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Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company

743 Ratings
Ratings: 743
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 10.75%
Active Beers: 113
Beer Ratings: 91,978
Beer Avg: 3.98
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

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: 743 | Reviews: 274 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DanGeo
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

DanGeo, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of SWChi
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

SWChi, Monday at 02:10 AM
Photo of neckbracesub
4.18/5  rDev -8.3%

Visited on a cold winter weekend in February 2013.

The atmosphere is terrific, with a long, winding wood-trimmed bar that feels classy all the way. Informative chalk boards clearly give you all you need to know about their current beer selection. The only negative I could say about the building is that there just isn't enough seating, especially for a brewery like Founders, who has consistently gained in popularity since their inception over 15 years ago.

We visited both on a Friday evening and a Saturday lunch time, both of which were times that saw the place insanely packed to the gills with people looking to enjoy their tasty beer and sandwiches. With that being said, the service is a tad on the lackluster side, as they don't have a designated host/hostess to take names and give wait times/direct people to where they need to go. They get unbelievably busy - which I can imagine happens on almost a daily basis - so I think they should reconsider the whole "every person for themselves" method for seating.

The selection of beers is very good, not surprising considering this is straight from the source. I was a little disappointed to see that I just missed out on enjoying some of their Imperial Stout. I would've thought they would have plenty to re-tap, but I was wrong.

The sandwiches are very, very good here. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised at just how much focus they put on quality food, but they certainly do. I had the Curmudgeon and would highly recommend it.

neckbracesub, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of Rons35
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Rons35, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of esktime
5/5  rDev +9.6%

esktime, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of 319Hawksfan
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

319Hawksfan, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of patdunkel
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

patdunkel, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of RedBaron
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%

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!

RedBaron, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of beerguru15
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%

Stopped by Founders twice in the past month while passing through the area...needless to say I was glad I did! I've always enjoyed drinking their beer and thought what would be more perfect than seeing the actual brewery itself.

Founders had a great atmosphere, was a place where you could conduct business at lunch, spend time with friends and family, or if you're like me just some relaxing time at the bar on your off time. The layout was quite nice and inviting. I also love breweries that have the vats and product in clear view. Sort of brings the whole atmosphere together.

The quality speaks for itself. I honestly couldn't tell of one person that I know or have talked to that didn't think Founders was wonderful. They brew a lot of different styles and they brew them well. Everything I've tried from on tap has been wonderful and reminded me why I'm a beer lover. The beers I tried at the brewery was a small sample of the Canadian Breakfest Stout (which I was told is only available at the brewery), the Porter and on my last visit a Secret Agent IPA, which..being someone that isn't quite fond of IPA's yet, was quite tasty.

The service was excellent. The girls behind the bar are quite attentive and know their Founders beer. In the case of some breweries/bars the waitstaff is basically just there to pour the beer and serve you, but aren't familiar to a degree with their own product. At Founders though, the one bartender was able to describe the different IPA's and something about each of the beers mentioned that she liked about. The food also came out on a timely fashion also.

I ranked the selection a little lower than a 5 being that the past 2 times I was there, they were out of a few of the beers tried..but in a ways is understandable being if they are popular they don't last as long. Besides that though they had a decent selection ranging from your lighter beers, ipas and darker beers in one section, to the higher ABV's and specials that are sought after during different times. Basically something for everyone

The food also was quite well. On my first trip I had a "Make your own" sandwich that brought together the type of meat veggies and toppings that you were interested in according to each section. Mainly they have sandwiches and a few other types of food such as salads that are perfect for lunch and also dinner. The portion size was great too as you got plenty for your buck.

With that being said Founders provides a reasonable value for your buck environment. The beers are typical brewery establishment prices of $3.50 for a pint and I believe 3.25 for 12 oz. I'd gladly pay a price such as that for the great quality beer that is received!

Overall Founders is a great place and recommended to anyone who is a beer novice to beer lover. Basically everything a person looks for when attending a brewery is there, and with the constantly changing taps, a great place to return. If you're ever passing through Grand Rapids make sure to stop off at Founders as it's also easy to find. Prost!

beerguru15, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of steebo777
4.65/5  rDev +2%

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 +3.1%

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 +4.2%

BreakfastStout, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of sternamagrapha7x
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

sternamagrapha7x, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of DavidRandall
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%

I have been to Founder's three times. When I am in Grand Rapids for an event, most recently a Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game, I stop here for the food and beer. Since I can get the Centennial IPA, All Day IPA, Breakfast Stout and occasionally a few others in the local store, I get something different. This visit it was the Imperial Stout. A very good stout that poured dark, almost black.

The food has always been good and this time we got a beer cheese dip to share and I had a ham sandwich they were featuring. Sorry, I do not recall the name. All four of us liked the sound of it but I was the only one to order it. What scared everyone else away was that it had potato chips on the sandwich, yes on the sandwich. We thought they would be stale/soggy but the were kettle chips and they held up well with a good crisp crunch in every bite of the good sandwich.

The place is large just having expanded. A very large open dining room and a smaller area to the right as you walk in that has high top tables and a pool table and an additional bar. There is also a covered patio outside with heaters in the roof to make it very comfortable to sit out on a picnic table as we did last year. Watching snow floating down having a great sandwich and beer was very relaxing. A beer garden was another addition with the expansion.

DavidRandall, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of LuckyJohn
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

LuckyJohn, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of StoutHunter
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

StoutHunter, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of BeerdedHophead
5/5  rDev +9.6%

BeerdedHophead, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of jmich24
5/5  rDev +9.6%

jmich24, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of Filabee
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Filabee, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of Ncpogs
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Ncpogs, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of Kyrojack
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Kyrojack, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of kbeals
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%

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 -11.6%

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%

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%

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
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
100 out of 100 based on 743 ratings.