No one was more excited about the news than me. I had only heard tales about Blushing Monk before it was released as the premiere Backstage Series beer in July of 2011.
Now that I have experienced the Belgian raspberry ale for myself, I can hardly wait until it is re-released this spring as the 12th beer in the series. Get the details in the press release below. I do actually have one bottle of 2011 Blushing Monk left, so maybe I’ll do a side-by-side tasting.
Big Lushious (imperial chocolate raspberry stout, 7.8% ABV) was the most recently released Backstage Series, and unlike earlier bottles in this series, we have seen a good number of retail bottles distributed in Michiana. It is still available in many bottle shops.
In other Backstage Series news, CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout, imperial chocolate, coffee stout aged in maple bourbon barrels, 10.6% ABV) has recently shown up on tap at a few locations in Michigan. This was the second Backstage Series Release and one of the most sought-after and loved beers of the bunch, to my knowledge. Is there a re-release of CBS in the future, too? I sure hope so.
From press release:
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., December 11, 2014 – Founders Brewing Co. will re-release Blushing Monk, a decadent Belgian raspberry ale, in March 2015 to mark the twelfth installment in the brewery’s popular Backstage Series. Blushing Monk was the original Founders Backstage Series beer, released in July 2011; prior to that, it hadn’t been bottled for four years. Like all of Founders’ Backstage Series beers, Blushing Monk will be sold in 750mL bottles, with a suggested retail price of $16.99 per bottle.
Blushing Monk is brewed with a ridiculous amount of raspberries and with a Belgian yeast strain that keeps our head cellar operator from sleeping for a week. It pours a stunning deep berry red and, at 9.2% ABV, has a surprising kick. The perfect dessert beer, it can be enjoyed on its own or paired with fresh cheeses, fruit, cakes and more.
“People keep asking us if we’re going to bring any of our Backstage Series beers back—and now we have,” said Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers. “It seems as though we brew Blushing Monk on a four-year cycle. Our cellar crew hates brewing it because it’s brewed with a different yeast strain from all of our other beers, but we think it’s worth the sleepless nights. It’s an absolutely gorgeous beer.”
Founders’ Backstage Series is made up of boundary-pushing, experimental beers. The intent of the series is to take the diehard Founders fan experience to a wider audience—though all of the beers are released in limited batches. Since its introduction in the summer of 2011, Founders’ Backstage Series beers have quickly become some of the most sought-after releases in the industry.
Blushing Monk will be released in limited quantities across Founders’ distribution footprint beginning on Monday, March 2, and will be available at the brewery’s taproom the week prior. This will be the first Backstage Series release from Founders in 2015; beer enthusiasts should expect two more releases from Founders later in the year.