Founders Brewing Co.

Dirty Bastard

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category-iconBeer Reviews

An Unconventional Standby

April 30, 2018

By Robbie Sgro, April 30, 2018

When looking to replenish your beer supply, grabbing some scotch ale probably isn’t high on your priority list. Maybe you reach for the six-pack of IPA or a couple sours. But, lo and behold, Founders Brewing Co. is making the case for adding this traditional style to your regular beer rotation.

Following its “Brewed For Us” motto, Founders packages its flagship scotch ale, Dirty Bastard, in 12-pack cans. And for good reason—it’s a beer that served as a turning point in taking the brewery from near extinction to the No. 15 nationally in sales by volume. It’s dark, malty and smoky—not exactly the type of beer of which most people would consume several cans, but maybe they should.

While All Day IPA, Founders’ session beer, sells like crazy and brought the brewery national recognition, Dirty Bastard paved the way for Founders’ mission statement. Not satisfied with being simply a robust offering, it has a hoppy presence while still staying firmly in the dark beer spectrum.

“It was the beer that everyone said we shouldn’t do,” Founders’ co-founder, vice president and director of brand and education Dave Engbers said in a 2015 interview with Good Beer Hunting.

If your fridge is stuck in an IPA rut, there are other options to consider when buying in bulk.”

Dirty Bastard pours a thick, murky and red-bordering-on-dark-brown with a creamy head. A sweet and smoky essence hovers over the frothy foam. Despite being billed as malt forward—it’s brewed with seven varieties, after all—its hop character is evident immediately, providing a bitter balance. A subdued sweetness akin to rum raisin is prevalent. Its sweetness and smokiness emerges more and more toward the end of the glass.

Dirty Bastard has just the right amount of hop balance to refrain from turning into syrupy mess, compared to other scotch ales that I can recall. It’s a scotch ale that is squarely in the realm of big and bold. For a beer that’s near-double digits alcohol by volume, it’s boozy—sure—but you would be forgiven for not thinking twice before ordering a second glass.

If your fridge is stuck in an IPA rut, there are other options to consider when buying in bulk. And with Founders’ national reach growing more and more, a sort of wildcard like Dirty Bastard is closer than ever before.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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