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Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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

(616) 776-1195 | map

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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 1,033
Reviews by mgbickel:
Photo of mgbickel
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I arrived in the city limits of Grand Rapids and drove directly to Founders...hotel room be damned...I've been looking forward to this visit for quite some time!

The outside of the building is well advertised. The parking is a little strange, but I went around the corner and found a spot along the side street. There is a huge front porch/deck lining the front of the building (a little chilly during my visit, so empty save for the smoking crowd).

If an Irish Pub and a Western Saloon had a baby, this is what it would look like.

You enter the brew pub to a large single room, huge, open with lots of wooden tables and a giant bar lining the back wall. There is a stage area off to the left and a small retail area at the right end of the bar (also a window leading to the kitchen I think). The left rear corner of the room has windows that give you a view of the brewery...the shiny tanks that produce the wonderful beer! The floor seemed to be wooden planks...covered in peanut shells.

Above the bar hangs a giant chalkboard that lists the current taps (with prices and ABV). I think there were 7 bartenders working that night (Tuesday, around 730 pm). The gentlemen who waited on me just started bartending, but was awesome. You could tell he loved beer and was knowledgeable.

There is no way you can stop in Grand Rapids without making Founders one of your primary destinations. The place is almost iconic and lives up to its lofty reputation.

 1,455 characters

More User Reviews:
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 Steelinbeers
2.69/5  rDev -38.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 1 | selection: 1.75 | food: 4.5

This beer is too light for us ...need something, not sure what but needs more hops for sure...definitely more hops

114 characters

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

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

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
3.99 out of 5 based on 128,379 ratings.
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