Courtesy of Founders Brewing Co.

Pale lagers are back in style and Founders Brewing has just the one to try right now.

Mike Pomranz
March 26, 2018

Everything happens in cycles, and in the beer world, one of the current trends seems to be a turn back towards the style that essentially inspired the craft beer movement to begin with: pale lagers. Recently, plenty of craft breweries have been taking a stab at a beer style dominated by names like Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon. You know, that thing that just a generation ago was pretty much the only style of beer on the market, and ironically, the type of beers that lead to a need for craft beer to come along try something new.

Just last month, Founders Brewing announced plans to jump on this lager trend with the release of its Solid Gold Premium Lager on March 1. Though the Grand Rapids, Michigan brewery no longer officially fits the Brewers Association’s definition of a craft brewery after it received a 30 percent investment from Mahou-San Miguel a few years ago, Founders is still extremely influential in the craft beer scene. In 2012, the packaged release of the brand’s now-ubiquitous All Day IPA helped spawn a massive rush of brewers looking to jump on the “session IPA” craze. Similarly, Solid Gold, if successful, could prove to be another signpost of where the beer business is headed.

According to BeerMenus, Founders Solid Gold saw a 310 percent increase on menus at the bars and restaurants the site covers across the country last week. That increase was second only to Stone Brewing’s Enjoy By 04.20.18 IPA, which was completely new for the week.

Such a large level of increase would seem to point to a curiosity, if not a downright acceptance of crafty lagers. “Solid Gold is a great starting point for people who are craft-curious,” Dave Engbers, co-founder and president of Founders, said when announcing the beer’s release. “It’s not over-complicated. It’s simple and well-rounded, full-flavored, but also light and crisp.” Meanwhile, his partner, Co-founder and CEO Mike Stevens insisted that this beer – which features both corn and lemondrop hops – isn’t your typical mainstream lager, saying that Solid Gold is “challenging what a lager can be.”

Either way, beer drinkers who are getting bored with hop-forward brews like IPA are definitely seeing more old-school tasting options hitting the market. Solid Gold, which also made headlines last week when Founders announced that the brewery would be selling in 24-packs of cans, is one that will be hard to miss.