Founders Brewing Company

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Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #16
Ranked #9,491
3.98 | pDev: 10.8%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Notes: We took a crisp, light-bodied cherry ale and hid it away in oak barrels that have held both bourbon and maple syrup. After a lengthy stint, it emerged a changed beer, blanketed in notes of warm vanilla and earthy sweetness. The wood proves itself the star of this beer, adding depth and taming the tart cherry while the maple imposes a velvety texture that lingers for not a moment too long.
Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 760 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Donaldearl:
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Donaldearl from Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First review.
Like a new roller coaster, I had no idea what to expect and where Founders was taking me. (Exciting for brand new beers)

The look was to be expected. Rosie blush with obvious carbonation. The smell quickly gave me a hint of oak/bourbon but faded. I had to really stick my nose in there to smell the sweetness.
The taste surprised me with a tad hint of the popular barrel and faded into a fizzy/cheery refreshing delight. It was a thin comparison to a champagne but finished like a Flanders. I really enjoyed the uniqueness that Founders was trying for. Was a little sweet but I could see me grabbing this more often........wait, we won't be able to get any more!
(Glad I grabbed (4) 4 packs at a decent price, 15.99 per )

Jan 19, 2017
More User Reviews:
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HorizonsOfChaos from Illinois

4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am amazed that people seriously have the audacity to come on here and hate on this beer. It is a winner on every aspect. I will rate this beer like i would any other, with a ton of openness like any true craft beer enthusiast should practice if they want to educate the lesser half of people who actually read what we put and make purchases based off of our opinion, not our bias.

Frootwood is a complex flavor combination with some really creative things going on. The base is a cherry ale which is not a huge piercing sword on the flavor profile. Maple is not as pungent as the common eye may perceive it to be, however it is present. It pours with minimal viscosity or lacing but foams up nice with about a fingers worth of head. The nose has bourbon, however you will experience the true profile of that in the aftertaste. It has warm vanilla notes hidden within the carbonation department that will make any wanderer in this community happy. I will note that there is a lot going on with this beer and you really have to take your time drinking it to be able to pinpoint where the flavor profiles are present, but the overall mouth feel is amazing.

Appreciate the creativity that Founders has solidified in the barrel aging techniques. You may never get the opportunity to taste this one again, as Founders is always working on the next big thing.

I'm not going to directly score this beer in categories as it is on a level of its own in the flavor complex, but it is very good and you would be a fool to walk past it in your local shop.

Thanks for reading!

Feb 05, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.22/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

dont come at me with some maple syrup bogus poser stuff, not that this is fake, but come on, dont tempt me and pull me in with a maple promise and deliver a sweet and uselessly strong cherry ale, i miss the point of this one, and i dont think its very good overall, and it without a shadow of a doubt fails to deliver on its promise. maple is almost an irrelevant part of this, and i am the wrong guy to tease on that. the cherry is sweet and bland at the same time, the extra strength makes this seem forced, and the bourbon aspect is one of the only angles this has, and for once, especially from founders, the idea is so much better than the beer. residual sugars, a lack of body, and literally no maple syrup at all plague this beer and drag it down, along with what i thought i could always expect from founders. good heavens, this is mediocre, and if it came from joe schmoe brewing on the corner of main street and broadway avenue in small town america, i could tolerate it, find it redeeming, and even order a second one, but please, do not present me a maple anything and under deliver to this offensive degree if you are one of the most reputable operations in the country, you owe me one...

Mar 11, 2017
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Nickcal from Rhode Island

3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Definitely pass on this one. Founders has been super disappointing lately. All of their most recent flavored beers, all taste so artificial. Hint of cherry/robotussin flavor with no bourbon or maple characteristics, all I get out of this is the oak. Its sad to see this many people gave it a high review, I feel like just because it says "Founders" on the label, people gave it a good score. Subjectivity only goes so far. Definitely do yourself a favor and pass on this one.

Feb 04, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The infatuation that Founders Brewing has with maple bourbon barrels lands them at the precipice of local cherry fruit. In much the same way that Stone Temple Pilots had their weird era, these brewers use fruit and barrels to reach new heights of weirdness in taste.

Frootwood pours a hazy ruby crowned with a cottony white froth. Sweet and fruity on the nose, the scent is of cherry kool-ade but with that unmistakable scent of sweet bourbon. Cherry pie hits the palate with a splash of jolly rancher and pastry breadiness. Caramel and maple round the taste as balance is achieved on the middle palate.

Its sweet fruitiness shows a slow and patient retreat as its candied malts stubbornly linger across the tongue. Bold bourbon nuances bring their own vanilla cream soda, caramel, maple and peppery warmth to the show while the finish is one of spicy booze, peppercorn and.

Oddly enough, the flavors work in a simplistic and charismatic fruit filled way. Bing cherries play out once again like cherry pie, buttery crust and all. Warm and spicy, the ale trails with an aftertaste of holiday mulled red wine and cider.

Feb 22, 2017
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buzzedup from Pennsylvania

4.61/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a outstanding beer. Taste is of cherries with a slight maple bourbon on the back end . very clean . would highly recommend trying this one. if you are a fan of mad elf you will appreciate this one for sure.

Great Red color with pure white head.
very light body.

this is something very special indeed....

Jan 26, 2017
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John_M from France

4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Founders just recently became available in our area, and so I grabbed a bottle of this (the wife is a fan of blushing monk, but I gather it's not currently in season, so this seemed like a viable substitute).

The beer pours a striking rose color, albeit with light lacing and fair head retention. The nose is easily the best part of this beer, as I pick up a nice array of aromas, including maple syrup, light bourbon, vanilla and bing cherry The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but I just didn't find that the cherry flavor blended in all that well with the maple and light bourbon. It was still pretty good, but not as good as I was hoping for. Also, the finish seemed a bit hot and short, though the beer delivered plenty of flavor otherwise in this fairly sweet beer.

An interesting beer, and I appreciate Founders attempt to try new things and push the boundaries in making a barrel aged fruit ale. This certainly isn't a failure, but I wouldn't call it a huge success either. Probably won't need to try this one again any time soon.

Feb 06, 2017
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light ruby color with lots of carbonation & a creamy barm that sticks around long after the pour. Reminds of a cyser with more carbonation. Aroma starts with a moderate sweet cherry juice note but underneath there is a warm vanilla blanket with dashes of maple, oak and just very faint bourbon. Taste follows a similar order, big cherry syrup flavor upfront - a bit cloying & artificial - with a blustering pillow of bourbon on the mid-palate. Just tremendous oak, caramel and vanilla throughout the body which meshes well with the sweeter cherry. It is a great combo, and almost a home run, but the cherry is just too manufactured and syrupy, and leaves the palate almost tingling with sweetness. Dial that in and this would be phenomenal. As is I still really enjoyed it for its fun flavor combinations and uniqueness, but the sweetness is a bit much after a glass let alone two. Feel is super velvety and creamy, finishes sooth and treacly.

Mar 18, 2017
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled 12/19/2016. Served in a snifter glass. Pours a clear medium reddish body, one finger thick white head, good carbonation, bits of lacing. Smells of artificial cherry juice, a bit metallic, not much else. No maple or bourbon. Flavour is a bit more interesting though; slightly tart cherry fruit juice, a bit of grainy sweetness as well as maple sweetness. Not much in way of barrel character, unfortunately. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly syrupy in character but not too sticky, good carbonation, lingering maple sweetness on the backend. I can't help but feel this is a waste of maple bourbon barrels as the bourbon doesn't show up at all, but the maple is a decent addition to what is basically cherry Rubaeus.

Feb 02, 2017
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hman43 from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: It pours a rose color with a pink head with low head retention.

Smell: There is an initial impression of sourness and cherries. The bourbon aromas are moderately low in the background with low notes of maple syrup. There are also background notes of floral and a flowery bouquet. The wood aroma comes out as the overall beer warms. It also has a slight spice flavor as well.

Taste: The cherries and tartness come out strong in the initial flavor. The maple syrup has moderate flavor with low oak and bourbon. There is also a flowery element that compliments the overall flavor profile.

Feel: It has a moderate feel to it with a tart and moderately bitter finish. It is crisp with a tart bite to it.

Overall, this is a refreshing fruit beer with complex combinations of oak, maple, bourbon, and flowery elements.

Mar 18, 2017
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StoutHunter from Michigan

3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Founder's Froot Wood a couple days ago at The Lager Mill. This one a little interesting to me and I thought it would be worth taking a chance on, so lets see how it goes. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle that had lost both the front and back label since there was hardly any glue on it and it was poured into a teku.

A- The label looks ok, even though mine didn't have one I looked it up to see what it looks like, it's a little eye catching. It poured a red and orange color that took on more of a pink and orange color when held to the light and it had a fingers worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left a little bit of patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the barrels being the first to show up and they impart a noticeable maple and bourbon aromas with some vanilla and oaky/woody flavors that go right into the cherry which there's right around a medium amount of and it imparts a lighter cherry wine like aroma with the alcohol mixing in with it. There's a little more fruit aromas in the background along with a little bit of a brown sugar like aroma and a little more barrel towards the end. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, the bourbon, maple and cherry aromas all come through.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the bourbon barrels still being the first to show up and they impart a mix of bourbon, maple, vanilla, oaky and woody flavors with no single aspect sticking out the most. Up next comes the cherries which impart more of a nice natural and tart cherry aspects with less of those cherry wine aspects that I got in the aroma and it's followed by the malts which are just barely noticeable and they impart some sweet malt, grainy and light pale malt like flavors. On the finish there's a little bit of a noticeable alcohol flavor with some more sweetness with no bitterness and a lower amount of medium tartness with a little bit more of the bourbon barrel and maple flavors coming through in the aftertaste along with some cherry flavors and some slightly lingering sourness. This is a nice tasting beer, but I think the sweetness holds it back and to me the flavors just don't work together too well.

M- Smooth, a little cloying, a little sticky, slightly syrupy, on the full side of being medium bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer has a nice mouthfeel, but I wish it wasn't so sticky.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a nice and unique example of the style, but when it comes down to it I wasn't to into it, I liked that they made a really unique beer that's much different than more barrel aged beer, but I fell like those rich barrel aged flavors would have worked much better with a dark beer base that wasn't so fruity. This beer doesn't have the best attainability, half a glass was a good amount for me, anymore than that and it might start to wear on me. What I like the most about this beer is the beer is the nice flavors that barrels imparts, I could for sure pick up the bourbon and maple syrup flavors. What I liked the least about this beer was the combination of flavors, I just thought they clashed with eachother. I don't think I would buy this beer again, but it was nice to try and I would only recommend it if you like sweet beers and think you wouldn't mind the cherry and barrel aged combo. All in all I didn't hate this beer, but I didn't love it either and I'm not sure that some changes will help, I think the idea it's self is what is flawed. It's not a favorite Founders beer and it's one of my least favorite beers I've had from them recent;y and it's a little above average for the style. Better luck next time guys, this one just wasn't for me.

Feb 06, 2017
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bshefftz from California

3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As other reviewers have noted, this is an unusual beer and deserves a thumbs up for innovation and drinkability. It's not really my thing but I'm glad I tried one (22 oz. at Costco).

It looks like a slightly dark bubbly Rosé and has a vinegary nose, but improves with a light, sparkling flavor with cherry sour and maple sweetness (with the sweetness far exceeding the sour) and a hint of oak. It reminds me of a high-octane version of a Lindemann's lambic, which I've never much cared for due to their negligent ABV - though I can't complain about this one at 8%. Overall a good beer if you want to try something different, or want something fruity but not too sour.

Feb 28, 2017
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Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Surprised so many high ratings on this. I didn't get any maple, and while there is bourbon on the nose - not a ton in the taste. It's not awful, I can say I enjoyed it - but with the options available today I wish I could have just bought a single bottle instead of a 4-pack. I almost think I'd like the base beer better without the barrel.

Feb 02, 2017
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h4ger from Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Note : I tend to not be a fan of fruit beers outside of citrus and I don't care for overly sweet either.

Having said that, I found this for $1 as a single so here we are...this pours a clean red color with a white head, both having a pinkish hue, Very eye catching. The barrel aging is the predominant smell and is quite enjoyable.

The taste has the bite of booze along with the cherry flavor but the maple sweetness doesn't do it for me. The feel is very light at first but there is a sweet coating on the back end I don't care for.

Considering I don't tend towards fruit flavors in beer, the look and smell gave me promise. Although the taste is not bad, it is too sweet for my tastes. I would take one if offered, but that would be my limit.

UPDATE: Opened a second one today bottled 12/22/16 just like yesterday's and it was almost dead flat. Quality control issues? Bad handling en route? Who knows...

Feb 16, 2017
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sohearn from Alabama

4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jan 27, 2017
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egregor35 from Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

From a snifter at Founders Taproom, Grand Rapids -3/23/17
Look- Light red hue with thin white head
Smell- Prominent cherry with a light smoky quality
Taste-Bright, tart cherry at outset, secondary smoky/bourbon notes on back end
Feel- Not overwhelmingly syrupy, but sticky enough to notice.

Overall: Very interesting brew, one of my favorite styles done in a way that enhanced the overall quality without pulling it too far away from the norm. Would seek out again.

Mar 26, 2017
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grahuba from Connecticut

3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Feb 14, 2017
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gobuccos from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 21, 2017
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gethimacranberryjuice from Maine

4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 28, 2017
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Fluteswell from Maryland

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Feb 05, 2017
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Nat1975 from Indiana

4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Feb 11, 2017
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Bdubz94 from Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a very unique beer.

12oz bottle dated 12/19/16. Hopefully the higher abc kept this one in good condition. Poured cold into a snifter.

Gives a nice 1.5 finger off-white head that stays for a bit. The beer itself is a very cloudy orange ruby color. A very pretty beer.

Aroma is definite oak and vanilla/bourbon. Cherries as well but not as prominent as the oak and bourbon. Maybe a just hint of maple but I would say the bourbon comes through most.

Taste is very interesting... Lots of cherry upfront-- slightly medicinal as others have noted. A slight bitterness. Definite bourbon tones--oak, caramel, and vanilla. I do get some of the maple on the backend. Subtle, and it blends with the cherries, but it is definitely there.

Mouthfeel is also very interesting. Heavy and thick as I was expecting yet still refreshing. Sweet and creamy from start to finish. Extremely drinkable despite the bourbon barrel aging.

Overall, quite an experience. Not like any other beer I have had. The combination of bourbon and cherry is better than you may expect. I wish they had dialed back the cherry taste a bit though-- the aftertaste is a bit much. Regardless, glad I picked up 2 bottles. Not my favorite beer, but I give Founders credit more making such a complex combination of flavors so drinkable.

May 18, 2017
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stephenjmoore from Maryland

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bright red body with a soapy white head. Aroma has big bourbon on the nose, blended nicely with the aroma of sweet cherry. Flavor is basically sweet cherry bourbon. Some slight hints of maple, but the cherry and bourbon dominate. Slightly fizzy, sticky and medium bodied. An interesting beer that is pretty unique.

Feb 16, 2017
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GeorgiaBeerMoose from Georgia

4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jan 03, 2018
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bostonbrand65 from Michigan

4.68/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am really up on this beer. I dont like fruit beers, though I am a HUGE fan of Founders Bourbon Barrel series. This is an outstanding beer. I drink my bourbon barrels non-chilled, though after 2 of these, its clear they are going down chilled next time. The tart cherries jump to the front, followed by notes of maple and bourbon. The pour is nice, great carbonation and color - light amber. Really enjoying this one, a light-weight bourbon barrel release. Grab one if you see it -

Jul 17, 2017
Frootwood from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 760 ratings