Founders Brewing Co. will introduce Smoked Porter, brewed with a combination of beech wood–smoked barley and oak-smoked wheat malt along with a generous helping of chocolate malt, on shelves and draft lines beginning in February 2014. Like all Founders’ Backstage Series beers, Smoked Porter will be sold in 750mL bottles, with a suggested retail price to be determined.
“This is a style of beer that we’ve discussed brewing for a decade,” says co-founder and vice president of brand & education Dave Engbers. “We weren’t able to fit it into our production schedule for years. Now, with our pilot system, our brewers have room for greater experimentation and aggressive recipe formulation. Brewing beers like this was the idea behind launching our Backstage Series and was a driving force in our investment in a pilot system this past summer.”
The brewery’s taproom in Grand Rapids, Michigan, also recently announced the addition of a draft line dedicated to their pilot system, only pouring those small batch experimental beers. A recent offering showcased the brewery’s first lager in twelve years.
Founders’ Backstage Series is made up of what the brewery calls boundary-pushing, experimental beers. The intent of the series is to take the diehard Founders fan experience to a wider audience—though all of the beers are still released in limited batches. Since its introduction in the summer of 2011, Founders’ Backstage Series beers have quickly become some of the most sought-after releases in the industry.
Limited bottles of Founders Smoked Porter will only be available in Michigan; draft will be available in most markets across the brewery’s distribution footprint. The beer will be released in February, with exact timing dependent on distributor shipments. Bottles will be released in the brewery’s taproom at a to-be-determined date. It will not be a pre-ticketed release. Look for at least two more Backstage Series releases from Founders in 2014.