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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
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BEER AVG
3.91/5
Based on:
104 Beers
120,686 Hads
Place Score: 97
Reviews: 295
Visits: 988
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 | map
www.foundersbrewing.com

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 295 | Visits: 988
Reviews by MSU_hophead:
Photo of MSU_hophead
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

This place was solid even before the renovations but with all the changes is truly a world class beer hall. The new outdoor "beer garden" area is gigantic with multiple huge gas bonfires and plenty of outdoor gas heaters situated above the outdoor tables. I've been out here in November and it's still been pleasant although they do close down the outside bar around October. Some (but not all) of the outdoor area is covered so it could still be enjoyed in moderately inclement weather. There is also a convenient outdoor smoking area to the side of the patio.

Moving to the inside...as a pool player you can't beat the free! pool in the back. The two bars inside keep the lines reasonable even when it's busy. I really like the new two bar setup; if you're there for a show or enjoy being in the center of the activity the main area is a great spot to be. The second, new smaller bar located around the corner is great for a more intimate sit down or for catching the game on one of their big flat screens. They even let you fill up a growler and keep it in a fridge in their tap room.

The food is extremely good too. I've had the backwoods bastard sandwich which has pulled pork with Dirty Bastard infused BBQ sauce. I've also had most of their apps and they have all been solid. The bartenders are always knowledgable and have never hesitated to give me decent size samples of even their class 3 offerings.

Founders gets top marks for their amazing outdoor area, large and modern indoor space as well as their great food, beer and knowledgeable staff.

 1,561 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of philsunset
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of cgwami
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of soxfan02
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of bassfishingguy
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Founders definitely has some great beer, and some awesome sandwiches. There are usually numerous options on draft (and with 2 indoor bars, you can usually find quite varied options). Even on slow days, this place is still pretty busy.

The service is spotty, at best. I've found that about half of their bartenders/waiters/waitresses are great, and the other half are quite pretentious. Please don't act as though you're doing me the favor of serving me a beer.

After more than a few bad experiences, I've limited my Founders trips to special events only (Black Party, Cellar Raid, Firkin Fest, etc..). It's also worth noting that I've had more beer than I can remember get spilled all over me, which really makes me question their serving practices (ie over serving patrons).

 779 characters

Photo of Billydoughnuts
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

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

Photo of NateDyk47
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Pretty nice place. They always have a lot of good beers on tap, and the line to get beer is organized and moves pretty fast, even when it's crowded. My only complaint is that it's ALWAYS really busy, and near impossible to get a table during prime drinking hours since it's seat-yourself.

 288 characters

Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.5/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of MichaelCoyne
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My favorite brewery in Grand Rapids. Excellent beer, food, and vibe. Always a treat when you walk in on a Tuesday and they randomly tap CBS or KBS

146 characters

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

Truth be told, never been here but there beers are without exception the very best anywhere. Only wish they'd open a brewery in Vermont so New England could partake in brews like the legendary CBS. Might have to import the water or something, all founders beers have a special taste to them. F-it, I'll just move to Michigan!

 325 characters

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

Photo of hopnado
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of FoundersConnection
4.86/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of DoctorFunkenstein
4.15/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of BudznSudz13
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of eifster82
4.85/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

I've been to Russian River, Toppling Goliath, 3Floyds, Cigar City and a few others... This one, Founders, takes the top spot. Beautiful facility, nice and large brewpub, good food, big selection of food and beer (they had KBS and CBS on draft when visited). There is no negative. I will be making plans to come back here again shortly.

 338 characters

Photo of JesseFrame
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of birchstick
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of chitowntink
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of Sabtos
3.59/5  rDev -17.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

I get the feeling this place has been doing one thing, and making money doing it, so feels hey, why change what's not broken? But the whole set up of customer owns the entire floor is just unnecessarily chaotic. The place is a madhouse almost all the time, a lot of people are just sitting around holding seats waiting for friends because they know how awkward it can be to hover over other people to dive for their seats. The only thing that makes sense is the bar, but really, if they're going to offer food, they really need to learn from other brewpubs and seat people, take orders, and get a menu. They are so huge now, profitable and influential, having to act like you're in a cafeteria is just lame. The food is just okay too, not even worth the Disney World-esque struggle to get some. However, the point of being here is the beer selection, both annual offerings and oddball batches that you can't find anywhere else, and that doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of tsauce2
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of max85
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of buzzy
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped here for lunch one day on the way through Grand Rapids. The place was buzzing both inside and outside. Sat at the bar and had a very good bowl of chili and a couple beers. Backwoods bastard was awesome. The servers behind the bar paid little attention to the customers unless your glass was empty.

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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.

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
97 out of 100 based on 295 ratings.