M ichigan seems to have some great malt driven brewers. Founders is one of them. Mrs. Dan and I dropped by the Founders Tap Takeover at The Hive where they were having 10 brews to try. We started with a flight of 4 in the small tulip glasses.
Abby McClocklin, Georgia Sales Rep for Founders was on hand to talk about the brews.
I told her I wanted dark brews since it was getting cold outside. Three great brews she pointed out was the CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout), Doom and Backwoods Bastard. Good selection.
I said I wanted dark so we started with a flight of the Breakfast Stout Nitro, Red’s Rye IPA, Doom and CBS. Nice mix. The Breakfast Stout Nitro is the creamiest brew I’ve ever had in my mouth. Dark roasty flavors. Sweet on the edge of your tongue, dry and slightly bitter on the center. Coats your mouth forever. The nitro version of their Breakfast Stout is only available in keg and around the Holidays.
I followed it up with Red’s Rye IPA. I wanted malty but didn’t want to pass up trying a red IPA. Abby told me that the name comes from a drifter who used to hang around the brewery when it first opened up 20 years ago. His name was Red and he loved this red rye. For the label they used a hand-drawn portrait of Red that one of the brewer’s made. I think they did Red pretty good. This definitely has the rye backbone. You have the rye and a hint of pine. Hoppy and dry but not super bitter.
Next up was the Doom. It’s dark but a bit on the hoppy side. Got some pine coming from the Cascade hops, sweet in spots from its time in bourbon barrels. An interesting mix of flavors. Abby told me it uses their Double Trouble IPA as the backbone. It gets dry hopped after it spends its time in the barrel. Nice brew.
Finally to the touted CBS. I was talking to some of the beer lovers at the next table who also came for the takeover. They said they were trying to figure out what the C was for. They named off every town in Michigan that started with C and finally Googled it to find it was for Canada. I guess that’s from the maple syrup barrels. So, here’s recycling for you. A local maple syrup company buys used bourbon barrels to flavor their maple syrup. Then Founders takes their bourbon barrel/ maple syrup barrels and ages an Imperial Stout in them. Sweet and luscious is how I describe it. Not subtle. Not as smooth and creamy as the Nitro Breakfast Stout but much more even flavored. This keeps the same flavor profile throughout your mouth and during it’s long finish. Kinda coats your mouth like a cough syrup. Chocolate and coffee flavors. Wish cough syrup tasted like this.
We finished up the night with a simple flight of 2. Mrs. Dan was supposed to get another CBS. I wanted to try the Backwoods Bastard. This is where the tasting got a bit weird. The server was supposed to give me Backwoods but swapped them. I was half way through her CBS when I realized the mistake. So my notes are a bit mixed up.
The Founders website describes the Backwoods Bastard as “Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.” Yeah. I think that is what I tasted. At 11.2% (and $4.25) I wasn’t ordering another one. But it is still on tap at the Hive so I might have to drop by again.
The last one for me was the Oatmeal Stout Nitro. This is the driest beer I’ve ever put in my mouth. Water thin mouthfeel. And the weird part is you expect it to be super smooth as much as it clung to the glass. Nope. Subtle flavors but super dry.
My new friends Mike and Chris at the next table were singing the praises of the CBS. I agree. Great beer. It also costs $6.50 for a flight glass. The Hive’s online tap menu says they only serve it in flight glasses and 10oz. Might because it’s 11.2% or maybe they are rationing it. Better get some while you can. On Saturday the tap indicator was showing 27%.
Here’s what the Founders website said about the brews we tried:
CBS–We started with CBS was born when we stumbled upon some bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup. We opted to put the same base beer as KBS, an imperialized version of Breakfast Stout, in the maple barrels and, after one taste, we knew we had something special. Rich maple syrup, roasted coffee and velvety chocolate meld together in what can only be described as a transcendental drinking experience.
Breakfast Stout–8.3%. (Their site doesn’t list the Nitro version). The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and two types of coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.
Nitro Oatmeal Stout-A Founders take on a classic style, brewed with a generous amount of flaked oats, chocolate malt, roasted barley and a healthy helping of Nugget hops, Founders Oatmeal Stout is nitrogen-infused to give it an extra smooth and creamy mouthfeel. An attractive cascade effect gives this beer its forthright visual appeal—and the body and clean flavor deliver on that initial promise.
Doom-Doom may be impending but that doesn’t mean you have to fear it. A collision of worlds, the intense hop character of our imperial IPA mingles with the warm vanilla and oak notes imparted from time spent in our favorite bourbon barrels. Like all good things, Doom comes to those who wait.
Backwoods Bastard— Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
Red’s Rye IPA –Serious hop bitterness, along with an unyielding grapefruit bouquet from the Amarillo dry hop, balances the malty richness of four varieties of imported Belgian caramel malts. Pours a spectacular crimson with a creamy tan head. A generous addition of rye malt accentuates a spicy, crisp finish.
The Hive will be having a tap takeover with Founders out of Grand Rapids, Michigqn. This brand has been making great brews for the past 20 years. They were cool before craft beer was cool.
Where: The Hive
215 Tenth Street
Augusta, GA 30901
When: Thursday, December 7, 2017. 5 until closing.
Author Bottle Report