Founders celebrate 20th anniversary

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Founders Brewing Co. hosted their 20th Anniversary Taproom Party on October 14th to celebrate the brewery’s success since opening.

Starting at 1 PM, Bartlett Street had been blockaded off to increase the capacity for the event. The advertised live bands were expected to perform on multiple stages outdoors throughout the evening. Food vendors lined their trucks along the curb to supplement the Founders Deli.

Staff wearing flower head bands served the special drink of the event, Tank Bender, a bourbon-barrel aged eisbock put on draft for the evening. At 15% ABV, the beer was named after a step in performing the eisbock style. To start an eisbock style of brewing, they freeze the water off a tank full of beer. As they pour the beer out into bourbon barrels, the ice collapses and bends the tank, hence the name Tank Bender.

Joey Basch, Entertainment and Events Manager, announced from the stage that the committee had been working on the event for several months. However, the steady down-pour confined the event indoors. Basch stated that Luke Sass, Founders Promotional Manager, had adapted the event “super professionally” with all contributors still getting paid despite the weather not cooperating with their original plans.

Attendance was still high even with the rain, creating a long line out front. Door staff reported that the taproom had been at capacity since 4:30 PM that evening.

Once inside, customers were greeted by an array of flannel, raincoats and beards, as well as live music from the main indoor stage.

“Founders has a huge variety of beer for all different tastes. That variety and the laid back atmosphere make it a great place to hang out,” said Alyssa Mohr, a recent Grand Valley graduate who attended the event.

The final musical act, the FBC All-Stars, played live covers of hits like “Under Pressure” by Queen and “Rockin’ in the Free World” by Neil Young as the standing crowd sang along.

To end the day of entertainment at 11 PM, the room bursted out with the toast, “Cheers Founders!”