When they titled Grand Rapids Beer City USA, I think the people throughout Grand Rapids all shouted "heck yeah!," raised their stein in salute and proceeded to dream up way after way to make sure we never, ever lose this title. We love our beer here. More importantly we love our craft beer here. So much so that we will use beer as an excuse to throw a party time and time again.
This weekend Founders, one of the first breweries to start craft beer mania in the area, is releasing its Kentucky Breakfast Stout with a four day extravaganza to celebrate. Lest you think this is overkill for the release of a beer, may I remind you that Rate Beer ranked it the 4th best beer in the WORLD (take that Germany and Belgium).
Beer fans were able to buy tickets in advance to purchase up to 12 bottles of KBS at the Founders Taproom before it went on sale to the general public. Fans of the legendary beer from far and wide (seriously, people are flying in for this beer) were so anxious to get their hands on some KBS that the site crashed from all the traffic. Tickets were completely sold out in a few hours. But the best part is all these ticket sales triggered a donation to Grand Rapids Whitewater.
Here is what local beer aficionado Kelly McDaniel from Momma Needs a Beer has to say:
Founders KBS was one of those "gateway" craft beers for me. I was always a beer lover, especially when it came to stouts; but Founders KBS took my love of beer to an entirely new level. The hints of chocolate & coffee... the bourbon-barrel aged goodness. I'm drooling just thinking about it! Founders KBS Release Party is an exciting opportunity to try the newest batch of KBS, fresh from the tap. This party is also a fun way to welcome spring with fellow beer enthusiasts each year, as part of the event takes place outdoors. Since the demand for KBS is so high, attending this event may be one of the few opportunities to savor this rare beer on tap... until next year.
But don't despair if you didn't get tickets to the advance release (or drown your sorrows in an inferior beer). This Saturday March 30th there is an all day draft release party in the Founders taproom from 11am-2am. It is totally free to get in (although you have to buy your beer) and KBS will be on tap all day long. In the evening there will also be free entertainment.
Founders Brewery has been growing in popularity over the years and the demand for their craft beer has spread across the country. They are in the process of undergoing their 4th major expansion at their Grandville street location. This expansion allow them to increase production and keep up with the demand from the 23 states where Founders beer is currently sold. Post-expansion, they plan to make their way into even more states, good news for all the Michigan snow birds that head south in the winter.
It doesn't look like Beer City USA will be giving up its love of craft beer anytime soon. And all the beer lovers raise their glasses...