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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
BA SCORE
100
world-class

646 Ratings
Ratings: 646
Reviews: 269
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 8.75%
Active Beers: 145
Beer Ratings: 88,656
Beer Avg: 3.97
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 646 | Reviews: 269 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mattboyer182
3.5/5  rDev -23.4%

mattboyer182, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of vikinghorn
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

vikinghorn, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of Bubba569
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Bubba569, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of ccozzi
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

ccozzi, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of Goobastic
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Goobastic, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

JohnnieNepal, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of cp45
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

cp45, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of briiguy
5/5  rDev +9.4%

briiguy, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

WiscoBrewsco, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of ferrari29
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

ferrari29, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of BreakfastStout
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

BreakfastStout, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of larryarms847
5/5  rDev +9.4%

larryarms847, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of MSandahl23
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

MSandahl23, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of vader06
5/5  rDev +9.4%

vader06, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of guityler83
4.49/5  rDev -1.8%

On a weekend trip to Grand Rapids how could you not make a trip to Founder's. The lady and I went on a Saturday night at around 9PM durring a week of Art Prize and the place was jumping, but we didn't have to wait at all to get in. There was a modest cover at the door since a few bands were playing that night, but as luck would have a friend of mine was drumming in one of the bands.

We first made a stop in the store to pick up a few items (Some Harvest Ale, a snifter and a bottle bottle opener) then stepped over to grab a few beers. Of the 3 times going to the bar the most I had to wait was about 2 mins (nice) and got some amazingly fresh drinks (Breakfast Stout, Mango Manifico, All Day IPA) at a very reasonable price.

The layout was great with the rolling garage doors and patio, even when the bands were playing you could hold a conversation without it being too loud. Overall great time, but we didn't end up grabbing any food, but there's always next time!

guityler83, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
4.39/5  rDev -3.9%

Was on Beer Safari in Northern IN and Michigan few years ago, and had the good fortune of hitting FFF, Bell's, Dark Horse and Jolly Pumpkin. Each had much to rave about. Best surprise was dark Horse...gteat biker bar with world class beer and super people.
But I find myself looking back and wishing I could get back to Founders, which really took top spot on that trip.
Went in alone and was almost immediately invited to sit with a fun crowd, We sampled beers pretty much across the Founders offerings. Great IPAs and a sublime Imperial Stout on tap. Pretty much thought I had enough, and ready to go when the word got out they had just tapped a keg of CBS. Needless to say the night took a turn that kept me at Founders for a few more hours and in Grand Rapids not my intended destination @ MSU in East Lansing. Oh well.
I've loved the Founders brews for years, but I learned you really need to get there and get them fresh on tap with a table full of pilgrims..be they locals or out of towners. It's just a great brew pub...and maybe they'll tap another special keg when you show up.

BillRoth, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of andrewjraab
4.3/5  rDev -5.9%

I have been going to Founders since they were in their "startup" on Monroe in downtown GR. After those humble beginnings, they moved to a much larger facility on Grandville ave in downtown GR. After seeing their brand absolutely explode over the past several years they recently dumped several million into completely revamping the Brew Pub and they hit a home run with a complete overhaul on the drinking experience.

This place is a "destination" and I pinch myself to think it is in my own back yard. It features several garage style over head doors that were all open while I was their because it was a beautiful day. The recent renovations added two huge fire pits and several overhead heating lamps that make it nice to sit outside on even cold days and have a brew. From world class beer, to damn good deli sandwiches, to an open space where people are just their to have beer and socialize with friends, this place is truly one of a kind. I love that there aren't many TV's (maybe 1 that I saw) because that isn't what this place is about. Its about being with friends, family, or just other beer lovers to to simply that - enjoy beer.

andrewjraab, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of smartassboiler
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%

Founders is one of my favorite breweries, and I got the chance to visit here for both 2013 KBS Day and for 2013 Founders Fest.

The Atmosphere is great. It's a large, almost warehouse type feel on the side with big wooden tables and plenty of seating. There's also seating outside on a balcony area as well, and that's where we sat to drink our KBS.

The Quality is perfect. Many of their beers are world-class, and that's about all you can ask for.

The Service was fantastic. The waitstaff was extremely prompt with all orders despite being insanely crowded, and they were all helpful and would take time to answer questions as long as you didn't try to strike up a full conversation with them.

The Selection here is fantastic. They always have a good handful of Class 1 beers which include some draft-only offerings, they normally have at least 2 Class 2 beers, and they often have a Class 3 beer on tap as well. The food menu also looked good, but I haven't ordered anything from here yet.

The Food looked really good, but I haven't tried it yet.

Overall both experiences with Founders have been pretty much perfect. They run their events extremely well, and I look forward to visiting here again.

smartassboiler, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of ari32
4.46/5  rDev -2.4%

Founders is a great place to grab a bite to eat and drink some awesome beer. They always have brewpub-only beers on tap. The food is good quality and reasonably priced. The staff is great and the outdoor patio is perfect when the weather is nice. They have a lot of live bands play there, and the last New Year's event I went to (2013) was a great time!

ari32, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of Makisupajoey
4.64/5  rDev +1.5%

Service was outstanding. Came in Wednesday about 12:30 pm and most seats were full. I sat at the bar and before I could finish review beer list a bartender stopped by and asked if I needed any help. While waiting for my beer to be served(not long wait) other bartenders stopped by asking if they could help. I didn't order food, but the menu looked decent.

Makisupajoey, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of qcbrewer
4.36/5  rDev -4.6%

This is 6th, maybe 7th, time I've been to Founders, and every time I get giddy. Giddy as in I start drumming on the steering wheel as I drive up, I get a huge smile on my face, and I hum some ridiculous tune as I briskly walk up to the door. A lot of it has to do with the amazing beer, of which I really love, but a lot of it is just how comfortable this place makes me feel. While there isn't really anything that screams Founders (minus the big brew tanks behind glass at the end of the room), there is just something that makes me relax completely.

First off, Founders is currently in construction adding a new wing to their facility. I've been here long before that started, and I can't wait to see the out come.

That being said, there is usually (and currently) a large covered front porch as you walk up with 10 circular picnic tables, and also a pint glass rail along the railing defining the edge of the porch (also large heaters above for winter months). Inside, is a large open space with a slew of tables. Granted this place has been hopping every time I've been here, so regardless of how many tables there are, seating is a premium. There is a long 22 seat, curved wooden bar; which is also hard to snag a stool at. High ceilings with exposed frame work, a sky light in the middle, and plenty of acoustical tiles for the stage at the end of the room. Aged wood floors, pale yellow walls with 3 large garage doors on the front (of which I've never seen open), and drop down "dock lights". Oh, and only 1 small tv at the bar, so if you're looking to watch "the game", you may have to squint.

The beer, to me, is classic. 13 beers on draft tonight, but I've been here when there are more...and also when there are less. This is honestly the "downside" to Founders. I'm never sure of which favorite of mine won't be here. And I don't mean seasonals/rarities either, although there is always one or two really great rarities available. Prices are reasonable and split into 3 Classes: 1) for $4 a pint are your standard offerings (the most available for sure) / 2) for $5 a pint for rarities with higher alcohol / 3) rarities in general for $6 a pint. Great beer and usually great selection.

Overall, I never come to Grand Rapids without at least one visit. This to me is one of my favorite bars in the entire US. Reasonably priced, extremely comfortable, and with fantastic beer regardless of season. This is a must stop as far as Im concerned. Have I mentioned it's relaxing here?...

qcbrewer, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of Commando
3.59/5  rDev -21.4%

Pretty typical brewery sitting areas but the place was under construction so I'm sure it is only going to get better. Food was actually outstanding which was something I wouldn't expect from any brewery. Service on the other hand was awful. I'm not a picky guy and don't (which more than made up for it). As usual, had some great new beers on tap and if it wasn't for one crappy waitress it would have been a great experience.

Commando, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev -18.6%

Visited in early August, 2013: in the midst of their expansion woes. With that in mind:

Trying to ignore the construction mess, I can see the brewpub was and will be an attractive location for beer enthuiasts. A rather limited number of beers on tap, with only a few that aren't widely available. Their latest higher volume, limited release, Mango Magnifico, was on tap (and recommended), as was a single hop Mosaic and maybe 2 other taproom only beers. For a brewery with as much legacy and variety as Founders I expected more. For comparison, probably at least twice as many beers available at Bell's Eccentric Cafe (which I would more strongly recommend). And beers to go? ... only about 4-5 choices: fewer than any of the local beer stores I visited that week.

So, I was disappointed but will need to return, if possible, after the expansion is complete.

chinchill, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of emma_problema
3.65/5  rDev -20.1%

Interesting layout with a very open feel. Fantastic beer, but the bartenders seemed very uninterested. Yummy sandwiches and a really wide selection for food. I really enjoyed my visit! There was a really great variety of IPAs and I enjoyed all the beers we tried!

emma_problema, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of 4amepiphany
4.59/5  rDev +0.4%

Visited in March 2012, for the first day of the KBS release. KBS was so easy to get. No line at all. Parking was not as bad as it appeared upon arriving. Large room. Large bar. Quaint gift shoppe, with many reminders of the CBS I missed. I wasn't even into beers then, but from what I've heard, I so wished I was. There were no tables to relax at, so I skipped the food and had a beer, which I can't quite remember anything about, except that it had to do with Star Wars, I believe. I'm not so sure though. Place almost had a Cracker Barrel with a live music stage feel to it. Staff was way too busy to engage in banter. I love Michigan and all their wonderful breweries. MI is a craft beer mecca. Thank you, Founder's, for all the fantastic tastes upon mine palate.

4amepiphany, Aug 17, 2013
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 646 ratings.