Producer: Founders Brewing Company
Region: Grand Rapids, MI
Style: Imperial Red IPA
Appearance: Deep amber with hues of red
Aroma: Malt, grass, hay, caramel
Virginia Pour House Notes: While Founders is celebrating their gold medal win in the Imperial Red Ale category at Great American Beer Festival for this beer, I am sitting at home sipping it and reviewing it. Yes, it’s true. I’m still alive and although I haven’t posted in almost two months, I am posting this now. Life sometimes gets in the way and I wish I had more time to post, but I am going to try to do a better job of finding time to post about all the delicious beers that I taste going forward. Anyway, back to Founders. This big, bold red IPA checks in at 9.5% ABV and is a hop monster, featuring Chinook, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops, as well as sweet Caramalt for a big body. The beer pours a beautiful deep amber with reddish hues and smells grassy and earthy with some sweet caramel notes underneath. Upon taking my first sip, I instantly notice a pleasantly sweet caramel flavor, but make no mistake – the hops are there. This beer is big and malty and sweet, but there is a also a big hop bill hiding just beneath the surface. The sweet notes combine perfectly with the subtle hoppiness and the bitterness of the hops lingers long after the sip is finished. This is an almost perfect union of malt and hop in a red ale. Nice work, Founders – I can see why this beer won a gold at GABF.