ArtPrize is an international art competition, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., seeking to broaden the dialogue around contemporary art by awarding the world’s largest art prize (a whopping $560,000). Established in Grand Rapids in 1997, Founders Brewing Co. brews complex, in-your-face ales that lots of people (including the crew at CBB) call craft art. Now, these neighbors are working together to promote the diversity of the creative spirit, using beer as a catalyst.
“When we started talking with ArtPrize about a partnership, we knew we wanted to make a unique beer in honor of the annual event,” said Dave Engbers, co-founder and vice president of brand and education at Founders Brewing. “Black IPA is a boundary-pushing style that felt like a good fit to pair with ArtPrize, an organization that encourages conversations around the definition of art.”
Founders Brewing announced it will introduce Inspired Artist Black IPA this August, a powerhouse IPA brewed using malted midnight wheat and a unique variety of hops with tropical characteristics. Proceeds from the sale of this new ale will benefit ArtPrize. Inspired Artist will be sold in the state of Michigan both on draft and in 12-oz bottles with a suggested retail price of $9.99 per six-pack.
The two organizations inked a deal in April 2013 that made Founders the official brewery of ArtPrize for the next five years. The premier leadership sponsorship deal included offering Founders beer at all official ArtPrize events, signage, promotion, merchandise, specialized glassware and other items. It also included permission for Founders to use the ArtPrize identity marks (logo and graphics) on any co-packaged items, including beer. Founders expects to release a new beer for each year of its five-year partnership with ArtPrize.
Inspired Artist Black IPA gets its color from a malted black wheat base; the interesting style that results in the malt bill’s fight to balance the plentiful hops used will make you think twice about what a black beer should be. It clocks in at 7.5 percent ABV and an impressive 88 IBUs.
Proceeds from the sale of Inspired Artist Black IPA will support the future programming of the ArtPrize organization. ArtPrize is an international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote. Its mission is to promote critical dialogue and collaboration through new, creative ideas among a large and diverse population of people. As an innovator in redefining what beer can be, Founders believes that experimentation is central to the human experience — whether one experiments with grains and hops or paints and clays — and that sharing one’s creation with the public is a brave act worth celebrating. More than 400,000 people are expected to attend ArtPrize 2013.
“Art brings us together in conversation, just like the experience with a good beer,” said Christian Gaines, executive director of ArtPrize. “We are thrilled to have Founders as our official brewery and Inspired Artist Black IPA as a new, specially co-packaged beer to enhance the community’s experience.”
Inspired Artist Black IPA will be available for a limited time starting on Aug. 26, across Founders’ Michigan distribution footprint. It will be released in the brewery’s taproom on draft starting on Aug. 19. Bottle availability in the taproom will follow. Inspired Artist Black IPA will be featured at official ArtPrize events.
This year marks the fifth edition of ArtPrize, which will take place Sept. 18-Oct. 6. The Founders taproom will be a venue for the fifth year running.