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Grand Rapids Brewing Co

Not Rated.
Grand Rapids Brewing CoGrand Rapids Brewing Co
BEER AVG
3.51/5
Based on:
14 Beers
54 Ratings
Place Score: 81
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 14.54%
Taps: 8
Bottles: 20
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

3689 28th St
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49512
United States
phone: (616) 285-5970
// CLOSED //



Notes:
Located directly in front of Centerpointe Mall (the former Eastbrook Mall) on 28th St.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mgbickel:
Photo of mgbickel
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This is another place that was not on my radar but I noticed it while driving along 28th and decided to pop in for a quick taste...

I was there on a weekday, around 2pm. I think I was the only person in the entire establishment. The setting is rustic/classic brew pub. Lots of natural wood, bright, opened...sports bar-esque. The bar area has tables and a short, straight bar against one wall. The brewing area is toward the back of the room.

I talked to the brewer for a while as I sampled their Oatmeal Stout. He, along with the hostess and waitress I spoke with were very friendly and courteous. The brewer knew his stuff and spoke highly of other MI breweries.

They seemed to have a rotating selection, but it seems to encompass all styles from light to dark.

Not a bad place at all...sort of a family restaurant meets a sports bar and grill. Probably worth checking out.

More User Reviews:
Photo of todisht
3.05/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

This place closed down a month or two ago. The name and brewing equipment were recently purchased by the owner of Hopcat and several other Grand Rapids bars. He's planning on reopening downtown in the old Founders Brewing Company space in the Brassworks building. They are also going to add a Kansas style BBQ restaurant. I'm excited to see how this pans out. Could be great to have another quality brewery downtown. Having my office in the same building could be devastating to my wallet and my waistline, however.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Stopped in here with sweem to give it the old sniff test.

Pretty much cookie cutter brew pub/restaurant look and feel. You would barely even know they brew beer if you didn't look hard enough. Bright and clean.

Handful of house beers on tap. I settled on a milk stout. Served at decent temperature in a standard pint. Bartender was friendly.

We didn't eat but there were a few things on the menu that sounded interesting.

Overall nothing really stood out for me. Pretty much a one and done place for me. If I lived in the area it might serve me well but nt as a destination from afar.

Photo of sweemzander
3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2

Finally got around to visiting this place officially; always overlooked it when Founders was so close as well.

The bar area was a comfy looking place. With the restaurant part of the place on the other side, it was definitely quiet and easy going for a friday night, but I had no complaints since other places were jammed packed, so this was a nice change of pace. Not a whole lot on tap, but I did enjoy their Espresso stout. Food looked intriguing, but as I had already eaten, I did not partake.

Overall, a decent place to grab a beer when the mood hits if you are nearby, but I can see in terms of their selection why I have overlooked here in the past.

Photo of TheBear11D
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

The atmosphere is typical of a brew pub which I happen to enjoy.

The servers I have had with each visit have been good, but nothing that was overly impressive. I appreciate that they have all been kind.

Grand Rapids Brewing Co. brews their own beers which are actually quite enjoyable. They do not have many of them available, but they are worth trying.

The food was notable! I absolutely love good pub food, but I have been to plenty of pubs that have mediocre food and this is not one of them. I have had a few different dishes here and each and every time I have been completely stuffed and very satisfied.

They have excellent specials for birthdays so if you are celebrating your birthday soon this is a good place to be.

Photo of aerobiz
3.1/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 1

Stopped in one afternoon with the family. Definitely a family-friendly restaurant. I would liken it to a Ruby Tuesday/TGIF.

Food selection was decent and prices were reasonable. Service was fine.

Now the food...it tasted okay, but nothing great. Here is what really bothered me - my wife ordered a sandwich and asked them to leave off the onions. The waitress said she couldn't do that because "they come prepackaged and are microwaved in the package. I can't take off the stuff. You will have to pick it off".

REALLY!

I looked for a hidden camera, wondering if we were being Punked.

With so many other choices in the area, I won't waste my time here again.

Photo of beerguru15
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Stumbled on this brewery by accident while passing through,saw the sign and thought why not as it was a new one to try.

I stopped in around lunch time and there were a few people present, not much though. The brewery kind of had a typical restaurant feel with various objects on the wall, but was inviting.

Since I was passing through I only had one of the beers, which was an American Hefeweizen, it wasn't bad and seemed pretty generic of the other ones I've tried. Basically the beer was good, but nothing that made me go "wow" I'll have to try a few others to get a better example of what the brewery has to offer

The service was pretty good, the bartender was very attentive and polite. When questioned about the different styles she didn't really have any recommendations nor helpful in that category. The couple next to me ordered food and I noticed that it was delivered on a good timely fashion.

The selection was average. They had your typical light, amber, ipa, brown ale and a stout I believe, with the Hefe being a "seasonal beer" Nothing that really screamed out making them different than any other brewery. But in a ways that's perfect for non-craft beer drinkers and novices.

I ended up not trying the food, Judging by the menu though they had a good selection, ranging from salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers and more of the dinner type entrees.

the value was a little pricey I believe...the food seemed to be normal but some were a little more than usual, when presented the bill I found out that a pint is $4 which was a little much for "average beer"

Overall not a bad place to go and would be enjoyable to go to with friends and just for lunch. Grand Rapids Brewing is actually located next to one of GR's malls so was a nice surprise to see. I would return here, mainly to see what else is offered at a different season and to check out the food.

Photo of jt31914
2.48/5  rDev -26.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5 | food: 3.5

The food was quite good; I got all you can eat ribs and they were great, but the beer was terrible! It was all far too mild and seemed to be meant for people accustomed to only drinking coors light or dirty bath water. This place reminded me a lot of the Rock Bottom brewing chain, but with worse beer and better food. The atmosphere was okay, it is kind of cozy with a bit of a rustic feel, but it's nothing special. The Grand Rapids Brewing Company is good just as a restaurant, but the beer sucks.

Photo of guitarfacepete
2.7/5  rDev -19.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 3

Atmosphere: I wandered in here after a brief visit to the Hideout... I wish I had stayed at the Hideout. The GRBC was empty and looked like a Ruby Tuesday's bar.

Quality: The pale ale tasted like light brown water. The dark ale tasted like slightly browner water. The seasonal was a brown ale... I had a taster. It tasted a lot like the pale, only a little more brown. This is not to say the beers tasted malty, hoppy, roasted, or good. They just tasted brown.

Service: The bartender was attentive and conversational. The service was easily the highlight of the visit.

Selection: Pils, Red, Pale, Dark, seasonal (Brown). There were a couple of guest bottles, but they weren't particularly exciting. I have a feeling this place makes it's living off the hop-fearing lunch crowd.

Food: I had the herbed rotisserie chicken. It was okay. I was actually impressed that the broccoli wasn't soaked in butter. The bartender brought me a loaf of bread with some tasty herb butter... but I did have to wonder why they bothered with herb butter when they can't get their beer right.

value: for the money, I'd rather get a pizza and a six pack of Founders and sit alone in my hotel room.

Photo of TCgoalie
2.65/5  rDev -21.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

With a name such as Grand Rapids Brewing Company, you are thinking this place should be pretty great. After all, this is the home of Founders.
This place is honestly a disappointment enough to keep me away. The beer is average at best. I envision a Bud Light drinker coming here when they want a sipper, while a beer enthusiast may come here when they want to know what a low end beer tastes like.
The food was nothing special at prices higher than what you are getting. Service was average, nothing memorable.

Photo of WakeandBake
3.83/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

October 4, 2008
Stopped in here with the family for lunch. They have a special lunch menue $5.99 lunch includes a soda,the food was Very good. I had the beer sampler and the 6th all the beers were so/so nothing special pretty average,took home a growler of the Octoberfest,not bad, Our waitress was Super nice,knowledgable,and did an awesome job ! The place was clean and quiet with some soft old time music playing in the background. All in all we had fun and left full ,we'll be back.Would be much better if they were more serious about the beer.

Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I went here on a Sunday at about 2 in the afternoon. The brewer was always very friendly at the MBG Fests and said they'd have bottles on hand. So I called about the seasonals a few days earlier and was told a Tripel and Lambic were on, sounds great.

I didn't sit at the bar because of smoking so I had to deal with screaming kids instead. It's taking a hit on atmosphere for that alone. It had a Red Robin-esque vibe about the place.

The waitress was very friendly and a bit on the slow side, but they were a bit busy.

They had about 5 regular taps and 2 or 3 seasonals. I ordered the Raspberry Lambic which was a bit cloying, but I've had worse.

I ordered a burger which was probably the best thing about the place.

They didn't have bottles because the brewer quit and the new guy is settling in.

Photo of snafui
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped into GRB last Thursday with some co-workers. It was around 6:30 PM and we sat in the bar area. The bar was very smoky and I was really turned off. It's so weird being in a state where smoking is still legal inside. It makes you really appreciate smoke-free atmospheres. I would have rated the atmosphere lower but they don't deserve it - I'm the non-smoker going into a smoky bar so it's my fault.
My co-workers and I only stayed for one beer. I was surprised to see a raspberry lambic on the menu and had to give it a try. As I waited for it it occurred to me I may be in for an upset. The place didn't seem like the type of brewery that would be aging lambics for years at a time. Sure enough I got the beer and was pretty uninspired. The acidity was very sharp and it was cloyingly sweet. In my inexperienced-brewer-mind this beer needed a few years on it to mellow and dry out to be drinkable - unless they used lactic acid in the beer rather than inoculating.
My co-workers got a brown ale of some sort and the silver foam. Neither were too impressed. I tried the brown ale and it was super light body, almost watery. Probably low end of the style, which is fine. And there was a little confusion about the silver foam's style.

Anyway it just didn't strike me as a place I'd ever want to go back to but if someone wanted to visit I'd go with them again to sample the rest of the beer and food.

For food we had an appetizer sampler which was really good. Then we settled up and left, leaving some lambic behind that I just couldn't finish.

If in the grand rapids area, make sure to hit Founders and HopCat before forming an opinion of the beer scene here.

Photo of GRPunk
4/5  rDev +18.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The atmosphere is good. The decor is very beer inspired and comfortable. The bar area can get a little smokey.

The head brewer is often in and makes the rounds of the restaurant and seems to be genuinely interested in your comments. The bartenders generally know their stuff and are more than happy to give you a sample. Servers also tend to be knowledgeable of both the food and beer. There can be a bit of a turnover in staff. I think a lot of the waitstaff is made up of the college crowd.

The selection is pretty good. The regular lineup is a nice mix of lighter lagers, a brown ale, and a red ale. There's always a solid pale ale or IPA on tap and cask (the recipe varies from time to time). The rotating taps generally have a seasonal flair. Everything on tap can also be taken home in a growler.

The food is pretty solid from appetizers to dessert. Good burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and plenty of comfort foods (think heaping helpings of meatloaf and mashed potatoes).

Everything is pretty reasonably priced. By purchasing a mug club membership you're even better off with discounts.

Photo of livin4jc
3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I was in Grand Rapids for a stopover and was pleasantly surprised to find this restaurant just down the street from the hotel. I visited at about 7:00 on a Sunday night. There were a couple of families there (one with small kids, the other with high school/college age kids) and a couple groups of 20 somethings. Overall, it was busier than I would have expected on a Sunday night.

The restaurant was very clean and quite large. The service was excellent. The waitress I had was very attentive. She knew a little about the beers on tap and was able to briefly explain the beers, which was quite interesting.

Overall, though, the restaurant had a chain feel to it. They did have a lot of beer memorabilia decorating the place, however, it almost appeared to me to be a little page from the Applebee's decor. But then again, it isn't the look but the product within, right?

I had a burger. It was quite good and I enjoyed their fries, but wasn't anything unique. There beers were good, but not impressive. I don't know if I'd make a special trip to Grand Rapids for this place, but if I lived closer, it would be a regular stop.

Photo of rsyberg01
3.05/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 1

Another stop after DLD '07.

Stopped here to get a decent meal with a beer. Sat down and it reminded me of a chain restaurant. I ordered the Rye Cru and it was actually really good. For dinner I had the Gyro...big mistake. The meat on the gyro is frozen pre-sliced and not so tasty. Also ordered the mussels for an app and that was also a huge mistake. All the food here seems like it's pre-frozen from GFS. Not a big fan. Friend I was with got a flight with the Pooh Beer, Dunkel, Rye Cru and two others I cant remember. All of which were pretty good from what I remember. ( I dont remember any bad beer to be more precise ) I do not recommend this place if you plan to eat, but if you want to tip a pint or two, its worth a try.

Photo of scoobybrew
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

My wife and I took her sister and brother-in-law here around the holidays for dinner and some beer tasting as they live in the Grand Rapids area. It has a cozy and relaxed feel to the place. The beer is fairly average in my opinion, with the pale ale being the best choice, I think. The food was very good; many of the menu selections were great for pairing with their house beers.

Overall, I think it's a great restaurant with good beer brewed on the premises. I wouldn't make a stop just for the brew though.

Photo of nortmand
4.13/5  rDev +22.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Whenever the wife and I make it to Grand Rapids, I'm usually here, waiting for her to finish shopping in the mall that shares a parking lot.

Beers were somewhat better than the average brewpub. Nothing spectacular, but balanced and fairly flavorful. The scotch ale was noteworthy, though.

I'm usually there early on Saturday and sit at the bar, so I've gotten excellent service, don't know what its like busy, though.

Very wide selection of beers, you can tell that they're trying to push the boundaries of standard brewpub fare.

Food was pretty typical chain restaurant fare, but it was solid and reasonably priced.

Overall, worth stopping in for a meal before making your way to Founder's, also fairly close to B&B liquors, the incoming Old Chicago and Penzey's spice, so the general area has some merit, although traffic is usually quite heavy and it ain't exactly the prettiest part of town.

Photo of gmfessen
4/5  rDev +18.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Very nice place, with a German brewing sort of theme. The quality of the beer and food was rather good, as well as their service. The wait staff was very friendly, although I had to coax beer information from the bartender. The selection of beer is usually five different beers, in my case Silver Foam, Abbey Road IPA, River City Red, Lumberman's Dark and Oatmeal Stout. I purchased the sampler and tried all of the above, but I found that the sampler was more expensive and offered less variety than other brewpubs. I ordered a cheddar ale soup that has in it their Silver Foam ale. It was pretty tasty, slightly spicy and very hearty. My girlfriend ordered a white chicken chili that she also gave high marks to. We were given free complementary whole grain loaf of bread with a homemade (I assume) garlic butter. It was very good, and free which is always good. Overall, I would have to say that I really enjoyed my stop at this brewpub and will definitely make a point to stop back again in the future.

Photo of woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This was an immense place, located along a major shopping center and easily accessed via the # 28 (eastbound) bus. It was easily identifiable by the two grain silos on the west end of the building, which were part of a little courtyard area.

On the way in, I passed through a vestibule and across a carpet featuring their logo and into a huge entryway. There was a cabinet with logo items for sale to the right and beyond that were the washrooms. There was an immense dining area, which was accessible by making a left oblique. To the hard left was a waiting area with benches and to the direct left was the entryway to the bar area. As I headed to the bar (naturally), the German influence was obvious, with a long, snaking bar with an immense wood and glass back bar, flanked by two wooded barrels that were used to run their tap lines through. Above the center of the bar were a couple of blackboards, one for “Beer On Tap” and the other for a sammich and beer special after 1600 hours. Above the right side of the bar was a white board detailing “Beers on Tap”, “Beer to Go”, and “Get Some Sliders”. To the left of the bar were a bunch of high tables and chairs and along the wall were booth seating. Seated at the bar, the copper-jacketed brewhouse and four fermenters were on view, behind glass, off to the right. There were lots of empty growlers on display ringing the space. I found myself wondering if this was a midwestern phenomenon. If so, I liked it and have hijacked the concept for use at LNCBC. Also, they had a good bit of Breweriana on display, mostly advertising reproductions, including one for Weisbrod & Hess in Philadelphia, which is now the home of Yards B.C. I struck up a casual conversation with a fellow at the bar when he commented on my patch jacket, which was nice, since company had been at a premium in Ann Arbor.

I cannot say as how I was truly blown away by their beers. I sampled the Silver Foam (light pilsener); Abbey Road IPA; River City Red; Lumberman Dark; Clockwork Orange; and the Scotch Ale. I finally settled on the cask-conditioned Pale Ale. However, the Scotch Ale was interesting, with notes of vanilla and a hot mouthfeel.

Photo of mcallister
3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This was actually right next to the hotel I stayed in. I'd say it used to be a Max and Ermas or Chilis before as it looks like a chain restraunt.

The service was pretty slow and our waitress didn't really know much about the beer. The menu however had some interesting things but was a tad overpriced. Overall the food was very good.

I think I would have liked the atmosphere more if I hadn't visited Bell's, Founders, New Holland, The Hideout, Dark Horse, and a few other places that really stood above this place.

Beers were average and nothing out of the ordinary in the selection when I was there. They do have a rotating cask which was pretty good. Worth a try.

Photo of sopor
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Nic looking place with lots of wood and brick decoration. Brewery with copper Tuns visible inbetween the bar and restaurant areas. Dark greens and reds dominate the color scheme. Beer prices are good, kegs are available, and the beer is served at cellar temp! Here's the rundown on the beer sampler I had:
-Centennial Silver Foam - nice pale lager with strong cereal malt citrus tones and grassy hops
-Pale Ale - this beer changes, this time around the bar-tender described it as a British Style IPA. Light cereal malt, grassy hops. Overhopped Bitter. Pretty good, I took a growler home.
-River City Red - Light amber cereal malts balanced grassy hops, some german style malt sweetness?
-Lumberman's Dark - Light, but roasted dark malt with hints of chocolate.
-Coffee Cream Stout - Seasonal, very sweet and creamy but a moderately light body, hints of coffee.

Server was not super knowledgable on the beer, but the Bartender knew his stuff. Make sure to ask about the beer, because except for the Silver Foam, River City, and Lumberjack's, everything else changes! There is a "Pale Ale Tap" which will cover tha gambit from an English Bitter, to an American IPA. The seasonal tap also always changes.

Overall the beer was good, but not great, and definitely not exceptional. There was a also a Lambic that I believe was on gravity-pull/cask, that I didn't try.

FOOD! YUMMY! I had a Hangar's Steak which had been marinated in Porter, sliced into chunks and served with garlic mashed potatoes. Also had a bowl of Porter & Onion soup, which was similar to French Onion and was very good! Even the bread was good. My sister-in-law was not overly impressed with her veggie-burger, but she did finish it. OVerall nice menu selection, upscale American food with lots of beer-flavored dishes. Not cheap, a dinner could be 12-25 dollars, but you get what you pay for here!

Atmosphere is family friendly, yet fun enough to have a good time with the boys. No smoking in the whole place? (not confirmed) Decorated with lots of old brewing and Grand Rapids related pictures and paraphenalia.

Definitely a good place to go for a nice (not fancy) dinner with some brewery fresh beer.

Photo of Kane
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Nice atmosphere, after an initial short coming of having to find a hostess ourselves, service was decent thereafter. Sat in the dining area, and had the beer sampler. On tap that night was the Clockwork Orange Belgian Wit, Centennial Silver Foam, Boylen's Bitter Extreme, River City Red, and the Lumberjack Dark (I think). Very good, though I could have certainly done without the Centennail Silver Foam (tasted very generic). Food was very good. I ordered a steak/potato pancake dinner, which was very tasty, and my wife had the chicken, which she also enjoyed. Fairly pricey, but the food was good. Again, didn't have a chance to stop in the bar, but the dining area was decent, we were in the middle, and didn't really notice any of the things bolted onto the walls, as the previous reviewers. Decent, might recommend it once, probably won't be back, but would stop by once in a while if I were local.

Photo of trumick
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Nice atmosphere, there is a bar featuring all of their beers separate from the dinning area. They have their regular beers and always have the seasonals too. There is also a full service bar with the spirits and macros too. The people were all very nice and helpfull. They were all knowledgeable about the food and the beer. They pair food together with their beers on the menu. The food is quite nice I have had several items from the menu and most of it was to my liking. Nice place to go for dinner or just to sit in the bar and watch the game. Their beers are nice for the most part, however they can be a bit inconsistant. The stout always tastes different when I go there, sometimes better sometimes worse.

Photo of redmosquito
2.55/5  rDev -24.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 1.5

This was my first visit to the pub located off of one of the busier shopping districts in Michigan. It's in a good location and it's a nice looking restaurant with hops growing on trellices near the patio. The inside was equally attractive, and it seems spacious and sprawling. We sat in the restaurant side, which once we sat down, seemed like any chain restaurant.

From the minute we walked in, however, it seemed the quality of the service would leave a little something to be desired as the hostess stared at us mutely, instead of greeting us. Our waitress was better, but just average.

Worst than the service was the food. Average, at best, bar food, served at gourmet NYC bistro prices. My wife and I each had a burger (w/ chips, fries were extra), and salad, and I had ONE beer, for just over $30. You read that correctly $30. The salad was good, the burger was just okay.

I gave a 3 for quality and selection because the beer was of a good quality and the beer selection was good, but the quality of the experience was poor as was the overall food selection. I've visited other restaurants in this chain and have been happy I was just disappointed with GRBC.

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Grand Rapids Brewing Co in Grand Rapids, MI
81 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.