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Founders Brewing Company

Place Score:
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

235 Grandville Ave SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503
United States

(616) 776-1195 | map

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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 303 | Ratings: 1,015
Photo of jjshutty
3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The old place was crowded, smoky, and loud when a band was playing. I have yet to be to the new place, and hopefully it is better than the old. I have heard great things about the new facility, so here goes.

The sandwiches are great for being what they are, sandwiches. However, I wish they served them later in the day and not just during lunch.

As for the beer I have no problems what so ever with any of them. Devil Dancer is by far my favorite, followed very closely with the Black Rye and Kentucky Breakfast.

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Photo of Pedro07
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I got my chance to visit the new location on Saturday night. Great atmosphere, service and quality! Loved it! The only problem I found was that the tap list was only 4 (Pale, IPA, Oatmeal Stout and Dirty Bastard, along with a couple other randoms). Kind of dissapointing to me, but I can probably attribute that to the interuption of the brewing process with the move.
Overall, I loved it!
And in reply to the last post, the pizza places were bringing the pizza in like crazy! So yes, they do deliver!

Well about a year later, it's popularity seems to have grown! The tap list is full again, and we are now seeing the fruits of expansion.

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Photo of PabstBlue
3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

As a big fan of their beers and their former location, I am a bit sad to say that I am not impressed by their new location. They still have the peanut shells on the ground, personal steins on the wall and great beer but the the new location is huge, loud and lacking the character that drew me to their old location. The noise is probably my largest problem with the place. The noise echoing off the walls makes is near impossible to have a conversation with your friend who is bellied up to the bar with you. The service is really great and it is not difficult to get one of their many delicious beer. While the beer and service is great, I think I'll go elsewhere until they find a way to dampen the noise.

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Photo of Stonebreaker
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This was my last stop on my Michigan birthday tour, we got there between midnight and one, there were peanut shells all over the floor, which I didn't mind but my wife thought was nasty. I liked the atmosphere, very laid back, there was a big college presence the night we went(a Monday). The staff was friendly, the beer was good and the bartender was all too happy to give me 3 samples. I brought a growler home, this spot and Hopcat definitely made the trip to Grand Rapids worthwhile. Oh and I'm a sucker for a pool table. Loved the Dirty Bastard...

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Made the trip to Founders back in October. What can you say. An awesome wide open taproom,with a cool view of the beer making goodies and all. Lots of wood and glass.The beer is first class,I love almost all of Founders brews,had 6 or 7 samples a couple of pints and a growler to go. The food was very good,deli style.Service was spotty,could have been better,but I'll let it go and try again next time.Prices seemed pretty reasonable. I love Founders beer and would love to work there,not even for money,just beer.

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Photo of wqcherri
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

First walking into Founders, you get the feeling of an old train depot, which carries over to the overall busy atmosphere. Although it is busy, it is also very comfortable.

The staff was busy, but handled the clientele at a very impressive pace. They were very well educated and good at suggesting items based on what we were used to, and on pairings. Great at offering suggestions and recommending smaller sizes for trial.

Went with a friend from Texas. We were both very impressed. Will definitely be back again.

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Photo of DuffManOhYeah
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I consider Founders to be one of the best breweries not only in Michigan, but in the country. Besides the quality of their beer, the bar and restaurant is a must-needed stop for anyone in GR. The serve only their own beers, but that's not a problem, because their beers are by far the best local product. The service can be tough because they are generally so busy, but what I always find most surprisingly about Founders is how good the food is. Just pop in for a sandwich and a beer and you just might ingest a little slice of heaven.

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Photo of nasty31
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of dnh2
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of C2H5
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

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Photo of MichiganHammer
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
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!!

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Photo of tyamhydrogen
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of Makisupajoey
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of mrs_bretina
4.61/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of Ngcba415
4.75/5  rDev +8%

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.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.88/5  rDev +10.9%
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 cerevisiae
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of bulldogp04
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
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!

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Photo of DukeKensington
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of hansgruber
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
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!!

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Photo of JoshVandy
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Ferd577
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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Photo of PhineasGage
5/5  rDev +13.6%
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!

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Photo of bueccd
3.65/5  rDev -17%
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!

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Photo of CMoPink
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
97 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.