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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
BA SCORE
100
world-class

701 Ratings
Ratings: 701
Reviews: 271
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.39%
Active Beers: 150
Beer Ratings: 93,141
Beer Avg: 3.97
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 701 | Reviews: 271 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of steebo777
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%

I am a little shocked I never reviewd the Founders Tap Room before as I have been here many many times, and absolutely love it. It is a large warehouse style place with a huge bar. The bar and bar back looks incredible and I love the layout. Tables and seats adorn the entire place but it is rare when you can't find some seats. There is also a patio that you can hang out with more setas. And even better, there is an enclosed smoker area. Helps the smokers in winter, but more importantly the non-smokers don't have to smell it.

The beer is always world-class and there is never a time you won't find something rare and tasty. The list may not always be huge, but there is always something I want on tap.

The waitstaff shares duties with eachother, so even at the busiest of times you won't be waiting too long.

The food is damn good as well. There are a ton of different sandwich varities that appeases nearly everyone. There is some good pretzel and cheese combos and peanuts as well.

All in all, you can easily make a weekend in Grand Rapids with all of the breweries and Hop Cat, this one should always be the top of your list.

steebo777, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of JDizzle
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%

I travel to GR about once a month and this is my go-to for great beer and good food.

They usually have a solid tap list that includes some one-offs that you can't get anywhere but there. I haven't tried a beer there that isn't worthy of a solid score on BA!

The service is great with bartenders that are on key with service and knowledge of thier great beers. They are willing to give you a sample of anything you like for free.

The food is exceptional. I have tried many different sammies that are all good. The Godfather is the BOMB!

They have great specials depending on the night you come and offer a wonderful experience.

This is my favorite beer bar I have been to!

JDizzle, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of BreakfastStout
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

BreakfastStout, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of sternamagrapha7x
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

sternamagrapha7x, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of LuckyJohn
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

LuckyJohn, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of BeerdedHophead
5/5  rDev +9.2%

BeerdedHophead, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of jmich24
5/5  rDev +9.2%

jmich24, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of esktime
5/5  rDev +9.2%

esktime, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Filabee
4/5  rDev -12.7%

Filabee, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of Ncpogs
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Ncpogs, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of kbeals
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%

I came here on KBS release day, so you can imagine what the atmosphere was like. The place was packed, my friends and I ended up sitting outside, luckily it was relatively warm. The inside has nice, high ceilings and a good view of the brewing vats. The quality of their beer is excellent, had the Canadian and Kentucky Breakfast Stout on tap. We never really did get any service, a girl came around to pick up our empty glasses but she never asked if we wanted more. Their food was very good, and reasonably priced also. Their prices on their beers are a little high though, but I guess you have to pay top dollar for high quality beer. I will probably be here again next year on KBS Day, although maybe a little earlier since I got the last two 4-packs out of the cooler, I was pretty lucky in that aspect.

kbeals, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
4.03/5  rDev -12%

Arrived around 5pm on a Sunday only to find standing room only - seriously?! Happened to be the CD release party for the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra and the place was busy.

Impossible to get service at the tables or standing, a few people getting frustrated, most just getting up to get their own drinks from the bar - you had to get up to get your food anyways - odd set-up.

Finally got a place at the bar. Selection of all the Founder's goodies and some specials. Had CBS and KBS (damn) and then went for Double Trouble - not a dud in there. Was tempted to stay another day in Grand Rapids when I saw Mondays was there $2 pint night for the regular offerings.

Service was fine at the bar, had the pretzels which came with sharp cheese dip/spread. The orchestra kicked it and the place had a rockin' vibe - but that was more the orchestra's doing. Was cool to stop in here, the beer was awesome but the service, as some people were saying was hurting. Being an ex-server, they were certainly understaffed.

ritzkiss, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of sullenbee
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

sullenbee, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of bwd110
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

bwd110, May 03, 2010
Photo of slowbie
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%

This review is based on many visits over the past year.

If you're coming after 6, this place is going to be pretty busy and loud. Not my favorite atmosphere, but I can't blame people for wanting to go to Founders. It also doesn't help that the majority of my visits have been on Monday nights for the $2 pint specials. However, the few times I went on other nights it was also pretty busy and loud, and one time there was a band so loud I could barely talk to the person next to me, even though we sat as far away as we could. This rating gets bumped up if the band wasn't so loud.

If you're going to Founders, you probably know that the beer is top notch so I don't have a lot to say about quality other than the fact that is fantastic.

The bartenders and staff are very knowledgeable about the beer they're serving and everyone is pretty polite. However, if you're going for dinner or at night, it's a self service place where you generally have to place your food order at the kitchen, pick it up when it's done, and get your own beers from the bar. It's not too much work for me to do on my own, but it is enough to make the service less than exceptional in my mind. There are some roving staff picking up glasses and taking drink orders, but I probably use them less than half the time because they're so busy picking up glasses.

Founders has a good selection of beers available and always has a few unique pub only things. If you go a lot you'll find that the pub only offerings do repeat, but there is always some variety going on too. It's easier to get beers like KBS and Devil Dancer at the pub than in stores, but it's also at least twice as expensive.

The food is good, but it's all deli sandwiches. I've had some great ones and I've had some I wasn't crazy about, so choose carefully. There's also some sandwiches that are named after beers they make.

Monday night $2 pint night is a great value, and even the regular beer prices are good, and the sandwiches are pretty reasonably priced for the most part as well.

slowbie, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of tippebrewcrew2
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%

This is the best brewery I have ever been to. It is very wide open similar to a large german beer hall. It has high vaulted ceilings and a large amount of bike racks (with actual bikes attached to them!) The menu is always something fierce and the food is great. Founders incorporates their beer with their food (they also suggest what beer with go with what food). They try to incorporate as many beer related things into the place as possible with center peices full of multi srm grains and hops. They have a large stage which is great for listening to performers. I simply can't say enough about founders brew co. They make absolutely world class beers and world class brewery to show the brews off.

tippebrewcrew2, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of GABrew
4.83/5  rDev +5.5%

I find myself in the Grand Rapids area a couple of times a year and always try to get to Founders whenever I can. I was there a few weeks ago and had a great experience, as always. It was a little more difficult trying to navigate around and find parking since they are in the midst of a large expansion project, but that's my only complaint. The service was outstanding, even though it was very crowded. The food was great. Be sure to get a pitcher of water if you order the Devil Dancer sandwich. Boy, was that thing hot! The beer selection is incredible. I wish I had a place like this right in back yard! They didn't have anything available for take out that I can't get at my local liquor store, so I didn't bring anything home, but they did have several brewery-only releases on tap that I was able to sample. Highly recommended for a visit if you're in the area.

GABrew, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of TheGingerbreadMan
4.28/5  rDev -6.6%

Straight up Beer Hall at its best. Super long bar, stage for performances. With the backdrop of the brewing tanks. Food is okay if you need to eat there, it's a quick service kitchen, sandwiches and stuff. You go for the beer, obviously, which is obviously top notch.

TheGingerbreadMan, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of StoutHunter
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

StoutHunter, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of jburns301
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

jburns301, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.28/5  rDev -6.6%

Well this review will show how much of a beer geek I have become. My only plan for today was to drive 123 miles one way to Grand Rapids to visit Founders brewery. Excellent directions on mapquest. Most of my friends don't appreciate craft brews, so I had no one to ride with me. I must be a loser. Arrived at the brewery shortly after noon. Not too busy, so I sat at the bar. Nice relaxed, casual atmoshere inside. High ceilings and wood floors give this place a nice rustic feel. Nice big windows to look outside. One computer terminal is available for on line access. The bar seats about 8 or 10 people, with many table and chairs available for bigger groups. There is a chalkboard above the bar with the taplist and alcohol content of their brews. Excellent waitstaff, my mug never went try. I enjoyed a breakfast stout, centennial ipa, and a pint of their oatmeal stout. All were very good and tasty. They also let me sample their Rubaeus and Belgium Razz, both fruit beers with rasberrries, both very tasty, the Belgium Razz has a higher alcohol content, and has just a little more flavor. I wish they would bottle it. Peanuts, cheese and pretzels, and a variety of deli sandwiches are available. Prices are reasonable and their food is good. I bought a growler of their IPA for $11, refills are $8. I also was able to pick up a Devil Dancer and Black Rye t-shirt for $16 a piece. They have a cooler there to purchases bottled beer. Two hours drive there,two hours at the brewery, and two hours ride back. What a great way to spend a day off from work! Highly recommenend!!! I can't wait to make many return visits. Thank you Founders!!!

BigDaddyWil, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of WeedKing4
4.18/5  rDev -8.7%

Came with some friends on KBS weekend. Wow, this place is huge. Tons of different Founders offerings on tap. I had pints of Hand Of Doom, Southisland IPA, Reds Rye, Canadian Breakfast Stout(fucking awesome beer) and Nitro KBS '10. Also picked up some growlers of Reds Rye and Dirty Bastard for under $30. Had a delicious mug clubber sandwhich from a menu that was huge. Prices were resonable all around, and good service. Very busy place though, but its pretty sweet. Love their beer. Got my case of KBS too!!

WeedKing4, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of jmarsh123
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%

Stopped by last Friday afternoon with my girlfriend and her dad while visiting family in Kalamazoo. I love all Founder's beer I've ever tried so I wanted to see the source.

I was not disappointed. We ordered some food and a beer. It was kind of loud inside and the weather was tolerable so grabbed a seat on the patio.

The food was amazing. Most food items are named after their beers. I had a Devil Dancer sandwich that lived up to the description. Very hot and very delicious on toasted rye bread. All food at the table looked great.

Don't miss the tap only offerings while here. We had Cashew Mountain Brown and 10K IPA and both were very delicious.

Except for the inside volume level, everything aced the test. Can't wait to go back the next time I'm in Michigan.

jmarsh123, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of superdoopersauce
5/5  rDev +9.2%

superdoopersauce, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of Budinetz
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Budinetz, Feb 26, 2014
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 701 ratings.