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We're heading back to Grand Rapids, Michigan for Founders summer fruit beer. Here we have a straight up Raspberry Ale, similar to their Blushing Monk limited release from 2011 but with almost half the alcohol content. Now in the Festina Peche postings, I decried the not quite fruit not quite beer flavor of the offering, here we have all fruit. In fact, I dare say this is what it would taste like if you dumped Crystal Light powder into a High Life...but...it's still good! Now I think this might be the most debated beer we've featured, if everyone tries it. Some people will say this is as much beer as sangria is wine, but I disagree. Founders wanted to make a Raspberry Ale, and that's what they did. The sweet, tart raspberry flavor is finished with the maltiness you'd expect from beer, and I think it works perfectly. From the Founders website: "Not another boring summer wheat beer or lemonade shandy"”Rí¼bí¦us is Founders' way to celebrate the season's warmest months. Optimizing the flavor of fresh raspberries added at multiple stages during fermentation, this stunning berry red masterpiece is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. No question about it, with a hefty malt bill and 5.7% ABV, this beer is 100% Founders." Personally, if I want a fruit beer, this is where I'm going. Mostly fruit with a beer kick at the end, but I can definitely see where this offering will have detractors. Keep in mind, it is a Founders limited offering which mean you can expect to pay $15+ for a 4 pack. Think about splitting one with friends if you want to try it, but don't think a fruit beer is going to be your thing. Enjoy, Eric
Another request from the field, and an excellent pairing to last week's Single-Wide I.P.A., we have Founders All Day IPA. The All Day IPA is named because it is a session beer clocking in at a low 4.7%. Right now it's only available in bottles, but Founders is supposed to be be releasing cans later this summer. I had this a few weeks ago, and remember thinking it's pretty good for a cookout beer. Founders has been one of my favorite breweries since the first bottle of their breakfast stout oh so many years ago. This is their newest "fully available" beer, and, as of May, has become their top seller. Although I do love their beers, I didn't know much about the brewery aside from them being Michigan-based. Here's some history on their name from a MLive.com: The brewery's official corporate name is actually Canal Street Brewing Co., an homage to the area in Grand Rapids where several breweries were located in the 1800s. The brewery's original location was on Monroe Avenue, formerly known as Canal Street. "We were playing off of this whole throwback thing," said co-founder Mike Stevens. Early beer bottle labels featured a historic black-and-white photo of four local brewers sitting on a large wooden beer barrel. The word "Founders" appeared above the photo. "It literally stood for the founders, meaning the some of the original brewers of the beer movement in Grand Rapids," Stevens said. "Then everyone started calling us Founders because that's what was on the beer label." A customer offered to design a better label in exchange for some free beer and came up with the logo known today. Looks like six pack bottles are widely available (reported sightings at Harris Teeter in Arlington), and should be about $10. Special bonus if you attend Founders Fest this weekend, Don will waive your membership fees for 2014. Enjoy, Eric