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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 145
Beer Ratings: 83,992
Beer Avg: 3.97

Taps: 18 / Bottles: 7
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
100
world-class

568 Ratings
Ratings: 568
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.77%
$$ - reasonable
[ 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: 568 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of freehafe
freehafe

Michigan

4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

Very chill and inviting place to be, open area with lots of seating indoors and out, a place where you can throw peanuts on the floor and enjoy a good beer with friends.

Service is solid, they know beer and are very friendly.

The food menu is mostly sandwiches and some odds and ends like dips and pizza, all very tasty. This is not necessarily a place I'd go specifically to eat, but if I go there for a beer and am hungry, I won't be disappointed.

The beer, the reason to go here, is excellent. There is a solid selection with a good range of styles, list changes frequently, but is available online. Three classes of beers from the standards to the specialties.

Prices are very reasonable, especially compared to other bars in the area. I can get a good pint here for the price of a generic lager up the street.
Value is even better on Mondays for cheap pint night (very busy, but worth it).

10-11-2011 23:04:58 | More by freehafe
Photo of Labonix
Labonix

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

This place is huge. It has a nice party atmoshpere to it. Its definetly the hang out spot in Grand Rapids. I've been there on a Tuesday night and there wasn' a seat avaliable at all. They have some good food here. Nothing fancy just sandwiches, peanuts, and pretzels. The sandwiches are a bit pricey, but man are they good. The staff here does a nice job even though they are overrun with people needing a glass refilled. Founders only has their brews on tap. They always have a nice selection broken down into 3 different classes.

10-09-2011 18:23:07 | More by Labonix
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

Came here for the CBS release last week. I feel like I am more intimate with the outside of this building than the inside, seeing as I was in line before five in the morning until a little past 11am.

Inside, it is a very impressive and large seating and bar area. The only time I was inside was to get my beer, then the group I was with headed to the tables outside. It was a cool crisp day with bright blue skies. A perfect time to enjoy a couple of fresh CBS on tap. The staff was friendly, and did their best to accommodate everyone on such a stressful and busy day. The entire place looked like it was brand new (and I believe it is quite newly redone/expanded) and was a great time.

One complaint I have is that for such a big day, the only special beer on tap was CBS. I would have really enjoyed to try Cashew Mountain Brown or Black Note. Oh well!

10-09-2011 00:38:19 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$

I had no idea what to expect when I went into Founders. Certainly not the huge warehouse with a bar in it. The weather was nice so they had the doors to the outside open as well creating even more space. There could of been a hundred people in there and it still looked empty. There is one TV right in the center of the bar. Beer selections are written on the chalk boards. Disappointingly there was only one brewery only selection. I know the rest of the beer is very good, but I wanted something more special besides a 4% ABV pale ale. Menu consists of sandwiches and pizzas. The sandwich I did get was good if not a little uninspired. Service was prompt and also a little cold. You can tell these people see a lot of customers in a day.

Overall this was not a comfortable place to enjoy beer. Too big and commercial. Even have a giftshop on one end of the building. I hope Surly does not follow this model when they build their destination brewpub.

10-08-2011 16:32:37 | More by morimech
Photo of dnh2
dnh2

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Great beer and great food. Very spacious with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating. The tap list generally includes a good selection of seasonal and specialty beers, though these offerings are a bit slim as of the date of this review. The sandwiches, many of which are designed to pair well with the beers that they are named after, make Founders a good option for lunch or dinner. Monday nights are cheap pint nights- $2.25 for class 1 pints (Red's Rye, Dirty Bastard, etc.) and $3.00 for class 2 pints (Breakfast Stout, Harvest Ale, etc.). Current regular prices for these beers are $3.75 and $5.50 a pint, respectively. Very highly recommended. A must visit for any beer lover in Grand Rapids.

10-08-2011 01:50:19 | More by dnh2
Photo of bulldogp04
bulldogp04

Indiana

4.47/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

Great place to visit. Although busy, service remains at a good or, at least, acceptable level. Good value and always quality beer! Food is pretty darn good, especially considering it is a brewery/brewpub. The selection could be a bit better at times, but you can't argue with proven award winners. Ambiance is awesome and their is frequently live entertainment at night. Bathrooms are clean and relatively well-maintained and the place has a great local "feel" and sense of loyalty. Pretty amazing considering the level of stature they have reached over time!

10-05-2011 03:54:01 | More by bulldogp04
Photo of goodbr3wz
goodbr3wz

Michigan

4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

The atmosphere at Founders is amazing. There are people from all walks of life that frequent Founders to enjoy some amazing brews.

The quality of of Founders beer is top notch. The beer is never disappointing.

Service is very good as well, everyone at Founders is there because they love beer, even though this place is always busy the service is still pretty reasonable.

Ive only had one item off there menu but it was amazing, a little expensive but definitively worth it if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

Prices are very reasonable for the quality of food/beer that they serve!

10-04-2011 23:36:12 | More by goodbr3wz
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$

been to the founders brew pub on many differnt occasions; finally getting down to reviewing this place!

Atmosphere: Really clean and well lit bar. Lots of room. Many tables and a decent size bar to belly up to. Its got a classy feel, but its still laid back.

Quality: Always good beer to drink here. Nuff said.

Service: This place is always busy. It does not matter if its early or late...weekday or weekend. The seem to handle the masses of people fairly well, but you do have to wait a little while to get a beer unless you are in a seat at the bar. All staff are friendly and knowledgable.

Selection: I really like that Founders divides the beers into Class I, Class II & Class III with different price tags according to the class of beer. Always a nice variety of beer styles, but also they still have the staples that Founders is known and loved for.

Food: Deli sandwiches mostly; nothing much for a hot line of food. Its not really needed though. Great Deli style sandwiches without a doubt. Nice compliment to all the world class beer!

Value: It not overly expensive and a great value for the quality.

Founders is probably one of my favorite Brewpubs!

10-04-2011 21:40:36 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -23.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$

What can I say?

I was excited to come to Founders. It was stop three on my mini-brewery excursion and I was looking forward to grabbing some beers from one of the greats.

Founder's sort of sticks out in a gentrifying neighborhood on the South side of Grand Rapids. There is a newish condo complex across the street with "hop" in it's name. I wonder if its a coincidence or not...

As for the brewpub, it's essentially a large warehouse-type set up. It's just one extremely large room with a bar along one wall. There were tables set up during my visit, but none of them are permanent. From what I can tell, Founder's gets bands on a regular basis and the space can be a venue as well as a brewpub. Multi-purpose I suppose. However, from a brewpub perspective, it's a shitty set up. There is no hostess so you don't where to go or where to sit or what.

Never-the-less, found a table after some searching. But no waiter. and no menu. and no beer menu. all except what is written on the chalkboards. Is this how it's supposed to work? I'm supposed to get up and walk half-way across the restaurant to stare at the fucking wall every time I want to make a decision about what to drink or eat. What a pain in the ass. (as it turns out - there are menus, my server was just a dipshit).

So, speaking of my server. This guy probably shouldn't be a server. Didn't bring us any menus, didn't offer any suggestions. When I asked about one of the only beers available that I've never heard of, the Mister E Froot, he was incapable of describing it. I asked him to try. He noted it was unique. Okay... what about the yeast, I asked, attempting to get some sort of description or idea of what this beer resembled. "Founder's uses the same yeast in every of their beers." I found that interesting, but whatever. So is it like a lambic? No was the reply. How about Brett, does it have brett in it? What is brett? he asked. You know, like a sour, is it a sour? No. Okay, I give up, twenty questions is over, just bring me the fucking beer.

I am hopeful my server was an anomaly. However, while staring at the beer list over the bar, it wasn't anyone even attempted to even assist me. Never, not once. I guess Founder's just isn't a very helpful place.

As for the food, it's sandwiches and pizza made out of bread that you could otherwise use to make a sandwich. The sandwiches aren't bad. Some show creativity. And they're well made. But in the end they are just sandwiches and they're nothing all that special.

Selection was decent, but there were only two brewery-only beers available on my visit. Considering I was coming all the way from Chicago, I was hoping for a little more pizzazz, a little something to make the trip worthwhile. Two brewery-only beers and a dozen beers I didn't need to leave Illinois to drink was a little bit of a let down.

Overall, the place was just okay. I imagine the vibe would be a lot different at night, but I really didn't get the feeling this was a place to kick back and sip a beer. It just felt like they were catering to the "let's go out and get drunk" crowd and I'm way passed that stage.

09-23-2011 02:26:43 | More by Florida9
Photo of kenm2118
kenm2118

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $

In my opinion, this is the best Brew Pub out there. I have been here several times and have not been disappointed once. I remember my first visit a couple years ago. I was so giddy with excitement.
Atmosphere-The place is quite spacious. It is a big rectangle. When you walk in, the bar is to the left and stretches across most of the wall. There is a spot to order food as well as a place to buy beer to go and pick up Founders memorabilia. When the weather is nice, there is outside patio seating. Every time I have been there, the place has been packed, although, we haven’t had any issues with finding seating within a few minutes. The place has sky lights, which are always awesome to me. You can also see the part of the brewery through windows in the pub. All of the beers on tap are listed on a couple chalk boards above the bar and are separated by category.
Quality-Out of the many Founders beers I have had, only a couple have not been top notch. The brew pub almost always has beers on tap that are not bottled. I have had Hand of Doom, Looking Glass, CBS, Black Biscuit, Kaiser Curmudgeon and a few others.
Service-The service is good. They have wait staff who you can order beer and food through. They are usually pretty fast with getting your beer out to you. They of course will separate the check however you want it. This is a plus for me being in Illinois where they don’t know the meaning of separate checks.
Selection-The selection, as mentioned above, is always fantastic. Every time I have been there they have had several of their harder to find beers on tap.
Food-The food is mostly deli sandwiches. They have around 15 different variations. I believe you can get them either cold or hot. They are quite tasty, include a lot of meat and are reasonably priced. They also have a few appetizers that are good.
Value-To me, the value is great. All beers are under $7 and most are around $5 with higher alcohol beers coming in smaller glasses. Compared to bars in the Chicago area that have Founders on tap, the Brew Pub has the best prices.

09-21-2011 22:37:10 | More by kenm2118
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 568 ratings.