Founders Brewing Company

BEER AVG
3.97/5
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

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:
105
Ratings:
134,913
Reviews:
32,297
PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Ratings:
1,069
Reviews:
313
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
4.55%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,069 |  Reviews: 313
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 GregKobeArntz24
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of HopHEAD1522
4.75/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

An epic temple to beer, with a great range of taps, and a nice menu full of delicious food options. All the standard options from Founders are around, but the real pleasure is to explore options not easily available elsewhere. All sorts of beer styles are on exhibit, and many have slightly tweaked elements that are the brewery's hallmark. That some of these brewing techniques have become standard issue of American breweries is a testament to Founders' reach. Definitely worth the visit.

 494 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.01/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

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

My second favorite brewery.

27 characters

Photo of Brianz81
3.88/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 1.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Having to wait/find a seat is a bit much. Sure, they have great beer and good food, but wow..... Good luck trying to get a spot for more than two. You eventually feel so bad about yourself and have worn yourself out looking for a spot, that you order from the counter, and eat on the steps. Not the best place for a family or group. The staff is good, once you're in a spot.

 374 characters

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

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
3.97 out of 5 based on 134,913 ratings.
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