1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 145
Beer Ratings: 83,681
Beer Avg: 3.97

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

562 Ratings
Ratings: 562
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.79%
$$ - 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 562 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
MilwaukeeCrusher

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

When I mention the term "experience" when talking about breweries, this place is the pinnacle of what comes to mind. This place has amongst the best beer in the country, live music (the first time I went there was a pretty good jazz band), bar games, well staffed bar, and extensive beer list. Some of the beers you find here are some of the very ones people want to see bottled far away. You will want to try these beers, so get a room. Feels like a sophisticated night club (not shallow, but tastefully done) in the evening, a family outing during the day. Front center of building opens up allows outdoor libations, and fresh air within. Lots of thought has gone into this place which leads to the final question, What are you waiting for?

Perfect Score

01-13-2011 06:31:22 | More by MilwaukeeCrusher
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.86/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$

Reviewed on 6/27/2010.

Stopped by here on a Tuesday afternoon and it was fairly busy, although this is a huge place so there is plenty of room. We sat outside on the patio which was nice and pleasant. The staff was friendly and attentive. There are many taps, although most are bottled offerings with maybe 4-5 tap only selections (including CBS!). Although I didn't get any food, they do have an extensive sandwich menu (and the sandwiches looked pretty tasty!). All in all, a nice place to visit. I found the tap-only beer to be hit-or-miss so that was a little disappointing, but if you are here for good beer you are sure to find something.

12-23-2010 21:51:13 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of LanceW
LanceW

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$

founders would be my local brewery and I tend to make it down there about once per month. The new brew pub is huge and a wonderful place to visit... especially in the summer/fall. The food and beer are both a pit pricey but worth it. The music can be really loud if you are there on a night when they are hosting a band.

The No-smoking law passed in Jan of 2010 so the it can be a great place to go if you don't want to smell of smoke. It is also a great family atmosphere during the day.

The service here is absolute great. I am always very impressed!

12-06-2010 12:39:35 | More by LanceW
Photo of Stigs
Stigs

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

Stop number whatever on our MI beer trip. Came here Saturday night after spending some time at New Holland and Siciliano's before.

Big, open warehouse type place which reminded me much of a German beer hall, except dark and decorated in an American sort of way. Large amounts of tables, large long and also small scattered over the floor. Another "order everything at the bar and sit down" like every place else in Michigan seems to be. Weird if you arent used to it.

I would say it was crowded, but not packed, the four of us were able to find a table right away and I didnt wait longer than a minute to get drinks from the bar.

They have all of their standards on tap as well as a good amount of brewery specials - I started off with a Hop Spit Punk (which was so good I got a growler to go), a Vanilla Breakfast Stout (little dissappointing), and finally a Looking Glass (boom!).

All of us just ordered some snacks, we got some chips and guacamole, as well as something else I cant recall - both were very good and easy to munch on.

Prices I would say were pretty reasonable, most of all I enjoyed that you could pick the size of beers you wanted, something we are not accustomed to here.

Founder's has always been one of my favorite breweries, and I really enjoyed this visit. Will definitely make it back here someday and look forward to it.

11-19-2010 15:17:54 | More by Stigs
Photo of nickadams2
nickadams2

New York

4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

A_Large wooden bar. Rustic looking on the inside.Great atmosphere for having a couple beers.

Q_As expected with Founders the quality is top notch. Their beers are amazing as usual. They offer several beers not released in bottle all of which a fantastic. Especially their Nitro Tapped Oatmeal Stout. They have appetizers and deli sandwiches.

S_They were very busy but the service was still good. They're not in a hurry and they make sure you are aware of it. They keep things pretty lax.

S_They have about 8-10 beers exclusive to the brewpub. If you're only there for a day it makes it nearly impossible to try everything. Trust me though you will try.

F_We didn't have any appetizers but the sandwiches are amazing. One of the best Rubens I've ever had.I forget exactly what the wife had but it was also great. Everything sounded good.

V_The beers are priced lower than you'll see in bars. Less than four bucks for a pint of class one. Growler fills for a class one are nine bucks and sixteen for class two. Overall very reasonable. This place is fucking awesome.

10-28-2010 02:39:19 | More by nickadams2
Photo of otto251068
otto251068

Tennessee

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Atmosphere: Love the layout of this place. My ideal bar setting. Huge garage doors on one side which, when opened, can really open up the place. You can sit either inside or outside. Plenty of tables which are easy to move for big groups. Sit wherever you like. Very long bar with tons of stools.

Quality. Umm...great. Really all I can say. The quality of the beers is top notch. Simply doesn't get any better in my opinion. Some beers are on nitro tap which is always a pleasant surprise. Most class 1 and 2 beers are available for growler fills.

Service: The service has always been great for me. If fact, it always seems like at least three different staff members come to our table per visit. They are also very knowledgable.

Selection: Founders usually has 15 beers on tap. Ten or so are the regulars, and the other five are seasonal beers. The problem when coming here is what to order. I visit on a regular basis and never get sick of the selection. They also have a cooler filled with four packs of beers they have on tap.

Food: You wont find your typical bar food here. Great and large selection of deli sandwiches, plus they have their fair share of appetizers. Everything is made to order, fresh, and the portions are great. I usually split an appetizer and sandwich with my wife and leave with plenty to eat.

Value: Nothing crazy, I would pay a lot more for their beers. The prices are about the same as any other brewpub.

10-16-2010 22:21:44 | More by otto251068
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

Love this place but it comes just a little shy in some areas of really being a knock out place. The inside bartenders are great and very quick to fill orders, however, outside the staff is pretty slow to clean tables, get beers, and get checks. The food is ok, ordered through a window and given a beeper to come pick it up. The line up of beers is pretty good especially when they have some of their special beers on tap. Good times but if they were a little more restaurant like they really would have a great spot in my opinion.

08-20-2010 23:19:53 | More by kbutler1
Photo of slowbie
slowbie

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

This review is based on many visits over the past year.

If you're coming after 6, this place is going to be pretty busy and loud. Not my favorite atmosphere, but I can't blame people for wanting to go to Founders. It also doesn't help that the majority of my visits have been on Monday nights for the $2 pint specials. However, the few times I went on other nights it was also pretty busy and loud, and one time there was a band so loud I could barely talk to the person next to me, even though we sat as far away as we could. This rating gets bumped up if the band wasn't so loud.

If you're going to Founders, you probably know that the beer is top notch so I don't have a lot to say about quality other than the fact that is fantastic.

The bartenders and staff are very knowledgeable about the beer they're serving and everyone is pretty polite. However, if you're going for dinner or at night, it's a self service place where you generally have to place your food order at the kitchen, pick it up when it's done, and get your own beers from the bar. It's not too much work for me to do on my own, but it is enough to make the service less than exceptional in my mind. There are some roving staff picking up glasses and taking drink orders, but I probably use them less than half the time because they're so busy picking up glasses.

Founders has a good selection of beers available and always has a few unique pub only things. If you go a lot you'll find that the pub only offerings do repeat, but there is always some variety going on too. It's easier to get beers like KBS and Devil Dancer at the pub than in stores, but it's also at least twice as expensive.

The food is good, but it's all deli sandwiches. I've had some great ones and I've had some I wasn't crazy about, so choose carefully. There's also some sandwiches that are named after beers they make.

Monday night $2 pint night is a great value, and even the regular beer prices are good, and the sandwiches are pretty reasonably priced for the most part as well.

08-05-2010 16:06:01 | More by slowbie
Photo of beerguru15
beerguru15

Michigan

4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Stopped by Founders twice in the past month while passing through the area...needless to say I was glad I did! I've always enjoyed drinking their beer and thought what would be more perfect than seeing the actual brewery itself.

Founders had a great atmosphere, was a place where you could conduct business at lunch, spend time with friends and family, or if you're like me just some relaxing time at the bar on your off time. The layout was quite nice and inviting. I also love breweries that have the vats and product in clear view. Sort of brings the whole atmosphere together.

The quality speaks for itself. I honestly couldn't tell of one person that I know or have talked to that didn't think Founders was wonderful. They brew a lot of different styles and they brew them well. Everything I've tried from on tap has been wonderful and reminded me why I'm a beer lover. The beers I tried at the brewery was a small sample of the Canadian Breakfest Stout (which I was told is only available at the brewery), the Porter and on my last visit a Secret Agent IPA, which..being someone that isn't quite fond of IPA's yet, was quite tasty.

The service was excellent. The girls behind the bar are quite attentive and know their Founders beer. In the case of some breweries/bars the waitstaff is basically just there to pour the beer and serve you, but aren't familiar to a degree with their own product. At Founders though, the one bartender was able to describe the different IPA's and something about each of the beers mentioned that she liked about. The food also came out on a timely fashion also.

I ranked the selection a little lower than a 5 being that the past 2 times I was there, they were out of a few of the beers tried..but in a ways is understandable being if they are popular they don't last as long. Besides that though they had a decent selection ranging from your lighter beers, ipas and darker beers in one section, to the higher ABV's and specials that are sought after during different times. Basically something for everyone

The food also was quite well. On my first trip I had a "Make your own" sandwich that brought together the type of meat veggies and toppings that you were interested in according to each section. Mainly they have sandwiches and a few other types of food such as salads that are perfect for lunch and also dinner. The portion size was great too as you got plenty for your buck.

With that being said Founders provides a reasonable value for your buck environment. The beers are typical brewery establishment prices of $3.50 for a pint and I believe 3.25 for 12 oz. I'd gladly pay a price such as that for the great quality beer that is received!

Overall Founders is a great place and recommended to anyone who is a beer novice to beer lover. Basically everything a person looks for when attending a brewery is there, and with the constantly changing taps, a great place to return. If you're ever passing through Grand Rapids make sure to stop off at Founders as it's also easy to find. Prost!

07-15-2010 15:36:03 | More by beerguru15
Photo of phisigben
phisigben

Kentucky

4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$

The atmosphere was awesome I wish this place was in Indianapolis. Service was awesome we sat at the bar and was served immediately.

The only reason I didn't give this place all 5's is because on the website they said that Canadian Breakfast Stout was going to be on tap, and it wasn't. But in all reality I had an amazing time.

My girlfriend and myself went for lunch I had a Devil Dancer (12oz) and the Devil Dancer sandwich, she had water (my DD) and a BLT we split the crab dip (amazing) then instead of the CBS I had the Kaiser Curmudgeon (6oz) (amazing). After getting a 4 pack of Devil Dancer the bill came out to $60 it was a little on the expensive side but after looking back on what we ate/drank it was worth it I would love to go back again (When they have CBS on tap)

07-06-2010 15:29:28 | More by phisigben
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.