Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.94/5
Based on:
107 Beers
110,077 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 907
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 4.56
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: 907 | Reviews: 296
Photo of nasty31
4.15/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Visited founders for the first time on KBS release party. More crowded then normal per the occasion the atmosphere was awesome. Even later in the night when more of the local people were there the atmoshpere was grand. The quality was not even a question i meen come on its founders. Serivce was ok could have been better but they were swamped so understandable. Selection was amazing as it always is. Food is one of the best pub food i have ever ate. If you go to founders go on an empty stomach you will not be dissapointed by the food here. Overall AMAZING place.

Photo of dnh2
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.

Photo of tyamhydrogen
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went out to Founders in Grand Rapids a few days ago and had an excellent overall experience. We stopped in around 5ish to grab a couple beers, some food, and check out the jazz band that was playing that evening. The atmosphere inside is laid back with a good amount of tables with waiter/waitress service and a large bar. The whole place seemed like one big room, I'm sure it can get rowdy later at night. The beers were great, I tasted the nitro-tapped oatmeal stout, the breakfast stout, an all-day ipa, and a porter. All were well above average, with the oatmeal and breakfast stouts being particularly outstanding. The selection of beers was excellent, and growlers were available of almost every beer. Bottles were also available as well as a large array of merch in a separate room.

Every item I saw on the deli menu looked pretty good and after some deliberation I chose the Backwoods Bastard pulled pork sandwich. It came out pretty quickly and was extremely delicious. The service was very attentive and helpful with questions I had both about the beers and other establishments in the surrounding area. Overall I had a great experience and would recommend this brewery to anyone who loves good beer and solid sandwiches. Can't imagine a much better spot to spend a snowy Michigan night.

Photo of C2H5
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This is just a great place to have a beer!
I really like Founders beers and a trip to the brewery in Grand Rapids was well worth the 3 hour ride . I enjoyed the very large bar and had excellent experience with the waitstaff. The atmosphere reflects their beer perfectly, a very relaxed and unpretentious environment with a refined and very high quality product. I am jealous of the "mug club" members here, because I am sure that they get taken care of by Founders. I would love to visit again tomorrow!

Photo of MichiganHammer
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Founders Tap House has everything a craft beer lover could ever ask for. Some of the highest quality of craft beer on tap in the country. Founders offers a relaxed local feel with exceptionable service; you can tell that all of their staff enjoys what they do and who they do it for. I highly suggest visiting Founders anytime you're in Grand Rapids Michigan its a must go destination for any craft beer enthusiast!!

Photo of mrs_bretina
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

I started going to Founders in the late '90s when they were still up on Market Street NE and we could crush the peanuts on the floor and play pool and drink some craft beer that tasted better than the beer/water that us recent college grads were accustomed to.

Thankfully, their recipes improved over the years and outpaced even our ability to be the self-proclaimed experts we wanted to be.

We thoroughly enjoy the "new" location with the large deck, the live music, the great food, and most of all, the amazing beer. While the brewers get creative, they seem to pace themselves well to make sure they produce quality over quantity. Do I like everything they put out? No - but that's personal taste - not a matter of quality beer.

One of the only problems I have with Founders is finding a seat. While that is annoying, especially in the winter when the deck isn't available, it is also a quality I appreciate. Keeping it "small" is appreciated!

Their sandwiches and appetizers are well worth the trip as well. Their portions are good size (enough for left overs) and not greasy.

The only other problem I have is finding parking. It is definitely a challenge on a busy night and with recent expansion - it's become an even bigger issue. Hopefully with winter snow melt, we'll be able to find another spot or two soon.

Overall, Founders has created a great tap room, and most of all creates some of the absolute best beer around.

Photo of Makisupajoey
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Service was outstanding. Came in Wednesday about 12:30 pm and most seats were full. I sat at the bar and before I could finish review beer list a bartender stopped by and asked if I needed any help. While waiting for my beer to be served(not long wait) other bartenders stopped by asking if they could help. I didn't order food, but the menu looked decent.

Photo of Ngcba415
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Incredible beer of any style from Stout to IPA. I have yet to have a beer by Founders that I disliked. All day IPA continues to be my daily drink, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Photo of cerevisiae
4.15/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

As a lifelong resident of the Grand Rapids, MI area, I can't believe it took me nine years to check out Founders Brewing Company. Founders recently located their brewery and tap room a few blocks Southwest to 235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. They are now just a brief walk from the Van Andel Arena, and enjoy easy access to and from US-131.

My wife and I visited the new location on December 3, 2007 around 5-6PM, and found a light crowd, perhaps 15-20% of capacity--no real surprise for a Monday.

The Founders building is in a freshly renovated light-industrial area, with architecture reminiscent of a train station. The interior decor is heavy woods and dim lighting, with an ample patio area that promises to be hopping in warmer seasons. As is typical of microbreweries, the brewing area is visible at one end behind glass. I was a little surprised at the limited parking available on the premises. Even on this slow night, I had to poke around the block a bit for on-street parking.

The establishment offers a solid menu of deli-style sandwiches & pub fare via a food counter that is managed separately from the bar. If you're planning to eat, I recommend that you place your order and pay for your food as you arrive, then find your way to the bar or one of many tables. We had our choice of many tables on this visit.

We were quickly greeted by one of the bartenders who was also tending to the tables. My wife chose a pint of Founders Centennial IPA; I opted for the Dirty Bastard. $3.75 each. Also on tap were Red's Rye, Curmudgeon, Breakfast Stout and Devil Dancer. I was hoping for Kentucky Breakfast, but no joy. We each ordered a Reuben sandwich from the food counter, and were well satisfied with the taste & portion.

All in all--a good experience. Thumbs up for this visit, although I'd prefer more variety on tap, and a better parking experience. Perhaps I'm just too jaded by the suburbs. We'll be back.

Photo of DukeKensington
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

This place, even when crowded, maintains a pretty good atmosphere. I love the decor and the layout. Really nice to have a clear view into the actual brewery and get to see a little bit of brewing in action.

The service is excellent. Waiters/waitresses are quick and efficient, and best of all, they really seem to know their stuff when it comes to beer, or at least when it comes to Founders beer (and that's really all I need them to know). There have been more than a few tab mishaps in my many visits, but in a taproom this big, it's pretty much unavoidable, and they are always very sincere and apologetic about any errors on their part.

Founders is one of my favorite breweries, and their selection is why. A large variety of styles to be sampled from, and rarely anything that isn't a little different. It's usually a treat to head in here and see what brews they only have available on tap. I missed out on a black IPA a few months ago and was sorely disappointed. Hopefully they'll make it again next year.

One of the real big draws for the place is the food. I have many a friend who is more than willing to be my designated driver on a trip here if I'll just buy them a sandwich. Excellent deli selection, and excellent munchees.

Definitely worth the money spent. Plenty affordable, especially on $2 pint nights. Of course I always end up spending way more money than I intend to. It's hard to say no to that one last beer.

Photo of JoshVandy
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

A- Great big, wide open area when you walk in with tons of tables and seating, and a pretty large bar area. Very spacious, but inviting.

Q- Obviously, it's Founders, and their beer is the real attraction when coming to the taproom. Everything is of top notch quality, including the food, merchandise and the beer. Growlers of most of their beer can be brought home as well, ranging between $9-16.

S- Great service, both at the bar and at a table. Servers come by about every 10 minutes, or whenever they see a glass running low. Bar service is also great, with the bartenders being very prompt and friendly. All of the staff is knowledgeable about any of the beers on tap, which is great.

S- Lots of selection, with all of the beers in Classes (1,2 and 3) based on availability. They always have some taproom only selections that are worth ordering as well. Great selection.

F- Interestingly, for just having sandwiches and a few appetizers, everything tastes very good and is not your typical bar food, with Fresh ingredients playing a big part in the sandwiches.

A great place to stop by if you're in the area, and an even better place to plan a trip to, as their beer alone is worth the trip.

Photo of PhineasGage
5/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

Photo of freehafe
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).

Photo of hansgruber
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I absolutely love the taproom. The sandwiches are mindblowingly good in my opinion. Never disappointed with any selection. The beers are nicely priced and can easily be sampled. Always a good selection when I've been there. I only wish it were closer so I could go more than the couple times a year I usually do go there.
The wait staff are usually pretty attentive and knowledgeable.
They also have a nice selection of merchandise like glasses too.

Great place you won't be left disappointed!!

Photo of hmbrewer336
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

World class.

A: if you get here on a spring or fall day for lunch that is when it is best. Open the old garage doors and let the warm breeze through. All walks of life show up here. From blue collar to white collar, hippies, rednecks make this a very easy place to relax and people watch over some brew. People just sitting around playing cards shooting pool, and throwing darts. i never need to go there in Friday or Saturday night as it is almost impossible to find a seat. Can't stand how loud the live music gets either. So I don't go then.

Q: Best beer you can buy

S: Service is usually good except for busy nights. This tap room is massive.

S: alway have a ton of beer to choose from and all different styles. Almost all are top notch brews.

F: if you thought the beer was good, try sandwich. I know people who go to Founders and order a sandwich and don't even drink. Yeaaaah...it is that good! Took my brother there a week ago, he loves Ruebens. He said 2 bites into it " this is the best f@ck$ng Rueben I ever had" Well said.

V: $4 buck a pint. $5.50 for specialty beer? are you kidding? Food is very well priced too.

Photo of MudDrinker
4.88/5  rDev +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.

Photo of Ferd577
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Loved the staff. They answer questions well, pour samples and never let your glass sit empty. The food (mostly sandwishes) are quality deli style, pickles and all. They have a huge assortment of beers on tap, many only available on tap, everything they will fill a growler with and you can bring your own from another brewery.

You can get everything they bottle as carry-out and the prices are way better than at the party store, $3 to $5 less per 4 or 6 pack. Their gift shop is pretty nice too boot.

Photo of bueccd
3.65/5  rDev -20%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

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!

Photo of Joethebeerpro
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Draft to snifter, ha I waited to tap this until KBS day 2013. This is the last of it folks, I was surprised it lasted 24 hours. Then again I didn’t tell a soul, surprise. The word still spread like wildfire, this pours thick and black and oily. with quiet a bit of mocha head... I have watched it dissipate down into a fingernails worth. I am waiting for it to get to the right temp and I have been enjoying the molasses, bourbon, burnt maple syrup, roasty nose. Almost there, probably 48-50 degrees F, roasty sweet, full + thick mouthfeel, glides over the tongue like chocolate syrup. Absolutely on the sweet side with maple taking the lead, this is not the worst thing that could happen folks. Its a sweet treat and quite wonderful. Finish is roasted malts and maple syrup and a little ashey. This beer is fantastic and I look forward to these guys doing this again sometime in four or five years perhaps. Interesting side note, I also had the chance to mix this equal parts with some KBS, aka KCBS. Holy Hell, talk about balancing the booze of KBS and the sweetness of CBS. Perfection in a glass, make that Founders. Seriously.

Photo of CMoPink
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I absolutely love Founder's. This place has an amazing setup and top notch service. They have bands often, and I'm always happy with the music that is playing. Haven't had any Founder's beers that aren't of superior quality and deliciousness. They do a lot of special release beers also. They serve some delicious food also, deli style sandwiches and appetizers. Grand Rapids best local brewery by far.

Photo of andrewjraab
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I have been going to Founders since they were in their "startup" on Monroe in downtown GR. After those humble beginnings, they moved to a much larger facility on Grandville ave in downtown GR. After seeing their brand absolutely explode over the past several years they recently dumped several million into completely revamping the Brew Pub and they hit a home run with a complete overhaul on the drinking experience.

This place is a "destination" and I pinch myself to think it is in my own back yard. It features several garage style over head doors that were all open while I was their because it was a beautiful day. The recent renovations added two huge fire pits and several overhead heating lamps that make it nice to sit outside on even cold days and have a brew. From world class beer, to damn good deli sandwiches, to an open space where people are just their to have beer and socialize with friends, this place is truly one of a kind. I love that there aren't many TV's (maybe 1 that I saw) because that isn't what this place is about. Its about being with friends, family, or just other beer lovers to to simply that - enjoy beer.

Photo of Sparty1224
5/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

Photo of PrendUnVerreDeBiere
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Great brewery. Brewing fantastic beers that entice the palate. You will hardly find a beer in this fine establishment that will not please and liven up your taste buds. The brewery provides an open atmosphere with plenty of seating in and outside. Architecture is rustic modern and industrial with plenty of stonework, wooden beams and weld work. The atmosphere is both busy and intimate, allowing one to participate in the bustle of the brewery, but also sit back and fade into the framework. Great ambiance and incredible large portioned appetizers and sandwiches that pair well with the incredible selection of flavorful beers. Well done Founders, until we meet again!

Photo of arthuro11
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

Photo of fatsamus
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great place to enjoy some classic craft beers!

Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 907 ratings.