Founders Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
BA SCORE
3.97/5
Very Good
133,663 Ratings
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:
Mahou San Miguel has a 30% ownership stake since 2014.


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
Reviews:
31,826
Ratings:
133,663
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
4.54/5
Reviews:
317
Ratings:
1,094
pDev:
10.13%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,094 |  Reviews: 317
Reviews by Gigantis:
Photo of Gigantis
4.18/5  rDev -7.9%
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 Erjadams
5/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of rmklaw711
4.89/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

best scotch ale I've had so far.....Belhaven being the second

61 characters

Photo of Brianito
5/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Eman17
4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Photo of Jim67
4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Great place. Get there early to find a spot to park. Don't miss the store.

76 characters

Photo of JLMX
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Chackman151
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of Nat1975
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Penguins66
4.64/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Founders is an annual pilgrimage for my wife and I. Unlike some other popular breweries (I'm looking at you, 3 Floyds and Dark Horse), Founders has made significant investments in recent years to expand the size of their flagship tap room. And they need it. Business is brisk from the time they open until the time they close, any day of the week. If I have one criticism, it's that their lone parking lot is way too small, and thus parking is always a challenge, even on weekdays.

Aside from that, and assuming you can find a seat inside or on the extensive patio outside, you're in for a treat. Usually there are at least 20 beers on tap, including some that are exclusive to the tap room. The quality speaks for itself. Prices, in our opinion, are very reasonable. For service you basically order from whoever walks by your table. That takes a little getting used to, but we found it to be quite efficient. Founders also has a decent food menu if you feel like eating.

Founders is proof that expanding and maintaining a high level of quality don't have to be mutually exclusive. We love them as a business, a destination...and of course, a brewery.

 1,155 characters

Photo of aclockworkchris
4.95/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of grahamgillespie
4.53/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of tmryan21
4.54/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Krajnyak
4.54/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Apep89
4.78/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of oldmankoch
4.16/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Muss42
4.18/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of metacog42
3.93/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of InspireMI
4.11/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of QianBokSubai
4.18/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Good selection of beer, including rock-solid mainstays and esoteric limited releases. Probably the largest capacity brewery in Grand Rapids. Great atmosphere and a good food menu, as well.

 188 characters

Photo of cmurphy7
3.29/5  rDev -27.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 2.75

no holds barred when it comes to finding a seat/table on a weekend. Seriously, I thought mid-westerners were supposed to be nice. I guess that does not apply when it comes to their average tasting micro breweries. I will past on this visit next time around.

 260 characters

Photo of West_Chester_Ale_Tester
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Another one of those "you've just gotta go" places. A showed up right on their 11am Saturday time. A small crowd had already gathered, waiting to get inside. The brewery is much bigger than I thought and they have plenty of room inside and out. One big main bar, one smaller bar to the side, next to the gift shop. If you are at one bar and want something from the other, the server will go get it. That's a nice extra step. The best part about Founders is all the tap-room only specials. I wish all the bigger breweries with decent distribution did that. You know all about KBS and CBS, but you never know what awesome brew they've got on tap at the brewery. Parking is pretty good and free on Saturdays around the brewery. Cheap bar snacks and plenty of awesome beer.

 769 characters

Photo of sjones5045
4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Danmullens1
4.45/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of thebits
4.23/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
Brewery rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 133,663 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.