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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.94/5
Based on:
108 Beers
106,636 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 857
Reviews: 285
rAvg: 4.57
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

Notes:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 857 | Reviews: 285
Photo of RedBaron
4.46/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Loved this place! This was one of six breweries/brewpubs I visited over the course of a 2-day jaunt in Michigan, and it gets my pick for the best overall experience I had at the many of top-flight brewpubs I hit.

How so? Well, first the beer. I had a six-beer sampler that included: Black Rye, IPA, Dirty Bastard, Porter, Backwood's Bastard and Kentucky Breakfast stout. All of these beers were stellar. Second, the place itself plus the surrounding neighborhood. The brewpub is a large, spacious room with a beautiful bar (with stained-glass windows adorning it), cathedral ceilings, large see-thru windows into the brewery itself, and the neighborhood includes the Amtrack and Greyhound station right outside (with some decent architecture there), and the Grand Rapids Ballet theatre is right down the street. Third, the waitstaff. They're a no-nonsense lot there, but cheerful and friendly, and they helped me figure out where another G.R institution, Siciliano's Deli, was located.

Founders just gave me the best vibe of my whole trip, and that's sayin' something considering that I also visited Bell's, Jolly Pumpkin and Dark Horse (among others). Check out Founders if ya haven't been there. You won't be disappointed!

Photo of sullenbee
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I can't join BA and not give Founders an excellent review.

I have been enjoying Founders beer since I turned 21. (How long ago, a lady never says) My first real experience with good beer, that has left an everlasting impression. I blame Founders for creating a thirst in me for beer, that hasn't stopped. If it wasn't for discovering Breakfast Stout, I'd probably still be drinking PBR. (Okay, so probably not, but I'd love to give them credit for changing my mind about beer.) I initially started out at their Monroe Ave Brassworks location, hitting up open mic nights in search of prizes to local record stores and bookshops.

The new location is absolutely gorgeous, and I have no complaints since switching over. The hippie jam bands on certain nights can wreak havoc on my brain, but for the most part, Founders brings in intelligent local music to accompany good beer.

Monday nights are the best nights for getting a taste of Founders cheap, (pints start at a measly $2.00 at 7pm for pretty much everything on the left side of the menu) but tend to be loud, and overcrowded. Expect a wait to get in. In reality, Founders beers pack enough punch that you really don't need to drink them cheap. Try going in the afternoon for a quieter experience. The deli has excellent sandwiches to try. I recommend the Devil Dancer if you like things spicy. The beer cheese is also excellent.

In all, Founders always reminds me that not everyone likes beer, but dammit, they should. Not a place to bring a whiny non-beer drinker or liquor aficionado. Bring only those who love good beer. And let them savor it.

Photo of Mxsluis
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Passed it by chance. The place was packed for a Wednesday night, yet the service at the bar was fast and the bar tender took the time to explain each beer. I choose a new variety, Mosaic, which was lighter than the browns, porters and stouts I usually drink. The bar tender was spot on in his description which had definite notes of grapefruit and I liked it a lot. I liked the place and can't wait to go back.

Photo of bwd110
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped by for late lunch/early dinner on the Sunday after Dark Lord Day... The dreaded trip home....

Walked into a very spacious dining hall type atmosphere with a nice, long bar. What struck me immediately - Founders only serves their beer, no liquor (awesome) and as far as I could tell no guest taps.

Big chalk board with the day's offerings and serving sizes.

We assumed seat yourself and did so. The place was fairly crowded for 4pm on a Sunday...

Immediately, a roving beer slinger (can't call him a waiter cause he only served liquids), came by and answered our questions, gave suggestions and took our beer order. Really great guy, very nice and helpful all day.

All the beer was downright excellent. I had '10 KBS,'09 KBS, Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and the Citra Gold. Man, what a day.

Food service was interesting - A simple deli counter with a large chalkboard menu. My buddy and I walked over and both ordered a chicken club. Very good pub grub, a little over-priced for what it was... pub grub.

Love me some Founders! Great brewpub, very cool atmosphere. I also loved the fact that they only had 1 TV. The Red Wings game was on and they were getting rocked, but no one seemed to care - people seemed to be focused on conversation and a few tables brought in card games that they were playing at tables with friends. Good social atmosphere!

Only one gripe... Little to no free parking. Parked in the pay lot only to find out that Founders validated... Found this out AFTER we left.

Photo of jim102864
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

At last, and after going way out of my way to get there, I arrived at Founders. A very noisy, barn-like atmosphere with lots of chatter and music on the house system. The brewing tanks are at one end of the building and may be viewed through clear glass. A large, long bar that seats about 30 hugs one side of the brick and steel building. It has a very barny, industrial feel to it, but somehow, it makes sense. It's like an American version of an old German beer hall. Young twenty-something guys and girls behind the bar. Got the bad news KBS wasn't available but made up for it with several spectacular Canadian Breakfast Stouts. Old Curmugeon, Double Trouble DIPA and several others were also on tap. The OC and CBS were both served in 9 oz or 12 oz pilsner glasses. Yakked with two locals and bought 'em each a CBS (at $7.50 per mind you). Also enjoyed a chicken sandwich with bacon and some dip and nachos. Double Trouble, OC, and a few others were the only items available for purchase. A perfect facility to house one of the best breweries in America.

Photo of bulldogp04
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
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!

Photo of jeffreyfred79
4.48/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Gpaetzold
4.48/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Fluffheady
4.48/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

What a cool brewpub. It’s an absolute must visit if you’re a beer dork. Or if you’re not. It gets crowded, but they have a dedicated service area that keeps everything moving. The food comes from a window. Basically everything is self service, but in a place this big and busy, it works the best.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.48/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

I really like the new Founders location. No smoking is a plus, with a nice deck for those that do. The glass near the Southside of the brewery showcases all of the beer equipment which is a nice touch. My girlfriend and I were watching a brewer cleaning and doing some other business inside the giant metal bins the last time I was there.
The beer is excellent. Quality beer with each beer you choose. I was once a little disappointed by the selection of beers earlier in the summer, but loved the selection the last time I was in.
If you want something to eat, you can't go wrong with the sandwich selection here. The Devil Dancer is one of the best (and hottest!) sandwiches I've had at a restaurant. The appetizer selection is enough to keep you interested too...I recommend the bruschetta.
I've never had a problem with the service, this is a quality establishment...don't miss it!

Photo of guityler83
4.49/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

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!

Photo of GabrielRayner
4.49/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Photo of loganburgh
4.49/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Super dank dirty open bar room, nothing more nothing less. All wood, killer (loud!) jukebox, and tons of peanut shells on the floor. Super cool clientele, and since this damn city (although beautiful in many ways) closes so freakin' early this place is definately one of the few true "hot spots" in this city. It's open until 2am as well, nice, and for this town rare! Quality of the beers is awesome and at around $3.50 a pint a steal! Service is fast, friendly and to the point. Perfect. Selection is great as well 10 killer draughts with breakfast stout, 2003 imperial stout, and a new double ipa on tap as well. I also got to talk to the brewers here, and they were full of info, to the point, and super down to earth guys....two BIG thumbs up all around for this place...Killer.

Photo of Joecaddie
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of bealin
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Tracker83
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Moc513
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of dhmxray
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of CraigTravor
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of dradair
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Andrewcc57
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of hopmashian
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Mirrorful
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of JJWIGHT
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.