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September 20, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Founders Keepers

I’m not one for all this organic hoo-ha, but it seems the New Zealand beer-drinking public have other ideas, with Duncan Founders Organic Brewery celebrating its tenth anniversary this month.

Some organic breweries put their organic image before their beer, hoping people will drink it because it is organic and ignore the flavour. Founders’ beers are Bio Grow Certified Organic, brewed to the oldest purity law of Germany and they are certified Kosher. Yet Founders stand up on the merit of their flavour—they do not need to lean on all of these titles to stand up against the best Kiwi craft beers.

To commemorate their first decade of existence, Founders have released two special brews—one celebrating the past and one looking towards the future.

Tall Blonde has been around as long as Founders has. So, to celebrate their history, Founders have released an intensified version.

To do this, less water is used in the brewing process, which creates a more concentrated expression of the ingredients used.

Founders Ten Year Anniversary Blonde (6%) has the light refreshing flavour of Tall Blonde, but it is coupled with a rich, malt backbone and a robust bitterness. If there was an award for New Zealand’s most balanced strong lager, this would win it.

Founders Ten Year Anniversary Stout (6%) moves away from the more traditional roots of Founders. The brewery is based in Founders historical park in Nelson, where some not-so-modern skills are still practiced. They thought it was time to make use of the cooper down the road, and got him to recondition a Pinot Noir barrel. This was then soaked with a bottle of whisky, and filled with 225 litres of stout. The final blended beer gives a subtle whisky note on the aroma, while the flavour shows robust roasted malt characters of coffee and chocolate—but with a deft touch of berries.

These very limited edition beers are, or will soon be, on tap and/or bottled at Regional Wines & Spirits, Hashigo Zake and Malthouse. Head down and help Founders Brewery through to their 20th anniversary.

If you have any questions or comments about this week’s beers, you can email Dave at


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