KBS 2013 On-Site Release Response

We’d like to apologize to all of you that had difficulties with purchasing tickets for our on-site KBS release this past Saturday.

Please see this statement from Brown Paper Tickets in regards to their server issues:


Brown Paper Tickets would like to apologize to Founders Brewing Company, and its customers, for a 25-minute delay in our ability to sell tickets to the 2013 KBS bottle release event. We have now taken protective measures to ensure that our customers are not inconvenienced in the future. The error was rooted in our communications and not in our servers—in other words human error. It is our business and passion to get these things right and we failed. If it isn’t understood already, Brown Paper Tickets stands behind Founders Brewing Company and their events, but in front of any criticism for the KBS online ticket sale. It was our bad and we’ll not let it happen again.

In addition to the proceeds from the tickets sales already donated by Founders Brewing, Brown Paper Tickets is making a $2,000 donation to the Grand Rapids White Water initiative.  

Brown Paper Tickets fully supports companies like Founders Brewing who have created a bottle release method very much in line with our Not-Just-For-Business ethos of giving and growing communities as a regular part of doing business.

Again, our most heartfelt apology for this isolated incident, and as always, we welcome your personal call.


In our planning for next year’s on-site release, we’ll work to ensure that the process is as efficient, fair and enjoyable for everyone involved as possible. We plan to do continued research to select a ticketing partner and release process that works best for us.

As we’ve said before, we’d like to thank all of you for your support, loyalty and appreciation for good craft beer—it’s humbling to know how many of you out there are passionate about what we’re doing here in Grand Rapids. Furthermore, as many of you are aware, due to the barrel-aging process, KBS will always be a limited release product. We’re happy to have been able to make significantly more this year compared to last, but we understand that we will likely never get supply up enough to match demand for this product. Lastly, please keep in mind that KBS will be distributed in limited quantities across our 23-state footprint beginning on Monday, April 1.

We’re a small brewery—we appreciate all of your feedback, but we ask for your patience in our responses to it. And if you have any questions in regards to ticket order confirmation or shopping cart issues, please direct them to Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006.


–Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens, co-founders

Comments are now closed.
57 Comments on “KBS 2013 On-Site Release Response”
  1. Eric

    I still love you guys.I do not blame Founders at all.

  2. Jason

    Sadly I’ve heard so many different stories now I don’t even know what to believe anymore. As a Founder’s supporter and mug club member I was very disappointed when I spent over an hour on the site and finally was able to get through all of the steps to secure tickets and actually received a confirmation e-mail with confirmation order number indicating I was all set, only to later learn that there were no tickets attached to the order. I still haven’t been able to get a straight answer from Brown Paper tickets and it’s looking like no KBS for me even with a confirmation and order number e-mail. Lost me as a customer that’s for sure.

    • Sarah

      Hi Jason,

      We’re sorry to hear that. The answer above is the correct “story” as it came directly from the CEO of Brown Paper Tickets. If you are not able to get a straight answer from Brown Paper Tickets, please email us with what’s going on and we can follow up with them ourselves: info AT foundersbrewing DOT com. Also, KBS will be on tap in our taproom for our release party on March 30, and it will be released throughout our distribution network (including locally) on April 1. You may still be able to try some.

    • Holsie

      The sense of entitlement is so disheartening. Blaming Founders a year ago for only selling 12. This year mad at Founders for a ticket error. I say all these folks that say they are leaving Founders were not true “loyal” customers to begin with.

      Keep it up. I’ll take what I get and enjoy it.

  3. Tom

    Please make a certain amount of the tickets available at the brewpub so that locals that are frequent customers can get some. It’s harder to get KBS in Grand Rapids than it is in your smaller market states like Vermont.

    • Sarah

      Thanks for the feedback, Tom. Our home market gets the most KBS because of our on-site release combined with the local distribution release, but your comment has been noted.

  4. Mike

    I once made a half and half with KBS and Pliney the Elder. It was delicious. I Know its not really on topic, but I had to share.

  5. Scott

    Just like I said on Saturday “oops, our bad”. It doesn’t help those of us that have been supporting and buying your product for years get one of the rare pieces of excelence in craft brewing. Not even the fact that you will be doing a limited release across your 23 state footprint will help when many of the retailers that are able to sell KBS take it upon themselves to jack the price to $15 a bottle and then tell you your lucky because they could get $30 online. For those of us living hours away our only chance to get this, at a fair price, is through sales like this from you, the brewer.

    • Sarah

      I responded to your comment on Facebook and will give the same response here: If you see retailers inflating the price like that, please email us and let us know about it: info AT foundersbrewing DOT com. There isn’t anything we can do about it legally at that point, but we point it out to our distributors and it is often noted by them in future allocations of products.

  6. Tom

    My problem with BPT’s response is their claim of 25 minutes. I had a ticket in my cart at 11:02am when it crashed, and spent the next hour trying to get through with no avail. From other people I have talked with this seems to be a common theme, so please BPT stop saying 25 minutes.

  7. Matthew Zajechowski

    Make is so that they name on the order needs to coincide a valid ID with the same name in order to enforce the 1 ticket per person limit. Otherwise the scalpers and the bots will continue to be the true “winners”. I would gladly accept a higher fee that is guaranteed to go to the charity as opposed to a scalpers pocket. I would gladly wait in line for 12 hours as well as there is not way a bot and scalper can get my ticket that way. The amount of tickets going for over $100 on ebay and craiglist is a joke and insult to this system of “fairness”.

    • Sarah

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Due to the logistics and sheer size of this release, we determined that it was not logistically feasible for us to manage that aspect of the process. We attempted to do this for our first pre-ticketed beer release with Bolt Cutter back in November. However, we were overwhelmed with the issues that accompanied this process, as well as the feedback we received regarding the inconvenience this caused.

      As a brewery, our focus is on making the best beer we can, and that is what we plan to do moving forward. The fact is this problem exists well beyond eBay, with secondary market sites all over (craigslist, etc.), and even down the line with beer trading that happens on reddit and other websites, making it nearly impossible to police it all. Our best advice to battling scalpers is to never buy anything from a scalper.

  8. Matt

    It was definitely disappointing to have a ticket in my cart and not be able to check out. But Ikno you guys are trying your best to come up with a good system for giving people access to kbs. Luckily a friend of mine was able to get a ticket, so the yearly tradition.continues! (Been attending the release party for several years) see you on the 30th!

    • Sarah

      Thanks for the feedback, Matt. See you on the 30th!

  9. Matt

    It’s not that I feel entitled to a ticket but I did everything right to get a ticket and was denied. The ticket was sitting in my cart and after several attempts was told I had to try again. This 25-minute delay is greatly understated as I had made attempts for well over an hour until the site appeared to have recovered and of course all were sold out. I did call BPS immediately when things were going wrong and was told after a 40 minute wait that their systems were still down and there was nothing that could be done about my ticket that I had. I really was looking forward to this new release system as a way to actually get an allotment.
    I’m not foolish to believe that KBS will be any easier to obtain here in Chicago. You clearly need to have a contact with a distributor or live on BA in order to find out when/where anything will be available.

  10. joel

    Don’t care about KBS. How about having a DIPA on tap every once in a while instead of 4-5 fruit beers? More fruit beers on tap than IPAs is a sad thing at Founders

    • Sarah

      We were just playing with some fruit beers. Don’t worry–we’ll always have something to satisfy hop heads like yourself.

  11. Bryce

    I, in no way, blame Founders for the Brown Paper Tickets (BRT) debacle. I’m sure BPT assured Founders that its servers could handle the traffic that would be generated by this event. Unfortunately, this was not the case. My wife, a friend, and I all had our tickets in the cart and were checking out when the site crashed. I’ve heard from a lot of people that they also made it that far, and they did indeed get a confirmation email. We were not so lucky. As soon as the site went down, I called BPT. After about 30 minutes on hold, I was told there was nothing BPT could do, and simply to wait for my confirmation email. I asked the representative specifically if and when the carts expired would the tickets recycle into the sales queue. He assured me this would happen. Well, we all know what really happened. I guess that is the part that frustrates me most – knowing someone else has our tickets.
    We were really looking forward to our trip to Grand Rapids to secure a case of the greatest liquid on the planet, but I guess this year we’ll slog it out at local bottle shops to get 1 or 2 bottles.

  12. Gene

    The fact that tickets were almost immediately for sale on eBay really rubs salt in our wounds. Any noodnick wanting to make a quick buck on ticket resale could do it. Why wasn’t a name tied to each ticket?

    • Sarah

      Hi Gene–Please see our response to Matthew above.

  13. Greg

    Founders, don’t stress about the BPT sale. Accidents and goof ups happen.

    Of everybody that tried to get tickets we all faced the same exact website problems. I did get a ticket, that was after 65 minutes of trying.
    If the website worked perfectly Founders would have sold out of tickets instantly. Then all the complainers would say “I refreshed at exactly 11am, added a ticket to my cart but then it told my it was sold out, this is garbage, I am going to call and complain….”

    You can only sell so many tickets so no matter how smoothly it goes, people will be unhappy.

    My only suggestion, have ticket names match the person using the ticket. Its a great way to prevent scalping (which it running rampant on beer websites, ebay and craigslist)

    You did it with Boltcutter, so you may have determined that it was just too much work or didn’t work well in the end, so if so just disregard my last comment.

  14. I have dealt with Founder’s and Brown Paper Tickets for a while and I have never ever had any issues with either them before. Glitches in computers and problems with whatever.. IT HAPPENS! Life will go on, KBS will come around again. For Founders and Brown Paper Tickets- Thank you for the opportunity to enjoy such delicious beverages and for giving us “out of towners” the opportunity to donate to such an important part of the city we love to visit! See you soon!

    • Sarah

      Thanks for the feedback Krissy–see you soon!

  15. It’s unfortunate there’s really no way to stop scammers and scalpers and spammers. Fools and their money are easily separable, and since I don’t foresee fools getting smarter, this problem won’t go away. If you tie the ticket to an ID, these jerks will wait in line and then sell the beer, and likely charge and get a premium for doing all the work. That’s just the way it goes.

    I don’t entirely believe that you guys can’t create more supply to help meet demand; that the premium price KBS commands wouldn’t support buying more barrels and renting more warehouse space to deal with the extensive in-the-barrel time; that you wouldn’t get filthy rich doing so. But it’s your brewery. It’s your business. And you run it as you see fit. And that’s fine.

    And I like your Imperial Stout better anyway. 🙂

  16. Conrad

    Some of us got the shaft, shit happens. Stop bitching. I can’t wait for the tap room release!

  17. Aaron

    it wasn’t as bad as everyone is making it out to be. i got a ticket for myself and a ticket for my roomate for day #4 with very little trouble. all it took was to refresh the page a few times. thanks founders can’t wait to get some 2013 KBS on TAP!!!!

  18. Jay

    “25 Minutes” is Brown Paper Tickets slanting the truth. We have the fastest internet connection possible and could not get through for well over 75 minutes. I appreciate Founders and this is not a big deal – but I hope and trust that you never use BPT again – as they cannot honestly take full responsibility nor handle the volume of Founders proud supporters. Cheers and see you on Saturday!

  19. tony

    Well it took me an an hour and about fifteen minutes to finally be able to purchase my founders KBS bottle release ticket. For all us that suffered finger cramps, foul language shouts (at computer),and sight headaches. We should be able to purchase and addition 4pk or 8pk of KBS. We received an “My Bad” apology for BPT and think this gesture from our beloved Founders will make it all worth it. 🙂
    ….just saying since they were significantly more KBS this year compared to last year.

    • Sarah

      Hi Tony–At this point, all tickets for our on-site KBS bottle release have been sold, and they represent all of the bottles of beer that we’ll have available for sale in our taproom. Please note that KBS will be on tap at our release party in our taproom on March 30 and that it will be released through our distribution outlets beginning on April 1.

  20. Mike D.

    Can this work? Use the website to sell numbered tickets, as many as people are willing to buy. Then randomly select ticket numbers, one for each 12-pack that you’re selling at the taproom, and the lucky folks with those ticket numbers get the KBS. Positives: no crushing assault on on BPT’s servers, no waiting in line in the cold, and more money raised for charity. If the scalpers and bots want to spend tons of money trying to increase their chances of getting a “winning” ticket, then so be it – MORE money for charity. I’d pay $5, even if it’s just for the chance of getting KBS from the taproom.

  21. Matt

    I was lucky enough to get a ticket and will be there on Friday 3/29. My one comment is that it doesn’t seem to make sense to have a 4-day KBS release event, but only have KBS on tap the last of those 4 days. For the people who are traveling to Grand Rapids Wed-Fri and not be able to have it on tap while there, seems odd. Why should only people who scored Saturday tickets get to have it on draft?

    • Sarah

      We are limited in draft KBS quantities, as well, and we are going to have a day-long celebration of the first tapping of 2013 KBS this year. It will be available at other bars and restaurants beginning on April 1.

  22. me

    Please make less KBS which is highly overrated and make alot more CBS which is my favorite beer.

  23. Jon

    Question: Will you be scanning the tickets? My concern is that people will photocopy tickets. Then beer will run out before the people with Friday/Saturday tickets arrive, because duplicate tickets will have been accepted. If you aren’t checking names to IDs, how are you ensuring that duplicate tickets aren’t being accepted?

    • Sarah

      Every ticket has a unique ID# and barcode. Once a ticket is used, it becomes invalid and cannot be used again.

  24. Dan

    Since you won’t have any KBS on tap for the Wed-Fri crowd, will you be tapping anything else special for these 3 days?

    • Sarah

      We always have special things on tap in our taproom. Look at our tap list right now.

  25. Brian

    Thank you Sarah for handling this like a CHAMP!

  26. Chuck D

    The ticket purchase was a major disappointment. Now I can look forward to my local party store selling me one bottle of KBS at 23 bucks a bottle. Then they blame it on Founders because they have to buy $400 worth of beer to get a few bottles of KBS. I love your beer but it is becoming a joke. We were in the check out twice and got kicked off the server both times. Very disappointing and frustrating.

    • Sarah

      If you see retailers marking up our products, please let us know. As we’ve mentioned in responses to other comments on this post, there is nothing we can legally do about that, but we will point it out to our distributors who may make a note of it in future allocations of products. To be clear, we do not allocate our beer to retailers. In fact, once it leaves our loading dock, it is no longer “ours”–it is in the hands of our distributor partners, who do what they can to allocate limited releases in a fair way. There is no reason for retailers to price gouge on any of our products–they make a margin on everything they sell, regardless of if it’s $400 worth of beer in a year or $50 or $5000, when they set it at suggested retail prices. There will always be a bit of variability in pricing, but $23/bottle of KBS is unacceptable.

  27. Steve

    My biggest issue is that this seems to be expected to just quietly slip away with a useless apology. I gave up my plans on a weekend afternoon to be available to get online, got in at the instant the site went live, got through to payment processing, and then saw it go down. I waited 49 minutes to get back in, and was then shut out. Founders is not a non-profit, and I’m not seeing them take a business hit to make this right for people like me who are genuinely pissed off. The buck seems to be getting passed to BPT, but while it was their system that failed, the decision to use them was Founders’. Two dimes, a nickel, and this apology is worth a quarter to me. Digging into the company cellar and sending an apology gift to those who got jerked around would be a fraction of the per-person cost that it’s going to tally by my decision not to buy Founders product anymore. I’ll conservatively estimate that at retail cost of $300+/year, multiplied by how many years can I hold a grudge?

  28. Brad Stephens

    Fought to get the 5 tickets we got (5 individuals with 5 separate credit cards). Took us nearly 2 hours of refreshing nonstop but we got the all in. We’ll see you on the 30th!

  29. Justin R

    As for Brown Paper tickets, human error is no excuse. If anyone in the company wasn’t aware an event was going on sale at 11:00 AM that day it shows how poorly run the company is. I hope Founders will research new vendors for next years release or do away with the release all together. Why not just put all the bottles into distribution and just throw a big tap release party? If you do the tickets in the future I don’t understand why you can’t check a name on the ticket, you have to ID each person by law anyway!

  30. Reid

    My wife and I were lucky (and stubborn) enough to get our tickets a little after noon. Maybe BPT can identify some of the people who might have gotten tickets but for the crash and they could get first chance at a bottle or two of Doom?

    I agree with the others who would love to see names printed on the tickets, just to limit scalping on eBay.

    To those of you who are really upset: You got hosed. But if you can afford the expense of KBS, things aren’t all that bad in your life. Punish Founders by not buying their beer for one year, and give that money to the food bank for people with REAL problems. I suggest Gleaners.

  31. tom

    As a retail seller I have an idea. STOP SHIPPING KBS and other limited releases TO OTHER STATES!!! What little we get, we can not even come close to getting it to all our customers that want it. I have to turn many, many customers away while I look like the bad guy. TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN STATE 1ST!!!

  32. Hbudah

    I have to say what a let down it was to be denied the chance to purchase a ticket for the kbs release.i live and grand rapids and to see tickets being sold online at ridiculous prices is hurtful.there has got to be some way for grand rapids residents to be allowed the chance to purchase kbs or any limited bottle release first.we have supported founders not just the beer but food and entertainment for 15 years and it would be nice to see a special oppurtunity for grand rapids residents and grand rapids beer lovers to get a little special treatment.show us love like we show you.now im stuck searching for it!!!thanks for your time.

  33. Aaron

    Is there anyway you could consider sacrificing just 3 kegs of KBS to put on tap wed-fri (doesn’t seem like too much to ask). Maybe, you could do this at a set time (say 5pm) so those of us who could not get a Saturday ticket still get a chance to try on tap. I was planning on getting a Saturday ticket and driving up to the release party; I logged on to BPT 5 minutes prior to release and even had a saturday ticket in my cart 3 different times only to have the site crash each time I submitted my CC information. Finally after 45 min of refreshing I was able to get the only day still available (wednesday), and ended up having to take a vacation day just to drive up there. I would love to come to the Saturday release party also, but it’s an 8 hour drive there and I can’t afford to make the trek twice in one week.

    Anyway while I don’t blame founders for this mixup, I just thought this might be a nice gesture to your loyal fans. I’d even settle for letting us buy an extra bottle to enjoy in the taproom (if the kegs are already allocated for distribution).

    Thanks for your consideration.

    • Sarah

      Hi Aaron,

      We’re humbled that you are taking such a long trip to be a part of this release at the brewery. We think you’ll enjoy your visit to our town–please let us know if you’d like any suggestions as to where to stay, what else to do while you’re in Grand Rapids, etc. Or you can ask our taproom staff when you visit as they’re very knowledgeable.

      Anyway, the draft release of KBS will be at the release party on March 30, as scheduled. This will be the first time kegs of KBS are tapped for the year. We do not have the allocation to offer draft KBS prior its scheduled release. The same is true for “extra” bottles–there are no extras. All allocated bottles have been reserved via tickets.

      I hope that helps. Cheers!

  34. Holsie

    What a bunch of whiners. I didn’t get a ticket. Don’t ship it out of state. I wasted 2 hours. Geez. Listen to yourselves. Not what most of the craft beer community stands for. Petty and shameful. People that “threaten” to leave the brand were never true fans.

    Thanks Founders for making great beer and letting us patrons a 1000 miles away get great beer everyday and some super special stuff when we can. I got to share my first KBS and CBS last year and WOW!!!

  35. William

    How much KBS will be released this year as apposed to last year?
    I know you have expanded production efforts and space,
    but what kind of increase in production is there from last year?
    Two times as much? How many gallons were produced for bottling last year and how many were produced for this year? I hope Georgia gets more than last year for sure as my chances of scoring KBS are almost non-existent as of now. Thanks Founders.

    A loyal customer,


    • Sarah

      Hi William,

      Thanks for expressing your loyalty to Founders! We don’t share exact volume numbers for beers like this, and we haven’t packaged it yet so we can’t guarantee yield, but we are sure to end up with more than double what we were able to produce last year.

      Keep up the craft beer love in GA. We appreciate it.



  36. William


  37. Kris McGuire

    Can you please clarify the rules on having others pick up your KBS? The email sent today isn’t clear. Can I pick up my KBS and my buddy’s KBS (ticket is in his name)? Or, can I only pick up 1 KBS allocation during the week?

    • Sarah

      Yes, KBS tickets are transferable, but only to a non-ticket holder. Only one per person – no exceptions.

  38. michigan_ems

    I also had the problem where I bought a ticket and got the confirmation email but it booted me out before I could print it. If you log in to Brown Paper Tickets then scroll to the very bottom of the page there will be a heading in orange titled “Ticket Buyers.” Under that there is a link that says “Track Your Order” and if you click that you can put in your last name you used to purchase the ticket OR the confirmation number. After that it asks for the last 8 digits of your credit card you used to purchase the ticket, and then it should bring you right to a page that has a link to print off your ticket. At least that worked for me, hopefully it is still good to go and works!

  39. Aaron

    I have a question about the KBS Draft release on the 30th. I was the only person in my group of friends who was not able to get a ticket for the bottled KBS. We are planning a trip to Founder’s from Illinois. Will I still be able to enjoy KBS on draft at the release party with my friends or does one have to have a ticket to even get in?

    • Sarah

      You will still be able to enjoy the draft party, yes. It will be first come, first served until we reach capacity, so we’d recommend getting here early!

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