In the past few years, no brewery has grown quite like Founders. Back in 2010, the company was just a small Grand Rapids brewery, which, despite seeing steady growth since opening in 1997, had never produced more than 25,000 barrels. The brewery was best known for big beers like its Breakfast Stout and bourbon barrel-aged KBS – both highly-rated, high-alcohol brews.
Then came Founders All Day IPA. First brewed in 2010 and packaged in 2012, All Day has become so popular it not only put Founders on the map, it put the entire style of “session IPA” on the map. Founders’ low-alcohol take on the already super India pale ale sytle is currently available in over 30 states, quickly becoming ubiquitous in many areas as an easy drinking IPA alternative and landing spots on draft lists, even in dive bars.
Though in a modern craft beer community that features thousands of brewers it’s hard to pin down exactly who “started” anything, All Day IPA was one of the biggest players in what has become a session IPA movement – with seemingly every brewer on Earth trying to catch up. Everyone from Stone to Anheuser-Busch has launched a session IPA in the past year. The Great American Beer Festival is even adding “session IPA” as a category for the first time ever in 2015.