Saturday is April Fools’ Day but, more importantly, it’s KBS Day. The arrival of Founders Brewing Co.’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout — made with chocolate and coffee and aged in oak bourbon barrels [11.8% ABV] — will set off the usual frenzy, with beer obsessives racing from store to store to snap up singles and hoping to stumble onto the Oh-So-Rare Yes,-We’re-Selling-It-In-Four-Packs Four-Pack [and KBS will be available in 750ml bottles for the first time].
But because KBS Day is on a Saturday, the real KBS Day ’round here will be Monday [4.3] [and later in the week for some stores], since the McLaughlin & Moran trucks won’t be rolling on 4.1. On Wednesday [4.5], John Abercrombie, Founders’ marketing manager, will preside over a KBS 2017 tapping at the Avery [18 Luongo Memorial Sq, Providence] from 6-8 pm; then the fun moves to the Wild Colonial [250 South Water St, Providence] from 8-10 pm, featuring KBS plus Frootwood [cherry ale aged in oak barrels] and a Barrelhouse-only Comet IPA. But keep up on the social mediums for more events and the specifics re: when the bottles and kegs arrive at your fave retailers and taverns.
Bonus content: Robert Allen of The Detroit Free Press wrote a story about this year’s batch of KBS. Some highlights:
• “Longtime fans will notice the annual Founders Brewing Co. release, an imperial stout with coffee and chocolate, cave-aged for months in bourbon barrels, is even more smooth and balanced than previous years. During a tapping event…I immediately noticed less of the boozy heat than last year’s release, with roasty coffee notes taking center stage.
“Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki described 2017 KBS in an email:
“ ‘This year I noticed a particularly large percentage of older barrels — barrels that were filled (with bourbon) 10, 15, even 20 years ago. These barrels seem to have a deeper, richer, more balanced bourbon character, where the younger barrels have a more in-your-face bourbon quality,’ he said.
“The same recipe is used every year, but large-scale barrel aging inevitably lends some variability. A variety of younger and older barrels, and differing bourbons — such as Heaven Hill, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark — age the stout before it’s combined and bottled.”
• In a 2016 piece, Allen deleved into the KBS backstory: “We recently took a trip with its makers about 3 miles from the brewery to Michigan Natural Storage to get a taste of the KBS aging process. To reach the caves, you take an elevator ride 85 feet below Grand Rapids. The former gypsum mines spread for about 6 miles of mostly narrow passages where the temperature and humidity are tightly controlled…Among the 7000 barrels on racks are future KBS and Backwoods Bastard, a Scotch ale. Heystek sprayed sanitizer on four of the barrels and popped out the bungs, removing samples with a turkey baster to give us tastes comparing Backwoods and KBS brews aging since as far back as 2011. The alcohol bite was more noticeable in the fresher samples, while the older ones had more velvety, dessert-wine flavors.”
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And heads up re: the Craft Brew Races event — a 5K walk/run capped by a 3.5-hour beer fest — which is happening on Saturday, July 22 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport. The early bird offer, which saves you $5, expires at midnight tonight [3.31]. Click here for the prices and to get your tix.