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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
120,748 Hads
Place Score: 97
Reviews: 295
Visits: 988
Avg: 4.4
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 Mitchster:
Photo of Mitchster
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Located downtown GR in an old building in an industrial part of town, with a small sign that can't be seen from a distance. Large ceilings with the requisite open metal ventilation and no fans. (This place does get packed with smoke when busy). Mostly brown decor with chalk boards of their taps. 15 taps when I was here, about 6 of them seasonal and the rest regulars. No food here other than peanuts and get-it-yourself popcorn. The beer is truly exceptional. Nate and Jeremy make some amazing stuff....I have been impressed with everything they bottle and was blown away by the brews on tap....the Chocolate Rye Porter, Centennial IPA, Devil Dancer IPA3, Oatmeal stout, and Cherry Java Stout were all amazing brews that I could drink all night long. They have a real cask engine that was not being used the day I was there. 2 nitro taps. Service is decent, and samples are free. No samplers persay, so I stuck to the 10 oz shorties.

Nate and Jeremy are exceptional hosts. They brought out some special brews for the Western Michigan BA gathering and it's evident that they have a deep-seated passion for beer. Highly, highly recommended!

I plan on spending more time here. Definitely a highlight of the Michigan Beer Scene.

 1,232 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of philsunset
4.31/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of cgwami
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of soxfan02
4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of bassfishingguy
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
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 +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Beerdudenumberone
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of NateDyk47
4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
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 +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of MichaelCoyne
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
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 +13.6%
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 +11.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of hopnado
4.11/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of FoundersConnection
4.86/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of DoctorFunkenstein
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of BudznSudz13
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of eifster82
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
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 -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of birchstick
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of chitowntink
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Photo of Sabtos
3.59/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

 956 characters

Photo of tsauce2
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of max85
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of buzzy
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

 307 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.04/5  rDev -30.9%
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

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