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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
Based on:
122 Beers
114,586 Hads
Place Score: 97
Reviews: 290
Visits: 966
Avg: 4.37
pDev: n/a
Taps: 18
Bottles: 7
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

235 Grandville Ave SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503
United States
phone: (616) 776-1195

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @foundersbrewing

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Monday - Saturday: 11am - 2am
Sunday: 12pm - 12am
Non-smoking Indoors, huge front porch for smoking. (heated winter room coming!)
Much larger room, with huge 25-seat custom mahogany bar.
Expanded Deli Menu and Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 11am-11pm
Sunday: 12pm-11pm
Store: 12pm-8pm
Live Music Thursdays and Saturdays featuring Stage, House PA and Sound
Pool Table, Real Dart Board, and Shuffleboard.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 290 | Visits: 966
Reviews by CortexBomb:
Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

(New Founders)

Most of the old review still applied to new Founders, so I haven't removed it, just scroll down. The new building is located downtown a few blocks from the old one, and is a long, flat facility. The biggest difference now is scale: there are numerous bartenders, many more tables, the bar is gargantuan, &c. They also serve food on a more dedicated scale (i.e.: the pay window ala Bell's) and have outside seating, which will be nice during the warmer months.

There are things brought over from the old building, which I appreciated. The chalk boards showing the brews, the peanuts / pretzels sign, and the stained glass of the pints are all incorporated into the new bar. You can still throw peanut shucks on the ground.

Basically, it's new Founders. I still will stop by when I'm in the Grand Rapids area, but I feel that something was lost in the transition to the new facility. They still brew great beer, the staff is still friendly, but everything is on a larger, more impersonal scale. Old Founders felt like that neighbourhood place where you could stop in and see your friends, and the sheer scale of the new facility makes me feel like that is going to be hard to recapture.

I wish them well though, and I hope they can elbow into the MI market the same way Bell's has, they certainly deserve it.

(Old Founders...in the Brassworks)

Founders operates an ale house downtown GR where one can pick up whatever is currently available in bottles, or get a fresh pint or growler right out of the tap.

The ale house is located in the bottom of the large industrial warehouse style building that also houses the brewery, some of which is visible through large glass windows in the tap room.

Inside the tap room things are dimly lit. Several tables are scattered around and there is a small bar, a fridge with some bottles, and a pool table. It's bare bones, but it fits my idea of an ale house: no frills, just beer, conversation and billiards. The "throw your peanut shucks on the ground" convention is also excellent, and really adds to the throwback feel of the taproom. (Legacy note: Old Founders is my 5.0 atmosphere rating, I judge all other bars by the vibe this place had: small, intimate, great beer, not polished but not dirty either.)

There are always a handful of brews on tap, amongst them their seasonals as well as other stand-bys such as Breakfast Stout and so forth and special, tap room only offerings.

For sitting down and having a beer, the service is great. The servers were quick to help us, and more than happy to dole out samples and water as we needed them along the way. I previously bought a couple of growlers from them, and was mildly dissatisfied with their lack of bags to put them in, but I saw some growlers going out sealed up from daylight in boxes recently, so perhaps that is no longer an issue. Overall service was quite good though.

In terms of value, the place is decent, but a little higher than you might expect. Regular offerings, up to and including Dirty Bastard, are 3.50$ for an American pint. The more esoteric special offerings such as the old ales or the special Belgian Razz they have right now are more (more like 4-5$ per snifter). For a bar the prices are quite good, particularly on the heavier, more flavourful offerings, but they seem a little higher than the average micro tap room.

Basically, this is a great place to stop by if you want to go to an old style bar and have some high quality beer in the process. Absolutely not the kind of place where many mainstream sports bar types will feel at home though, and not nearly as over the top as Bell's Eccentric down in Kazoo....but also much more laid back and genuine feeling.

 3,715 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.04/5  rDev -30.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.75 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Big place, kinda the main spot in town ya get the feel. Looks like it has a capacity person wise around 400. Big open area inside and out for lots of tables, lots of bricks, long bar inside, good gift shop with tons of disc golf stuff. Prices could be a little better on what would be you advertising for them.

They don't really leave a lot of variety though. I had some single hop experimental stuff that frankly should remain that way, and I think backwoods bastard was the only barrel aged beer they had available. Service sucks if you're not local. Then again the Tigers were getting destroyed so maybe that is why they couldn't be bothered. Food was ok, I had a sandwich that wasn't all that. They make really good beer, but this isn't really much of a destination type of place.

 797 characters

Photo of tstallion2
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of mkool65
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Beerenner79
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Good tour, very cool tap room and patio. I usually don't like IPA's but their All Day IPA is now one of my favorite beers. Try the spicy chicken sandwich.

 154 characters

Photo of mklisz
4/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of chippo33
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 2.5

Photo of SMH_NWI
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of frasergrove
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Huge brewpub location with a stage, wide sprawling bar, tons of tables, connected gift shop/second bar/pool table area, massive outdoor seating. Killer selection of in house brews, great sandwich/snack menu. Must visit.

 219 characters

Photo of bigleague
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of Maciejone
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of MoneyT23
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Sprague67
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Jamison85
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Chief99
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Karst32
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Photo of SometimesIfart
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Purified
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of tripledbrew
4.15/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

I have visited three times, took nine hours to get there. The beer, food are great. The service was a little slow, but I attribute that to the fact that they were slammed. The tap selection has always been really good.

 218 characters

Photo of WetAndForget
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Amazing sandwiches and awesome winding bar rail. Went for KBS release 2015 and it couldn't of been smoother. After grabbing KBS we sat in their outdoor area and had CBS delivered to us, it couldn't of been better.

 213 characters

Photo of SarahH0409
4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of pwinter
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Vonrueden09
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
97 out of 100 based on 290 ratings.