If you are preparing to attend the Michigan Brewer's Guild 9th Annual Winter Beer Festival (tickets have been sold out for several weeks), here is an event to help you get acclimated to drinking beer outdoors in very cold snowy conditions. Beginning at noon on Saturday, February 15th, Founders will be featuring 50 firkins in their inaugural Firkin Freezeout. This free event till take place in the beer garden, just outside the Gr. Rapids tap room and will include live ice carving, special BBQ food offerings, and discounts on select company store merchandise.
To view a full list of breweries and beers for the Winter Beer Festival, click here.
There are some open fire pits in the beer garden and there will also be some gas heaters. But I would advise dressing warmly with multiple layers of fleece and buffalo wool socks if you have them.
At this point, Founders has not released a list of firkins that will be offered at the event, and it is very likely that the list will not be revealed until the day of. Here are some firkins that have been recently released in the tap room and might likely be included in the event lineup: Founders Porter with rum soaked coffee beans, Founders Porter with chocolate and cherries, All Day IPA with lemons, All Day IPA double dry hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo hops, and Centennial IPA double dry hopped with Centennial and German Melon Hops.
In other news today, I heard from some friends in Kalamazoo, that the latest Backstage Series, Smoked Porter (8% ABV) was released. It was limited to a bottle or two per customer at several bottle shops, and according to Founders facebook page, it is available on tap at the brewery and to go in 750 ml bottles and growlers. Previous Backstage Series bottles have made it to Indiana bottle shops, but I have been told by Cavalier Distributing (Founders local distributor) that the Smoked Porter will not be making it down this way. So I combined both above events by enjoying the last Backstage Series, Sweet Repute (wheat wine, 12.6% ABV) outside in the snow today to acclimate myself to cold outdoor beer drinking.
Lastly, just for fun I have included a time lapse video of Founders expansion project from April 9th - November 18 2013.