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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
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Based on:
130 Beers
120,569 Hads
Place Score: 97
Reviews: 295
Visits: 986
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

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
Reviews: 295 | Visits: 986
Photo of MDekker
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Raised and now living in Grand Rapids, I'm so proud to have Founder located downtown. The relatively new establishment is large and spacious, with a long, curving carved wooden bar, shelves upon shelves of mugs for those in their Mug Club, huge windows that let you view the brewery and a large outdoor porch. Of course, the beer is world-class, and their tap list always features a host of beers that they don't bottle. They produce some pretty good food there too, in terms of sandwiches and the like. The prices are reasonable and agian, the beer is outstanding. Founders is always worth a visit, and I only wish I could get there more often.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Nice industrial type feel to the place. Low key and relaxed. The brew house is housed behind some big windows. I could make out the bottling line going in the back.

Like their bottled products all the quality is good. The beers were certainly fresh and served at the proper temps. Service was quick and friendly and wasnt harried. More then happy to stand and talk to us and answer any questions.

Selection was great. Some of my favorites wern't there but there was plenty to make up for that fact. A few draft only choices as well.

They only serve sandwiches 11am to 2 pm. I had a half sandwich as I wasnt hungry. My friends and I all agreed they were good.

All in all a great place. I have wanted to get here for ages and it was well worth it. I will be back.

Note-talking to the bartender she said they will fill any growler from another brewey. Saw a guy get a Roque one filled so I had to ask. She said they sell beer not growlers so it doesnt bother them. I like that.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I'd like to come back here on a quieter afternoon.My wife and I showed up at 9pm on a Thursday night to find what was apparantly a smoker's night. I can handle a bit of smoke, but out of about 20 tables, 18 of them were filled with smokers. Not only that, but reps from Reynolds Tobacco were there handing out free packs of Camels! The ventillation system could not keep up with all the cigarettes, and it made for a less than pleasant beer-drinking experience.
Staff was pretty friendly and helpful. They even have menus from local pizza joints and will help you order-in a pizza while you're there.
But the beer's what we're there for. All the Founders flavours are on tap, as well as some limited offerings only available here. Some really big beers, too. So watch your intake. Be aware that there is no shortage of police patrolling the streets of downtown Grand Rapids, so be smart when you leave the place.
All in all, it wasn't my favorite location of my beer tour through Michigan, but I'd like to visit earlier on in the day to give it another shot.

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Photo of mcallister
4.06/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Went on a trip this past weekend to the Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids area too visit many of the great breweries in the area. This one was tops on my list of my reason to visit this area. And I tried to get here while KBS was on draught but unfortunately missed it by a week.

Went the first time on Friday night and the place was packed and loud as hell. Good times were being had by all. A good selection of beers although I was somewhat dissapointed in the lack of KBS or BS, however the IS, Oatmeal Stout, Blushing Mond, Devil Dancer, etc were all spectacular.

I did think the bartenders could have been a little more friendly. Both the Friday night and Saturday ones didn't seem overly excited to be working. Which I hate working myself but I'd love to bartend for such a great brewery.

They have large glass windows so you can view the bottling line and brewing area. No brewing was being done while I was there.

They don't have food accept for peanuts and pretzels but I wasn't going here to eat. And the prices for all of the breweries I visited were outstanding. Can't wait to return when they release KBS next year.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

located in the brassworks building in downtown grand rapids, would have been great in the person on the phone would have told me that when i called for driections because i passed it twice and that sign sticks out.

inside the pub is kinda rustic with hardwood floors and copper topped tables. a simple bar with several taps. there is a pool table and an imac over in the corner.
several copper covered table through the large hall. atmosphere is very chill and inviting.

service was very prompt both time i was there this past weekend.

the selection was very good maybe 10 beers on tap. all standards and several special brews and a fewhigh gravity brews.

did not eat. prices looked reasonable.

the pricing is very reasonable

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Photo of wingman14
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A big brick building with just a founders door on it, if you do not know the area you could miss it. You walk in to an interesting place, two large glass windows let you see the entire operation. They have darts, a pool, table, and a large warehouse feel. The beers are amazing, get a sampler if you haven't had them all. All very distinct and different, yet each one a masterpiece. We didn't make it in time for their lunch, they did alert us to ordering out with delivery from any of the restaurants in the area. Good service with friendly people, and great beer. You could purchase singles, 4-packs, 6-packs, and different size cases. I will return to Founders any time I am in the area, a must visit for any beer fan!

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Photo of nflmvp
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Enjoyed the opportunity to sample the fares at the brewery this weekend (4/29/06).

The place is a decent size and simply decorated. The beers are as fresh as you'd expect and each one of the varieties I tried were as good or better than I'd expected.

I was disappointed that they had none of the Breakfast Stout or Kentucky Breakfast Stout on tap. The Blushing Monk, on the other hand, was a very pleasant surprise.

Service was not much better than average, even before the crowd began to grow, later in the evening.

All things considered, I enjoyed the place quite a bit and look forward to returning if I get the chance to visit the area again.

Updated review to include subsequent experiences in '07, '08 and '09.

The new pub looks awesome. While it looks nothing like the old place, they've done an excellent job of keeping the same type of atmosphere....and I LOVE the garage doors that open the place up when the weather cooperates.

I've only eaten here once but I have to admit, I really enjoyed my sandwich so I've updated the ratings to indicate that.

I had to keep the value at "a bit pricey" simply because I hate the idea of paying $8 cover charge for a band I don't want to see, at 11:30 at night. All I wanted to do is sample some of their beers and being FORCED to pay $8 for the privilege of sampling three beers, is a bit much....especially when I have to scream over the band, which is ALWAYS way too loud for conversation.

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Photo of nmyers
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

I got a chance to Check out Founder Taproom this past Friday and from what I remember I had a great time. I tried every beer that I can't get in my area and that work out to be about 10 beers. I like the variety of beer they had on tap and they also sell single bottles to go. They also sold a variety of glass sizes pints, 12 ounces, and 8 ounces. Everything was reasonably priced even the Blushing Monk at $5.00 for an 8 oz. glass.

The only thing that I felt was lacking at Founders was the food. Don't get me wrong I love peanuts and pretzels and cheese. Well I found out after the fact that you can get delivery there. I also got a really nice hoodie from there for $30.

The staff was great and was able to answer every question I had about the place and the beers. Founders was a great time and I can't wait to go back in June and try the Kentucky Bourbon Stout on tap.

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Photo of ahking
4.14/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Well, I finally made it to the mecca of Michigan brewing in my opinion. I had a really good time there with a couple of other beer loving friends. Bar is toward the back and is a little small. A chalk board displays all the beers on tap (about 15 that day). Lots of small tables make up the majority of the space. Exposed ceilings, hardwood floors, comfy lighting makeup the atmosphere. On one side you could see the mash tuns, on another, a packaging room. I think they had a pool table and I know they have a dart board (nice traditional one). No food here as I understand, but you can order delivery. We got brassworks pizza (ask for a menu). Great beer at a great bar. Does not get any fresher for Michigan's best craft brews!

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

One really nice place. I was out in the area and had to stop and try some of the offerings on tap. So myself and fellow BA sopor met up at Founders, and sampled some of the wares. First off, the atmosphere is nice... high ceilings, a great view of the brewing facilities, and a huge board posting whats on tap. Nice. I was lucky enough to meet David Engbers, vice president of founders while I was there. He came right up and introduced himself and his wife, and was very cordial. Not everyday, do you get to meet the VP of a great and innovative micro brewery, and not all people in the Beer industry are so kind to BA's. In anycase, we chatted for about 10 minutes, and I got back to the beers. Many offerings, from light, seasonal brews, to heavy, warming stouts and ales. Something for everyone. The food is limited to peanuts and crackers and the such, but a wad of places deliver, so the food issue is easily addressed. Value? For what you get, the value is really quite good. Some of the best beer i've had on tap, at reasonable prices. I will be back again.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Well this review will show how much of a beer geek I have become. My only plan for today was to drive 123 miles one way to Grand Rapids to visit Founders brewery. Excellent directions on mapquest. Most of my friends don't appreciate craft brews, so I had no one to ride with me. I must be a loser. Arrived at the brewery shortly after noon. Not too busy, so I sat at the bar. Nice relaxed, casual atmoshere inside. High ceilings and wood floors give this place a nice rustic feel. Nice big windows to look outside. One computer terminal is available for on line access. The bar seats about 8 or 10 people, with many table and chairs available for bigger groups. There is a chalkboard above the bar with the taplist and alcohol content of their brews. Excellent waitstaff, my mug never went try. I enjoyed a breakfast stout, centennial ipa, and a pint of their oatmeal stout. All were very good and tasty. They also let me sample their Rubaeus and Belgium Razz, both fruit beers with rasberrries, both very tasty, the Belgium Razz has a higher alcohol content, and has just a little more flavor. I wish they would bottle it. Peanuts, cheese and pretzels, and a variety of deli sandwiches are available. Prices are reasonable and their food is good. I bought a growler of their IPA for $11, refills are $8. I also was able to pick up a Devil Dancer and Black Rye t-shirt for $16 a piece. They have a cooler there to purchases bottled beer. Two hours drive there,two hours at the brewery, and two hours ride back. What a great way to spend a day off from work! Highly recommenend!!! I can't wait to make many return visits. Thank you Founders!!!

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Situated inside an old factory/warehouse this place can be easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for. Let's not even get started on all the detours in Grand Rapids right now that don't help the situation much, but I digress. The pub has a real cool feel to it, high multipaned windows let in plenty of light in the early autumn afternoon we stopped by. Large interior windows allow one to peer into the inner working of the brewery. Exposed ceilings and old hardwood floors, nice ambiance. The beer selection was pretty good with 8-10 beers ready to go. Everything I had was very well made, as one might expect really. Service was fast, friendly and knowledgable. It was pretty dead early in the day, but I figure that was a good thing, had plenty of time to sit, sip and smile. I didn't try the food, but it looked like they had a decent deli sandwich menu. Prices were spot on for the quality I think.


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Photo of slander
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A few hours later, we arrived in Grand Rapids, somewhat beaten from an early rising, a flight, an hour and change on the road, a lengthy brewery tour, beer, beer, lunch, beer, and another hour on the road. "Somewhat beaten" is not the kind of beaten where you go hit the hotel for a power nap, but rather where it seems that a good coffee (stout) would lightly breeze in a much needed, building, gale second wind...
Our caravan arrived at the Wolverine Brass Building (1922) sometime in the late afternoon. Founders occupies a good portion of the first floor of this old brick building, at least to one side as far as I could see. Large glass panelled front windows, dark slat wood floors showing wear, brick and yellow ochre walls and posts, a brown ceiling with exposed duct work, glass walls to the side and rear, one looking in one a bottling line, the other looking in on fermenters and the brewery itself. Low lighting and candles in Bali mason jars half filled wth malt on the tables. An 8 seat "L" shaped bar sits to the rear corner, with mug club mugs, taps in a single row and an unused beer engine, and blackboards above listing tap selections, specials, and light snacks. (pretzels, peanuts, otherwise, they don't do food there but you can order out or bring in. We had a few pizzas delivered).
A dozen and a half copper topped tables riddle the room. We pulled a pair of them together near the front door. Peanut shells litter the floor, TV's above here and there, a cooler with six packs and cold singles, and an internet terminal in the corner, which I booted up to find that the previous user, someone named (Evil) Davo, had not logged off. I was in his beermail. I mulled over the many possibilites... apologizing to certain BA's for past misdeeds, professing true love (maybe to you), making new friends, alienating existing friends, reviewing, panning great stuff, praising crapy stuff, giving Todd & Jason a piece of his mind, all that, but I behaved, just checking my beermail and logging off. A small pool table to the rear, darts near the front entranceway, and an absolutely kickin' jukebox (Zappa, Dylan, Floyd, Beatles, Stones, Who, Zep, Jimi, Doors, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Beck, Radiohead, Flaming Lips, Bjork, Phish, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, B52's, Wilco, Smiths, Smashing Pumpkins, Modest Mouse).
We were there for a good few hours. Our first waitstaff person was real good but then she passed the tray off to some kid who (I swear) was wearing a glass pot pipe around his neck on a cord. I called him on it, but he was in denial. He was not so much fun, no, not so much fun at all.
11 taps. The Imperial Brown Ale was greatly malty & hoppy, the Breakfast Stout was thick and all coffee (just the cup of Joe to bring me back to life); the Imperial Stout was thick & roasty; the Belgian Wheat was not so good (and in my opinion, did not get better as it warmed); the Red's Rye was a good hoppy red with just a little Rye flavor; the Dirty Bastard, a brilliant Scotch Ale, was maly & sweet, kind of hoppy, but most serious; the Trois, a 3% 2nd runnings beer was a good mild; the Rubaeus, a Raspberry concoction was sickly sweet (Randy said, "It tastes like jelly", although he claims it got better once it warmed); and the Old Curmudgeon, an Old Ale, was pretty damn good (Phil was looking to bludgen someone with a cudgel regarding the Curmudgeon. Ask Randy if you don't believe me).
Good beer, great company, and an unusually comfortable place. I could do time here.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I stopped into Founder's last week since I was in the area for work. What a treat. I didn't really try their food, but I did have a basket of peanuts. By far the coolest thing about this place is that you throw the peanut shells on the hardwood floor. The decor is nice with a small bar tucked in the back of the place fronted by about 20 or so tables. A pool table, dart board, and big windows looking into the brewing area give the place even more character.

A big chalkboard hangs above the bar noting the days offerings. The back of the bar is covered with glasses and growlers waiting to be blessed with Founder's brew. They will fill a growler with any bear you want. I brought home some Breakfast Stout and some bottles to share with friends. The wait staff is friendly. I sat at a table since the bar was full when I showed up.

They had about 10 beers on tap when I was there including the Imerial Stout, Dirty Bastard, Breakfast Stout, Old Curmudgeon, Trois, Imperial Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Centennial IPA, Red's Rye, and Belgian Wheat. Also in the refrigerator case were bottles of Red's Rye, Dirty Bastard, Centennial IPA, Rübæus, and Pale Ale. On their website they list what's on tap.

By far the surprise of my trip was the Trois. This is a fantastic session beer that should not be missed. Because of it's 3% ABV I'd be many overlook it heading for the 8,9, and 10% beers that are plentiful at Founders. Have a pint of the Trois and you will know what I am talking about. Great session beer hidden amongst the giants.

Founder's was a great stop on my trip and I am very glad I drove out of my way to get there. Great atmosphere and great beer. My total bill for 2 pints, a basket of peanuts, a growler of Breakfast Stout, and 4 bottles to take home was $31. Not bad if you ask me.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.05/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Made the 2 hour trek from Northern Indiana. I was not disappointed. Every brewery should set something up like this. Just a taproom, but I had loads of fun. They had something like 12 beers on tap inclundin Breakfast Stout and Red’s Rye. Service was shakey. I guess that was acceptable because I only saw one person working. Food did the job. Pretzel rods with cheese, and peanuts in the shell. Personally, I don't know what else you could want. Perfect. Its a 2 hour trip for me when I’m in the area, but I can see making it again.

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Photo of malty
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This has been my 'local' for the past couple years now and I'm just getting around to reviewing it, please forgive me.

Atmosphere is awesome being it's in an old brick warehouse with windows elevated about 7-8 ft. from the ground. If you drive by to fast, you'll probably miss it. There's a small neon sign in the window: Founder's. Enough room at the bar to sit a dozen. Many 4-top tables that seem to seat about 75 or so? Great place to see some good live music (check their website).

Quality of the beers have always been fresh and solid. I usually find 9-12 on tap at any given time.

Service is great. Knowledgable bartender/s that seem to always have their shi-ite together.

Selection is outstanding. There's the standards with their interesting stylistic variations with seasonals that always hit at the right time - except wheat beer. They don't produce a wheat :-(

Popcorn machine in the corner, and peanuts behind the bar (have to ask though).

Great value for what you get. $4 pint of some of the best microbrew in lower Michigan.

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Photo of olacub
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

What a pleasant surprise. My future sister-in-law is from GR, and she's been talking up Founders for months now....so we all made the trek to scenic Grand Rapids a few weeks ago. Founders is located in an old warehouse of some sort just a little ways North of downtown (along the river).

Inside, it's a very casual atmosphere punctuated by the old hardwood floors and metal tables. They had about 10 or so beers on tap, and I tried four. First, the Breakfast Stout was as good as advertised - lots of chocolate, creamy, spicy, roasty, delicious. Next, Red's Rye was a nice change of pace - surprisingly hoppy but also with some toasted biscuit notes. Third, I tried the Scotch Ale - sufficiently malty. Last, I had a pint of their Imperial Brown - wow. Rich, malty, bordering on tasting the alcohol, a big delicious beer.

The server was sweet and attentive, but they don't serve food there beyond pretzels and cheese (they did have a menu for a local deli that delivers, however). The bottom line: Founders is a top-tier brewery that I think is starting to bust out of Bell's shadow in Western Michigan.

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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

This is a tasting room of a working brewery. Located in a large factory, this first floor brewery is a treat. A small bar with 10 or so stools and numerous metal top tables give you a place to sit. The beers on tap on last visit numbered 12 and Founders makes great beer. The food menu was mostly sandwiches and they looked good on a busy Monday, but I had just got done with Breakfast. Large doors/windows showed the bottling line, which was in use, and the fermentation tanks. This is not a prim and polished place but if you want great beer at the source, get here.

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Photo of yock
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Started out with a Devil Dancer triple IPA for breakfast. Hard to top that the rest of the day...The staff was much friendlier than the last time we went there. First time there I almost felt like we were imposing on the bartender for a beer- glad to see that's improving. We didn't eat - does a hop filled beer count as food? There was a very large (I think about 12) variety of beers to chose from. I like that. Excellent beer, staff much friendlier. We did hear first hand from the bartender that they are moving to a bigger place - she didn't say when.

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Photo of Kane
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

My wife and I visited Founders on a lazy Saturday afternoon, well before the crowds. We were, in fact, one of the few people in the bar this afternoon. Selection was simliar to last posters: RIS, Breakfast Stout, Red's Rye, Trois, Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale, IPA, the Raspberry (whose name I also forgot), and an Imperial Brown Ale. I partook in the Imperial Brown and Red's Rye, which were both superb. $3.50/pint. Staff was quick to wait on us when we came in, and friendly. Overall very good experience for the both of us.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

An awesome place. We hit Founders before the crowds, which added to the experience. Mike (the co-owner) came out and talked to us about their beers, brewing and philosophy behind it all (summary: "We brew the beers we want to drink."). The place is a bit dark, but looking out over the Grand River out front and the brewery to the side. Selections (most well over 6% for those of us in NC who really appreciate what that means) are superb -- on tap while we were there: RIS, Breakfast Stout, Red's Rye, Trois (only for the faint hearted...if you're reading this, don't bother to taste it), Dirty Bastard, Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale, IPA, and a Raspberry whose name I forget (but was made with a buttload of real raspberries).

I would bet the smoke could get a bit too much for me as the crowd came in, but the folks who were there were all friendly and fun to talk with. If I lived nearby, I'd be there very often!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Super dank dirty open bar room, nothing more nothing less. All wood, killer (loud!) jukebox, and tons of peanut shells on the floor. Super cool clientele, and since this damn city (although beautiful in many ways) closes so freakin' early this place is definately one of the few true "hot spots" in this city. It's open until 2am as well, nice, and for this town rare! Quality of the beers is awesome and at around $3.50 a pint a steal! Service is fast, friendly and to the point. Perfect. Selection is great as well 10 killer draughts with breakfast stout, 2003 imperial stout, and a new double ipa on tap as well. I also got to talk to the brewers here, and they were full of info, to the point, and super down to earth guys....two BIG thumbs up all around for this place...Killer.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Another great brewpub visited on the Dark Lord trip. It is in a nice location over looking a lake in an old brick building for Brass Works. The inside has great décor with old wood flooring, sheet metal covered tables and the outside wall is completely windows which is nice for the scenery. Generally a laid back relaxing atmosphere, great for enjoying a few pints. Some pool tables and dart boards were available as well. The tap list was good with about 8 taps featuring all of their standard offerings and a couple of seasonals and specials. I was a bit disappointed that Breakfast Stout was not available but the Imperial Stout made up for that. We met Tikkigodxxx there for a few pints and had an overall great time. This would be a place I would frequent often if I lived in the area.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

We passed this place without even noticing it. We were looking for it too. The old Brass Works building houses some of the best beer in the world? Yes, it does. This inconspicuous locale in the downtown of Grand Rapids is a portal into a taproom full of character and charm. Rustic wood flooring besets the path to any of the many antiquated metal topped tavern tables or to the bar itself. This reminds me of an old barn or mill, but with dreadlocked wookies delivering beers to patrons. There is a modest amount of seating capacity at the bar which was fine on this particular afternoon. Bunches of hop cones were hung above the bar trimming the edges. I didn't go so far as to count the other tables. I wouldn't call this place a large capacity bar room though. Our resident Beerfly guide said that the place gets quite full during evenings and weekends, which I can understand. This is a pretty smooth place. Extra points get awarded for the pool table adjacent to the bar. Darts present as well.

The quality was superb if we are talking product ( maybe not air quality ). These fellas make some great brew! The waitstaff all seemed to be decent ( groovy may be a better description ). We didn't have any trouble getting refilled or getting quarters for the billiards table.

The selection was a bit lighter than I had hoped ( six or seven offerings I think ), but there was still more than enough to satisfy me. We even got to sample a secret reserve thanks to the two brewmasters who came out to receive our praise. This secret tap will remain nameless, but be assured it was fabaliss!

The place was pretty reasonable on price. I sampled the tap fairly aggressively for an afternoon whistle wetter and got a souvenir shirt to boot all for twenty somethin bucks. The beers are fantastic. The staff is real laid back. The place is great. I'll be back.

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