Monday, February 16, 2015

Recap of Founders Firkin Freezeout 2015

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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recap firkin freezeout 2015

Founders has been having a great year so far. Late 2014 saw a limited draft re-release of fantastic Maple Bourbon barrel-aged CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout) which has been making numerous appearances both at the pub and at local bars and restaurants. On top of this, Founders really rolled out some favorite vintage beers for their weeklong Cellar Raid event in January, as well was recently visited by and tapped a collaborative release with the Scottish hosts of the Brew Dogs television series. In the midst of the flurry of activity at the brewery, I paid a visit to Founders in early February for yet another highly anticipated event, the 2nd annual Firkin Freezeout.
As was the case last year, Founders tapped over 50 different firkins at the outside bar of the beer garden. However this year, the lines outside in the cold were expedited with a ticketing system. Tickets needed to be purchased at one of the inside bars first which could then be used to purchase pours of the various firkins once outside. ($2 a ticket, good for a 5 ounce pour, or 2 $2 tickets for a full 16 ounce pour.) This year’s varieties featured a rotation of Porter, Red’s Rye, Mosaic Promise, Frangelic Stout, Dirty Bastard, Cheef IPA, and All Day IPA with a variety of additives ranging from coffee and chocolate extracts, maple, dry hops, oak chips, and peppers. Also returning for this year’s event was a live ice sculpture, and a special menu which included kabobs served in the beer garden.

Founders next Backstage Series release is set for distribution at the beginning of March, a re-release of the beer that first started the whole series back in July of 2011 and now also the first beer to ever be featured more than once as part of the series. Blushing Monk is also unusual in that is a higher gravity raspberry ale brewed with a Belgian yeast strain. Founders has also set March 9th - 13th for the return of KBS week to Grand Rapids, giving local bars the first kegs of Founders most prized gypsum mine-aged Breakfast Stout before the taproom release party on Saturday March 14th.

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.