GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Thousands of beer lovers are coming to Grand Rapids for Founders Brewing Company’s first-ever KBS Week, as it releases its 2014 batch of Kentucky Breakfast Stout.
The stout earned the title of Best Beer in America earlier this year by RateBeer.com.
24 Hour News 8 took our cameras underground to give you an exclusive look at how Kentucky Breakfast Stout is aged.
Bourbon barrels filled with the dark stout sit in old mines beneath Grand Rapids, aging for one year.
“The caves are just really an excellent environment for barrel aging,” Founders Brewing Company CEO Mike Stevens said. “What you have is a very consistent temperature.”
Whether it’s the process, the taste or the hype, 6,000 people are expected to come to Grand Rapids during KBS Week, which runs March 18-22.
“It’s really grown into kind of a cult following for this beer,” Stevens said.
Founders Brewing Company has teamed up with 10 local hotels, offering KBS packages.
“It’s also brought in a lot of people from out of state, they’re coming for this and staying in our community, and spending money here in our hotels and our restaurants,” Stevens said.
For those who don’t already possess a ticket that guarantees the purchase of KBS, you can still get your hands on a glass of the stout.
For the first time ever, Founders has released kegs to a handful of Grand Rapids bars, allowing for 15 KBS release parties taking place all week.
It’s not something Founders could do in years past, it’s now possible due to their recent expansion. “We’ve got more capacity now, we’re able to make more KBS,” Stevens said. “We’re actually shipping more than we’ve ever shipped throughout the whole country.”
Founders is already filling barrels for its 2015 release.