Founders Brewing Company

BEER AVG
4/5
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
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
101
Ratings:
133,635
Reviews:
31,952
PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Ratings:
1,063
Reviews:
311
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
4.55%
 
 
Taps:
18
Bottles/Cans:
7
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,063 |  Reviews: 311
Reviews by CortexBomb:
Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

(New Founders)

Most of the old review still applied to new Founders, so I haven't removed it, just scroll down. The new building is located downtown a few blocks from the old one, and is a long, flat facility. The biggest difference now is scale: there are numerous bartenders, many more tables, the bar is gargantuan, &c. They also serve food on a more dedicated scale (i.e.: the pay window ala Bell's) and have outside seating, which will be nice during the warmer months.

There are things brought over from the old building, which I appreciated. The chalk boards showing the brews, the peanuts / pretzels sign, and the stained glass of the pints are all incorporated into the new bar. You can still throw peanut shucks on the ground.

Basically, it's new Founders. I still will stop by when I'm in the Grand Rapids area, but I feel that something was lost in the transition to the new facility. They still brew great beer, the staff is still friendly, but everything is on a larger, more impersonal scale. Old Founders felt like that neighbourhood place where you could stop in and see your friends, and the sheer scale of the new facility makes me feel like that is going to be hard to recapture.

I wish them well though, and I hope they can elbow into the MI market the same way Bell's has, they certainly deserve it.

(Old Founders...in the Brassworks)

Founders operates an ale house downtown GR where one can pick up whatever is currently available in bottles, or get a fresh pint or growler right out of the tap.

The ale house is located in the bottom of the large industrial warehouse style building that also houses the brewery, some of which is visible through large glass windows in the tap room.

Inside the tap room things are dimly lit. Several tables are scattered around and there is a small bar, a fridge with some bottles, and a pool table. It's bare bones, but it fits my idea of an ale house: no frills, just beer, conversation and billiards. The "throw your peanut shucks on the ground" convention is also excellent, and really adds to the throwback feel of the taproom. (Legacy note: Old Founders is my 5.0 atmosphere rating, I judge all other bars by the vibe this place had: small, intimate, great beer, not polished but not dirty either.)

There are always a handful of brews on tap, amongst them their seasonals as well as other stand-bys such as Breakfast Stout and so forth and special, tap room only offerings.

For sitting down and having a beer, the service is great. The servers were quick to help us, and more than happy to dole out samples and water as we needed them along the way. I previously bought a couple of growlers from them, and was mildly dissatisfied with their lack of bags to put them in, but I saw some growlers going out sealed up from daylight in boxes recently, so perhaps that is no longer an issue. Overall service was quite good though.

In terms of value, the place is decent, but a little higher than you might expect. Regular offerings, up to and including Dirty Bastard, are 3.50$ for an American pint. The more esoteric special offerings such as the old ales or the special Belgian Razz they have right now are more (more like 4-5$ per snifter). For a bar the prices are quite good, particularly on the heavier, more flavourful offerings, but they seem a little higher than the average micro tap room.

Basically, this is a great place to stop by if you want to go to an old style bar and have some high quality beer in the process. Absolutely not the kind of place where many mainstream sports bar types will feel at home though, and not nearly as over the top as Bell's Eccentric down in Kazoo....but also much more laid back and genuine feeling.

 3,715 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of ljc973
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

There's not one bad thing I could say about this place; huge, open space with an awesome beer garden, great food and (obviously) beer, with some special offerings on tap. Service was great, and the shop had Blis maple syrup in stock, which is killer. Definitely recommend.

 272 characters

Photo of heddar33
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Michiganman2325
4.94/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.76/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of ZEB89
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of cowboytroy32
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Photo of meghan_erikson
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

I'm not usually a huge fan of Porter style beer, but this one was so delicious!
Dark black pour with great brown head. Nose of coffee and chocolate. Flavor is big on roasted malt and nice bite of spice at the end. Great balance and not too much of any one flavor. Nice texture that leads to another sip.

 303 characters

Photo of parnelli_86
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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

Photo of NicholasL
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Greenstone
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Photo of AnneMarie
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I really enjoyed the All day IPA. It grew on me more as I started to drink it. It was the perfect amount of hop and it was not too bitter.

138 characters

Photo of Dabucadog
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Ok, outside vibe is off the chain. The place can be a little too big and so Hop Cat is better is you need the cozy craft beer thingy, but this place delivers in spades across the spectrum.

 188 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Went thwle Friday before the big KBS event and it was packed. Found a chair at the bar which I shared with my wife. The beer was amazing, headlined by the BA Crumudgeon. Plenty of carryout with cheap prices. Growler fills for many. Tons of different beer. Very cool vibe with an amazing porch out front. A wonderful visit. Had an awesome ruben sandwich.

 361 characters

Photo of drbenderdo
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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

Photo of kreg02
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of PhillyBoy23
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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

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

Some of the best food I've ever eaten with a lot of beers to choose.

68 characters

Photo of RAFH
3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

I loved going to Founders for my birthday in 2016 with my Dad and step Mom. The restaurant/bar was big and the bartenders were nice.....especially when I told them it was my birthday, because one of the bartenders gave me a birthday gift with a dozen+ Founders items. I loved all of it. The store was nice. I got a KBS glass and keg handle. Their menu was focused primarily on sandwiches. All sandwiches were solid, but no other specialty pizzas or any other "fun" foods. Parking was expensive at the meters in front, but Founders would voucher your parking if you went to the lot a block and a half away.

 613 characters

Photo of kbarnes9
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
4 out of 5 based on 133,635 ratings.
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