Founders 2013 KBS Release Party

April 07 2013 - 4:41 PM

Greetings, beer lovers.  I recently visited Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend the release party for the 2013 installment of their legendary Kentucky Breakfast Stout.  This year, Founders made some positive changes to the rules for ordering and picking up KBS, which resulted in shorter lines and a pleasantly decongested party without sacrificing the feeling of excitement surrounding the annual release.  A cap tip (in my case, a Yankees cap) goes out to them.

This was the first year in which Founders changed the purchasing rules to more of a Dark-Lord-like model.  Instead of the past format in which all KBS-buyers would purchase their case (it was “cases” in 2010) on the same day, Founders responded to last year’s debacle by making purchasers enter a lottery for an advance ticket.  In 2012 people camped out for beer and the ultimate line was so long on gameday that Founders had to cut allotment sizes down to half-cases just to accommodate everyone who had been waiting.  I’ve heard rumors that portions were ultimately limited to single four-packs.  This year, allotment sizes were capped at half cases (three four packs).  The real impact on waiting times stemmed from the policy permitting customers to pick up their beer over a four-day period at their choice.  This procedure shortened lines, made pickup smoother and resulted in far happier customers.  As we awaited entry into the brewpub, you would see only the occasional customer walk out of the side door with his or her purchase.  Kudos to Founders for getting this part of the process righted.

As for the event itself, by the 11 a.m. opening, there was a 100-person-or-so line to enter the brewpub, where, as always, the beer received its initial Saturday release on tap.  This was great because if you wanted to try KBS on tap in lieu of buying it, you didn’t have to worry about Founders running out of kegstock before the day most out-of-towners could travel to Grand Rapids. You can find our how the beer was and read the full write up of this year’s KBS release party here at the beer blog.

– M. Sheppard