Featured Brewery: Founders Brewing

In 1997, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers opened a 9800 square foot brewing facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan and began their dream of making beer, but within 3 years they were on the verge of bankruptcy and blamed themselves for making unremarkable beer. They refused to let the landlord lock them out of the property and adopted the motto, “Brewed for Us.”  They started to make the type of beers they liked to drink – ales with big body, complex flavor, and rich aromatics. They spared no expense and people began to notice.

The next year they debuted KBS, a bourbon-barrel aged stout that quickly became one of the highest rated beers in the world. They were on the front end of this new trend in beer making – using bourbon barrels to partially age the beer. From there, their growth and popularity have continued every year and they have enjoyed more than 20 years as one of the fastest growing, most popular craft breweries in the world.   

Beer of the Month: Founders Unraveled Juicy IPA

6.6% ABV, 50 IBU

Juicy IPAs are characterized by the flavors and aromas of fruit juice that are present in the beer. They are created by the hops and yeast esters, but the essence of stone fruit or citrus is very prominent when smelling or tasting the brew.

Unraveled IPA is dry hopped with traditional hop pellets along with lupulin powder, an innovative hop product that separates lupulin from the hop flower. Unraveled IPA is incredibly flavorful and aromatic. Wheat and oats form a smooth backdrop to carry all those wonderful hop characteristics, while the pour is beautifully clear.

“This is one of my favorite IPAs to come out of the brewery in a while,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “The hop character is aggressive with its citrus and tropical flavors and aromas while the addition of lupulin powder – rather than relying on over dry-hopping with just pellets – helps keep the grassiness in check. It has great balance and is clean, bright and refreshing.”

Food Pairings for Juicy IPA

Creamy soft cheese, citrus salsas, grilled or roasted poultry.

Almond-Crusted Beer Cheese Ball
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup sharp English cheddar, grated
8 oz cream cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup IPA beer
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

In a food processor, add the Gruyere and cheddar and chop into fine pieces. Add the cream cheese, green onions, beer, salt, garlic powder, pepper and red chile flakes and process until all ingredients are blended well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours until firm.

Lay a piece of parchment paper flat on a work surface. Spoon the cheese mixture into the middle of the paper. Use your hands to form the cheese into a round, disc shape. Wrap the paper up around the cheese and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

On a large plate, spread the sliced almonds into an even layer. Remove the cheese from the freezer and gently remove the paper. Press the cheese into the almonds on both sides and around the edges.  Wrap the cheese tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours before serving. 

Note: It is best to make this the day before. Flavors have a chance to combine and the cheese will hold its shape.

Published 12/7/20

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