciate the cherry taste. I would pair this brew with cheesecake, gourmet cheeses, or maybe a Thanksgiving turkey.
ABV: 6.5% Color: Pinkish Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 1/10
DARK PENANCE: 95 Points
This Black IPA/American Black Ale is released seasonally between Oct. and Dec. in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A heavy malt foundation includes Crystal malt for sweetness and just enough Midnight Wheat malt to push the color to black. The bitterness is huge, but balanced by malt sweetness and alcohol burn. The hop flavors and aromas range from citrus to floral to pine thanks to a delicious blend of hand-selected Chinook and Centennial hops.”
My Description: This beer boasts a massive hop schedule with a 100 IBU’s, but it isn’t necessarily a hop bomb. In fact, this beer is well balanced with a moderately high bitterness level, sweet undertones, and an overall roasted/dark malt presence. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head with a nice retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of pine hops, dark chocolate, licorice, faint floral hops, and a touch of char. The aroma is a great indicator of the flavor and invites you to sip. Dark Penance is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavors in this beer work great together and are addicting. A roasted malt foundation holds up notes of crystal malt, chocolate, pine hops, and hints of alcohol. Char notes swims throughout and the aftertaste is bitter, but not as much as I thought it would be, with lingering citrus hop notes. Overall, this beer is excellent and with a slightly creamy texture and a bold flavor profile, it’s a great choice for the season. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, chocolate desserts, or a maduro cigar.
ABV: 8.9% Color: Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 6/10
DIRTY BASTARD: 92 Points
This Scottish Style Ale has an IBU of 50 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles for around $9-$10 a six pack.
Brewer’s Description: “So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads.”
My Description: This is not like other Scottish Ales mainly because it has so much hops in it which makes for a damn good beer that is full of flavor. It has a light and bubbly head that leaves some good lacing and holds its own for some time. The aroma is complex; it is strong with the scent of malt and some caramel and sweet figs. You will also be able to pick up on some of the alcohol as well. This beer is pretty much sweet all the way from start to finish with other flavors and textures that make an appearance such as alcohol and some peat. The aftertaste has a lot going on for it as well; it finishes dry with a prominent hop flavor and some malt and smoke as well. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with burgers, BBQ chicken, or Cajun spiced fish.
ABV: 8.5% Color: Dark Ruby Sweetness: 5.5/10 Bitterness: 5.5/10
DRY HOPPED PALE ALE: 80 Points
This Pale Ale has an IBU of 35 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “A testament to Cascade hops in a bottle, this medium-bodied pale ale has a refreshing citrus flavor and a distinctive floral hop aroma due to the aggressive addition of hops during fermentation. You’ll notice a slight malty sweetness with a balanced hop finish. Perfect to enjoy anytime, anywhere.”
My Description: This Pale Ale is Founders’ version of a standard pale ale; nothing special but also nothing wrong. It has a sub-par head with decent retention and decent lacing. It definitely has a citrus hop aroma that smells wonderful; you will also pick up on some earthy and grassy notes as well. The taste of the hops is moderate throughout with flavors of citrus hops and earthy/floral hops. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and dry. If you like pale ale’s then this is a good everyday beer. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with burgers, fish & chips, or herbed chicken.
ABV: 5.4% Color: Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5%
PORTER: 88 Points
This porter has an IBU of 45 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles for around $9-$10.
Brewer’s Description: “Pours silky black with a creamy tan head. The nose is sweet with strong chocolate and caramel malt presence. No absence of hops gives Founders’ robust porter the full flavor you deserve and expect.”
My Description: This is a pretty good porter. It starts off with an average head that is light beige in color but doesn’t really last that long. It does however produce some nice lacing. The aroma is strong with the scent of freshly brewed black coffee with a slight note of chocolate. The aroma is pleasant and fits the genre nicely. The flavors are nice too. It starts off with the taste of roasted malts and fresh coffee that lead into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter. The finish, even though bitter, leaves you with a fresh feeling in your mouth. The body is medium and it has a carbonation level that you can really feel which you won’t get with too many other porters. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with steaks, lamb chops, or fish & chips.
ABV: 6.5% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10
RED’S RYE PA: 93 Points
This Rye Ale has an IBU of 70 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Serious hop bitterness, along with an unyielding grapefruit bouquet from the Amarillo dry hop, balances the malty richness of four varieties of imported Belgian caramel malts. Pours a spectacular crimson with a creamy tan head. A generous addition of rye malt accentuates a spicy, crisp finish.”
My Description: I loved this beer not only because it was slightly different with the addition of rye, but because this beer is all around high quality. It has a great off-white head that is big and fluffy with a good retention and decent lacing. This aroma is slightly complex; you will get notes of citrus hops, floral hops, rye, pine, and some malt as well. Overall the aroma is enchanting and welcoming. The beer has a mild and smooth hop flavor throughout which is balanced by some malty/caramel notes in the front. I was expecting a bit more bitterness since the IBU is 70 but the high addition of malts brought the bitterness level down some. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a touch of spice that lingers beautifully. There is also the slight hint of rye in the beer as well, which gives the beer just that little more it needs to be a great ale. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with steaks, gourmet cheeses, or pork chops.
ABV: 6.6% Color: Reddish/Brown Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 6.5/10
RÜBAEUS: 92 Points
This Fruit Ale has an IBU of 15 and is released between May and August in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Not another boring summer wheat beer or lemonade shandy—Rübæus is Founders’ way to celebrate the season’s warmest months. Optimizing the flavor of fresh raspberries added at multiple stages during fermentation, this stunning berry red masterpiece is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. No question about it, with a hefty malt bill and 5.7% ABV, this beer is 100% Founders.”
My Description: You can judge the quality of a brewery when they make a fruit beer. Some taste like wine coolers, others taste like the fruit was just thrown in randomly, and then there’s breweries like Founders. They have created a fruit beer that tastes like real raspberry juice without forgetting that you are still drinking a beer. It is not overly sweet but it is the dominate flavor. Granted, you are not going to drink a six pack of this in one night but it makes for a great dessert beer now and then. It pours an average, white colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma smells wonderful with subtle yet noticeable raspberry notes that smell sweet and tart at the same time. Rubaeus is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. This beer is on the sweeter side with an apparent tart presence. Raspberries are the center of the flavor profile with some cherry notes and a clean malt backbone. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and refreshing. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with cheesecake, roasted duck, or grilled pork tenderloin.
ABV: 5.7% Color: Ruby/Garnet Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
CURMUDGEON: 98 Points
This Old Ale is generally available between April and June in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Think classic seafaring ports, local pubs and weathered old fishermen. This old ale is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill, then oak-aged. The result is a strong, rich, malty delight that’s deceptively smooth and drinkable.”
My Description: This beer is amazingly smooth and the flavors compliment each other nicely. The subtlety of these flavors add complexity without becoming overbearing to the palate. It pours a decent, light tan colored head that holds for a bit leaving a thin film. The head isn’t that impressive but it does leave a good amount of lacing. The aroma is delightful and inviting, it is on the sweet side with notes of malt, dates, caramel, and a hint of earthy hops. Curmudgeon is medium/full bodied with a lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. A great balance of flavors begins with a caramel malt body holding up notes of toffee, brown sugar, hints of dark fruit and alcohol, and a touch of oak. The aftertaste is slightly bitter helping the overall drinkability. This beer is easy to drink, it swallows cleanly, and makes for a great sipper. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled lamb chops, potent cheeses, or beef stew.
ABV: 9.8% Color: Caramel/Amber Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
DEVIL DANCER: 96 Points
This Imperial IPA is released yearly in the month of June in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “When you dance with the Devil, the Devil don’t change. You do. Massive in complexity, the huge malt character balances the insane amount of alphas used to create it. At an incredible 112 IBUs, it’s dry-hopped with ten hop varieties.”
My Description: It is real easy to get in trouble with this ale because it tastes delicious and the alcohol, although felt, is nicely hidden behind a thick wall of bitter hops. It begins with a large and beautiful beige colored head that lasts the whole way and leaves behind a glued on wall of lacing. The aroma has a caramel malt presence but is completely dominated by earthy/pine scented hops with a touch of citrus hops. The aroma provides a great indicator for what the beer will taste like. This ale is full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is strong and needs to be sipped to enjoy the flavors. There is a welcoming caramel malt backbone that provides some sweetness to help balance the strong bitter flavors of pine and grapefruit hops. There are also some earthy elements to this beer to add complexity. This beer is remarkably clean and smooth for such a high alcohol content. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with a thick burger, black bean stew, or sweet desserts.
ABV: 12% Color: Deep Copper Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 8/10
DOUBLE TROUBLE: 99 Points
This Imperial IPA is released in the months of May and June in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops will get you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front pair with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish.”
My Description: This beer is remarkably soft and smooth for the amount of alcohol that is in it, I absolutely loved it. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a beautiful amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant with notes of pine and citrus hops with a touch of malt. The beer is roughly medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Immediately, the first thing you taste is a delicious grapefruit hop flavor accompanied by pine hops and a hint of tropical hops. The texture is resiny and the alcohol is beautifully hidden. The aftertaste is strongly bitter and will linger nicely for some time. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with black bean burgers, deep-dish pizza, or a grilled pork chops.
ABV: 9.4% Color: Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 7.5/10
HARVEST ALE: 97 Points
This IPA has an IBU of 70 and is released once a year in October in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This liquid dream pours a hazy golden straw color with a white, two-finger head. Your first sip rewards you with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh citrus, then finishes to introduce toasted malt undertones.”
My Description: Wet hopped straight from the farm, gotta love it. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with a decent retention level and it leaves behind some lacing. The aroma is inviting and fresh with notes of grassy hops, some earthiness, a touch of citrus and light malt notes. Harvest Ale is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer tastes clean and fresh. The hops are not sharp or oxidized and they give a resiny feeling, very nice. There are flavor notes of woodsy hops, citrus hops, some earthiness, and a touch of light fruits. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and very smooth. The alcohol is nicely hidden and enough malt flavors come through to bring good balance. This beer is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with mushroom burgers, BBQ chicken, or beef stew.
ABV: 7.6% Color: Golden/Orange Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 6/10
IMPERIAL STOUT: 100 Points
This Imperial Stout is an IBU of 90 and is generally available between January and March in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with ten varieties of malted barley, this stout is smooth as silk, yet complex and rich in body. Serve this guy at cellar temperature. Put another log on the fire, sit back and enjoy the friendship of this ultimate winter warmer.”
My Description: This beer just glides down, it is so smooth and clean with delicious flavors and a satisfying finish. It begins with a large, brown colored head with a great retention level for this style and it leaves behind a good amount of lacing that sticks to the glass for some time. The aroma is warming and smells great with notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice, roasted malts, and hints of vanilla. Imperial Stout is full bodied with a lower carbonation level and a dry finish; this helps to make the texture extremely smooth and it brings out the flavors more clearly. Notes of cocoa, roasted malt, tobacco, and hints of toffee welcome you gently which transitions into an aftertaste with a tamed bitterness and lingering coffee notes. Hints of dark fruit present themselves from time to time and the alcohol is slightly detected but beautifully hidden. This is a pleasure to drink and a great winter warmer. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, dark chocolate, or a cigar.
ABV: 10.5% Color: Black Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4/10
KBS: 97 Points
This Imperial Stout is released in limited quantities in the month of April in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.”
My Description: This is an Imperial Stout definitely worth your time to search and buy. It begins with a large, dark beige colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is real nice and warming with notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and a touch of booze. This ale is full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The body is very smooth and the alcohol is apparent but not overpowering. The flavors are nicely balanced but it leans slightly on the sweeter side. Flavor notes include some espresso notes, vanilla, and some minor notes of bourbon. The aftertaste is slightly bitter but not harsh at all. This is a great sipper and more flavors develop as the beer warms up in your hands. This stout is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with dark chocolate, grilled lamb chops, or steaks.
ABV: 11.2% Color: Very Dark Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10
MOSAIC PROMISE: 96 Points
This SMASH IPA is brewed once and is available for a limited time in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Mosaic Promise, a beautifully simple beer that we had been experimenting with for some time.” Mosaic Promise showcases a single malt—Golden Promise—and a single hop—Mosaic. The traditional barley’s depth of flavor and the versatility of the hops’ bittering, flavor and aroma characteristics are the strong pillars that comprise the structure of this clean, rich, golden beer. We can brew complex beers with the best of them, but we recognize that there’s also beauty in simplicity.”
My Description: Founders has brewed an amazing beer to showcase both the Mosaic Hop and the Golden Promise malt. I wish this IPA would become a staple in their beer lineup. It begins with a large, off-white colored head with a great retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is my favorite part of this beer, it’s hop bliss. The Mosaic hop delivers a plethora of scent notes from citrus and woodsy to light tropical notes and peaches. This IPA is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose nicely but now the malt starts to shine through. The Golden Promise delivers a beer that is very clean and smooth with a residual sweetness that lingers slightly in the aftertaste; this is great base malt. Hop notes of grapefruit, woodsy, and stone fruits add to the flavor profile but aren’t in your face like in the aroma. This finish is excellent with a moderate bitterness level and a refreshing feeling. I love this beer. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled jerk chicken, spicy fish tacos, or a BBQ shrimp.
ABV: 5.5% Color: Golden Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4/10
PALM READER: 91 Points
This American Pale Ale is a limited release for Michigan residents in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “So, a bit about that beer… a tribute to our beautiful state, Palm Reader is made with Michigan-grown Crystal and Zuper-Saazer hops. Derived from Saaz, a traditional noble hop hailing from the Czech Republic, these Zuper-Saazer hops, grown locally at Hop Head Farms, impart intense and fruity aromas. Combined with the citrus notes of the Crystal hops and the simple malt bill, this beer is crisp, bright and delicious.”
My Description: This is an enjoyable pale ale to highlight Michigan grown ingredients. It begins with an average, off-white colored head with an excellent retention that leaves a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with fruity hops taking center stage along with some grass notes and hints of citrus hops. Palm Reader is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile showcases a great balance of flavors; a clean pale malt backbone holds up bright notes of fruity hops, citrus hops, and a touch of pine hops. The transitions smoothly into an aftertaste that is moderately bitter and lingers for a second. Overall, this is a great pale ale that is easy to put down with a great amount of hop flavor. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with goat cheese, grilled shrimp salads, or Thai cuisine.
ABV: 5.4% Color: Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 4.5/10
PROJECT PAM: 93 Points
This Black IPA is a limited release in 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Black IPAs have long been a staple in our Taproom and at our annual Black Party – a celebration of experimental, dark beers – and Project PAM combines this with our deep, abiding love for barrel-aging. It’s an invitation to venture into the shadows of our brewers’ minds and discover their mad genius. In development under a shroud of secrecy for years, Project PAM is brewed with an abundance of hops including, Chinook, Nugget, Centennial, Amarillo, El Dorado and Mosaic. It’s balanced with Crystal and Midnight Wheat malts and finally aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels to add complex oaky bourbon notes and the sweetness of maple syrup. Project PAM clocks in at 10.8% ABV.”
My Description: This is a wonderfully crafted beer that has many facets; it does not have the bitter strength of other Black IPA’s but the flavor profile is executed beautifully. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that lasts for a long time leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of maple, bourbon, woodsy hops, vanilla, and oak among other scents. Project Pam is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is very complex and enjoyable with notes of molasses, maple, bourbon, chocalte, hints of vanilla, and faint pine hop notes. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with lingering vanilla notes. Overall, this is an excellent beer that may not have the potent hop notes as other Black IPA’s but does provide a rich complexity that ages beautifully. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled steaks, lamb chops, or a maduro cigar.
ABV: 10.8% Color: Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
SPECTRA TRIFECTA: 77 Points
This Herbal beer is a limited edition in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Brewed in the traditional Kolsch style, which requires fermenting ale yeast at a colder temperature and gives the beer a clean finish without fruity yeast esters. This bright, golden beer is brewed with a trifecta of natural ingredients: earthy, floral and slightly sweet chamomile; a touch of citrusy lemongrass; and a hint of spicy fresh ginger. At 5.9% ABV and 20 IBUs, it’s delightfully refreshing.”
My Description: This is a smooth and fun beer to try out. It begins with a weak colored, white colored head that fades quickly to a ring leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is herb forward with notes of lemongrass, ginger, pale malts, and some floral notes. Spectra Trifecta is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is just as the description says with apparent notes of ginger, lemongrass, and chamomile. The crisp and soft characteristic of the Kolsch style makes for a great base for this herbal beer. However, after a while this begins to taste like more of a novelty than a beer that I can drink more of. Still, it is worth trying just because the flavors do come through nicely. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with Thai noodles, rice dishes, or soft cheeses.
ABV: 5.9% Color: Yellow Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
SUMATRA MOUNTAIN: 98 Points
This American Strong is a released as a rare beer in late Spring in 12 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This bold, imperial brown ale gets its body from a team of malts including Caramel malt for sweetness, flaked barley for dense foam, a bit of Chocolate malt for its deep color and Aromatic and Munich malts to add even more depth. German and Perle hops add a touch of bitterness to balance the malty sweetness. The addition of rich Sumatra coffee takes this perfectly balanced imperial brown ale to a decadent level.”
My Description: A superb beer from start to finish. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that fades to a thin ring leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting with bold dark coffee notes along with caramel notes a faintest touch of dark fruits. Sumatra Mountain is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is delicious; the balance of flavors along with the depth makes this one addicting ale. Complex coffee notes are detected throughout but never become the dominant note, all the flavors work harmoniously together. Toasted malt notes, toffee, tobacco, and a hint of biscuit malt are present. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the aftertaste is slightly bitter. Overall, the coffee notes in this beer tastes like the gourmet beans at the high end coffee shops. This is a must try for any coffee fan. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with tiramisu, creme brulee, or a mild cigar.
ABV: 9% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
SWEET REPUTE: 92 Points
This Wheat Wine is brewed sporadically in limited quantities in 750 ml. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “It’s not always a good thing when your reputation precedes you. But the complexity of this powerful wheat wine will give it a Sweet Repute no matter where, when or how your paths meet. Our brewing team painstakingly choreographed each layer of this beer’s characteristics, starting with a healthy wheat and roasted malt base and adding clean, fragrant hops. It’s one-hundred percent barrel aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels and bourbon barrels over the course of sixteen months, then blended using carefully calculated ratios for the ultimate final product. The resulting 12.6% ABV liquid pours a bright warm russet with a stubborn ivory head and an intoxicatingly sweet nutty aroma. Take your time allowing the layers of flavors to unfold…Because it’ll only get better.”
My Description: This beer is meant to be sipped and it is hard not too with the high alcohol content and the very sweet body. Sweet Repute is not overly complicated but does deliver a satisfying array of flavors. It pours a good sized, light beige colored head with a nice retention level that holds as a film for a while and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma smells inviting and sweet with apparent bourbon notes and hints of caramel and light fruit. Sweet Repute is full bodied with a lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is definitely on the sweeter side. Upfront there are notes of caramel and dark fruits along with a soft maple presence and faint notes of stone fruits. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and very smooth. The alcohol is beautifully hidden behind the sweet malt flavors. It is best served around 60°F and pairs nicely with strong cheeses, roasted game meat, or grilled steaks.
ABV: 12.6% Color: Reddish/Brown Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10