Founders – Green Zebra

  • What it is: Watermelon Gose
  • ABV: 4.6%
  • IBU: 10

Two decades ago, friends, Mike Stevens, and Dave Engbers, decided to stop pouring beers for others, and instead start brewing beers for them. They opened up their very own brewery, Founders. They’re Michigan’s second largest brewery, and has averaged an annual growth rate of 72 percent for the past five years. However, things weren’t always so easy for the two. When Founders first opened its doors, the two friends were losing money hand over fist. They were in a constant battle with debt, and they were the underdog. Owing nearly half a million dollars, the bank turned around and asked it to be payed off in six days or they were going to lock their doors.

On the brink of bankruptcy the two turned to some silent investors in the brewery. They had their pep talk with the investors, and later that night the two friends were sitting having a beer they barely enjoyed, talking about what was going to happen. They realized that if they didn’t enjoy drinking their own beer, how can their customers enjoy drinking it. So they started to think about what characteristics they did like in a beer. What they knew they liked were bold, experimental beers. So that’s what they set out to do; make beers that they enjoyed with no regrets. The two said good-bye to their head brewer, dumped their line-up of mediocre beers, and started to brew more complex beers. Instead of following trends, now they were setting trends.

Founders is a sustainable company, consciously recycling their water and waste, and finding efficiencies in their processes to save natural gas, and electricity. They also support a ton of causes locally, and nationally! All causes Founders supports fall under four core categories: Social Justice, Environment, Arts and Culture, and Active Lifestyle. “We believe in living life without regret. It’s how we’ve built our brewery. And, for 20 years, it’s been our mission to encourage others to live the same way. In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we partnered with artists around the world to bring to life some of the moments in our history that best capture our regret nothing, “brewed for us” mentality.” – Founders. ArtPrize is an international art competition and festival open to all, and determined equally by public vote and expert jury. ArtPrize encourages critical discourse, celebrates artists, transforms urban space and promotes cultural understanding.

Green Zebra is apart of this artist series. Founders reached out to the brewery family to create a piece of original artwork for the beer. Their taproom’s own Jacob Wiseheart achieved this with captivating colors, exemplifying the liquid that sits inside of the can. Green Zebra pours with a bright gold body, and a head that fills up to the rim of your glass and dissipating off fairly quick. Aromas of hay, and watermelon are abundant with a slight metallic scent. The beer comes off a tad sweet for my palate with heavy flavors of a watermelon Jolly-Rancher. Light lemon flavors from the hops, and saline lend a helping hand in drying out the finish. And with the mellow tartness is has, you sort of forget that this beer started off sweet. Its not sticky on the palate, and has a super soft mouthfeel to it.

This beer has definitely surprised me. Even though its still a bit sweet for me, I did go into it thinking it would be way sweeter, and much more syrupy than it truly is. This beer would pair perfectly with a real hot day at the beach, or by the sweet water. One BeerAdvocate user claimed, “This tastes like a juicy slice of summer”. If you dig liquid candy, or just want to satisfy a sweet tooth, than look no further! Summer has only just begun, so pour a glass and watch the waves roll in, or the stream roll by.

Bottoms up!

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 pints!

Categories: Ale, Craft beer reviews, Gose, Seasonal Beers, Summer Beers, UncategorizedTags: , , , , ,

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