Founders shows new IPA, pils, barrel-aged beer

Tom Gromak
The Detroit News

An hour before the tapping of KBS, the line was building outside the Founders Brewing tent. If you were waiting solely for KBS, you may have missed out on something else delicious.

Founders has several new offerings at this year’s festival including an imperial IPA called “Sleeper Cell.” a hopped pilsner called “PC Pils,” and a barrel-aged version of its ReDANKulous Imperial Red IPA. All three are worth a stop.

Sleeper Cell is a big, bold West Coast IPA, weighing in at 10.8% ABV — not for lightweights. “It’s got lots of hops. It’s well-balanced. I’m very excited about it,” said Kevin Devries, sales representative for Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co. Five hop varieties make it a many-layered, flavorful beer, a good thing, since Sleeper Cell replaces the venerable “Double Trouble” double IPA in this year’s line-up.

Devries is a big fan of Sleeper Cell. But he’s enthused about PC Pils, a hop-forward pilsner new to the Founders family.

“With that American hops in it, it’s great. It’s a crisper cleaner finish” than most pilsners.

“We’re really excited about that one,” Devries said of PC Pils. “it’s very similar (to All-Day), but with a crisp, cleaner finish,” At just 5% ABV, it also qualifies as a ‘lawnmower beer,” so named because you can drink it, mow your lawn, and not cut off your foot.

The biggest, boldest offering (outside of KBS) might be the Bourbon-barrel-aged ReDANKulous, a more potent version of its imperial, double red IPA. More hoppy, more dank, and with strong notes of vanilla and bourbon, it’s a bold flavor for the festival, and a must-try for vans of the genre.

“ReDANKulous was Michigan’s only gold medal winner at last year’s Great American Beer Festival (in Denver),” Devries said. “So we threw it into bourbon barrels and aged it because, well, we’re Founders and that’s what we do, right.”