The Founders Breakfast Stout is the kind of beer that you search for – like Indiana Jones and that little golden statue in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You do whatever is necessary to get your hands on it. So, being a resident of the lovely state of California, I was never able to get anything from Founders because they did not distribute here. But that all changed in September when when the good folks at Founders Brewing entered into an agreement to start distribution to Northern California and Nevada. It was a glorious time for CA craft beer lovers! Founders tap takeovers were popping up everywhere and, for the first time, I held the sought-after bottle with the picture of the kid eating breakfast on it!
It’s been a few months now and Founders stuff is everywhere. The year-round offerings are always in stock and some of the more limited beers are sprouting up, kinda like crop circles. One day you walk into your local Bevmo and, BAM!, you see a four pack of KBS (barrel aged Breakfast Stout) or Backwoods Bastard (barrel aged Dirty Bastard). Both of those beers are amazing and rather limited. (I’ll have reviews of several Founders offerings in the coming weeks.)
Founders was started in 1997 by Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers. They are based in Grand Rapids, MI. I’m not going to go into a bunch of detail about their history because it’s right there on their website, but I will talk a bit about the Founders Breakfast Stout. As far as I can tell, the Founders Breakfast Stout has been around since 2003 and it hasn’t changed much since its inception. On the bottle, the Founders Breakfast Stout is labeled as a “double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout” and it is just as awesome as it sounds!
Founders Breakfast Stout
Style: Imperial Stout
Additional Ingredients: Flaked oats, imported chocolate (both bitter and sweet, Sumatra and Kona coffee
Availability: Seasonal (October – December) 4-Pack of 12 oz bottles and Draft
MSRP: $19.99 –4-Pack of 12 oz bottles
Brewer: Founders Brewing Co. – Grand Rapids, MI
Beers consumed for review: 4 – 12 oz bottles
Nose: The aroma on this thing is intense! Robust notes of coffee/espresso mingle with dry cocoa powder and mild vanilla to create a thick and boozy aroma. There is some mild bitterness in there as well, but overall it is packed with notes of coffee.
Appearance: It pours deep brown in color, with a thick and creamy texture. One finger of tan head is present on the pour, but this is cut by half rather quickly.
Flavor: Well, the Founders Breakfast Stout is not short on flavor. Obviously, the first thing you taste is coffee and plenty of it. Notes of dark chocolate temper the coffee bitterness. This robust flavor profile is a perfect balance of bold, bitter and sweet. Basically it is exactly what a stout should taste like. Notes of coffee and dark chocolate linger on the finish.
Overall Thoughts: Every time I see Founders Breakfast Stout on the shelf, I buy as much as the store allows. I imagine this is a beer that will age well and I have every intention of stocking up this winter. It’s simply one of the best stouts I have ever had. I put it right up there with the Prairie Bomb and one bottle of Bomb costs more than a 4-pack of Breakfast Stout. In fact, I think I see a blind tasting in our future! (Stay tuned for that.)
Folks freak out over the KBS, but I’m not convinced that it’s a better beer than the Founders Breakfast Stout. They are both phenomenal, but when you take price and availability into consideration, the Breakfast Stout may be the winner. The one warning I will give is that this is not a beer for beginners. So when the Holidays roll around and your cousin is in town and he’s looking for some Coors Light, don’t waste a Breakfast Stout on him.
I don’t throw around Boba Fett ratings (as of publication this is the second Boba Fett rating given on Mixed And Mashed), but I am unable to think of a reason why the Founders Breakfast Stout doesn’t deserve a perfect 5.0!