Monday, June 25, 2012

Recap of Fifth Annual Founders Fest Celebration

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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For this one day a year, the brewery closes it’s doors and takes the party out to the surrounding streets. Advance tickets are highly recommended for this event and if you join the mug club you will receive discounted prices. The “rain or shine” event proved to be shine this year with temperatures in the low 80’s. Beer tickets were available via cash or credit; food was strictly cash.
A Tasty Founders BeerWith the help of the High Five Program, Founders promoted this year’s Fest as a green event; encouraging (and rewarding guests with free signed merchandise,) environmentally friendly behavior so as to reduce the carbon footprint. Whenever some was “caught” doing the right thing (such as taking care of trash,) they were awarded with a voucher that could be entered into a drawing for free prizes.

The beer tent featured many favorites and surprises. The event exclusive (and very hoppy) Founders Fest Wheat was available amongst the mainstays and seasonals also including the tart Michigan cherry based Cerise. I started with the Fest Wheat before making my way to the food court. Several vendors provided food for the event including Founders event regulars What The Truck. I enjoyed a veggie burger with all of the fixings from the Cottage Bar with my Fest Wheat beer. Mi Tierra's spicy Mexican fare was also a crowd favorite based on my observations.

Mi Tierra serving great Mexican food!

The longest lines were for the specialty beers, which included a mystery rotating tap amongst a stellar lineup that included Linchpin White IPA (a collaboration with Green Flash,) and the upcoming Backstage release Frangelic Mountain Brown. Of the specialties, I tried the superb Looking Glass, a brandy barrel aged Double IPA and the intriguing Ginger Centennial. Rotating taps (which could change at a moments notice, so you just had to be at the front of the line at the right time,) included Blushing Monk and KBS.

Two stages provided nearly endless music including popular bands such as Four Finger Five. Crane Wives and Afro Zuma. The FBC All Stars, a band made up of all Founders employees, really stole the show with a repertoire of crowd-pleasing covers including a tribute to Whitney Houston. The Artists Row also included several street performers enhanced the already high level of constant entertainment. This year marks another successful celebration of beer, food, and music for Founders Brewing Company.

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.