Founders Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
Very Good
129,180 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, Real Dart Board, and Shuffleboard.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BA Score:
View: Beers | Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,097 |  Reviews: 317
Photo of DIM
4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

The atmosphere in here on a busy saturday night was great. Casual and very friendly. Since no food is offered I saw pizza boxes on a couple of tables. Very kind of them to allow that, I even saw someone sharing a bottle from Allagash. Dinged the score a bit for all the smoke. The beer was, of course, phenomonal as was the friendly staff. Only five beers on tap this day, so that was a bit of a letdown. One of the five was Breakfast Stout so that helped. I'd love to have this in my neighborhood. If you get the chance stop by.

 529 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.21/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I stopped by here after Bell’s on my summer beer tour. The building is something like the “brass works building” which is a large brick structure. The entrance is on west side of the building near the south entrance. IF you find that, shift fire to your right, and there you’ll be. I got there a half hour before opening time. I pled my case to the dude working there in the morning with his beautiful dog and I got let in.

The place seems like a very friendly dive with a very warn feeling that suggests pretty wild weekends. Seems that it’s a music venue too, so that could pack the crowd in. There are mostly little wooden tables spaced about with the main bar in the back right corner and a smaller one in the left.

On tap were 13 founders beers. Wow. Can’t ask for much more especially when two of them were the Breakfast Stout and the Kentucky Breakfast. Damn. This made me a happy man. 13 beers seemed a lot for a small pub. The dude, which turned out to be one of the junior brewers said that this was very atypical. None the less, I was pleased.

Service was fine. There really wasn’t anyone there, so I can’t comment on much. The girl there seemed really on top of things with all things considered.

I liked the simplicity of this joint. I’d like to stop by on a Friday night to see what kind of clientèle it attracts. I should also note that I left this day with a growler of Devil Dancer, three t-shirts and a pint glass.

 1,448 characters

Photo of bigman147
4.44/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

My brother in law and I stopped in for a tour of the facility on a recent beer pilgrimage around MI. Mike and Dave let us in a little before normal hours to check out the brewery and get a behind the scene view. I was exhausted so my questions were pretty stupid. The facility is cramped but puts out some wonderful beers. The bar area is small and I can see the location getting very crowded. Plenty of parking can be found nearby. If I lived in Grand Rapids, I would be a regular. Anyway, we were able to sample every beer that they had. My personal favorite was the Red Rye. Since it wasnt normal hours, we didn't have any food and the staff that was around was busy prepping for the influx that would surely be coming. The Magnum PI episode on the TV while talking beer with these guys was a classic moment. Everything about Founders was great. I would recommend a visit to anyone in the area.

Definitely try the Red Rye.

 929 characters

Photo of rsyberg01
4.36/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stopped here after Dark Lord, saw phatz and beerbeing there ( I was one of the two young guys with cardinals hats on) Absolutely love this place. I would be infinitely happy if this was my local bar.

So to tell my story of patronizing. Me and my friend Ryan (ba name rysky) pull up and get a spot almost directly in front of this place. We came nonstop from munster and walk in just exausted. That didnt last long, the atmosphere in this place is so personalble. Its like any local bar, regulars, local live music, decent selection on tap, and decent nourishment (at least for what they had available which was pretzels with horseradish cheese) First thing I had was an Imperial Stout on tap. Almost brought a tear to my eye. See being from St. Louis really deprives you of things like this, and believe me, when you say Schlafly I say not even close. The bartender the first night we were there wasnt so chatty, but I didnt think twice of it. The next night we were in, a cute petite light brown haired bartender was working (never did get her name which I regret) She was amazing, just very social. Always made sure we were ok and even gave us an impromptu tour of the brewery because they were slow enough she said. Talk about above and beyond. It was just a great experience and I highly recommend this place to anyone within the united states. Definitely going to be a stop to make after dark lord day for many years to come!

 1,433 characters

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

Driving down the street the navigation system say "destination ahead on the right" then "you have arrived" The building to our right is an absolutely *monstrous* five story building the runs the length of an entire block. The name on the building says Brass Works Building. The light came on, it never occurred to me that Founder Brewing Company was located in an old Brass Foundry. Seems obvious now. My first thought was "this is the biggest 'Micro' Brewery I have ever seen!" Entering the building I realized Founders is only one of the tenants in the amazing building. The building is gorgeous the floors, the art, the high ceilings, the woodwork and the door ways, and this is all wondering the halls before Founders even opened the door on Sunday at 3pm. When we walked in the Founders door the floors were simple the ceiling high and unfinished with a warehouse feel but nice. They had 10 beers on tap and not a single one less than exceptional.
Imagine Kentucky Breakfast Stout on tap at the brewery. Oh my God! and they served all beer in the appropriate glassware.
Tap List:
Centennial IPA
Black Rye
Pale Ale
Oatmeal Stout on nitro
The Imperial Stout
Bourbon Maple Porter **beyond EXCEPTIONAL**
Devil Dancer DIPA
Kentucky Breakfast Stout *need I say more*
Backwoods Bastard
They had rubbed out Rubaeus and Red Rye off the chalk board, before we got there. They have capacity for 12 drafts.

There was a pool table, jukebox, and carryout cooler with no KBS in it but otherwise perfect. Sever was very helpful. No food available on Sundays but they do have menus of local restaurants that will deliver to Founders. You can sit there at the bar and have delivery brought to you. Now that is something new! We just brought some of our munchies in the car. This place is worth the trip. Find a way to get there one day. Early on a Sunday it is nice and quite, but we weren’t the only people waiting for them to unlock the door. Clearly, the place gets a lot of traffic.

Hope this is helpful.

 2,034 characters

Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.95/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Stopped here for lunch on a brewery road trip ending with Dark Lord Day

First off, I got a parking spot right in front of the place, so I was happy about that. Across the street was "Pay to Park" type places so I was a bit weary at first.

The place is not overly fancy, which I love. It looks like a quality place to sit, hang out, and enjoy some great beer. I sat at the bar and ordered an Oatmeal Stout, which was great.

I had the Dirty Bastard Sandwich, and it was freakin awesome. One of the best sandwiches I've had in a while. While I'm not sure if all of their sandwiches are the same, mine was huge, I couldn't even finish it.

The service was Ok, since I was in no rush, I really didn't care about the quality of service. If I needed anything, I received it in a respectable amount of time. I ended up having the Backwards Bastard before I left, but nothing else. Which leads me to my only gripe about the place. There were only three session beers on tap, all the rest were high gravity brews. While thats awesome if I wasn't driving, I was very limited to what I could drink.

I also picked up a four pack of the Kentucky Breakfast Stout and a four pack of the Devil Dancer which really made my day.

 1,227 characters

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

Photo of scoobybrew
3.34/5  rDev -26.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

We stopped in at Founders on a recent trip to Grand Rapids. The place had kind of a brewery-back room feel to it. “Divey”, but a clean kind of dive if that makes any sense. The selections on the chalkboard were incredibly had to read with the lighting present. It was a Saturday night and there were only two people working the place, so if you wanted a beer you had to go to the bar to get it. However, the staff seemed knowledgeable enough about the beer and were more than happy to pour you a pint (they were incredibly busy). The place was modestly filled until one of the local bands began to set up; apparently there was a show tonight. On our way out, we noticed a cover charge being taken. I always find this in very poor taste at a brewpub. Don't go here if you want to eat. Apparently the kitchen is only open for certain hours and I hear it's just snacky-sandwich stuff. Having said all that, I think the beer was very tasty, if not a bit pricey. Every beer I had (and tasting my wife's choices also) was of above average quality.

 1,043 characters

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

I was in today with a buddy of mine after work and really enjoyed myself. The help is nice and so is the atmosphere. They have a great selection of beer. I love the fact that you can see the brew works through the windows, and knew I was home when I could smell the wort boil from the outside of the establishment as I walked up. Great ambiance. I dunno about the pricey rating on this. It is pricey for me because of my wage, not in the quality of the product. They have live music and stuff, yet to be there for that. I need to shoot in there more after work.

 561 characters

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

Founders Brewing and Brewpub is located in the historical Brassworks building. The historical status of the building prevents Founders from having a sign displayed on the exterior of the building.
The south door along the west side of the building has a modest Founders decal displayed. This is the main entrance.
The interior has high ceilings with painted concrete beams and columns. Large antique wooden window frames look out into the street as well as allow you to see some of the brewery equipment and bottling line.
The floors are wooden and heavy wood tables are scattered across the pub. Peanut shells crunch underfoot.
The bar is made of heavy wood and is the heart of the brewpub. Large chalkboards announce the beers currently on tap and pricing.
The clientele was diverse with co-eds and retirees all enjoying world-class beers side by side. The Oatmeal Stout on nitro was a real treat for me, Dirty Bastard and several others were nice and fresh.
I enjoyed my visit and would like to come back when I have the time. It was well worth the trip and very reasonably priced.
On this trip I saw more growlers being filled than I have ever seen at any brewpub. This could have been a testament to the popularity of their beer or simply people getting ready for Halloween parties, I'm sure which it was...

 1,328 characters

Photo of Magpie14
4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Close to downtown Grand Rapids and a must if your in the area. A small facility with a huge reputation for amazing beers...and yes it's true! Food is just pertty much sandwiches (darn good ones at that!). It serves the best beers in Michigan in my opinion. It is a very laid back environment and friendly...staff was nice, quick and prompt.

About 8-10 beers on tap with a few specials in the mix, the russian imperial stout is amazing! and the Kentucky breakfast stout, and the burbon stout are untouchable!!!

great place to hang and grab a beer or two worth the trip! Quality!!

 585 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.24/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place was located in the southeast corner of the Brass Works Building, and it represented low-frills beer drinking at its finest. I was told that they will be relocating by 2007, so this review will have to be updated at some point. The room was accessed through a glass door either off of a wooden ramp or up a short set of steps. Once inside, the washrooms were dead ahead on the extreme left, facing aft, away from the entrance. The space was partially broken up by a couple of concrete pillars and I took a seat at a table near one of them. The bulk of the room was filled with rough-hewn wooden tables, topped with rusty hammered metal plate. Headed aft were a pool table and the short bar to the extreme right. Wrapping around, there was a “Founders Brewing Company Cold Beer to Go” cooler against the far right wall and next to it was a CD jukebox. Of course, the bottling line, brew house, and fermenters were all visible behind glass, in the back of the space. Finally, there were numerous blackboards in the overhead, detailing current offerings, weekly specials and local places with accounts. What about their beer? Well, that was the whole reason for stopping in. They have some of the best beers that I have ever tasted, from Black and Red Rye to Breakfast Stout and Kentucky Breakfast to Rubaeus to Black Sunshine, which was made with black pepper. Sopor and his girlfriend met me there, plus I managed to get a tour from their cellarman, Samuel Adams Sherwood, following his pool game with one of the regulars, Jonathan Frick. This was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the early part of the tour.

 1,623 characters

Photo of MDekker
4.58/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Raised and now living in Grand Rapids, I'm so proud to have Founder located downtown. The relatively new establishment is large and spacious, with a long, curving carved wooden bar, shelves upon shelves of mugs for those in their Mug Club, huge windows that let you view the brewery and a large outdoor porch. Of course, the beer is world-class, and their tap list always features a host of beers that they don't bottle. They produce some pretty good food there too, in terms of sandwiches and the like. The prices are reasonable and agian, the beer is outstanding. Founders is always worth a visit, and I only wish I could get there more often.

 645 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Nice industrial type feel to the place. Low key and relaxed. The brew house is housed behind some big windows. I could make out the bottling line going in the back.

Like their bottled products all the quality is good. The beers were certainly fresh and served at the proper temps. Service was quick and friendly and wasnt harried. More then happy to stand and talk to us and answer any questions.

Selection was great. Some of my favorites wern't there but there was plenty to make up for that fact. A few draft only choices as well.

They only serve sandwiches 11am to 2 pm. I had a half sandwich as I wasnt hungry. My friends and I all agreed they were good.

All in all a great place. I have wanted to get here for ages and it was well worth it. I will be back.

Note-talking to the bartender she said they will fill any growler from another brewey. Saw a guy get a Roque one filled so I had to ask. She said they sell beer not growlers so it doesnt bother them. I like that.

 990 characters

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.04/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I'd like to come back here on a quieter afternoon.My wife and I showed up at 9pm on a Thursday night to find what was apparantly a smoker's night. I can handle a bit of smoke, but out of about 20 tables, 18 of them were filled with smokers. Not only that, but reps from Reynolds Tobacco were there handing out free packs of Camels! The ventillation system could not keep up with all the cigarettes, and it made for a less than pleasant beer-drinking experience.
Staff was pretty friendly and helpful. They even have menus from local pizza joints and will help you order-in a pizza while you're there.
But the beer's what we're there for. All the Founders flavours are on tap, as well as some limited offerings only available here. Some really big beers, too. So watch your intake. Be aware that there is no shortage of police patrolling the streets of downtown Grand Rapids, so be smart when you leave the place.
All in all, it wasn't my favorite location of my beer tour through Michigan, but I'd like to visit earlier on in the day to give it another shot.

 1,061 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.06/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Went on a trip this past weekend to the Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids area too visit many of the great breweries in the area. This one was tops on my list of my reason to visit this area. And I tried to get here while KBS was on draught but unfortunately missed it by a week.

Went the first time on Friday night and the place was packed and loud as hell. Good times were being had by all. A good selection of beers although I was somewhat dissapointed in the lack of KBS or BS, however the IS, Oatmeal Stout, Blushing Mond, Devil Dancer, etc were all spectacular.

I did think the bartenders could have been a little more friendly. Both the Friday night and Saturday ones didn't seem overly excited to be working. Which I hate working myself but I'd love to bartend for such a great brewery.

They have large glass windows so you can view the bottling line and brewing area. No brewing was being done while I was there.

They don't have food accept for peanuts and pretzels but I wasn't going here to eat. And the prices for all of the breweries I visited were outstanding. Can't wait to return when they release KBS next year.

 1,131 characters

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

located in the brassworks building in downtown grand rapids, would have been great in the person on the phone would have told me that when i called for driections because i passed it twice and that sign sticks out.

inside the pub is kinda rustic with hardwood floors and copper topped tables. a simple bar with several taps. there is a pool table and an imac over in the corner.
several copper covered table through the large hall. atmosphere is very chill and inviting.

service was very prompt both time i was there this past weekend.

the selection was very good maybe 10 beers on tap. all standards and several special brews and a fewhigh gravity brews.

did not eat. prices looked reasonable.

the pricing is very reasonable

 741 characters

Photo of wingman14
4.59/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A big brick building with just a founders door on it, if you do not know the area you could miss it. You walk in to an interesting place, two large glass windows let you see the entire operation. They have darts, a pool, table, and a large warehouse feel. The beers are amazing, get a sampler if you haven't had them all. All very distinct and different, yet each one a masterpiece. We didn't make it in time for their lunch, they did alert us to ordering out with delivery from any of the restaurants in the area. Good service with friendly people, and great beer. You could purchase singles, 4-packs, 6-packs, and different size cases. I will return to Founders any time I am in the area, a must visit for any beer fan!

 721 characters

Photo of nflmvp
4.2/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Enjoyed the opportunity to sample the fares at the brewery this weekend (4/29/06).

The place is a decent size and simply decorated. The beers are as fresh as you'd expect and each one of the varieties I tried were as good or better than I'd expected.

I was disappointed that they had none of the Breakfast Stout or Kentucky Breakfast Stout on tap. The Blushing Monk, on the other hand, was a very pleasant surprise.

Service was not much better than average, even before the crowd began to grow, later in the evening.

All things considered, I enjoyed the place quite a bit and look forward to returning if I get the chance to visit the area again.

Updated review to include subsequent experiences in '07, '08 and '09.

The new pub looks awesome. While it looks nothing like the old place, they've done an excellent job of keeping the same type of atmosphere....and I LOVE the garage doors that open the place up when the weather cooperates.

I've only eaten here once but I have to admit, I really enjoyed my sandwich so I've updated the ratings to indicate that.

I had to keep the value at "a bit pricey" simply because I hate the idea of paying $8 cover charge for a band I don't want to see, at 11:30 at night. All I wanted to do is sample some of their beers and being FORCED to pay $8 for the privilege of sampling three beers, is a bit much....especially when I have to scream over the band, which is ALWAYS way too loud for conversation.

 1,451 characters

Photo of nmyers
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

I got a chance to Check out Founder Taproom this past Friday and from what I remember I had a great time. I tried every beer that I can't get in my area and that work out to be about 10 beers. I like the variety of beer they had on tap and they also sell single bottles to go. They also sold a variety of glass sizes pints, 12 ounces, and 8 ounces. Everything was reasonably priced even the Blushing Monk at $5.00 for an 8 oz. glass.

The only thing that I felt was lacking at Founders was the food. Don't get me wrong I love peanuts and pretzels and cheese. Well I found out after the fact that you can get delivery there. I also got a really nice hoodie from there for $30.

The staff was great and was able to answer every question I had about the place and the beers. Founders was a great time and I can't wait to go back in June and try the Kentucky Bourbon Stout on tap.

 882 characters

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

Well, I finally made it to the mecca of Michigan brewing in my opinion. I had a really good time there with a couple of other beer loving friends. Bar is toward the back and is a little small. A chalk board displays all the beers on tap (about 15 that day). Lots of small tables make up the majority of the space. Exposed ceilings, hardwood floors, comfy lighting makeup the atmosphere. On one side you could see the mash tuns, on another, a packaging room. I think they had a pool table and I know they have a dart board (nice traditional one). No food here as I understand, but you can order delivery. We got brassworks pizza (ask for a menu). Great beer at a great bar. Does not get any fresher for Michigan's best craft brews!

 730 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.44/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

One really nice place. I was out in the area and had to stop and try some of the offerings on tap. So myself and fellow BA sopor met up at Founders, and sampled some of the wares. First off, the atmosphere is nice... high ceilings, a great view of the brewing facilities, and a huge board posting whats on tap. Nice. I was lucky enough to meet David Engbers, vice president of founders while I was there. He came right up and introduced himself and his wife, and was very cordial. Not everyday, do you get to meet the VP of a great and innovative micro brewery, and not all people in the Beer industry are so kind to BA's. In anycase, we chatted for about 10 minutes, and I got back to the beers. Many offerings, from light, seasonal brews, to heavy, warming stouts and ales. Something for everyone. The food is limited to peanuts and crackers and the such, but a wad of places deliver, so the food issue is easily addressed. Value? For what you get, the value is really quite good. Some of the best beer i've had on tap, at reasonable prices. I will be back again.

 1,065 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Well this review will show how much of a beer geek I have become. My only plan for today was to drive 123 miles one way to Grand Rapids to visit Founders brewery. Excellent directions on mapquest. Most of my friends don't appreciate craft brews, so I had no one to ride with me. I must be a loser. Arrived at the brewery shortly after noon. Not too busy, so I sat at the bar. Nice relaxed, casual atmoshere inside. High ceilings and wood floors give this place a nice rustic feel. Nice big windows to look outside. One computer terminal is available for on line access. The bar seats about 8 or 10 people, with many table and chairs available for bigger groups. There is a chalkboard above the bar with the taplist and alcohol content of their brews. Excellent waitstaff, my mug never went try. I enjoyed a breakfast stout, centennial ipa, and a pint of their oatmeal stout. All were very good and tasty. They also let me sample their Rubaeus and Belgium Razz, both fruit beers with rasberrries, both very tasty, the Belgium Razz has a higher alcohol content, and has just a little more flavor. I wish they would bottle it. Peanuts, cheese and pretzels, and a variety of deli sandwiches are available. Prices are reasonable and their food is good. I bought a growler of their IPA for $11, refills are $8. I also was able to pick up a Devil Dancer and Black Rye t-shirt for $16 a piece. They have a cooler there to purchases bottled beer. Two hours drive there,two hours at the brewery, and two hours ride back. What a great way to spend a day off from work! Highly recommenend!!! I can't wait to make many return visits. Thank you Founders!!!

 1,642 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.22/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Situated inside an old factory/warehouse this place can be easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for. Let's not even get started on all the detours in Grand Rapids right now that don't help the situation much, but I digress. The pub has a real cool feel to it, high multipaned windows let in plenty of light in the early autumn afternoon we stopped by. Large interior windows allow one to peer into the inner working of the brewery. Exposed ceilings and old hardwood floors, nice ambiance. The beer selection was pretty good with 8-10 beers ready to go. Everything I had was very well made, as one might expect really. Service was fast, friendly and knowledgable. It was pretty dead early in the day, but I figure that was a good thing, had plenty of time to sit, sip and smile. I didn't try the food, but it looked like they had a decent deli sandwich menu. Prices were spot on for the quality I think.


 929 characters

Photo of slander
4.36/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A few hours later, we arrived in Grand Rapids, somewhat beaten from an early rising, a flight, an hour and change on the road, a lengthy brewery tour, beer, beer, lunch, beer, and another hour on the road. "Somewhat beaten" is not the kind of beaten where you go hit the hotel for a power nap, but rather where it seems that a good coffee (stout) would lightly breeze in a much needed, building, gale second wind...
Our caravan arrived at the Wolverine Brass Building (1922) sometime in the late afternoon. Founders occupies a good portion of the first floor of this old brick building, at least to one side as far as I could see. Large glass panelled front windows, dark slat wood floors showing wear, brick and yellow ochre walls and posts, a brown ceiling with exposed duct work, glass walls to the side and rear, one looking in one a bottling line, the other looking in on fermenters and the brewery itself. Low lighting and candles in Bali mason jars half filled wth malt on the tables. An 8 seat "L" shaped bar sits to the rear corner, with mug club mugs, taps in a single row and an unused beer engine, and blackboards above listing tap selections, specials, and light snacks. (pretzels, peanuts, otherwise, they don't do food there but you can order out or bring in. We had a few pizzas delivered).
A dozen and a half copper topped tables riddle the room. We pulled a pair of them together near the front door. Peanut shells litter the floor, TV's above here and there, a cooler with six packs and cold singles, and an internet terminal in the corner, which I booted up to find that the previous user, someone named (Evil) Davo, had not logged off. I was in his beermail. I mulled over the many possibilites... apologizing to certain BA's for past misdeeds, professing true love (maybe to you), making new friends, alienating existing friends, reviewing, panning great stuff, praising crapy stuff, giving Todd & Jason a piece of his mind, all that, but I behaved, just checking my beermail and logging off. A small pool table to the rear, darts near the front entranceway, and an absolutely kickin' jukebox (Zappa, Dylan, Floyd, Beatles, Stones, Who, Zep, Jimi, Doors, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Beck, Radiohead, Flaming Lips, Bjork, Phish, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, B52's, Wilco, Smiths, Smashing Pumpkins, Modest Mouse).
We were there for a good few hours. Our first waitstaff person was real good but then she passed the tray off to some kid who (I swear) was wearing a glass pot pipe around his neck on a cord. I called him on it, but he was in denial. He was not so much fun, no, not so much fun at all.
11 taps. The Imperial Brown Ale was greatly malty & hoppy, the Breakfast Stout was thick and all coffee (just the cup of Joe to bring me back to life); the Imperial Stout was thick & roasty; the Belgian Wheat was not so good (and in my opinion, did not get better as it warmed); the Red's Rye was a good hoppy red with just a little Rye flavor; the Dirty Bastard, a brilliant Scotch Ale, was maly & sweet, kind of hoppy, but most serious; the Trois, a 3% 2nd runnings beer was a good mild; the Rubaeus, a Raspberry concoction was sickly sweet (Randy said, "It tastes like jelly", although he claims it got better once it warmed); and the Old Curmudgeon, an Old Ale, was pretty damn good (Phil was looking to bludgen someone with a cudgel regarding the Curmudgeon. Ask Randy if you don't believe me).
Good beer, great company, and an unusually comfortable place. I could do time here.

 3,570 characters

Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
Brewery rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 129,180 ratings