Founders Brewing Company
Ratings: 607 | Reviews: 265 | Display Reviews Only:
3.59/5 rDev -21.3%
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.
08-22-2013 02:57:30 | More by Commando
3.59/5 rDev -21.3%
Stopped in here during my whirlwind tour of GR. The place was packed to the gills while I was there. I will give as fair a shake as possible.
Rather large dark open space with plenty of seating and standing room. Nice large stage to the left of the bar. No bands were playing on this occasion. Pretty much typical of any brew pub.
The tap list was decent but nothing special. They only had one beer on tap I had never had or seen outside the brewery. Of course I ordered that. Took a hefty 5 minutes to waive down a server to order.
Basically I'm getting to the point now where every brew pub feels the same. Nothing really stands out anymore. I would love to come back here when it's warm outside and enjoy the patio. Maybe on a week night so it's not as crowded too.
03-20-2011 22:08:43 | More by beerwolf77
3.6/5 rDev -21.1%
During a terrible snow and cold freeze of early February 2007, I did a white-knuckler western Michigan loop consisting of the top-rated brewpubs in Western Michigan. The trip began in the southwest corner at the Livery in Benton Harbor, up to New Holland in Holland, over to The Hideout, Founders, and BOB in Grand Rapids. Individual reviews are below and my rankings from a total experience are New Holland, The Hideout, The Livery, Founders, and BOB.
My perspective is based on visits to almost 200 brewpubs across North America. Im an avid homebrewer and craft-beer drinker but no means an expert on the contest judging of beers. I know good beer when I taste it.
Founders is a place I've been itchin to get to ever since I wasn't able to make it here during a visit to Kalamazoo. I'm a big fan of their Centennial IPA and have had the pleasure of speaking with the owner/head brewer at a Founder's tasting in Cincinnati.
I had very high expectations leading up to the visit. Everything went well until I opened the door and steped into their pub. On the outside, it's in an attractive, historic area of Grand Rapids that appears to be growing. When I stepped inside, I was dissapointed to see it was decorated to the minimum. This is very subjective and I do like the run-down beaten feel (loved it at The Hideout), but I was expecting something a little more from their space. Especially when the outside gave so much promise for something equally impressive inside. There were nice viewing areas for the brewing equipment. Other than that, it was pretty dumpy. As an advocate of clean air, I was dissapointed that 90% of the people were smoking. Everything from cigars to hand-rolled tobacco. It's hard to enjoy the aroma and flavor of good beer when you can barely breathe. Other brewpubs in Michigan have special areas for smoking which would have been nice here.
They had all their bottled beers on tap. I had the Black Rye, Red Rye, and two stouts. One stout had hazlenut which was pretty good, the other was middle of the road. I had a 13% tripple IPA which was good if not a bit sweet.
The only food they have are peanuts or pretzil rods with hard cheese to dip them in.
I'd love to have another shot at Founders and I'm sure I'd think better of it. Prior to the trip, I put them in a category of micro regionals with New Holland and Arcadia. My perception has certainly changed since the visit.
02-08-2007 02:44:56 | More by Yetiman420
3.63/5 rDev -20.4%
Has a nice look about it, and there was a fairly good amount of people there that looked to be enjoying themselves. The service was ok, once we finally got service... probably sat at the table with no waitress for 10 minutes. Beer selection was good... some of the normal all the time stuff as well as some brewery only releases. Plenty on the menu to choose from, as well as a few choices for non meat eaters... everybody in our group enjoyed the food. Price was pretty reasonable. My gf and I both had a couple pints as well as a few of the 5oz samples, split a sandwich, and split an app... bill was around $40.
Next time I make it out to Michigan, I'll definately try to go back.
09-07-2009 16:30:09 | More by bbeane
3.65/5 rDev -20%
Great Beer -- Need I Say More? Okay then... Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Beer, Great Beer!
04-04-2013 14:06:19 | More by bueccd
3.65/5 rDev -20%
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!
08-18-2013 03:08:01 | More by emma_problema
3.7/5 rDev -18.9%
As a big fan of Founders beers I couldn't help being disappointed with my visit to there brewpub. As a first time customer I was confused with the flow and set up. You walk in and their really isn't anything directing you or anyone helping you. Seems pretty disorganized. It's a very large wide open bar. Cafeteria style serving system. I had to wonder to find a place to sit, menu's, beer lists, and stand in line's.
Once I figured out the system it was ok. But I'm not a big fan of standing in line every time I want a beer or retrieving my food when a buzzer goes off. There were a few waitress walking around mostly cleaning up after people, but they would take drink orders if they happened to come your way at the right time. Never felt like they were checking on me though.
The Food was very good, deli style sandwiches named after their beers. And, all the typical offerings were great on tap as to be expected from Founders beer. They brewpub only offering for the most part I wasn't that thrilled with. I thought they were good but wouldn't order them again. They seemed to be playing it safe on a couple styles appealing to the masses which I suppose I cant fault them for, but I was hoping for more.
The gift shop/beer to go pick up left a lot to be desired as well. Although, the person working in there was the most helpful I dealt with in my entire visit.
09-03-2011 16:59:43 | More by BStalf21
3.72/5 rDev -18.4%
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.
08-20-2013 23:26:41 | More by chinchill
3.73/5 rDev -18.2%
Went downtown with Brandon and Chelsea the night before my interview. Drank some pale ale, listened to some good music, and had a good night. There were a lot of road bikers there which made me want to ride my bike into Founders one day. Great place to sit down with friends and drink some good beer. I didn't try the food but I will have to next time I visit.
08-04-2013 02:36:37 | More by AaronGreenman
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 607 ratings.