Apr 27, 2019
Founders Brewing's brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki got a job at the brewery because his girlfriend told him he needed to find work. He didn't even really care for their beer. Kosmicki says the beer was fine, but at the time Founders focused on unexciting, basic styles. Unable to make a connection and establish their identity Founders started losing money and eventually faced bankruptcy. Rather than cutting back and skimping on quality to cut costs, co-founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers decided that if they were going to go down, they were going down on their terms.
They pulled out all the stops and switched up what they brewed. With the introduction of extreme beers like Dirty Bastard the brewery started to grow. Beer geeks sought out their brews and whales like KBS and CBS had people chasing trucks to catch deliveries before they sold out. Founders expanded, got more barrels, and expanded some more. They'd finally found their groove.
We talk with Kosmicki this week about those early days and what they did to get over the hump. He shares why the Mountie left his mount on CBS labels, we chat about Founders Black Party (a celebration of black beers), the Catch-22 of expanding the availability of KBS, lagers and malt liquor, and some of the beers we'll see from them soon.