Founders Beer in the UK

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Zimbo, Jun 1, 2013.

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  1. Zimbo

    Zimbo Savant (956) Aug 7, 2010 Scotland

    Well a taste of the range is here now. Curious to hear what everyone who's tried them thinks. I hope to give mine a go in the next few days. Also interested to find out your experience with BB dates. The dates on the bottles I have seem to be either smudged or absent all together. Hmmm.....
     
  2. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (799) Feb 18, 2012 Scotland

    I don't know whether to bother or not. The last lot of US beers that I got (Stone, flying dog and another) were really disappointing, although they were all of the typical hop forward beers. I don't see the point in paying twice the price for a beer half as good as we can get made locally. And I had all day IPA in the states and wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I'd be, it was good but not great.

    Saying that I'd try any Sierra Nevada beers as they seem to keep much better

    Which ones have you got, and from where? I'd try the porter/stouts and dirty bastard if that's available for sure
     
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  3. EmperorBevis

    EmperorBevis Poo-Bah (6,853) Sep 25, 2011 England
    Moderator Society Trader

    I want, you want, we all F*$£@!g want
    BREAKFAST STOUT!
    WTF people WT actual F?
     
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  4. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 England

    That's very true Hanglow, and also about the BB dates Zimbo. I was tempted but they all seemed to be IPAs except for the porter. When they're on the same shelf as Kernel pale ales bottled just a month ago, there's no contest really as to which I'd fork out for. As for breakfast stout I got one when beermerchants had it, and the porter, but I wasn't massively impressed with either.

    Wish there was more Sierra Nevada stout around. That is truly an amazing beer. Narwhal is pretty tasty too.
     
  5. Zimbo

    Zimbo Savant (956) Aug 7, 2010 Scotland


    Here's the run down:

    All Day IPA BB 09(?)/24(?)/13
    Centennial IPA 09/20/13
    Dirty Bastard 09(?)/26/13
    All from the Bee Hive in Edinburgh

    And I also scooped an SN 2012 Narwhal (from the Good Spirits Co Glasgow) which has no BB.

    I'm happy to buy imported beer from the States despite the frequently mentioned concerns. UK 'craft' breweries still can't really compete with the best from the States but the gap is narrowing at some crazy speed. And it's great to be experiencing the best British beer times in living memory.
     
  6. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 England

    9 month old (i'm guessing) ipas, i'm really surprised! Let us know how they are mate.

    Speaking of the best from the states, has anyone had Port Brewing Older Viscosity?
     
  7. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (799) Feb 18, 2012 Scotland

    Disagree about british beers not competing with yank beers, they have a far greater selection for sure as they have six times the population and ten times the money, but I think we hold our own and we still destroy them when it comes to pints and pubs, even accounting for our bad ones.
     
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  8. strangebrew321

    strangebrew321 Initiate (0) Feb 18, 2009 Indiana

    Are you sure they're best by dates? In the US, Founders bottles are stamped (which is usually smudged or absent) with a bottled on date. The cases are clearly marked with a packaged on date, which should be the same as the bottled on date.
     
  9. Zimbo

    Zimbo Savant (956) Aug 7, 2010 Scotland

    I'm meaning the US has the advantage when it comes to 'craft' and bottled beers. But when you throw in cask beer (and forgetting the dull twig water ones) and British pubs then I agree, the UK has the advantage.
     
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  10. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 England

    Well they wouldn't have been bottled 3 months in the future. Probably put on the labels for export, as the law here requires bb dates and such.
     
  11. jazzyjeff13

    jazzyjeff13 Initiate (0) Nov 6, 2010 England

    Maybe Zimbo has a time machine that he's not telling us about.....
     
  12. EmperorBevis

    EmperorBevis Poo-Bah (6,853) Sep 25, 2011 England
    Moderator Society Trader

    So that explains the bottle of genuine medieval mead he sent me :confused:
     
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  13. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    I've some news on this. I was curious how an American brewery was going to handle the dating conventions required in the UK, when this particular brewery uses a bottled-on date in the states but would have to switch to a best-before date for sales abroad. So I contacted the brewery.

    After a brief bit of confusion as to what I was actually asking, I was told by the Founders communications manager that 1) there has only been one shipment of products to the UK as of this writing, 2) all of the beer in this shipment was packaged at some point in late April, 3) there was a mistake in the date stamping on this shipment--that date is neither the bottled-on nor the intended best-before date, 4) in future, all UK product shipments will have a best-before date that is 10 months from bottling, 5) that date will be in the European convention of DD/MM/YY.

    Hope this helps. For now, it looks like the beers on your shelves are just a little over a month old.
    Cheers.
     
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  14. ImperialStoat

    ImperialStoat Initiate (0) May 20, 2009 Ireland


    That's actually a fantastic help. Many thanks for doing this!
     
  15. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (799) Feb 18, 2012 Scotland

    Yeah, cheers!

    I'm far to lazy to do that
     
  16. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (123) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Trader

    So far I've been pretty underwhelmed by All Day, Centennial IPA and Pale Ale. I had put that down to old product but it seems they probably just aren't anything amazing.

    The Porter was quite decent but I don't know if I'd put it in the 'world class' bracket that the ratings on here and RB seem to suggest.

    Last Friday night I had my first ever SN beer that I didn't think was amazing- Blindfold (BIPA). Although I had this years Ruthless Rye straight after it and normal service was very definitely resumed.
     
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  17. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (123) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Trader

    Think I'll stick with local beers where I can measure freshness in terms of weeks not months.
     
  18. Zimbo

    Zimbo Savant (956) Aug 7, 2010 Scotland

    Everyone in the UK I know who's tried the Founders beers have said the same thing. They're really disappointing at best and nothing many UK breweries couldn't easily match. Only Dirty Bastard is their ace in the hole.
     
  19. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    Clearly you haven't had KBS :stuck_out_tongue:
     
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  20. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 England

    The Breakfast Stout was very nice but as Padraig said, disappointing compared with how much the reviews big it up.

    That's what I seem to experience with a lot of US beers that I try, or rather beers that are reviewed heavily by US drinkers. Can't understand their love of Youngs Double Choc at all, or a lot of the Sam Smith beers.
     
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  21. Zimbo

    Zimbo Savant (956) Aug 7, 2010 Scotland

    I was only referring only to the Founders beers which have recently become available in the UK,
     
  22. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    should you find yourself measuring in terms of months instead of weeks with Founders brews in particular in the near future, this is how you can do that.
     
  23. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 England

    I had a couple of Founders beers (that I've had before in the US) at a friends last night.
    All day IPA and Centennial IPA.
    They held up fairly well tbh.
    Remember US reviws tend to be on the high side in my opinion so take the 'bigged up' reviews with a pinch of salt and knock maybe 10-20% off the average score.
    As has been stated upthread UK breweres, the likes of Magic Rock, Kernel, SBW, Buxton, Partizan do just as good a job but I wasn't 'dissapointed' with the Founders I drank.
     
  24. His_Royal_Hoppiness

    His_Royal_Hoppiness Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2012 England

    Found the Centennial a bit disappointing - didn't stand out from the hoards of similar American IPAs. Didn't bother with the other two IPAs but am looking forward to Dirty Bastard and the Porter. Recently traded for FBS and KBS, and actually enjoyed FBS much more - sincerely hope FBS makes it here eventually, but it's not surprising it hasn't made it over with this batch, given that it's availability in the US is only October-February...
     
  25. RMoeNay

    RMoeNay Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2010 Connecticut

    To be fair most of Founder's Hop Foward beer like their Centenial IPA and Pale Ale rot on the shelves over here (not very good), but they didnt get their reputation on these types of beers.... They produce, IMO, world class stouts and stout verriants (CBS, KBS), and have very good barrel aging line.

    So, IMO, wait until their seasonal and special releases make it over there before you completely decide to write them off.
     
  26. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 England

    How many of those stout verriants are actually going to get exported though? If what you say is true then they're probably exporting what they can't sell that much of in the US. From what I see on here it also seems like there's too much of a demand for their big stouts for them to bother exporting those. Then again we did have some bourbon county last year so maybe.
     
  27. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (123) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Trader

    Regular BCBS isn't a hype beer though. Of the ones people actually chase I've only seen Vanilla and Coffee over here.
     
  28. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 England

    Yeah but they started coming in around the same sort of time though, end of last year-ish. Imported by James Clay so not a one-off brought back in someones suitcase or something. The point is some can make it over as part of the export deals.
     
  29. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 England

    I've had Centennial and wasn't crazy about it. Reminded me a bit of Young's Special London Ale, which I don't like.

    Maybe it's better in the USA?
     
  30. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (123) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Trader

    So through hook-ups in the US I've managed to sample this years Harvest Ale and FBS but whatever happened to James Clay getting the seasonals?

    I suppose Founders probably saw this thread. Lol
     
  31. LAviaSD

    LAviaSD Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2013 California

    Planning a trip to Scotland in 2 weeks. (I know this isn't a trading forum) Planning to bring some Founder/Alpine beers along for the trip if anyone wants to set up trades or bottle shares. DM me if interested.
     
  32. Kal

    Kal Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2012 England

    I don't think that at all
    All day ipa is a stunning drink
     
  33. Zimbo

    Zimbo Savant (956) Aug 7, 2010 Scotland

    Wasn't all that impressed with the All Day IPA but nonetheless I should have qualify that post. With the other exception of Old Curmudgeon the Founders beers available in the UK have been disappointing. But that's hardly a thorough sample of the entire range they brew.
     
  34. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 England

    I've had their porter, Dirty Bastard, Centennial IPA and I wasn't impressed by any of them. Again, perhaps I'm not experiencing them at their best. The impression I get is that the Americans on this site rate Founders primarily for their seasonal and limited edition products anyway.
     
  35. EmperorBevis

    EmperorBevis Poo-Bah (6,853) Sep 25, 2011 England
    Moderator Society Trader

    Since posting before I've sampled the Porter(decent) Dirty Bastard(pretty good)
    and All day IPA(average) though the All Day was a little past it's prime I think.
     
  36. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 England

    I guess it also depends on how much "new" style stuff from the UK you've had. It still surprises me how many people are obsessed with Brewdog and the regular US imports. With a few exceptions, the best UK stuff kicks the ass of the US imports (at least at the quality they are in when imported).
     
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  37. jazzyjeff13

    jazzyjeff13 Initiate (0) Nov 6, 2010 England

    Speaking of Founders, when I was in Trembling Madness yesterday they had Breakfast Stout and Backwoods Bastard on the shelves. Keep your eyes peeled.....
     
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  38. Graeme24

    Graeme24 Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2008 Ireland

    Ireland has also been a grateful beneficiary of the Founders range of late. Can't say any one I have tried have disappointed me. Their porter is stellar in my opinion. Backwoods Bastard another magnificent beer. Some people have called it a little one dimensional, and they have a point. It’s a bit of a bourbon bomb, but incredibly smooth and really opens up as it warms. Breakfast Stout not as good as I remember it to be but still a great beer.

    There seems to be a few distributors making a determined effort to get US beers in with reasonable freshness. Just recently we got the Stone range in still within their ‘enjoy by’ date which I believe is three months. Long may it continue.

    The UK beers that hit our shelves are often a poor representation of what is out there. If I want great British beer then I need to go to the UK. I’m ok with that but never the less I would love to see more of the exciting beers I have had bottled in the UK arrive here. For now though as it has been for a while, the yanks take centre stage.
     
  39. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (123) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Trader

    Loads of fresh(-ish) Stone hit the shelves over here last month as well. Same consignment I suppose.

    I've always considered the European export market to be loose change down the back of the couch as far as US brewers are concerned (small, hard to get at). But I guess as their domestic market becomes congested the big guys need to look for growth where ever they can find it and 6 month old malt bombs aren't going to get them very far.

    As far as their supply chains are concerned beer is still light years behind other perishable consumer goods in getting their products to foreign markets. This time of year supermarkets are full of out of season fruit transported half way around the world but it still takes InBev 2 months to get GI IPA across the Atlantic. I've seen 2 week old Sculpin in Whole Foods in NYC that's traveled nearly 3,000 miles.
     
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