Founders Brewing Company
|Location||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Key people||Dave Engbers|
|Annual production volume||193,356 Barrels (as of 2014)|
Canal Street Brewing Co., L.L.C., doing business as Founders Brewing Company, is a brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, known for producing several highly rated craft-style ales. Since its founding in the mid 1990s, it has grown to become the 15th largest brewery in the United States, and a prominent member of the West Michigan brewing industry.
Canal Street Brewing Company was organized in 1996 as John Pannell Brewing Company by Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, who began operation and changed the company's name to Canal Street Brewing Co. in 1997. Stevens and Engbers were homebrewing enthusiasts who had recently graduated from college. The brewery got its name from a part of Grand Rapids where, in the 19th century, several breweries were located on Canal Street (Monroe Avenue). The beer bottle's label originally included an old black and white photo of the original Canal Street breweries with the word "Founders" above it. Thus, the company became known as Founders Brewing Company.
Since the mid-2000s, Founders has become one of the most prominent breweries in Michigan, expanding its market to 37 states and its production capacity to 340,000 barrels per year. Founders was the 30th largest U.S. craft brewery by sales volume in 2012, and 41st largest U.S. brewery by sales volume in 2012. By 2014, Founders had climbed to the 17th largest craft brewery based on sales volume and the 23rd largest overall. In 2014, Founders announced another expansion, this one $35 million, to double the production capacity at its Grand Rapids facility. When the expansion is complete, Founder's says it will be able to produce 900,000 barrels per year.
As of 2013, two of its beers, Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) and Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS), were ranked among BeerAdvocate's top 10 beers, with CBS ranked as the 4th best beer in the world by user review. In a 2013 poll, Ratebeer.com listed Founders as the 3rd best brewery in the world overall; Founders was 2nd place in 2011 and 2012. In April 2010, Founders won four medals at the World Beer Cup in Chicago, Illinois, and the brewery went on to win two more medals at Denver's Great American Beer Festival in September of that year. The brewery also won an award at the 2012 World Beer Cup in San Diego, California.
In December 2014, Founders Brewing Company re-released Blushing Monk, an experimental Belgian-style raspberry ale, which had not been brewed since 2011. That same month, Founders announced that Mahou San Miguel had purchased a 30% minority stake in the business. This makes Founders no longer a craft brewery, by the Brewers Association definition, as it requires that craft breweries not be more than 25% owned by a macro-brewery.
Founders produces eight year-round beers and several seasonal and limited production beers. Throughout the course of the year, Founder's produces a large number of other beers that can be had at their Taproom and beer festivals.
|All Day IPA||India Pale Ale||4.7||42||Year-round|
|Dirty Bastard||Scotch Ale||8.5||50||Year-round|
|Centennial IPA||India Pale Ale||7.2||65||Year-round|
|Pale Ale||American Pale Ale||5.4||35||Year-round|
|Red's Rye IPA||Rye||6.6||70||Year-round draft only|
|Nitro Oatmeal Stout||Oatmeal Stout||4.5||38||Year-round draft only|
|Nitro Pale Ale||American Pale Ale||5.4||35||Year-round draft only|
|Breakfast Stout||American Imperial Stout||8.3||60||Seasonal|
|Dark Penance||American Black Ale||8.9||100||Specialty|
|Imperial Stout||Russian Imperial Stout||10.5||75||Specialty|
|Curmudgeon Old Ale||Old ale||9.8||50||Specialty|
|Double Trouble||American Imperial IPA||9.4||86||Specialty|
|Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS)||American Imperial Stout||11.2||70||Limited|
|Devil Dancer||American Imperial IPA||12.0||112||Limited|
|Harvest Ale||American IPA||7.6||70||Limited|
|Backwoods Bastard||Scotch Ale||11.2||50||Year-round|
The Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) is the most sought-after beer brewed by Founders. KBS is an American Imperial Stout with a high ABV (11.2%). Brewed with coffee and chocolate, the beer is left to age in bourbon barrels under the city in old gypsum mines. Each year Founders celebrates the release during what has become known as KBS Week. The "regular" Breakfast Stout is a seasonal American Imperial Stout with wider availability. They are also releasing the Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) in December 1, 2017, the first time since 2011.
Overlooking the brewing facilities, the Founders taproom allows customers a look into where beer production occurs and offers many beers on draft that are only available at the tap room. The offering of specialty beers and live music four times a week has helped make the taproom a staple in the Grand Rapids community and a destination for travelers. The deli menu consists mainly of handcrafted sandwiches, which are made using bread from a local bakery.
On December 4, 2017 Founders opened a 14,000 -square-foot brewery, restaurant, and taproom in Detroit. The taproom largely serves beers made in Grand Rapids, with some brews available exclusively at the Detroit location, which has a four-barrel brewing facility that can produce about eight kegs a week.
Each June, the company organizes a festival known as Founders Fest. The street in front of the brewery is closed down and blocked off for the event. National, regional, and local acts take the stage, local food vendors and artists have booths. Each year more than 5,000 people attend the festival. Past acts have included Nahko and Medicine for the People, Soulive, Toubab Krewe, That 1 Guy, Galactic, Chicago Afrobeat Project, and The Crane Wives
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-  Archived October 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Founders Detroit Taproom". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
- John Serba (2015-04-15). "Founders Fest 2015: Music lineup, ticket details available".
- John Gonzales (2012-06-18). "Gonzo's Top 5: Founders Fest 2012, The Jacksons Unity Tour, Kalamazoo's Irish Festival and more!".