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Founders Brewing Co. Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) has resurfaced for the 2014 holiday season, then finally made its way to the DC area where I was able to enjoy some at ChurchKey in DC and Rustico in Ballston – the only two places in the area that had kegs. There were only 4oz pours per person at $6. Fortunately, for me the release held at ChurchKey took place on an early Monday afternoon in the rain, so the crowds weren’t too shabby – because of that, I was able to have three 4oz pours = full glass – score! The imperial stout is brewed with a blend of coffees and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that were subsequently used to age maple syrup. The last time anyone saw CBS was in 2011. I have to say I was quite disappointed with an old CBS keg that was served at Meridian Pint during the Craft Brewers Conference held in DC back in 2013, but this time around with CBS being part of Founders Backstage Series #2 – it was all that I remembered when CBS first came out – just downright delicious! That coffee and maple… it was all there in its glory. A few days later, the lines at the Ballston Rustico location stretched as far back as many as 300 people (see photo below). Alas, this time I was only able to have one 4oz pour – gone literally in minutes, but I was able to enjoy some other Founders staples such as Harvest Ale and Oatmeal on nitro.
Founders would not say how many went out to the brewery’s 32-state distribution footprint.
“All we’re willing to share is that it’s a limited release,” said Sarah Aldrich, marketing director at Founders. “Like Founders’ Kentucky Breakfast Stout, or KBS, it is extremely popular.” If not two or three times sought-after…
CBS has a nearly unheard-of 100 percent ranking on the Beer Advocate review site, meaning it’s the kind of beer people are apt to wait in line and drive long distances for. When the company released the last batch, CEO Mike Stevens had to issue a statement addressing frustrated fans who missed out.
Aldrich said people who want a taste of CBS should call their local craft beer distributor to find out which retailers received a keg. Because of U.S. alcohol distribution laws, the brewery has only minor influence on where kegs go.
Monitoring social media buzz is about the only other way to find out where it may be tapped in the coming days.
Don’t expect a round of CBS in bottles any time soon.
“We never say never, but it was not bottled on this round,” said Aldrich.