Tag Archives: Founders Brewery


Beer Of The Month – April

Sometimes you just need a beer that you can drink all day without passing out in the gutter somewhere. A great session beer for a day at the park or grilling out in the backyard. These are often the beers we reach for as the weather warms up and we know we have a long day ahead. That’s why for April we have picked Founder’s All Day IPA as the beer of the month. The All Day IPA is one of the newest bottled beers from Founder’s and is a welcome addition to their line up. Although KBS is tasty, one is all you really need but with the All Day IPA, you just can’t help but have another. When you pour out the All Day IPA you get a lovely golden yellow color with about one finger of head. The fruity hops aroma drifts from the glass. Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and tangerine let you know you are in for a treat. Those same flavors in the aroma follow in the taste. It’s bright, refreshing, and clean. There is mild bitterness from start to finish on this guy… it does have IPA in the name so it’s not a surprise. It’s packed with a decent amount of hops without knocking that alcohol content out of the park which is what you typically see from most IPAs lately. Now go pick yourself up a six pack and head to the backyard and fire up that grill.

Hop Cast – Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

What better way to warm up in January then with a 2008 Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. That’s just what Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewskii are doing in this Hop Cast special. And since it’s the Hop Cast beer of the month it seemed like a perfect idea.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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Hop Cast – Episode 121: Two Brothers Cane and Ebel & Founders Brewing Red Rye

In episode 121 Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are at PrimeBar Chicago sharing beers with Patrick Thomas. The three of them sip on rye ales from two great midwest breweries. The first one is the Two Brothers Cane and Ebel. The year round released, Cane and Ebel comes in at 7.0% ABV. Dry and hoppy with a bitter finish, it’s a very well rounded beer. Next they jump over to the Red Rye from Founders Brewing. Coming in just below 7% at 6.9% it’s a little thinner then the Cane and Ebel but a bit more refreshing. A great beer for a warm summer day or just put some more logs on the fire and enjoy one now.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (177.7 MB).

Beer Of The Month – January

It’s a new year and I have a feeling this year the state to watch for new and interesting craft beers is going to be Michigan. One of my favorite breweries from Michigan is Founders Brewing. They continue to produce amazing beers and almost never disappoint. So the first beer of the month for 2011 is Founders Brewing, Kentucky Breakfast Stout. This beer doesn’t come out till the Spring but I have a few from last years release in the cellar and hopefully many of you out there do too because right now it’s tasting excellent. This stout is brewed with a hint of coffee and vanilla and then aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year. When you pour it out it’s black as night with a small, thin, tan head. The aroma of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla drift from the glass and make the mouth water. Compared to the taste, the aroma is lighter which is nice cause it doesn’t knock you over. Sticky and thick, it hits your lips with the great rich taste of coffee and chocolate. It’s a complex tasting beer that isn’t over powered by the bourbon, the alcohol comes out in the finish but is still pretty smooth. If you’re a bourbon lover you might want a bit more burn but for me its perfect, makes for an easy sipping 11% ABV beer.

If you have one or two in the cellar and are looking for something to warm you up on those cold midwest winter night this beer is perfect for that. If you don’t have any bottles now, stay on the look out so that hopefully you are able to find some when it’s released in a few months.

Ken & Brad’s Ten Favorite Midwest Craft Breweries

Here are Ken & Brad’s ten favorite midwest craft breweries and the towns they are in.

1. Three FloydsMunster, Indiana
Three Floyds is located just 30 minutes outside of Chicago in Muster, Indiana. These guys love the big beers. Three Floyds knows how to really bring the hops in their beers though they may be most famous for their Russian Imperial Stout, Dark Lord that tops many lists as one of the best beers in the world. Dark Lord bottles are sold only on ‘Dark Lord Day,’ the last Saturday in April where you are sure to find Brad and Ken and several thousand other fellow beer lovers in line and having a good time. Besides being an excellent brewery, they also have a brew pub that is cranking out some seriously tasty food. Don’t think you can come to Chicago and not make a trip out to see these guys

Episodes Featuring Three Floyds – Episode 3, Episode 12, Episode 23, Episode 39, Episode 66, Episode 74, Episode 75

2. Bell’sKallamazoo, Michigan
Bell’s was the first Michigan brewery to serve beer by the glass to the public. With over 20 years of brewing, Larry Bell has built a nationwide reputation with Bell’s Brewery. They played and are still playing a significant role in changing the craft beer landscape of the nation. They continue to produce a large variety of excellent beer and that’s why they are one out our favorites.

Episodes Featuring Bell’s – Episode 3, Episode 37, Episode 65, Episode 71

3. Founders BreweryGrand Rapids, Michigan
Founders Brewing is talked about constantly in the craft beer community for so many great beers and they just keep coming out with more. More flavor, bigger body, huge aromatics and increased complexity is the goal of Founders and they bring it to you. They continue to push the envelope and that’s what makes them great. Both Ken and Brad are excited to see what they have coming out in the years to come.

4. Boulevard BrewingKansas City, Missouri
Boulevard Brewing is one of the few breweries that Ken and Brad haven’t visited in the midwest. They are a fairly large brewery and also have a rather large distribution area but unfortunately you can’t find their beers in Chicago. Outside of the quality year-round brews they offer, its what they’ve been doing with their Smokestack Series releases that has really made us drink up and take notice.

Episodes Featuring Boulevard Brewing – Episode 15, Episode 56

5. New Glarus Brewing CompanyNew Glarus, Wisconsin
Just on the outskirts of the small “Swisstown” New Glarus, Wisconsin is where you will find the New Glarus Brewing Company. They are perhaps the biggest of the Wisconsin craft breweries and it’s hard to find a bar in Wisconsin that doesn’t have New Glarus beer on tap. They don’t distribute outside of Wisconsin so if you live outside of the state then a road trip is in order! Luckily Ken drives to Wisconsin often enough and brings back beers to share with fellow beer lovers in Chicagoland. As well as excellent year-round offerings, what these guys are doing with fruit is incredible! It will make the ladies and the gents in your life extra happy. Just.. wow!

Episode Featuring New Glarus Brewing Company – Episode 56

6. Jolly Pumpkin Dexter, Michigan
Jolly Pumpkin has a little something different going on there and their beers are not for everyone. Focusing on traditional rustic country style beers they use open fermentation, oak barrel aging, and bottle conditioning. Many of you know that Brad isn’t a huge fan of the sour beers but Jolly Pumpkin is slowly helping him to learn to appreciate that style and the Hop Cast really respects the quality product that Jolly Pumpkin creates.

Episodes Featuring Jolly Pumpkin – Episode 4, Episode 57, Episode 70

7. Surly BrewingBrooklyn Center, Minnesota
If you’re visiting Minnesota and love beer it’s likely you have heard of what Surly Brewing is producing. You’ll find most of their beers in 16 oz cans at local liquor stores throughout the Twin Cities and beyond. If you are willing to brave the weather in Minnesota in October and stand in line early then you get a rare, magnificent taste of their much lauded once a year release, Russian Imperial Stout; they call Darkness.

Episodes Featuring Surly Brewing – Episode 20, Episode 62, Episode 69

8. Goose IslandChicago, Illinois
Goose Island and Chicago sort of go hand and hand. They are widely distributed throughout the majority of states and many people know about their bottled beers including the much loved and praised, Bourbon County Stout. But a trip to Chicago wouldn’t be complete without seeing what else Goose Island has to offer. At the Goose Island Clybourn brewpub you’ll find about 10 beers that are not in bottles and exclusively only available there. They are constantly rotating in new offerings so make sure you stop on by and see what they have on tap.

Episodes Featuring Goose Island – Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 47, Episode 65, Episode 77

9. Two BrothersWarrenville, Illinois
Head directly west of Chicago to Warrenville and check out Two Brothers and their brew pub. Since Warrenville is Brad’s birthplace, Two Brothers holds a special spot in his heart. Two Brothers beers are solid and although with the exception of Hop Juice, many of their beers may not completely blow away the craft beer lover. They are go-to beers; the kind of beers that you can also give to your average beer friends (if you have any) and they are still going to enjoy them. When you need a good, solid beer that isn’t too experimental then a Two Brothers is a dependable choice.

Episode Featuring Two Brothers – Episode 11

10. KuhnhennWarren, Michigan
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is your typical hardware store turned microbrewery story… ok there’s nothing typical about Kuhnhenn. Run by brothers Bret and Eric Kuhnhenn in the small town of Warren, Michigan these brothers have the craft beer community talking. You can find their beers in 12 oz and 22 oz bottles. And if you see them, pick them up because they are pretty amazing. A couple favorites are the Simcoe Silly, Creme Brulee Java Stout & the Solar Eclipse.

Honorable Mention
With so many great top notch breweries in the midwest it was hard to just pick 10. There were a few that almost made the list and we just wanted to give them props for what they are doing.
Half AcreChicago, IL
Metropolitan BrewingChicago, IL
Dark Horse BrewingMarshall, Michigan
Futhermoore BeerSpring Green, Wisconsin