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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.95/5
Based on:
106 Beers
108,487 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 890
Reviews: 292
rAvg: 4.57
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

Notes:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 890 | Reviews: 292
Reviews by CortexBomb:
Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of PolhillS
4.33/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Good place. Large airy room and outdoor seating. Located in nice area with open space. Creates a comfortable vibe. Downside, wait in like to order and get food. Attached store to buy gear and bottles to go.

Photo of aussiebeer
4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Did the tasting tour and I would 100% recommend it

Photo of brasilkid16
3.63/5  rDev -20.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

A local pioneer in craft brewing that has taken into its ways. Good, but not the best.

Photo of a_beckman25
5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Nicest brewery I have ever been to. Food was great, design is second to none, and everyone knows how great the beer is.

Photo of beeragate
3.35/5  rDev -26.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

Love this brewery ..... Obviously beer is their passion

Photo of JonB25
5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Great Experience, Great Food, Beer Selection was Superb

Photo of beerdedrinken
3.35/5  rDev -26.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2.25

Service wasn't great but awesome atmosphere and good beer

Photo of hardysf
5/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Went for KBS release party. Long lines, but that was to be expected. Great Beer and Great Food.

Photo of fatsamus
4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great place to enjoy some classic craft beers!

Photo of S-Man
3.16/5  rDev -30.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 1.5

Low rating for selection because I am not a diehard hop or stout fan. They dominate the menu.

Photo of mluchies
4.89/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Hands down the best brewery in the country. The BEST beer in Beer City USA.

Photo of jrs3994243
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great selection with CBS, multiple KBS, Backwoods Bastard and Sweet Repute selections on tap. Food was outstanding and set ice was good.

Photo of montesown
4.21/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Always a great time here. Several vintage beers placed on tap - including CBS and KBS from past years. Excellent local bands at night. Food is ok, but really - who is here for the food and not the FUN!

Photo of Monsta-beer-drinker
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Food was amazing. Great selection in store. Beer on tap was great.

Photo of Hopeswimmer
4.85/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Wish I lived closer, one of my favorite places to drink.

Photo of docoman
4.34/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Nice overall layout of taproom and good size area for small and large groups. Live bands on the weekends and layout very open. Beer and food selections both very good.

Photo of Brandonparrent
4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I am a little bias but this is top 5 in the US. I travel just for beer, and for what they do with combinations and ingredients is genius. I am so lucky to be in the same state to be able to enjoy.

Photo of routledc
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Great atmosphere, extensive draft list, world class beer.

Photo of Ngcba415
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Incredible beer of any style from Stout to IPA. I have yet to have a beer by Founders that I disliked. All day IPA continues to be my daily drink, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Photo of JordanHageman
5/5  rDev +9.4%

An outstanding brewery that has yet to let me down. Keep up the great work guys.

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Dang - this place is HUGE! Hit it on a Wednesday night around 5:30pm and it was packed. Managed to find a seat at the bar. Friendly workers even though they were super busy. The ordering workflow is a bit funky (beer and food orders are separate areas/lines) but whatever. Food was damn good - the bacon potatoe salad was delish! Obviously Founders is a must visit if you are in the area. CHEERS!

Photo of arthuro11
4.9/5  rDev +7.2%

I went here being a fan of Founders for sure (Breakfast Stout is among my all time favs, and been lucky enough to score some KBS via a good friend) and had no expectations of the tap room except the aforementioned friend said if we're going to make a beer trip, it should be Founders or Bell's (both about 45 minutes from where we were).

All that said, I felt instantly comfortable when I walked in. Spacious welcoming room, with another taproom to the right, and great seating outside. Unfortunately we only had time for a couple, but one of them was Devil Dancer, on tap, absolutely no complaints there.

Only got an appetizer but it was great. There were servers who were happy to help us at the bar and also when we were seated, which I was surprised a bit about considering how busy the place was. When we initally came in, we walked right in, when we left the place was packed fairly early on a Saturday night.

Got some great schwag at the gift shop, and some great beers to take home (or more accurately partially finish later that night around the campfire).

Complaints? Not really, looking forward to the next visit even though it may be several years off. If you are in the same area code, or even peninsula, worth a visit for any beer fan.

Photo of indianabeerman
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

great food. awesome service and a ton of great beers. love this place

Photo of NewGlarusFan
5/5  rDev +9.4%

It’s a great place to stop at in Grand Rapids. It's large and there are two bars to grab pints and one outside in the beer garden if in season. There isn't much of a line to wait in other than the food line. It was crowed, but at the same time didn't seem crowed. Go here, it's awesome.

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 890 ratings.