Friday is Founders’ KBS Day: where to find it on tap

Ready to go whale hunting? Friday 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 [11.2% 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. There will be a bit more package available ’round here than in 2015.

Want know where to get a taste of KBS straight from the barrel? These fine establishments will be tapping the liquid goodness on Friday [4.1]: the Malted Barley Providence [334 Westminster St; 5 pm]; Jacky Boy Publik House [27 Aborn St, Cranston]; Brass Monkey [800 Allens Ave, Providence]; Doherty’s Ale House [30 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick]; and Doherty’s Lakeside [446 Tiogue Ave, Coventry; 6 pm]. But keep your eyes glued to them social mediums: other places will be breaking out their KBS allotment in the days and weeks to come. [Plus: Doherty’s Lakeside is hosting a KBS Vertical Beer Dinner, with pours of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Tix are $100/person; click here for the menu and reservations.]

Bonus content: Robert Allen of The Detroit Free Press wrote an in-depth story on “how brewers age Founders KBS.” Some highlights:

“Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki said KBS started as an experiment with a few bourbon barrels in the early 2000s, but people didn’t know they wanted it. ‘Those 4-packs sat in there, and nobody cared,’ Kosmicki said.” [Note: the KBS label honors Jeremy with the copy: “The Amazing Kosmicki’s Highly Acclaimed KBS,” plus the motto, “Is Good For Everything a Flavored Stout Ought To Be Good For.”]

“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.”

“Craft-beer drinkers…will be watching for that brown and tan-colored KBS label…‘There’s something to the mystique of something special to find out in the stores, but it’s a lot to live up to,’ Kosmicki said. ‘Any time you get that much hype for something, it’s like, “Well, I hope people like it. I hope this isn’t a disappointing year or something.” ’ ”

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Heavy Seas launches the Partner Ships Series [first partner: Maine Beer]; Sculpin mania at Pizza J; and Newport Storm’s Smoke RIng

Heavy Seas, the acclaimed Baltimore brewery, turned 20 on December 8, 2015; click here to read our post on the momentous occasion [with a big dose of HS history]. The celebration is sailing into 2016, with a few “20 Beers For 20 Years” events [including one TBA in Rhode Island on May 19] — and the Partner Ships Series. Four collaboration beers will be made with the crews from Maine Beer Company, Tröegs Independent Brewing, Terrapin Beer Company, and Stone Brewing Company. The HS folks say: “Born on friendship, creativity, and a boundless sense of adventure, the Partner Ships Series celebrates the spirit of American craft beer today.”

As we type, the Heavy Seas/Maine Beer concoction is being loaded onto trucks and headed to better beer stores [in bombers] and select beer bars. It’s simply called Red IPA [7.25% ABV], and the description sounds simply delicious. The PR says the “well-balanced [beer] features American hops [Warrior, Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade, Hallertau Blanc] and citrus and pine flavors. Waves of orange blossom, grapefruit, and lemon flavors set sail atop a subtle toasted malt character [2-row, Caramalt 80, Chocolate, Vienna]. This collaborative brew offers an impressive hop forward characteristic over a burnished malt backbone.”

There will be three Partner Ships events this week: tonight [3.7] at Pizza J in Providence [6-8 pm]; on Wednesday [3.9] at Wharf Pub in Newport [7-9]; and at the new [and now open] Downcity Malted Barley [6-8]. Treat yourself to the limited edition liquid and grab some HS swag.

 Head back to Pizza J on Tuesday [3.8] at 6 pm for Sculpin 4 Ways. You can do side-by-each contrast-and-compares with Ballast Point’s superb Sculpin IPA and three variations: Grapefruit Sculpin, Pineapple Sculpin, and Habanero Sculpin. The oven wizards will be making specials to pair with the fruity/spicy brews. And Jaws 4 [actual title: Jaws: The Revenge] will be on the big screen all night. Dive in!

SmokeRIng The brew crew at Newport Storm has been mixing it up big-time, releasing almost 20 one-off beers in the last coupla years, and they’ve brainstormed a half-dozen new offerings for 2016. The first one is Smoke RIng [7% ABV]. Quoth the NSers: “A smoked porter aged in oak barrels for several months, Smoke RIng certainly took a unique journey from brew to bottle. Hardwood smoked barley and chocolate malt are expertly matched with crystal malt giving this brew a rich burgundy hue and a faint tan head. The aroma that emanates from this brew makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a campfire deep in the woods, but don’t let that or the color fool you! One sip of this beer will send your taste buds on a crazy ride from smoke, to cherry tartness, to a satisfying dark chocolate finish. Barrel aging beer is an exciting venture for any brewery. ‘Different barrels give different flavor and aroma profiles to a beer,’ says Brewmaster Derek Luke, ‘and the slightly wild ferment taking place in the barrels used for Smoke RIng is what gives this brew a tart twist!’ ” The limited edition beer can be found in bombers now.

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Read all about it: the Malted Barley Providence is now open; plus, an ode to taprooms, pilsner is the new pumpkin ale, and more

[Photo by Elizabeth Koller, from The Malted Barley Providence Facebook page]
Do you follow Bottles & Cans on Twitter and/or Facebook? If you do [and you should; scroll down for the links], you got the heads-up on Friday night that the Malted Barley Providence [334 Westminster St] is open for bizness, a week ahead of their Big Grand Opening Date on Thursday, 3.10 [here’s the backstory from 7.22.15]. So head Downcity [free parking on Sunday!] and visit the gorgeous new space. Check out the 170-year-old wooden beams, century-old elevator pulleys, and custom-made tables and savor the selections from the 36 taps [plus bottles and cans and a full bar] and the menu — ahh, those gourmet pretzels [plus pretzel sandwiches, salads, soups, and more]. The MBP is open daily from 11 am-1 am and will have music on Fridays and Saturdays. Go!

OK, here’s your regularly scheduled entertainment:

Brewery taprooms are the best places on Earth, by Will Gordon @ Vinepair [“In my experience, a trip to the brewery will usually save you somewhere in the neighborhood of a buck a pint, but the more important cost saving is the house’s.”]

Pilsner is the new pumpkin ale in the craft beer world, by Jason Notte @ Market Watch [“If pumpkin ales were the novelty introduction to craft beer’s adolescence, then this surge in pilsners is its early adulthood.”]

Mad Science: Brewers Doing Small Things At Big Breweries, by Bryan Roth @ All About Beer [“At a time when breweries of all sizes are tinkering to find the next big thing to grab the attention from a feverish, beer drinking public, (Anheuser-Busch’s Rob) Naylor represents something of an unexpected find. He’s producing off-the-wall beers that sound more like something to find fermenting in the closet of a homebrewer than at the nation’s largest brewery. But his job reflects a growing need for the big boys of beer.”]

Craft beer brewers learn to live with, and love, private equity, by Jason Notte @ Market Watch [A Q&A with Victory brewmaster Bill Covaleski, Southern Tier owner Phin DeMink, and John Coleman, CEO of Artisanal Brewing Ventures]

 Here’s our latest piece for Motif, “Beer news you can use”

Tommy knows best: “This is such a fun team, Michael!”:

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Go get beer [3.3-3.6], featuring two new brews at Proclamation; plus, the Malted Barley Providence’s opening date!

The view from the front window [photo by Elizabeth Koller, from The Malted Barley Providence Facebook page]
It’s been a loooong time coming since we broke the news on July 22, but everyone’s patience has finally been rewarded: The Malted Barley Providence [334 Westminster St] will celebrate its Grand Opening on Thursday, March 10. Congrats to Ron, Colin, Stephanie, and their hard-working [and patient] crews. Cheers!

Our weekly what’s-on-tap glass is half-full — half of our correspondents are on a brewers’ cruise this week — but here’s what we know [and we’ve provided the usual links to the sources’ sites so you can glean your own intel re: the high seas revelers].

At Proclamation Ale Company [Thursday 3:30-7 pm, Friday 3:30-8, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5] for tastings and growlers: Two beers will debut at the West Kingston HQ! New Beer #1: Process/Progress 2. Dave sez: “Batch 2 of our ‘mess around’ IPA series. QUAD (yes, I said quad) dry hopped with a blend of Centennial/Equinox/Bitter Gold hops and about 30% oats in the grist. Giant, hoppy, grassy, citrus, berries, floral.  6.7% abv.” New Beer #2: Burgess. Dave sez: “Straight up 5% ESB brewed with English malts/hops/yeast. Named after a mofo that looks like Jake Gyllenhaal and made Dave drink too much.” Also: The Stalk [double IPA made with Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops], Derivative: Galaxy, Derivative: Mosaic — and Broze [oatmeal milk stout; on nitro for tastings only].

At Bucket Brewery [Friday 1-7:30 pm, Saturday 11 am-5 pm]: the debut of Prudence & Patience Rosehip Gose, plus Black Goat o’ the Woods [spiced milk stout], 33rd Inning Red Rye Lager, Pawtucket Pail Ale, Park Loop Porter, and Fireside Harvest Ale [“last keg!”], [plus some tests and one-offs].

At Foolproof [Friday 5-7 pm, Saturday 1-5]: Queen of the Yahd, a new raspberry IPA [5.2% ABV; four-packs of 16-ounce cans will ship in a month or so], plus Shuckolate, Revery, Peanut Butter Raincloud, Backyahd, Barstool, La Ferme Urbaine, Raincloud, and King of the Yahd — and a special cask of Queen of the Yahd made with peaches. [And ICYMI, we posted some Foolproof news on 3.1]

At Long Live Beerworks [Wednesday-Friday  4-9 pm, Saturday 1-8]: ’Nuff Said IPA, Milk Milk Stout, and Heck Hound [smoky red ale]. Plus on Firkin Friday [3.4], Gato Pina [Black Cat made with pineapple].

At Ravenous [Saturday 1-4 pm]: Dolly Cole [black IPA], Blackstone Pale Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout, and Coffee Milk Stout.

Seek and find for theeself re: Grey Sail, Tilted Barn, Crooked Current, Newport Storm, and Whaler’s.

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