Founders called this a dry hopped dark ale brewed with rye — this was before black IPAs had become so popular. And even though I do remember enjoying this beer, it is a good thing that I keep tasting notes. Unfortunately, the bottle I had was not as fresh as I would have liked for this style, but still it was quite tasty.
From my notes: roasted malt with a bit of spiciness in the aroma, with a hint of chocolate in the middle. Chocolate, rye and coffee again on the flavor, with a nice creamy mouthfeel from the rye. I’m not sure what hops were used, but there was a nice amount of hoppy pine and citrus as well. I am really looking forward to enjoying this beer again.
From press release:
“GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., October 6, 2014 – Founders Brewing Co. announced today that it will reintroduce Black Rye, a dry-hopped dark ale brewed with copious amounts of rye malt, as a seasonal release in January 2015 with availability through March. Black Rye will be available throughout Founders’ distribution footprint both on draft and in 12 oz. bottles with a suggested retail price of $10.99 per 4-pack.
Founders brewed Black Rye for the first time in 2006—it was available for less than a year, but it developed a cult following. And the brewery decided to reach into their recipe vault and bring it back for 2015.
“Because of how quickly the craft beer enthusiast community has grown, most people drinking craft beer and even Founders beer today have never tried Black Rye,” said Dave Engbers, co-founder and vice president of brand and education at Founders Brewing Co. “Officially, this beer is a re-introduction. But for most, it’s a new Founders beer.”
Black Rye is a perfectly balanced blend of German- and American-grown hops, premium 2-row barley and heavily kilned rye and wheat malts. There’s no category that can contain it—it’s a true Founders original.
“Black Rye is one of those beers that we kept coming back to in our conversations about new releases,” said Jeremy Kosmicki, Founders’ brewmaster. “There are so many craft beers out there, but this one has its place because there’s nothing else quite like it.”
Black Rye will kick off the Founders’ seasonal calendar in 2015, with availability from roughly January to March, dependent on distributor shipments. It will be released in the brewery’s taproom on draft and in bottles as of January 2015. Founders’ other seasonal releases in 2015 will be Rubaeus, from April to September, and Breakfast Stout, from October to December. The brewery’s full 2015 availability calendar will be announced later this year.“
Founders continues to enjoy greater numbers of beer enthusiasts turning to their products, and it has been expanding over the past few years to keep up with demand. The company announced last week that it plans to expand its production facility in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. If all goes as planned, they will break ground later this month.
There will be two phases to the expansion: the first adding approximately 37,000 square feet that will house new production equipment – including a new 300 barrel (bbl) brew house and new fermentation tanks – as well as additional offices. Then, approximately 20,000 square feet will be added for more fermenting and packaging space.
“The focus of this expansion is to increase the capacity of our production facility—to brew more beer right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan,” said Mike Stevens, co-founder and CEO of Founders Brewing Co. “Because of increasing demand from the growing beer enthusiast community, we aren’t able to fill orders right now. We’re expanding because we’re committed to this city, this state and the craft beer community.”
When the complete expansion is finished, Founders will have the footprint for 900,000 bbl of capacity. This will happen slowly with the addition of more fermenters and updated packaging equipment. Currently, the brewery is projected to have shipped 200,000 bbl of beer by the end of 2014, with further projections to ship 300,000 bbl in 2015.
With this expansion, the brewery plans to add 72 jobs over the next three years, ranging from managerial to operations to sales positions.
A full line of Founders products can be found throughout Michiana both on draft and at bottle shops. However, the two hour drive north to Grand Rapids, Mich., is well worth the time to visit Founders Brewing Company.