A lot of us have only been into craft beer for a short amount of time, but it’s generally long enough for most brewheads to at least get an idea about who the OGs of the brewing game are. We all have dabbled in the game changers at some point, like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale or Sam Adams’ Boston Lager, and it’s also likely these are some of the beers that actually got us into craft beer.
Even for a guy like me — who has only been reviewing beer for coming up on seven years now — getting to head out to Grand Rapids, MI to meet with the Co-Founder and Brewmaster of the legendary Founders Brewing Co. was a huge ass deal — I was stoked. Growing up in Australia and living in Canada before the craft boom it wasn’t like I had regular access to Founders, but over the years I’d managed to get my hands on some. So, I knew it was special.
We were already in Michigan for the Summer Beer Festival, so we took advantage of our time in town and interviewed a few breweries. Generally I just shoot out emails and to a whole bunch of people and I’ll only hear back from a few, and a brewery like Founders would be unlikely to hit us back. Luckily for us, we had a Canadian connect who introduced us and it kinda just fell into place from there.
Being that I’m primarily a Hip Hop artist, I’m kinda used to being on stage and such, so I rarely get nervous for the podcast. But on this occasion, I was shitting myself. I really had nothing to worry about, though.
We met with Francesca and John, who took us to lunch in the taproom (we were super hungover from two podcasts the day before so we didn’t go too hard), and then on a tour of the brewery — and what a brewery it is. We’ve seen so many in our time but nothing on this scale. It was huuuuuuuuge, a straight insane operation. They recently had a $42 million expansion and you can see right where that money went — robotic arms and stacks of empty cans two stories high were some of our fave parts.
By the time we got to chat with Dave and Jeremy, we were warmed up from the beers and the tour, making for a genuinely enjoyable chat. Being OGs, they were a little more reserved and laid back than a lot of our interviewees. But as the beers were downed, they warmed up and we had a really great convo, allowing us to pick the brains of some very intelligent guys who run a nine figure business. Check out how it all went down.
If you enjoyed that chat and wanna see more, check out some of our latest videos below – and peep the long form podcasts via Apple Podcasts. Cheers!