Founders announces a pub only favorite will be added to distribution by Michigan brewery

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By: Eric Strader
ericstrader69@gmail.com

Flavor 574 photo/Eric Strader

Did anyone else look at Founder’s release calendar and wonder with anticipation about the specialty release TBA listing? Well, that empty space has finally been filled, and it sounds pretty tasty — Sumatra Mountain Brown (9 percent ABV).

Until now, this has been a pub only favorite with other “mountain” beers such as Cashew Mountain Brown, which I had the pleasure of enjoying a few years back. For the first time ever in bottles, it will be available at the taproom beginning April 29 (and in the other 37 states with Founders distribution beginning May 2) in 12-ounce four-packs.

Founders Brewing Company is no stranger to brewing coffee beers, with Breakfast Stout, Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Canadian Breakfast Stout and Frangelic Mountain Brown in their portfolio. KBS, a favorite of mine, was recently released, and I just had my first taste of this year’s version last week. If you were lucky, you might have had it on tap at Constant Spring last Friday, April 15.

Sumatra Mountain Brown gets its body from a team of malts, including caramel malt for sweetness, flaked barley for dense foam, a bit of chocolate malt for its deep color and Aromatic and Munich malts to add even more depth. German and Perle hops bring balance to the malty sweetness by introducing a touch of bitterness. According to Founders, “The addition of rich Sumatra coffee from Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. takes this perfectly balanced brown ale to a decadent level.”

Founders is also introducing a Michigan only release, Palm Reader, a pale ale made with Michigan-grown hops with the proceeds going to one of their favorite causes. Grand Rapids Whitewater is an organization focused on restoring and putting the rapids back in the Grand River.

“It’s a cause that I’ve been passionate about for years, and I’m glad we can support it doing what we do best: brewing kick-ass beer,” says Dave Engbers, co-founder and co-owner of Founders.

Dave further explains their collaboration with Grand Rapids Whitewater.

“We talk a lot about legacy here, and Mike (Stevens, co-founder/co-owner) and I have become progressively more focused on supporting things that we really care about; things that we believe will make our community a better place years from now. We’ve been supporters of Grand Rapids Whitewater and their vision of restoring the natural beauty and recreational opportunities to the Grand River since 2010. It started with a conversation over beer, as most things do around here, and as the Grand Rapids Whitewater team shared their vision, we became fully invested in their cause. Having the opportunity to take that partnership to another level with the Palm Reader release is something we are proud of, considering how important this cause is to both of us and to the continued legacy of the company we built.”

Palm Reader, brewed with Michigan-grown Crystal and Zuper-Saazer hops, will appear on Michigan shelves beginning in early May. Derived from Saaz, a traditional noble hop hailing from the Czech Republic, these Zuper-Saazer hops, grown locally at Hop Head Farms, impart intense and fruity aromas. Combined with the citrus notes of the Crystal hops and the simple malt bill, this beer is crisp, bright and delicious. 

Founders has announced its ninth annual Founders Fest, an outdoor celebration of live music and beer, will be from 3 to 11 p.m. June 18. More than 6000 attendees are anticipated to make the sojourn to this year’s event, which will be hosted on the streets surrounding the brewery.

“We’re very much looking forward to hosting Founders Fest again this June,” said Mark Dorich, vice president of retail operations. “The festival is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to Grand Rapids and West Michigan for contributing to the success of the brewery. This year is a little extra special, musically-speaking, as every band in this year’s line-up has performed in our taproom at some point in the past.”

The list of beers that will be available at the event include year-round favorites as well as a number of taproom exclusives, which are rarely bottled and distributed.

For full details visit Founders’ website.

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