J and I dined at The Coopers Tavern last night so that we could partake of their night of three limited-release taps (plus two more readily available beers) from Founders Brewing Company, a highly rated brewery out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
J was eager to try the Backwoods Bastard, which the Founders website describes this way: “Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice, and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.” The high alcohol content (10.2% ABV) made it a little too much like drinking a scotch or bourbon for it to really strike his fancy. I had a taste, and while it’s not one of my usual styles of beer, I thought it was really quite good. Scotch ale lover that he is, J also had the Dirty Bastard, which he liked a lot but found to be a bit too smoky to become a favorite.
As winter sets in, I’ve been branching out from my usual wheat beers and Flemish red ales to try heftier stuff. With a recommendation from our server, I ordered the Breakfast Stout. Here’s the Founders beer bio: “The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.” I thought this was pretty fantastic. I am really looking forward to picking up some bottles of this to make stout floats at home with some Sassy Cow vanilla ice cream.
Signs at Coopers said the beer will be available until the kegs run dry, so hurry in if you want to get a taste of some great seasonal and specialty brews. Even if you aren’t in the area, check out the video below for what I thought was some utterly charming, beer-smitten propaganda from Founders.