Mosaic Promise by Founders

Founders Mosaic Promise

© 2014 popsonhops.com

Tasting: October 27, 2014
Style: Pale Ale
Beer #: 637

What’s interesting about Mosaic Promise from Founders Brewing?:

In 2013, Founders signed a five-year deal with an organization called ArtPrize. ArtPrize holds the world’s largest art competition annually in the brewery’s hometown – Grand Rapids, Michigan. This year, the competition took place from September 24th to October 12th. Since brewing is an art that Founders has mastered, the alignment with an organization that strives to promote creative collaboration among the masses seems like a natural partnership. That and I guess artistic community can throw back beer with the best of them. Each year, Founders intends to release a beer for the main event. In 2013, they created a black IPA – this year a single malt, single hop ale. Proceeds from the sale of Mosaic Promise go to benefit ArtPrize and their endeavors.

· How did I get it: Since it was released in the greater New York City area, I thought that this might be available in New Jersey but it didn’t materialize and I’m thankful that I picked up a couple of bottles in Rockland County, NY a couple of weeks ago.

· Vitals: 5.5% ABV ale brewed with a single malt (golden promise) and a single hop (mosaic). 50 IBU.

· Name: No surprise here – comes from the combination of hop (mosaic) and malt (golden promise).

· Label: I love the label. Ninkasi is the Sumerian god associated with brewing and was depicted in a piece of stain glass that was created by Grand Rapids artists Matt and Elizabeth Kolenda, Adrianne Hollemans and Maria Orr of Kolenda Art Glass. The 2013 ArtPrize entry was displayed at the brewery and Founders ultimately bought the stained glass piece to make it a permanent part of their taproom. Really a beautiful piece and makes the perfect label.

· Availability: Mosaic Promise was sold only in Michigan, Wisconsin, the greater New York City area and the greater Chicago area in 12 ounce bottles.

· Other acclaim: 90 points Beer Advocate.

Simplistic ale – a bright and pleasant beer. It is a little thinnish and hop dominant. Not much in the way of tropical flavors, more of a lemon/grapefruit over very mild residual blossom nectar sweetness. I wouldn’t go out of my way to stock up my fridge – but it was enjoyable – 86 points

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Dark Penance by Founders Brewing

Date: October 23, 2014
Style: Black IPA
Beer #: 636

Dark Penance by Founders Brewing

© 2014 popsonhops.com

Dark Penance by Founders Brewing

Inevitably, you’ve seen the image below or one like it. It’s an optical illusion where you eventually can discern two different images contained in the same image. In the image below, you first may see a young woman with her head turned so far to the right that you cannot pick up any facial features other than the tip of her petite nose and long eyelashes. With a little more studying you should see the profile of a large-nosed old woman with beady eyes. What was the necklace of the young woman becomes the mouth of the old woman and the young woman’s white space jawline profile becomes a the nose of the old woman. If you still have trouble – the ear of the young woman become the eyes of the older woman.

images

In looking at the label of Founders Dark Penance, I’m convinced that there is another image contained within the artwork of the old woman on the label. I don’t know, the black nose and weird strokes on the face and hair lead me to think there is something else there. I even photographed it normally and upside down to see an alternate image jumps out – but I can’t find anything. If you do – let me know.

Dark Penance by Founders Brewing

© 2014 popsonhops.com

Dark Penance

Had an advance scouting report on Dark Penance via a 16 ounce growler of this last week. Has a really nice balance of citrus/lemon and roasted flavors. I use Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous as a benchmark for all black IPA and Dark Penance is nice but comes up a little short by comparison. 88 points.

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Dissenter by Founders Brewing

Tasting: August 19, 2014
Style: IPL
Beer #: 587

© 2014 popsonhops

© 2014 popsonhops

Dissenter

If the kingdom is beer, then I’d guess that phylum has three choices – ale fermentation, lager fermentation and bacterial fermentation. I’ll set bacterial fermentation aside and concentrate on ale versus lager. What’s the difference between a lager and an ale? Simple – ales are made with a top-fermenting yeast that prefer warmer temperatures and impart a fruity, etherish flavor. Lager yeast on the other hand does its work on the bottom of the fermenting vessel in colder temperatures and really doesn’t impart any flavor.

There has been a new wave of IPL or Imperial Pale Lager. Since the yeast doesn’t impart any palatable flavors it tends to be crisp.

A little about Dissenter. About three years ago, Founders Brewing introduced what they called their “backstage series”. These limited releases are re-creations of favorites made for their pub patrons. Most notably, the series includes the legendary Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS), Doom and Bolt Cutter. While the previous releases have flown off shelves – or have been hidden in the back room – Dissenter doesn’t seem to have received the same enthusiasm as shelf inventory is robust. Either that or Founders has solved the supply versus demand issue.

Quick scan of the label reveals an alcohol by volume of 8.7% and I can’t quite figure out the artwork. It looks like a part of the teenage girl vampire flick sensation – Twilight with an 1980’s twist. Maybe it’s one of the rebellious owners.

You can quickly see taste the benefits of using lager yeast in Dissenter. Really bright citrus and a crisp drinking beer. Where to start – did I say crisp – oh yeah full of clear flavors of orange, grassy, grapefruit, mango with underlying sweetness of honey. Bitterness is strong but certainly does not interfere with the tasting experience. Dissenter is a really nice beer. I’ll place Dissenter at a very good 93 points.

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Rubaeus Founders Raspberry Ale

Rubaeus Founders Brewing

Tasting: June 27, 2013
Style: Fruit
Beer #: 476

Founders Rubaeus Raspberry Ale

(c)2013 popsonhops

Okay everyone, back to biology class and the dreaded exam on biological classification – “King Phillip Came Over For Grape Soda”. Remember memorizing snappy sayings like this when studying? This sentence was the key to remembering the biological categorization of lifeforms. If like me, you’ve forgotten, there’s kingdom, followed in order by: phylum; class; order; family; genus and species. Rubaeus is a combination of the genus (Rubus) and sub genus (Idaeus) of the plant that bears the featured ingredient in this beer — red raspberry.

At one time, this beer was an exclusive and occasional offering at the Michigan-based brewery’s brew pub. As part of a Founders line up shuffle, Rubeaus has now replaced the cherry-influenced Cerise (65 points) as an annual seasonal offering. Even though Rubaeus’ 15 IBU and 5.7% ABV vitals are comparable to Cerise’s 15 IBU and 5% ABV, many compare Rubaeus to the first of Founders’ Back Stage Series release – Blushing Monk (88 points). Bottled once in 2011, Blushing Monk was a massive raspberry bomb brewed as a Belgian-style ale. I read someone’s description of Rubaeus as “the poor man’s Blushing Monk”.

Pours a rich ruby red with a pink head that sparkles itself flat in no time. The aroma reminds me of a raspberry shrub that I bought a few years ago. Shrub is a concentrated fruit syrup that you’d add to sparkling water. First sip is lighter than I expected. A wisp of sweetness rolls across the palate but gets run over by a tartness that you would expect from raspberry. I can see the comparison to Blushing Monk, but this one isn’t half the decadence of Blushing Monk. It is refreshing and I can see having one of these as a change of pace on a hot summer’s day. In my review of Cerise, I said that it was like an ale and a fruit ale nailed together. This one doesn’t remind me of beer whatsoever. I’ll put this at a solid 85 points. My wife’s opinion – “raspberry enough without being icky and you could probably only drink one of these”. Well put. I concur.

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