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:
102
Reviews:
31,357
Ratings:
131,628
PLACE STATS
Score:
97
Reviews:
307
Ratings:
1,045
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
4.55%
 
 
Taps:
18
Bottles/Cans:
7
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 307 | Ratings: 1,045
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 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

Photo of fern22
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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

Photo of Tjb14
3.88/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Swannee
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Photo of porters4life
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of stadmo1
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.25

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

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

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

Photo of DougC123
4.31/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Was in Grand Rapids for business. Stopped by Founders on a sunny fall afternoon with a couple of co-workers and sat in the patio bar. Great atmosphere, lots of activity. As it got colder they lit the heaters and fire pits. In addition to the whole lineup they had some taproom only offerings which were really good.
The sandwiches were excellent, although the "go pick it up yourself at the window" was an interesting take on food service. The servers were attentive and there was always someone checking on us. I'd go back a lot if I lived in the area.

 560 characters

Photo of kevindp9
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of VaTechPhilly
4.13/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Photo of SpartanJenks
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

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

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
4 out of 5 based on 131,628 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe