Founders Brewing Company

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BEER AVG
3.99/5
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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

(616) 776-1195 | map
www.foundersbrewing.com

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.

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BEER STATS
Beers:
102
Reviews:
30,349
Ratings:
127,822
PLACE STATS
Score:
97
Reviews:
305
Ratings:
1,031
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
4.77%
 
 
Taps:
18
Bottles/Cans:
7
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 305 | Ratings: 1,031
Photo of Big_Neezy
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Founders is committed to excellence and it shows. Everything they do is bold and confident and in Michigan beer scene, this is the place to be.

Cancel your evening your evening plans and get a ride because this place is worth a long sit. Their draft offerings are spectacular and catch them during certain seasons and you might be lucky enough to score the fabled KBS or CBS. While Founders in a bottle is great, the first hand tap room experience is even better because you're getting it from the source.

Menu is mostly sandwiches and they do not have a grill or fryer. They don't need to. While they're not in the deli business, those sandwiches are outrageous in flavor, quality and size. That's just the Founder's boldness coming through. Absolutely get a sandwich on the marble rye and with one of Founder's own beer mustard. Most sandwiches hover in the $7-10 range and it's great value for dollar. The double-decker is about $14 but it fed me twice for that price. The French bread pizzas are all the rage now but I'm a sandwich guy.

Service is kind of hit and miss. The place starts packing them in early in the day so you can always expect a crowd. Post work hours to get crowded so expect longer waits. I had very good service sitting at the bar but mediocre service from a bearded hipster who gave us the cold shoulder the whole time. Yes, we're tourists and no I don't have a man bun or mountain bike but my money still spends the same. However, most employees we have encountered are very nice and helpful.

Beer. The whole reason why you came speaks for itself. They will always have the standards (class 1) but venture out and try the seasonal stuff too. The Breakfast Stout is that much better from the tap as is the Rubaeus. I tend to stay in the Class 2 beers. Typically, if you order from the Class 3 list, you are limited in the order to either 1-2 glasses. This may account for limited quantity or even alcohol content. You come to enjoy, not get smashed.

Nice relaxing setting which has live music several days a week. The open mic music nights are great and showcases local talent. Note though, it can get very loud.

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Photo of Antg8989
3.46/5  rDev -21.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Not overly impressed with my visit. The best part was the food which was good. The beer selection was okay. The vibe was decent for a larger craft brewery/restaurant. The service killed our visit. (In a bad way).

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Photo of admiral64
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

One of the top breweries around. Great beer, great food, great service. Waiter actually sat at our table and talked beer with us! It was lunchtime. Definitely my favorite brewery. Go visit!

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Photo of barnzy78
4.11/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

A friend of mine and I finally made it over to Michigan to visit Founders Brewing Co. Leading up to the visit, customer service was great and we managed to score some tickets for a scheduled tour and tasting ($30), which turned out to be awesome. The tour and tasting was limited to 14 people, which seemed to be the perfect amount of people in order to hear everything our great tour guide, Luke, had to show and tell us along with allowing for conversation to be opened up during the tasting. The smaller group also gave it a VIP-ish vibe which was a bonus.

As for the place itself, we got there shortly after they opened and were greeted quickly by a server. There was plenty of room at both the bar and the multiple seating areas - but filled up very quickly by mid-afternoon. The beer list was exceptional featuring both year-round and limited release beers. The chips and guacamole we ordered was average.

Service was great, but got a little confusing when different servers rotated past our table asking if we needed anything - there must have been 5 or 6 different servers. Which was fine until the time we needed to get over to our tour. Nobody seemed to want to let us pay our tab. We asked 3 different servers and time kept ticking. We ended up being late for our tour because we kept waiting for our tab and we were also given the wrong meeting place for the tour by one of the servers. We were just hoping for a bit better communication by the servers and a quicker check-out.

All in all, we still had a great time, and those complaints could very well be isolated incidents. Before we left we checked out the store & bought some beer and a few knick-knacks. I really wanted to get the flat-billed brewery hat but I thought $28 was too expensive so I passed on it. I would definitely go back again.

 1,815 characters

Photo of Bleer
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

I went in the middle of the week during a work day. I couldn't believe that I was at Founders Brewery and only ha to share the place with maybe 15 people! Food was above what you would expect for a brewery. The bar, most importantly, was run by cool people who wanted to help. Lots of great beers on tap. Very laid back atmosphere.

 336 characters

Photo of DrewT
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Not really into Stouts but this beer is amazing! The chocolate and coffee flavors are on point! I'm glad I bought a 4 pack but upset I didn't buy more!

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Photo of tourdot
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Attended KBS day for the first time. Obviously it was busy but they did a nice job regulating the volume of people inside and it was easier to get food and beer than I expected. Having 2 bars open really made a difference. There wasn't much for table service at this event but the bar service was pretty solid. I enjoyed KBS, Backwoods Bastard, FIS, and Sumatra Mountain Brown. Ordered some spinach dip and chips at the walk up counter and found that stuff addicting. I would have eaten more but I was full of beer. Though it wasn't the normal everyday experience at Founders, it was great to finally make it there and enjoy some of the beer I've been drinking for a long time at the origin. Also, for as busy as it was, I was impressed with how cool, calm, polite, and friendly everyone was.

 800 characters

Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

The day I went there there was some St. Patrick's day celebration nearby, so the crowd naturally went to Founders to get their beer. The huge place was packed both inside and outside, but it was able to accommodate everyone! KBS on tap is AWESOME!

 247 characters

Photo of FEUO
4.75/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Love this place. Gets better every time, even if it keeps getting busier. They know how to run a brewpub. Food last time was fantastic. Beers have only gotten better. The vibe, energy, and hustle and bustle of the place is awesome for a big brewery. Felt cozy even if it was expansive.
Would stop in again anytime. May drive a couple hours on a random Sunday just for lunch.

 375 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

This place is impressive. HUGE operation. They run everything very efficiently. There are no guest taps, but why would they need them. Food that I had was excellent. Tons of sandwiches on the menu. Tons of draft options.Gift shop is awesome, and sells bottles, including singles. A world class facility.

 304 characters

Photo of bassfishingguy
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Founders definitely has some great beer, and some awesome sandwiches. There are usually numerous options on draft (and with 2 indoor bars, you can usually find quite varied options). Even on slow days, this place is still pretty busy.

The service is spotty, at best. I've found that about half of their bartenders/waiters/waitresses are great, and the other half are quite pretentious. Please don't act as though you're doing me the favor of serving me a beer.

After more than a few bad experiences, I've limited my Founders trips to special events only (Black Party, Cellar Raid, Firkin Fest, etc..). It's also worth noting that I've had more beer than I can remember get spilled all over me, which really makes me question their serving practices (ie over serving patrons).

 779 characters

Photo of NateDyk47
4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Pretty nice place. They always have a lot of good beers on tap, and the line to get beer is organized and moves pretty fast, even when it's crowded. My only complaint is that it's ALWAYS really busy, and near impossible to get a table during prime drinking hours since it's seat-yourself.

 288 characters

Photo of Uzarnayme
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Truth be told, never been here but there beers are without exception the very best anywhere. Only wish they'd open a brewery in Vermont so New England could partake in brews like the legendary CBS. Might have to import the water or something, all founders beers have a special taste to them. F-it, I'll just move to Michigan!

 325 characters

Photo of eifster82
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

I've been to Russian River, Toppling Goliath, 3Floyds, Cigar City and a few others... This one, Founders, takes the top spot. Beautiful facility, nice and large brewpub, good food, big selection of food and beer (they had KBS and CBS on draft when visited). There is no negative. I will be making plans to come back here again shortly.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.59/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

I get the feeling this place has been doing one thing, and making money doing it, so feels hey, why change what's not broken? But the whole set up of customer owns the entire floor is just unnecessarily chaotic. The place is a madhouse almost all the time, a lot of people are just sitting around holding seats waiting for friends because they know how awkward it can be to hover over other people to dive for their seats. The only thing that makes sense is the bar, but really, if they're going to offer food, they really need to learn from other brewpubs and seat people, take orders, and get a menu. They are so huge now, profitable and influential, having to act like you're in a cafeteria is just lame. The food is just okay too, not even worth the Disney World-esque struggle to get some. However, the point of being here is the beer selection, both annual offerings and oddball batches that you can't find anywhere else, and that doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of buzzy
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped here for lunch one day on the way through Grand Rapids. The place was buzzing both inside and outside. Sat at the bar and had a very good bowl of chili and a couple beers. Backwoods bastard was awesome. The servers behind the bar paid little attention to the customers unless your glass was empty.

 307 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.04/5  rDev -30.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.75 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Big place, kinda the main spot in town ya get the feel. Looks like it has a capacity person wise around 400. Big open area inside and out for lots of tables, lots of bricks, long bar inside, good gift shop with tons of disc golf stuff. Prices could be a little better on what would be you advertising for them.

They don't really leave a lot of variety though. I had some single hop experimental stuff that frankly should remain that way, and I think backwoods bastard was the only barrel aged beer they had available. Service sucks if you're not local. Then again the Tigers were getting destroyed so maybe that is why they couldn't be bothered. Food was ok, I had a sandwich that wasn't all that. They make really good beer, but this isn't really much of a destination type of place.

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Photo of Beerenner79
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Good tour, very cool tap room and patio. I usually don't like IPA's but their All Day IPA is now one of my favorite beers. Try the spicy chicken sandwich.

 154 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Huge brewpub location with a stage, wide sprawling bar, tons of tables, connected gift shop/second bar/pool table area, massive outdoor seating. Killer selection of in house brews, great sandwich/snack menu. Must visit.

 219 characters

Photo of tripledbrew
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

I have visited three times, took nine hours to get there. The beer, food are great. The service was a little slow, but I attribute that to the fact that they were slammed. The tap selection has always been really good.

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Photo of WetAndForget
4.76/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Amazing sandwiches and awesome winding bar rail. Went for KBS release 2015 and it couldn't of been smoother. After grabbing KBS we sat in their outdoor area and had CBS delivered to us, it couldn't of been better.

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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 Chris912
4.31/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Been here pre-renovation and post-renovation. It was great before, now it’s simply incredible. This should be a highlight of any brewery tour in Brew City Michigan. Food is great, usually order yourselves at the counter and pick it up when ready. Bar staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Will be back any time I’m in the area.

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Photo of Glenn_Cole_BTBC
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Easily one of my favorite breweries I've ever been to. Amazing food selection. Amazing beer selection with a lot of beers unique to the brewpub like Gold Dust Woman and a Nitro Pale Ale. Great, quick, friendly service. Definitely a must on any craft beer lovers bucket list!

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Photo of MaxT
4.95/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Tasting tour was a very fun time and a great anniversary gift from my wife...sipping on great Founders' year-rounds, followed by Bolt Cutter, which was a nice treat. Atmosphere was awesome--Herbie Hancock was an obvious plus. People were great. Good food and great beer. Literally, no complaints, only compliments. A must if you can make it to Michigan.

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
3.99 out of 5 based on 127,822 ratings.
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