Founders Brewing Company

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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
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:
101
Reviews:
30,457
Ratings:
128,291
PLACE STATS
Score:
97
Reviews:
305
Ratings:
1,027
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: 1,027
Reviews by Gigantis:
Photo of Gigantis
4.18/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I had only been to the new Founders location once since they moved from Monroe, where it was always a favorite of mine even though it was not within walking distance. Well, their beer has only improved since then and so has their location.

The first time I tried to go with my wife, it was too crowded to sit anywhere and actually quite a bit of the standing room was taken too. It was loud as hell, but what do you expect at eight on a Saturday? It took forever, but I purchased a growler for six bucks and filled it with Double Trouble IPA, which was enjoyed immensely at a friend's house later on.

I went in about a week later just to fill the growler up on my way to a get-together. It was four o'clock on a Saturday and there was actually room at the bar this time. I took the opportunity to take in the surroundings this time. It's a really cool space - a spacious, high-ceilinged beer hall with a window at the far end through which you can see one of their stainless steel vats. In front of this window is a stage where they were setting up for a show that would, presumably, take place that evening. It was still loud as hell, so the only gripe I can really make about the space is that the sounds reverberate throughout and, I imagine, would make it difficult to have a discussion there. There was only one bartender working behind the long, zig-zagging bar and it took a pretty long time to get the growler filled; and understandably so as the poor bastard was overworked manning that bar and orders like mine by himself.

I went in to actually take in a beer or two after work recently. It was five on a Wednesday and the place was about half-full and subdued, which was great for me. There was, once again, only one person working behind the bar and she got to me when she could. There are two huge chalk boards up behind the bar that constitute a beer menu. At Founders, there are three tiers of beer: their old standbys (D. Bastard, Centennial IPA, etc.), their more intricate regular beers (Breakfast Stout, Imperial Stout, etc.) and their "specialty brews" (in this instance, Canadian Breakfast, Backwoods Bastard and Mountain Maple Brown). The prices for the regular beers are quite reasonable (about 4 bucks for a pint). It is 5.50 for a pint of tier two beer and I paid that for an Imperial Stout. It was fantastic.

The only real problem I can cite on this visit is the prices of specialty beers. I was feeling good after my Imperial, so I shelled out $5.50 for a 8oz Backwoods (also great). For a 12oz it costs $7.50, which seems a little steep to me but I guess you pay for quality, which Backwoods certainly is. The 8oz drink came in a half-filled brandy snifter.

I ordered a sandwich off of their food menu called the Devil Dancer after their beer of the same name. It was really a great sandwich. $8 for a big, hearty sandwich that skimps on nothing. Founders' deli menu can be given to you or you can look at a big board over a window where you could place an order if you were one of the unfortunates standing around. God only knows where you'd eat it though!

Overall, Founders seems like a good place and I think my coworkers and I are going there this Friday after work. I hope that we can find a place to sit - there are certainly lots of tables but they fill up right quick.

Pros
- The beer is top drawer, as is the grub
- Good, upbeat atmosphere
- Beautiful, open beer hall with no annoying decorations
- Non-smoking

Cons
- Gets pretty damn busy, from what I can see - and is loud
- Service is spotty; no fault of the staff - there just weren't enough of them
- The specialty beer is expensive, I feel (for $7.50 at least gimme a pint!)

*It should be noted that while I felt that the tier 3 beers are a little of the pricey side, they are very worthy and, really people, it isn't as if you can get 'em anywhere else.

**I dropped my growler outside of Hopcat - before filling it up, thank god - and will definetely buy another one.

 3,973 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
3.97/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of chuckgietzen
4.18/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of bwbetts
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Scotty_Karate
3.89/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

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

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.

 2,169 characters

Photo of seanchai
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of LaGuarns
4.14/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

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

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).

 212 characters

Photo of Bethaz83
4.86/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of FlaviusG
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of JuanAlberto
3.6/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 5

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of AlexFreudenberg
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

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!

 189 characters

Photo of cadaugherty
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

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 BretMC987
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Feldpausch
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Apok23
4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of TFB5
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of jpbolton
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Poloplaya
4.11/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
97 out of 100 based on 305 ratings.
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