One of the best known breweries in the world – indeed, a brewery that has two beers on the top 10 best beers list as ranked by BeerAdvocate.com in 2013 – is not named what you think it is. If you guessed Founders Brewing Company, you are both right and wrong. Early beer bottle labels featured a historic black-and-white photo of four local brewers sitting on a large wooden beer barrel. The word “Founders” appeared above the photo. This was homage to the original brewers and breweries of Grand Rapids, Mich. located on Monroe Street, formerly known as Canal Street. Thus, Founders Brewing Company is actually named Canal Street Brewing Company. The brewery does business as Founders due to a misunderstanding of that original label.
But, there is no misunderstanding of the reverence beer-overs have for the Michigan brewery. And, to pay their own respect, Whole Foods on San Jose Boulevard in Jacksonville will host a beer dinner featuring the iconic brewery’s beers.
Founders began life in 1996 as the John Pannell Brewing Company by Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers. The name referred to the first brewer to open a brewery in Grand Rapids. That original brewery opened in 1836 and was operated by Pannell until 1849 when it was sold to German brewer Christopher Kusterer who later consolidated with six other local brewers to form the Grand Rapids Brewing Company.
But, Founders made its mark on the beer world with two iconic and highly-sought brews; Kentucky Breakfast Stout and Canadian Breakfast Stout. The two stouts sit atop many beer-aficionados’ bucket lists and currently reside towards the top of nearly every “Best Beer” list in existence. In a 2013 poll, Ratebeer.com listed Founders as the, overall, 3rd best brewery in the world.
Because of the brewery’s stratospheric reputation, Whole Foods, Jacksonville has prepared an exceptional dinner menu featuring pairings with the iconic brews Founders is famous for. The event takes place Thursday, May 14 starting at 7:00 p.m. Below is a peek at the outstanding menu.
All Day IPA paired with a Cheese and Charcuterie Plate
Rubaeus Raspberry Ale paired alongside a Beet, Orange and Raspberry Salad with Rubaeus/Ginger Vinaigrette
Red’s Rye IPA alongside Spring Crab Cakes with Citrusy Aioli and Fresh Herbs Fines
“Dirty Bastard” Scotch Ale – paired with Beer Braised Short Ribs and Roasted Vegetable Orzo
Founders Special Release, paired with a Chocolate Soufflé and Founder’s Porter Reduction
Tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased at the link below.