Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
Very Good
130,465 Ratings
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company

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

235 Grandville Ave SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503
United States

(616) 776-1195 | map

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, and Real Dart Board.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BA Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,122 |  Reviews: 326
Reviews by Yetiman420:
Photo of Yetiman420
3.6/5  rDev -20.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

During a terrible snow and cold freeze of early February 2007, I did a white-knuckler western Michigan loop consisting of the top-rated brewpubs in Western Michigan. The trip began in the southwest corner at the Livery in Benton Harbor, up to New Holland in Holland, over to The Hideout, Founders, and BOB in Grand Rapids. Individual reviews are below and my rankings from a total experience are New Holland, The Hideout, The Livery, Founders, and BOB.

My perspective is based on visits to almost 200 brewpubs across North America. I’m an avid homebrewer and craft-beer drinker but no means an expert on the contest judging of beers. I know good beer when I taste it.

Founders is a place I've been itchin to get to ever since I wasn't able to make it here during a visit to Kalamazoo. I'm a big fan of their Centennial IPA and have had the pleasure of speaking with the owner/head brewer at a Founder's tasting in Cincinnati.

I had very high expectations leading up to the visit. Everything went well until I opened the door and steped into their pub. On the outside, it's in an attractive, historic area of Grand Rapids that appears to be growing. When I stepped inside, I was dissapointed to see it was decorated to the minimum. This is very subjective and I do like the run-down beaten feel (loved it at The Hideout), but I was expecting something a little more from their space. Especially when the outside gave so much promise for something equally impressive inside. There were nice viewing areas for the brewing equipment. Other than that, it was pretty dumpy. As an advocate of clean air, I was dissapointed that 90% of the people were smoking. Everything from cigars to hand-rolled tobacco. It's hard to enjoy the aroma and flavor of good beer when you can barely breathe. Other brewpubs in Michigan have special areas for smoking which would have been nice here.

They had all their bottled beers on tap. I had the Black Rye, Red Rye, and two stouts. One stout had hazlenut which was pretty good, the other was middle of the road. I had a 13% tripple IPA which was good if not a bit sweet.

The only food they have are peanuts or pretzil rods with hard cheese to dip them in.

I'd love to have another shot at Founders and I'm sure I'd think better of it. Prior to the trip, I put them in a category of micro regionals with New Holland and Arcadia. My perception has certainly changed since the visit.

 2,433 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of walkabout
4.34/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of cjgiant
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Fairly large place with inside and outside seating, a couple of bars, and a live music stage, Busy place with a bar that can back up but a good number of servers going by the tables and taking orders. They had a tap list of about 30 beers, including their big beers, core lineup, and some brewery only exclusives. Had a fun and relaxing time enjoying a few beers there.

 372 characters

Photo of WillWillows
4.14/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of A_Rad
4.06/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of dboivin
4.54/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Service was a bit slow BUT, was not sitting at the bar, and it was busy as ever. So the speed of service is understandable. The beer selection is huge, and delicious. One of my favorite breweries

 195 characters

Photo of beersampler6
4.51/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Lazhal
4.41/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

FCFS seating is downright awful. You guys have to fix this Founders. FCFS works well for outside, but not inside.

During the CBS release, I came to pick up my bottles and try Tank Bender. Sure enough TB was on the board. I asked the bar tender for a TB sampler and she says sorry its not on. To her credit, she might have been talking about her bar and not the bar across the room.

I figured it might be out, so I said I'll have a CBS instead. She comes back with a full glass of CBS. Before even taking a sip I told her I only wanted a sampler, and somehow managed to over explain how I had asked for a TB sampler, and thought she understood I'll take a CBS sampler in its place.

Her co-worked overheard and said, "they have TB on tap right over there, I'll go get you one." He came back will a full sized TB instead of the sampler...At that point I thought I better cut my losses, say thank you, and be glad I actually got to try TB.

Despite the mix up and the awful seating I'll be back. Their beer is too good to pass up.

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

Photo of Berknerj
4.21/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of rab53
3.74/5  rDev -17.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 1.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Lahey
4.64/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

They kept up with a decent sized crowd, had plenty of offerings including some taproom only brews. There was a roomy area to hang out and drink indoors and out. There was a second smaller bar near the store and plenty of staff on hand. We had a french bread pizza, pretty tasty. The store had plenty of to go beer and souvenirs, from stickers to tap handles and signs. Pretty neat place. Not sure if I'd travel that far just to go there again, but I'm certainly glad I tried it. I'd revisit if in the area already.

 514 characters

Photo of Hallbrauhaus
4.39/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Dactrius
4.39/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of Theycallmedadddy
4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Centennial ipa. This I believe is one of the tastiest ipas I’ve had! Such a tasty ipa. Definitely feels like a 8%alc beer :)

126 characters

Photo of DotDrinks
3.79/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of vincechan
4.56/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of Oconomowocian
4.19/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Visited in the fall, parking situation was kind of a pain. The outdoor area out front was awesome, love the fire pits real nice on a chilly day. Taproom was really hopping, good draft selection and I'm always impressed with their quality. Easy growler fills and had some decent togo options. Solid place.

 308 characters

Photo of Shanepatton
3.74/5  rDev -17.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Photo of ElleMills
4.85/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of Coho11
4.66/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Fthesstem
4/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I grew up drinking yuengling and this beer is 100 times better. Good hang with friends outside and drink true of beer. Easy drinking, tasty and cheap. Well done founders

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

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.99/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Rolled into Grand Rapids on the Saturday before Easter, just before 2. I figured we'd stop at Founders first since we had an hour before check-in and no one had had lunch yet. I thought that being a cold, rainy weekend and being a little after typical lunch time it'd be slow. Wrong. Every table was full, including a few outside on the porch under the infrared heaters. (Founders' building is a gorgeous rust brick-and cement building, with metal accents such as a fire pit on the porch area). It's a seat yourself situation, so you kind of have to be aggressive in finding a table.
Once seated, you'll find you don't necessarily have a dedicated server, multiple servers seem to cover an area of the pub. So we had one server take drink orders and bring them back, another took a food order, and another bussed. It seemed to work, and everyone was friendly and efficient. Deli was excellent, great Cuban sandwich, with options for French bread pizza and salads and appetizers. While there's no kid's menu, there should be no problem finding something they'd like. Tons of taps, 28 going when we were there including the current KBS and past 2 years, Doom, DKML, and 12 pub-only brews.
I'd definitely visit again, but try to make sure I hit a slower time. I'd hate to see what the seating looks like during a really busy time.

 1,328 characters

Photo of Tbarnes1414
5/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
Brewery rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 130,465 ratings