Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
Based on:
117 Beers
112,241 Hads
Place Score: 98
Reviews: 287
Visits: 951
Avg: 4.41
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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @foundersbrewing

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
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Reviews: 287 | Visits: 951
Photo of PhineasGage
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is a cool looking place. From the huge porch to the gigantic bar, everything is neat and well maintained. Beer selection is pretty good, they had a few handles open (and no cashew mountain brown left.) The service was the best I had all weekend...this was the final destination on a weekend brewery/beerpub crawl. The brewery is very clean and fairly well organized, can't wait to see the place after the new expansion. The gift shop is nice as well, everything is well priced. Only problem is their 2xl fits like xl...guess I'm not built like the average michiganian. Overall great place, the food looked great, the beer was awesome. I highly recommend this place to anyone, and look forward to my next visit. Thanks again for everything Dave!

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Photo of chromemittenman
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I stopped in for about the 20th time this past Saturday and have decided to review after so many good experiences.

I had Cashew Mountain Brown, Mister E Froot, 10K IPA, Breakfast Stout, and Devil Dancer. Also tried some samples of the honey wheat and All Day, and took a growler of Reds Rye for home.

As usual the beers were exceptional, particularly Mister E Froot and Cashew, but they were all incredible. The food was out of this world as well.

Stopped in the gift shop and bought a keychain/bottle opener, I already own all the glasses they carry and am waiting on a shirt to come in that I ordered :)

If you are anywhere near GR, make sure nad make the stop to won't be sorry!! The only day they charge cover is Saturday (5 bucks starting late into the evening) for the bands they bring in...get there early and still no cover.

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Photo of MichPaul
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

At the time of writing this review, I haven't even been enjoying microbrews for 1 year. To date though and living just outside of Grand Rapids Michigan, Founders Tap Room is my favorite place to enjoy delicious beer!!!
One thing to know about Founders Tap Room though, if you want to get in and get seated, it's best to get there before about 4pm. About the only knock I have on the place is that it is about time to expand! It works good for me because I'm out of work by 2pm M-F, but if I got out with the 4-5pm crew, I would be out of luck to sit down and enjoy a beer without a long wait. I guess that only solidifies how wonderful of a place this is. The place is an enjoyable, clean, atmosphere with beer that will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS RIGHT OFF!

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Photo of Avagadro
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I had heard, through word-of-mouth, that CBS had been tapped. In a frantic rush, I made my way across town to Founders' relatively new location on Grandville Ave. I parked in back, and was engulfed in a sweet malty aroma. I saw steam pouring out of the ceiling vents, and deduced that the rich aroma was coming from a batch brewing inside.

A: everything about this place is dedicated to beer. No spirits, no wine, just good beer. The crowd is saturated with beer lovers, and the staff is equally enthusiastic about it. Standing out, over the custom founders chairs and the GR gentrification theme, the end of the building is a glass wall, allowing all to view the brewery in action. Brewery staff are constantly running up the stairs to the mash tub, ensuring proper temperature. Their faces stern with attention, showing that they are giving their all to produce the best product possible.

Q: the fact that the Best of BA list is riddled with their offerings is proof enough that Founders' objective is delivering quality product. The use of proper glassware reinforces this mantra, using elegant snifters wherever necessary.

S: the staff here are enthusiastic as the patrons, teeming with pride over their employer's success, and sharing the love of the delightful products that they offer.

S: while the selection is limited to their beers, they have 12 of them on tap. They are all ales, but they span a spectrum of flavor to accommodate those who can't appreciate their true gems. They also offer a ton of stuff that isn't bottled, driving you to keep coming back so that none of the works of art are ever missed.

F: while their menu is limited to appetizers and sandwhiches, the food is outstanding. The hummus and pitas are my favorite. Everything is fresh and well-crafted.

V: 7.50 for specialties, 5,50 for class two, and 3,75 for class one ales. They are well worth the money for what you are getting.

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Photo of BrewtalHonesty
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Every visit reminds me of why Founders is among my top favorite breweries. The beer is consistently delicious, from one style to the next. Fourteen taps cover a range of styles, with tap-only and experimental rotations being common (meaning every visit will allow one to find something new). The previously wide-open and inviting tap room has been dramatically upgraded with a beautiful porch area/beer garden. Our last visit found us having lunch, and all four adults were delighted with the food (salads and sandwiches) - the sandwiches are among the best we've ever had or seen. Service has been prompt and accurate on every visit. Growler fills are reasonable, especially for the high quality beer that Founders is known for. Don't miss this spot on a trip through Grand Rapids.

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Photo of Forb
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I headed out from Three Floyds, in Munster, IN, and headed straight for Grand Rapids with this brewery as my destination!!

I arrived around midnight on a Thursday going into a Friday. It was sparsely packed and a live band was still playing. The bartender was real friendly and offered up and immense amount of information on not only there beers but what I could go and explore in the coming days. I mentioned how I'd tried to grab some KBS a few months prior and failed in doing so... The night continued and I was able to meet some great people in this area, not to mention try a plethora of location-only beers. When the night ended, the bartender flagged me. I went over to see what was up and he had gone in the back to find me a bottle of KBS!

This place is a MUST. Even if you have to go out of your way. Truly exemplary.

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
5/5  rDev +13.4%
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

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Photo of Sparty1224
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Lived in GR for 4 years, and have to say, without a doubt, this is my favorite brewery of all time. Homer bias? Fine. Nostalgia? Yes. But boy do they make some great beer. Plus the food is outstanding, and the music/environment is one of a kind. New beer garden takes it to another level. A must visit for any beer lover.

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Photo of Jd2391
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Drove up from Chicago for the last two KBS releases. The brewpub has completely changed in the last year. Went from a great place to a near perfect place. Amazing food menu with great new areas to sit and relax. Love the new outdoor space this year. Definitely recommend to anyone who is in the Grand Rapids area. Planning on driving back up soon, just to have a great beer in a great atmosphere.

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Photo of sarahspat
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this establishment. A few of my nicknames for Founders are "the happiest place on earth" and "that than which nothing nothing greater can be conceived." I am a little biased; I'm in the mug club and usually go there twice a week. I can't get enough of Founders.

Their beers are amazing. I compare all other beers that I have to Founders and they never seem to stack up. I'm actually starting to become concerned that Founders has spoiled me and that my standards are ridiculously high now. I'm not exaggerating either. Founders Centennial IPA is my Favorite Beer Ever and it's difficult for me to imagine a scenario in which I would bestow this honor on any other beer.

The entire staff is amazing. Just really cool, really nice people all around. Plus, they are AMAZING at their jobs and extremely knowledgeable about beer.

The atmosphere is perfect. Anyone who complains that they lost character with the move is indulging in maudlin daydreams. The atmosphere is exactly the's just bigger now. That's literally the only difference. Also, one of the best things about Founders is that it's the kind of bar where anyone can feel welcome. The Founders mug club is made up of all types of people. Our love of delicious beers (and especially Founders Brewing Company) is what unites us all. Just the way it should be.

Wednesday nights at Founders are probably the best deal in the entire craft beer world. $1.75 pints for mug club honestly boggles my mind sometimes. And Monday nights are great for everyone: $2 pints!

Many of the reviews complain about the lack of selection. Of course, when they moved they had to interrupt the brewing so there was a period where they had very few beers on tap. But those days are over. They generally have at least 6 or 7 and sometimes as many as 10-12 beers on tap now.

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
5/5  rDev +13.4%

It’s a great place to stop at in Grand Rapids. It's large and there are two bars to grab pints and one outside in the beer garden if in season. There isn't much of a line to wait in other than the food line. It was crowed, but at the same time didn't seem crowed. Go here, it's awesome.

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Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Dang - this place is HUGE! Hit it on a Wednesday night around 5:30pm and it was packed. Managed to find a seat at the bar. Friendly workers even though they were super busy. The ordering workflow is a bit funky (beer and food orders are separate areas/lines) but whatever. Food was damn good - the bacon potatoe salad was delish! Obviously Founders is a must visit if you are in the area. CHEERS!

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Photo of carmike813
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I went to Founders Brewing Company a week or so after Foundersfest and was lucky enough to get some of the remaining special brews from the event. Founders is one of my favorite breweries and the visit didnt dissapoint.

The server was there within 2 minutes to take our drink order, which is always a plus.

My wife and i ordered a Devil Dancer TIPA on tap, and followed it up with a Barrel Aged Honey Stuff served in a snifter. Both were excellent brews. The food was amazing, beer cheese dip was second to none.

All in all i had a great experience and look forward to KBS day in March.

A+ expereince

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Photo of EricTKole
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

It's hard to not find something here that you don't like, unless of course your just a curmudgeon. Being a mug club member here and living within 20 minutes of the place I guess makes me a little spoiled(and maybe jaded). At the end of the day all your gonna find here is world class beers served at a reasonable price, good food, and lots of live music. Yeah parking these days seems to be at a premium but that's because all you see here anymore on the weekends is a bunch of out of state plates. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can get the year round brews stick to the class 2 and 3's, also the taproom one offs. These beauties tend to be very special and are commonly the ones I leave with in my growlers, cheers!

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Photo of MaxT
4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Tasting tour was a very fun time and a great anniversary gift from my wife...sipping on great Founders' year-rounds, followed by Bolt Cutter, which was a nice treat. Atmosphere was awesome--Herbie Hancock was an obvious plus. People were great. Good food and great beer. Literally, no complaints, only compliments. A must if you can make it to Michigan.

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Photo of nortmand
4.94/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stopped in here enroute to New Holland.
Very cozy tap room feel with free popcorn and a friendly barkeep. Cool decor with some old hop plants hanging. Beer was excellent and there were several varieties that I had never seen. Different size choices for beer with prices clearly marked and very reasonable. Several local regulars were there, talking about beers that they release at special times and other interesting things that have happened. Great, friendly place to stop on your way through Grand Rapids.

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Photo of arthuro11
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%

I went here being a fan of Founders for sure (Breakfast Stout is among my all time favs, and been lucky enough to score some KBS via a good friend) and had no expectations of the tap room except the aforementioned friend said if we're going to make a beer trip, it should be Founders or Bell's (both about 45 minutes from where we were).

All that said, I felt instantly comfortable when I walked in. Spacious welcoming room, with another taproom to the right, and great seating outside. Unfortunately we only had time for a couple, but one of them was Devil Dancer, on tap, absolutely no complaints there.

Only got an appetizer but it was great. There were servers who were happy to help us at the bar and also when we were seated, which I was surprised a bit about considering how busy the place was. When we initally came in, we walked right in, when we left the place was packed fairly early on a Saturday night.

Got some great schwag at the gift shop, and some great beers to take home (or more accurately partially finish later that night around the campfire).

Complaints? Not really, looking forward to the next visit even though it may be several years off. If you are in the same area code, or even peninsula, worth a visit for any beer fan.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is without question one of the best craft breweries in the country. Every beer is just top notch and not only worth tasting but worth drinking.

KBS is a stout by which others are judged, and that's just the beginning. Other barrel aged stouts are exceptional, with the "draft only" Black Biscuit being one of the best beers in the country...period!

The staff is beyond knowledgable and could not be more friendly or accomodating. The selection of beers available is extensive and includes the rare and hard to get and the more extreme.

This is a brewery that really cares about its partrons and does all in its power to generate good will, good beer, future customers and provide the best product possible. This place is so good it's almost "an event" to go and drink and eat.

Great place!

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4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Founders was amazing We went for my 23rd b-day right after DDL...Total local vibe in there. Staff was great. Gotta love the crazy hippie beards! Holy crap.

Bar manager introduced us to the local beer store owner at the other end of the bar. "Sicilano's bottle shop". He was so stoked we were up all the way from FL he bought us a round of KBS 09. Yum. :)

The place looks great with all the wood finish. Simple beer menu up in chalk. They do mainly drafts, and you can get bottles to-go. My favorite section of the menu is the really big stuff on the right side. We pretty much stuck to that. Had to soak up Founders finest. :)

Overall this is a must hit beer stop for any beer geek that loves huge black as night american micro brews. We had 2 sippers while we were there. Barrel aged Imperial Stout and the KBS 09. Hell of a b-day...I wish everyday could be that amazing...

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Photo of Brandonparrent
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I am a little bias but this is top 5 in the US. I travel just for beer, and for what they do with combinations and ingredients is genius. I am so lucky to be in the same state to be able to enjoy.

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Photo of MudDrinker
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

The interior is well put together - large, well-spaced bar extending across the entire dining room. The dining room/main hall is widely spaced with a high ceiling to give a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere no matter how crowded it gets. The front of the building is entirely a patio to control overflow, or for those crisp fall days and warm summer nights.

Bartenders are all friendly and open to questions, service is fast and reliable.

Food is delicious and proportions huge on the verge of ridiculous (vegetarian-friendly, one or two vegan-friendly options).

Of course, the beer is amazing. They have tiers based on rarity, seasonality, etc. When I went in it was a Saturday during lunch, all the "higher" tiered beers (seasonals and peculiar taphouse-exclusives) were all gone. Still, FBS (Breakfast Stout) and Dirty Bastard was on tap. Came away with a growler of Harvest Ale.
When they fill your growler, expect at most an inch of air at the top of it.

Bottom-line: If I lived in Grand Rapids, I would be in this place at least once a week.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I had high expectations for Founders and it didn't fail me. I was there on a Saturday and the place was packed from about noon until I left around five. Seemed to be a mix of not just out-of-towners (like me) but locals too. Servers and bartenders were attentive and on top of it as soon as your glass was empty. Food was above average for a brewery and the menu was surprisingly large.

I took the brewery tour as well, which I would highly recommend. Tour guides were very knowledgeable with lots of info about Founders history and operations that you probably won't get anywhere else. Moreover, the $30 tour included a five-beer tasting, another pint at the Taproom and a souvenir pint glass; tough to beat all that!

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Photo of phisigben
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
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)

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Photo of elNopalero
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I’d rave more about Founders if only I could visit more often! Seriously cool place to drink some amazing brews. Came here for only the second time over the holidays. Arrived early enough to get a seat at the bar. In addition to their year-round line up they keep some specialties and one-offs on draught, always a welcome sign. Didn’t order food, just peanuts—which, I learned, you are to toss on the floor. If you go be sure to visit the merch shop and pick up some bottles. And live music on the weekends. Can’t go wrong.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.85/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Visited on 3-14-09
KBS release day.

I've been to Founders before, and this time was just as enjoyable. A decent crowd had filled the place, but we quickly ordered some sandwiches and beers and sat down to enjoy the day. KBS, nitro KBS, oak aged Red's Rye, Canadian Breakfast Stout, Backwoods Bastard, all on tap. The sandwich arrived, hot and spicy (Devil Dancer), just right for a semi-hangover. KBS is one of the very few stouts that are best enjoyed fresh, and we did. Three beers later, and it was time to buy a case. What? None left? We are a couple of lazy assholes. At least the fun environment and considerate waitstaff attended to our every need. Only at Founders could you be this content and disappointed at the same time. I love it.

Score edited for extra awesomeness.

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
98 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.