It's true, Founders Brewing Company, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is now 15, which means they'd like to remind you that "PAUL IS NOT MY REAL DAD, MY REAL DAD LIVES IN KANSAS" and that Dashboard Confessional is the soundtrack to the brewery's life. Seriously though, Founders makes some truly phenomenal beers and has long had a strong presence in and around DC, especially in the best beer programs in our area.
Founders has concocted a very special and ultra-scarce ale for this birthday, and they will release it at their party at ChurchKey, which holds the one-and-only keg of this brew for the #dcbrews area.
On Sunday, November 18 at 3 pm, ChurchKey will tap the single keg of Bolt Cutter 15th Anniversary Barleywine. Beer director Greg Engert describes the beer as "fittingly intense and soundly strong at 15% abv; this monster of an ale is a three thread blend of the base: unfettered Barleywine, Barleywine aged in Bourbon oak barrels, and Barleywine aged in maple syrup-soaked Bourbon barrels." These last barrels are the barrels used to age the esteemed Canadian Breakfast Stout. Here's what Founders has to say about it: "Bolt Cutter is a cellarable barley wine with an ABV of 15%. Dry-hopped with a mountain of Cascade hops, it’s balanced by a malty sweetness and spicy complexity, resulting from barrel aging some of it in bourbon barrels, some in maple syrup-bourbon barrels and some not at all (standard fermentation only). We’ve allowed the beer to mature in bottles and kegs since July so that it would be perfect for its release next month. Bolt Cutter pours a deep copper color and is best sampled at different temperatures to allow the flavors to unfold."
There's an interesting story behind the name of the beer. Co-founder, president, and CEO Mike Stevens relates the story: “Years ago when our brewery was located on Monroe, we were defaulting on our loan. Eventually, the bank called and threatened to chain our doors shut if we didn’t come up with the money that we owed them. We had seven days to come up with half a million dollars." Co-founder, VP of brand and education Dave Engbers picks up the story: "So I bought a pair of bolt cutters. We were determined to keep our doors open and to keep brewing beer, no matter what it took. Luckily, we never had to use them.”
Engbers keeps the bolt cutters in his office as a reminder of how far we’ve come and the journey we’ve taken since brewing our first beer in November 1997.
Rounding out the selections for the anniversary party will be kegs of:
- Founders Harvest Fresh Hop Ale
- Founders Backwoods Bastard (Bourbon barrel-aged Scotch Ale)
- Breakfast Stout
- Centennial IPA
- Dry-Hopped Pale Ale
- Dirty Bastard
- Red's Rye P.A.
There is no admission for the event and all Founders brews will be priced individually by the glass and in 4 oz. tasting pours.