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Old 08-23-2012, 02:55 PM   #11
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Good to know for when I plan my Michigan Beers Road Trip.
Oh, it's still great! Their beers are excellent, and their sandwiches are good. They had some unusual beers on tap that I normally can't get up here in the Boondocks, and I enjoyed it. But you don't get a tour, or even to get close to the brewery equipment. You don't get to chat about the beers- just order it, and go sit down and drink it. But it's worth a stop in Grand Rapids, that's for sure.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:00 PM   #12
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Oh, it's still great! Their beers are excellent, and their sandwiches are good. They had some unusual beers on tap that I normally can't get up here in the Boondocks, and I enjoyed it. But you don't get a tour, or even to get close to the brewery equipment. You don't get to chat about the beers- just order it, and go sit down and drink it. But it's worth a stop in Grand Rapids, that's for sure.
Agreed. Their beers are fantastic. And you're right about their sandwiches too! Even though I'm a little ticked about the response I would still recommend any of their beers, especially their taproom one offs. I will just use the "Shutup and Drink" philosophy when I go there from now on!
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:03 PM   #13
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That is the stock response I would have expected. Think about it. They are in the production business and if they told everyone how to make their product then they wouldn't be in business.
http://averybrewing.com/brewery/reci...r-homebrewers/
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:16 PM   #14
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Founders doesn't do tours to the public, but if you work with them in advance they would probably do a tour for a special group. At least they used to before the big expansion.

I know that one of the owners has told me exactly what went into one of their beers before at a beer festival. Since they grown so much past 2 years I have not seen him at the same festival. I suspect the business is keeping him very busy.

They have a nice taproom and some of the best beers in the state and the food there was excellent (sandwiches mostly). My biggest beef is that whenever I've gone there it's been PACKED! I really need to try and hit them up in the early afternoon on a weekday or something.

I think some brewers are willing to offer recipe advice and not worry about how it affects the business. Others have that same philosophy of playing it safe when it comes to corporate espionage. I'm sure Founders has a lot more to lose if Big Beer discovers some secret about their recipes and somehow makes a delicious craft beer with it. Yeah, I know. But it *could* happen!

One time at New Holland I emailed the head brewer to get information on their Saison. He responded with pretty much a complete recipe. However, he would not reveal the source of one rare ingredient. He cited competition as a reason, and I understand why.

I'd still try and chat with the bartenders about the beer at Founders, though it might be hard depending on how busy they are. IMO bartenders are not just there to serve beer. They are a source of conversation and understanding.

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Old 08-23-2012, 03:27 PM   #15
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I'd still try and chat with the bartenders about the beer at Founders, though it might be hard depending on how busy they are. IMO bartenders are not just there to serve beer. They are a source of conversation and understanding.
I've always had a great expirience in speaking with anyone in their taproom about their beers and their process. Very open to share.

You are right about them being packed...your better off going during the week. The last time I was there was for Winter Beer Fest in GR...could barely move in the taproom.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:47 PM   #16
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Any sort of nuts, cashews, pecans, etc......typically get put in the mash. And they're roasted anywhere from 1-4 times before mashed.

I made pecan brown porter and roasted them 4x over and crushed them up into small pieces before mixing evenly through the mash. It's also important to note that any time you use nuts, if they're the oily type after roasting, then they need to be put in a brown lunch sack so you can soak up as much of the oils as possible. Oily beer = no head

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Old 08-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #17
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In retrospect I probably should have expected this response as well. Just pissed me off a little. Maybe I just expect more out of a highly respected brewery. Especially considering we all start as Homebrewers.

So you're saying because they started at homebrewers, they should reveal their trade secrets to you and because they won't, you're angry at them?

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:12 PM   #18
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So you're saying because they started at homebrewers, they should reveal their trade secrets to you and because they won't, you're angry at them?

Im saying that they too started as homebrewers and chances are they needed to ask more expirienced brewers for help while they continued to get better. In my expirience I have never had a response like that and most breweries I've spoken with are happy to share. It seems that most people who have replied here have had the same expirience. I'm more ticked that they didnt even acknowlege my questions...they just sent a canned response back as if they didnt even read my email.
Personally, I dont think that to answer either of my questions they would have had to give away their trade secerets.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #19
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Their response doesn't surprise me.

I emailed one of our breweries up here (Sleeman's, in Ontario) to ask for recipe advice on one of their beers about a year ago. It's a variety we can't get in my part of the country. Their response: "Thank you for your inquiry. The brew you enjoyed was Upper Canada Dark Ale. This beer is only available in Ontario. It is made from the basic four ingredients of hops, yeast, barley and water. The difference in taste is the high quality, rich hops and barley used."

Talk about helpful recipe advice! It hadn't occurred to me to try using hops, yeast, barley and water...

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Old 08-23-2012, 06:26 PM   #20
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Im saying that they too started as homebrewers and chances are they needed to ask more expirienced brewers for help while they continued to get better. In my expirience I have never had a response like that and most breweries I've spoken with are happy to share. It seems that most people who have replied here have had the same expirience. I'm more ticked that they didnt even acknowlege my questions...they just sent a canned response back as if they didnt even read my email.
Personally, I dont think that to answer either of my questions they would have had to give away their trade secerets.
I think you've got a point here. It's not that they didn't help him out, it's how they responded. The language used and rigid line they took was kind of uncalled for and came off as very unfriendly. In a "guarding govt secrets" kinda way. They could have easily said "Hey guy, we appreciate your inquiry and glad you enjoy the beer, however our recipes are a very important secret to us", and perhaps given some sort of related advice, even if it wasn't super helpful.

Instead, they chose a canned response and took a hard stance on it and end up looking like dicks.
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