Founders Shifts KBS to Year-round Availability

This former white whale is now available all year long.

Founders Brewing announced today that Kentucky Bourbon Stout will join the company’s year-round portfolio, beginning in March 2020.

When KBS first launched in 2003, it became one of the original white whale beers, developing a cult following. Founders grew out its barrel-aged program to help meet the demand. That, coupled with the subsequent craft explosion that created more barrel-aged beers across the country, helps explain this change in availability.


“There are a lot of variables when barrel-aging and moving a beer like KBS from a seasonal release to year-round really makes having a solid blending plan even more important,” says Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “KBS has been a large volume brand for a while now, so the days of making the entire batch exactly 12 months before the release date are far behind us. We’ve gotten pretty good at finding the right blend of nine-month-old barrels and 15-month-old barrels to hit the desired profile. We were able to pull off the transition when we moved Backwoods Bastard to a year-round release and we’re confident we can achieve the same consistency and quality with KBS.”

At 12% ABV, KBS is an imperial stout brewed with large amounts of coffee and chocolate, before aging in oak bourbon barrels in caves beneath the Grand Rapids company, and at an offsite barrel-aging facility, the Barrel House.


The 2020 KBS will be available in 4-packs of 12-oz. bottles, and on draft, beginning on Feb. 28 in the Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms. It will ship out to the brewery’s entire distribution network in early March 2020. (KBS will not be available, on draft in Utah or in any format in Mississippi.)

“It’s humbling to look back at what started as a couple of experimental barrels of beer has evolved into such an amazing phenomenon,” says Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers. “To be able to make KBS available year-round, not to mention in all 50 states, so all of our fans can find and enjoy this beer marks a significant step in growth of the brewery. It’s truly a labor of love as our team can attest, but it’s all worth it in the end. Cheers to everyone on our team who makes it a reality.” 

KBS is the third release in the brewery’s 2020 Barrel-Aged Series, which will feature a lineup of seven different beers throughout the year, including Más Agave and the return of Underground Mountain Brown. Founders also recently announced the first KBS varient, KBS Espresso.

Last year saw the final release of Founders CBS.


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