SAN FRANCISCO — One of the United States’ largest craft breweries has brought its line-up of IPAs, pale ales, stouts, porters and seasonal varieties to the Bay Area. Based in Grand Rapids, MI, Founders Brewing Co. expanded distribution to Northern California and Nevada in October, debuting many of their beers for the first time in the Bay Area through tap takeovers at local bars and on the shelves of local retailers.
The brewery that boasts beer that is “Brewed for Us’ — a reference to the complex and aromatic qualities the Founders’ brewers prefer in their own beers — isn’t short of acclaim for their approach; their beers have won three Great American Beer Festival awards, three stouts have 99+ ratings on BeerAdvocate, and thirteen medals total have been won for eight different beers they produce.
Bay Area beer drinkers can enjoy Founders’ year-round offerings in bottle and on tap, such as their All-Day IPA Session Ale, Dirty Bastard scotch ale, Centennial IPA, Pale Ale and Porter; seasonal offerings like their Breakfast Stout; and limited releases like their Harvest Wet Hopped Ale and Dark Penance imperial black IPA.
Liquid Bread had the opportunity to discuss Founders’ expansion to the Bay Area beer scene with Dave Engbers, co-founder of the brewery:
Liquid Bread: What about the Bay drew Founders’ attention and what spurred the expansion?
Dave Engbers: San Francisco has a great beer scene and great beer enthusiasts who are highly engaged in all things craft. On a personal level, the sip that changed my life took place in the Bay Area. My brother lives in Santa Cruz and when I was 17 years old, I went to visit him and he introduced me to Mendocino County Red Tail Ale.
LB: Founders makes award-winning beer, but for those Bay Area beer-drinkers that aren’t familiar with the brewery, how would you describe Founders’ approach to brewing, and its beers as a whole? What makes Founders different from other breweries?
DE: We like to call Founders approach “Brewed for Us” meaning we make the beers we like to drink: bold complex in-your-face beers with big aromatics. I like to say we’re pushing the liquid envelope; beer’s been brewed for over 10,000 years and we’re doing it our own special way.
LB: How much of Founders’ beer line-up can Bay Area beer drinkers get their hands on? Are there any plans to include more seasonal, experimental or one-offs in the future?
DE: It’s pretty much everything — all our year-round, seasonal, specialty and limited release beers are available throughout our distribution footprint.
LB: Are there plans to keep the tap takeovers going?
DE: Absolutely. We continue to strive for increased awareness among beer enthusiasts and a great way to do it is through on-premise promotions. Bay Area has a great local beer scene and we have a fantastic portfolio – as diverse as anyone in the industry- and continue to showcase it with as many great beer venues as possible. We’ve got a team of 7 people in California so there’ll certainly be more tap takeovers.
To find out where Founders Brewing has beer on tap or in-stock, check out their beer locator on their website.