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Founders Brewing Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Founders Brewing Company
Founders logo.png
LocationGrand Rapids, Michigan
Opened1997 (1997)
Key peopleDave Engbers
Mike Stevens
Annual production volume466,700 Barrels (as of 2017)[1]
ParentMahou-San Miguel Group
Websitewww.foundersbrewing.com
Active beers
Name Type
All Day IPA India Pale Ale
Backwoods Bastard Scotch ale
Centennial IPA India pale ale
Dirty Bastard Scotch ale
KBS Imperial stout
Nitro Oatmeal Stout Oatmeal stout
Nitro Pale Ale American pale ale
Pale Ale American pale ale
Porter Porter
Rubaeus Fruit beer
Red's Rye IPA Rye beer
Solid Gold Lager
Seasonal beers
Name Type
Black Rye Rye beer
Breakfast Stout Imperial stout
Other beers
Name Type
Curmudgeon Old Ale Old ale
Dark Penance Black IPA
Devil Dancer Imperial IPA
Double Trouble Imperial IPA
Harvest Ale American pale ale
Imperial Stout Russian imperial stout
Inactive beers
Name Type
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) Imperial stout

Canal Street Brewing Co., L.L.C.,[2] doing business as Founders Brewing Company,[3] is a brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, known for producing several highly rated and award-winning craft-style ales, including KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), Centennial IPA, Dirty Bastard, and Founders Porter.[4][5] Since its founding as a craft brewery in the mid 1990s, it has grown to become the 15th largest brewery in the United States,[6] and a prominent member of the West Michigan brewing industry. It is now majority-owned by Mahou San Miguel of Spain.

History

Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers were homebrewing enthusiasts who had recently graduated from college.[7] The company was originally organized in 1996 as John Pannell Brewing Company;[8] Stevens and Engbers changed the company's name to Canal Street Brewing Co. in 1997.[9][10] They took that name from the historical name of the Grand Rapids street (now Monroe Avenue) where they had set up operations, in an area where several 19th century breweries once stood. The label for their Founders Pale Ale featured a historical image of brewers from that era with the word "Founders" above it; customers took that to be the name of the company, so Engbers and Stevens adopted it for general use.[10]

In the 2000s, following its move to a larger facility on Grandville Avenue, Founders became one of the most prominent breweries in Michigan, expanding its market to 37 states and its production capacity to 340,000 barrels per year.[11][12] By sales volume, Founders was the 30th largest U.S. craft brewery, and 41st largest U.S. brewery overall in 2012.[13] By 2014, Founders had climbed to the 17th largest craft brewery and the 23rd largest overall.[14] In 2014, Founders announced a $35 million expansion to double its production capacity and allow production of 900,000 barrels per year.[15]

In December 2014, Founders announced that Spanish brewing company Mahou San Miguel had purchased a 30% minority stake in the business.[16] A major-brewery stake of this size led the Brewers Association to no longer designate it as a "craft" brewery.[17][18] In August 2019, the company announced that it was selling another 60% to Mahou; Stevens and Engbers, would each retain 5%, with other minority stakeholders bought out.[19]

Beers

Founders produces several year-round packaged beers, and a variety of seasonal and limited-production beers.[20] Throughout the course of the year, Founder's produces other beers sold on tap at their taproom and beer festivals.[21]

Founder's Beers
Name Style ABV % IBU Notes
All Day IPA India Pale Ale 4.7 42 Year-round
Backwoods Bastard Scotch Ale 11.2 50 Year-round
Centennial IPA India Pale Ale 7.2 65 Year-round
Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale 8.5 50 Year-round
KBS American Imperial Stout 11.2 70 Year-round
Pale Ale American Pale Ale 5.4 35 Year-round
Porter American Porter 6.5 45 Year-round
Rubaeus Fruit beer 5.7 15 Year-round
Solid Gold Lager 4.5 20 Year-round
Nitro Oatmeal Stout Oatmeal Stout 4.5 38 Year-round draft only
Nitro Pale Ale American Pale Ale 5.4 35 Year-round draft only
Red's Rye IPA Rye 6.6 70 Year-round draft only
American Hopped Pilsner Pilsner 5.5 45 Seasonal
Black Rye Rye 7.5 78 Seasonal
Breakfast Stout American Imperial Stout 8.3 60 Seasonal
Curmudgeon Old Ale Old ale 9.8 50 Specialty
Dark Penance American Black Ale 8.9 100 Specialty
Double Trouble American Imperial IPA 9.4 86 Specialty
Imperial Stout Russian Imperial Stout 10.5 75 Specialty
Devil Dancer American Imperial IPA 12.0 112 Limited
Harvest Ale American IPA 7.6 70 Limited
CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) American Imperial Stout 11.7 45 Discontinued

For several years, KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) was highly sought-after during its annual release in April,[18][22][23][5] but went to year-around production in 2020.[24] It is an American Imperial Stout with a high ABV (11.2%), brewed with coffee and chocolate, and aged in bourbon barrels in nearby former gypsum mines. The "regular" Breakfast Stout is a seasonal American Imperial Stout. CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) was released irregularly with gaps of years in between,[25] and as of 2019 Founders has no plans to brew it again.[26]

Awards

As of 2013, two of its beers, KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) and CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout), were ranked among BeerAdvocate's top 10 beers, with CBS ranked as the 4th best beer in the world by user review.[27] In a 2013 poll, Ratebeer.com listed Founders as the 3rd best brewery in the world overall;[28] Founders was 2nd place in 2011 and 2012.[29] In April 2010, Founders won four medals at the World Beer Cup in Chicago, Illinois,[30] and the brewery went on to win two more medals at Denver's Great American Beer Festival in September of that year.[31] The brewery also won an award at the 2012 World Beer Cup in San Diego, California.[32]

Taprooms

Founders operates taprooms in Grand Rapids and Detroit. The original taproom in Grand Rapids is adjacent to the brewing operations, and in addition to its retail brews, offers beers that are only available on tap. The 14,000-square-foot Detroit taproom opened in 2017. It primarily serves beers made in Grand Rapids, but also has a four-barrel brewing facility that can produce about eight kegs a week, allowing it to serve other beers as well.[33]

Founders Fest

Each June, the company organizes a festival known as Founders Fest. The street in front of the brewery is closed down and blocked off for the event. National, regional, and local acts take the stage, local food vendors and artists have booths. Each year more than 5,000 people attend the festival. Past acts have included Mustard Plug, Blues Traveler, Umphrey's McGee, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Soulive, Toubab Krewe, That 1 Guy, Galactic, Chicago Afrobeat Project, and The Crane Wives.[34][35]

Controversies

Founders has had problems in some states with its labeling of beers. Until 2012, Dirty Bastard and Backwoods Bastard could not be sold in Alabama because of the name.[36] In 2015, the label for Breakfast Stout, featuring a small child eating oatmeal, led to regulatory problems in Michigan and New Hampshire over the depiction of a child on an alcoholic beverage, requiring a temporary change in Michigan replacing the child with a note.[36]

In 2018, former employee Tracy Evans, who is African-American, sued Founders for racial discrimination, alleging that the company had allowed a hostile work environment, passed him over for a promotion in favor of less qualified white co-workers, and fired him for complaining about it.[37] Founders issued a statement denying the allegations.[38] In a sworn deposition leaked to the media in October 2019, his former manager Dominic Ryan stated that he could not definitively conclude whether Evans is black or not,[39] a position Engbers disavowed.[40] During the controversy, Founders pulled out of the 2019 Michigan Brewers Guild Detroit Fall Beer Festival.[41] Ryan was terminated shortly after the leak,[40] followed by Evans and Founders settling the dispute out of court.[42]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Founders Surpasses Bell's as Largest Michigan Brewery". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  2. ^ "Limited Liability Company Details-Canal Street Brewing Co., L.L.C." Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  3. ^ "Assumed Names-Canal Street Brewing Co., L.L.C." Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
  4. ^ Gr, The; staff, Rapids Press (2010-04-17). "Founders Brewing Company wins four awards at the 2010 World Beer Cup in Chicago". mlive. Retrieved 2020-03-10.
  5. ^ a b Garret Ellison (March 18th, 2014). "The KBS story: How a barrel-aged stout became a craft beer phenomenon", Mlive.com. Retrieved October 23rd, 2015.
  6. ^ Stoller, Gary. "Craft Breweries Dominate The Top 50, But Guess Which Giants Rule The Beer Market". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  7. ^ Garret Ellison (2012-10-05). "How flirting with bankruptcy forged Founders Brewing Co. into a craft beer industry titan".
  8. ^ "Articles of Organization-Canal St. Brewing Co., L.L.C." Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  9. ^ "Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Organization". Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  10. ^ a b Anders, Melissa (April 28, 2013). "What's in a name? Here are the stories behind Biggby, Zingerman's, Founders, Faygo, Domino's". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  11. ^ Garret Ellison (2014-09-30). "With $35 million expansion, Founders Brewing targets national brand status". MLive.com.
  12. ^ John Serba (2015-09-16). "Founders Brewing adds California, Nevada to distribution map". MLive.com.
  13. ^ Brewers Association (2013-04-10). "Brewers Association Releases Top 50 Breweries of 2012". Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  14. ^ Brewers Association (2015-03-31). "Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Breweries of 2014".
  15. ^ Mlive.com (2014-09-30). "With $35 million expansion, Founders Brewing targets national brand status".
  16. ^ "Mahou trae Founders a España" [Mahou brings Founders to Spain] (in Spanish). ABC.es. 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  17. ^ Manzullo, Brian. "Founders Brewing Co. to give up majority stake to Mahou San Miguel". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  18. ^ a b Monteiro, Shane. "3 Highly Rated Beers No Longer Considered Craft". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  19. ^ "Spanish brewer Mahou to acquire Founders Brewing". MiBiz. 2019-08-29. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  20. ^ "Founder's Brewing, Our Beer"
  21. ^ "Founder's Brewing", RateBeer.
  22. ^ "KBS Week". Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  23. ^ Garret Ellison (January 15th, 2015). "Founders Brewing sets KBS Week 2015 dates: Where to find a keg tapping", Mlive.com. Retrieved October 23rd, 2015.
  24. ^ Co, Founders Brewing (2020-02-24). "KBS Now Year-Round!". Founders Brewing Co. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  25. ^ "Founders CBS returns again in November for the last time for a while". Beer Street Journal. 2019-08-28. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  26. ^ Manzullo, Brian. "Founders: No plans to brew top-rated Canadian Breakfast Stout after 2019". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  27. ^ "Top 250 Beers". BeerAdvocate. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  28. ^ "ratebeer best 2010". Ratebeer.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  29. ^ "ratebeer best 2011". Ratebeer.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  30. ^ Grand Rapids Press File Photo. "Founders Brewing Company wins four awards at the 2010 World Beer Cup in Chicago". MLive.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  31. ^ "GABF Winners « Great American Beer Festival". Greatamericanbeerfestival.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  32. ^ Garret Ellison (2012-05-02). "Founders, Detroit-area breweries take top honors at biennial World Beer Cup". MLive.com. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  33. ^ "Founders Detroit Taproom". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  34. ^ John Serba (2015-04-15). "Founders Fest 2015: Music lineup, ticket details available".
  35. ^ John Gonzales (2012-06-18). "Gonzo's Top 5: Founders Fest 2012, The Jacksons Unity Tour, Kalamazoo's Irish Festival and more!".
  36. ^ a b Ellison, Garret (2015-08-28). "Founders runs afoul of Michigan law with baby on Breakfast Stout label". mlive. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  37. ^ Armus, Teo (22 October 2019). ""I don't know his DNA": Craft brewery manager says he can't confirm black employee's race in discrimination lawsuit". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  38. ^ "Founders Company Statement". Founders Brewing Company. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  39. ^ Malaea, Marika (21 October 2019). "Leaked deposition shows general manager of Founders Brewing Co. saying he does not know if Barack Obama is black". Newsweek. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  40. ^ a b "Founders 'does not stand by' manager's deposition". WOODTV.com. 2019-10-25. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  41. ^ Manzullo, Brian (23 October 2019). "Founders Brewing will skip Detroit's Fall Beer Fest amid racial discrimination lawsuit". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  42. ^ "Founders settles racial discrimination lawsuit". WOODTV.com. 2019-10-31. Retrieved 2019-10-31.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 May 2020, at 01:29
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