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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.93/5
Based on:
116 Beers
27,152 Reviews
Place Score: 97
Reviews: 284
Visits: 938
rAvg: 4.38
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 284 | Visits: 938
Reviews by Gigantis:
Photo of Gigantis
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I had only been to the new Founders location once since they moved from Monroe, where it was always a favorite of mine even though it was not within walking distance. Well, their beer has only improved since then and so has their location.

The first time I tried to go with my wife, it was too crowded to sit anywhere and actually quite a bit of the standing room was taken too. It was loud as hell, but what do you expect at eight on a Saturday? It took forever, but I purchased a growler for six bucks and filled it with Double Trouble IPA, which was enjoyed immensely at a friend's house later on.

I went in about a week later just to fill the growler up on my way to a get-together. It was four o'clock on a Saturday and there was actually room at the bar this time. I took the opportunity to take in the surroundings this time. It's a really cool space - a spacious, high-ceilinged beer hall with a window at the far end through which you can see one of their stainless steel vats. In front of this window is a stage where they were setting up for a show that would, presumably, take place that evening. It was still loud as hell, so the only gripe I can really make about the space is that the sounds reverberate throughout and, I imagine, would make it difficult to have a discussion there. There was only one bartender working behind the long, zig-zagging bar and it took a pretty long time to get the growler filled; and understandably so as the poor bastard was overworked manning that bar and orders like mine by himself.

I went in to actually take in a beer or two after work recently. It was five on a Wednesday and the place was about half-full and subdued, which was great for me. There was, once again, only one person working behind the bar and she got to me when she could. There are two huge chalk boards up behind the bar that constitute a beer menu. At Founders, there are three tiers of beer: their old standbys (D. Bastard, Centennial IPA, etc.), their more intricate regular beers (Breakfast Stout, Imperial Stout, etc.) and their "specialty brews" (in this instance, Canadian Breakfast, Backwoods Bastard and Mountain Maple Brown). The prices for the regular beers are quite reasonable (about 4 bucks for a pint). It is 5.50 for a pint of tier two beer and I paid that for an Imperial Stout. It was fantastic.

The only real problem I can cite on this visit is the prices of specialty beers. I was feeling good after my Imperial, so I shelled out $5.50 for a 8oz Backwoods (also great). For a 12oz it costs $7.50, which seems a little steep to me but I guess you pay for quality, which Backwoods certainly is. The 8oz drink came in a half-filled brandy snifter.

I ordered a sandwich off of their food menu called the Devil Dancer after their beer of the same name. It was really a great sandwich. $8 for a big, hearty sandwich that skimps on nothing. Founders' deli menu can be given to you or you can look at a big board over a window where you could place an order if you were one of the unfortunates standing around. God only knows where you'd eat it though!

Overall, Founders seems like a good place and I think my coworkers and I are going there this Friday after work. I hope that we can find a place to sit - there are certainly lots of tables but they fill up right quick.

Pros
- The beer is top drawer, as is the grub
- Good, upbeat atmosphere
- Beautiful, open beer hall with no annoying decorations
- Non-smoking

Cons
- Gets pretty damn busy, from what I can see - and is loud
- Service is spotty; no fault of the staff - there just weren't enough of them
- The specialty beer is expensive, I feel (for $7.50 at least gimme a pint!)

*It should be noted that while I felt that the tier 3 beers are a little of the pricey side, they are very worthy and, really people, it isn't as if you can get 'em anywhere else.

**I dropped my growler outside of Hopcat - before filling it up, thank god - and will definetely buy another one. (3,973 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of ZBR101
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Masonz223
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Chris912
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Been here pre-renovation and post-renovation. It was great before, now it’s simply incredible. This should be a highlight of any brewery tour in Brew City Michigan. Food is great, usually order yourselves at the counter and pick it up when ready. Bar staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Will be back any time I’m in the area. (330 characters)

Photo of Glenn_Cole_BTBC
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Easily one of my favorite breweries I've ever been to. Amazing food selection. Amazing beer selection with a lot of beers unique to the brewpub like Gold Dust Woman and a Nitro Pale Ale. Great, quick, friendly service. Definitely a must on any craft beer lovers bucket list! (274 characters)

Photo of cryptichead
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Mista_Carta
3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of MaxT
4.95/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Tasting tour was a very fun time and a great anniversary gift from my wife...sipping on great Founders' year-rounds, followed by Bolt Cutter, which was a nice treat. Atmosphere was awesome--Herbie Hancock was an obvious plus. People were great. Good food and great beer. Literally, no complaints, only compliments. A must if you can make it to Michigan. (357 characters)

Photo of jmiah22
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of cducap
4.51/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Warren2621
4.73/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

This was such a beautiful place. The dining area is so large, you can see through the window all of the fermenters and equipment. It has kind of a warehouse/industrial feel to it but with very nice wooden structure. The outside of the building fits the inside: metal siding, industrial vibe.

There are two bars located inside so that your server can get your beer quicker. Each bar is at opposite ends of the pub. There is plenty of seating. I went in March so it was too cold to make use of the outside patio which was super nice. It had little fire places across the patio and was a peaceful and elegant setting. Parking is limited.. I parked at a business nearby and walked to Founders and that was early in the day on a weekday. Not a complaint by any means, just giving people something to expect.

I was seated quickly and my waitress was very nice. I asked for a beer (All Night black session IPA) and she told me that they were out of it. I doubted that because it was still listed on their app and I think I saw it on their tap board. I ordered a different beer and as I was drinking it, the waitress realized her mistake and came and apologized to me. She then brought me the All Night. I appreciated that she recognized her mistake.

Their food is deli style with around 20 sandwiches to choose from. Any sandwich can be made into a salad. Also they serve half or whole size sandwiches. There is no reason not to get the whole even if you only wish to eat half because it is only a little over $1 more for an entire extra half of a sandwich. Every sandwich sounds delicious. I had a rueben that was fantastic. The sandwich portions are more than substantial and really affordable (7-9 dollars in most cases). Their appetizers are interesting and delicious. I split the crab dip and they give you so much dip. Super crabby and awesome. It comes with pita bread pieces as well as tortilla chips. I regret not trying the bratwurst chili.

The tap list is fairly extensive. They keep things on tap for a long period of time that arent even in season at the stores. I was able to get a KBS (it was KBS time though). The pub exclusives were awesome (Azacca IPA and All Night black session IPA). I had those two with a KBS.

Everything at Founders is really well done and done professionally. Professional is the word that comes to mind to sum up the entire place. Within an hour of me being there, the pub went from about 30% full to totally full and it was an afternoon weekday. Highly recommend this place. (2,519 characters)

Photo of Maish
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of DrJGR629
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of shellsncheese
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of mgavin
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of cristhre3floyd
4.03/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Zuidman
4.03/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of mwaltz99
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of cptbenjamin
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of hopsandmalt
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of kbuzz
3.86/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Richter525
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of get_bentley
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Icebiker71
5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
97 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.