Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
Very Good
129,196 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.

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Ratings: 1,097 |  Reviews: 317
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Knapp85
4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Took a 3 hour road trip from my Friends place in Indiana to check out the home of the Mighty KBS and Nemesis brews. We got there and needed to find a side street to park on because the lot they had was kind of small and filled up already. The look of the place seemed like it might have been an old loading dock of some kind. There were several retractable windows/doors that opened up so people could sit either inside or outside. The place was full so my friend and I sat outside. We ordered a few beers at the bar trying the Apricot Swarm, the Dirty Darkness and the Syrup Noche. All the beers we had were great. The sandwich my friend ordered was also great according to him. The place had a very friendly environment going on there. The employees were knowledgeable and helpful on suggestions about food and beer. I would have loved to hang out longer here, I easily could have with all the stuff they had to try there but due to time frame I was in we had to pack it in early. I look forward to possibly going back there though. It was a great place.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Walking in I was suprised about how big this place was. Probably could hold more than 100 people with ease. Huge tables line the place with a large wood bar.

My group all got different sandwhiches. All of which were huge and very good.

Their pricing was found to be quite reasonable, on food and brews. Menu was pretty cool, all the food items had some sort of name twist with the beers.

Had no issues with service. A great place to stop in eat and drink. Just wish it was a little closer to home.

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Photo of MoneyT23
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of seanchai
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of PaulyB83
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Visited on June 16. 2014

A- This is my first time making it up to Founders which is a real shame on my part as I live in Kalamazoo but hey I get Bell's 5 mins down the road so can you blame me? Anyway this place looks really nice and with the expansion it really helps accommodate the big crowds that can show up. Lots of wood and brick, multiple bars, one big giant bar in the main area. A few t.v.s at the main bar not adhering to Bell's no t.v. rule. The entire brewery is attached to the taproom which nice to see and different from Bell's.

Q- Everything is first rate. From the decor to the beer and food, you will have a great time here.

S- I was a bit confused as to whether they had servers or not. Occasionally someone would walk around asking people if they needed anything but most part you go to one of the bars for beer and an order window for your food. It kinda creates the same problem Bell's has of creating misshapen lines.

S- You kinda have to look at all the different bars they have cuz some will have stuff on that others do not. Apart from that though they always seem to have a great selection of various styles. For example, while there I had an Imperial IPA, a raspberry ale, a BA Scotch ale, and a coffee brown ale.

F- Mostly sandwiches, would have been nice is they had some real pizza or something. But the sandwiches were great with nice combination of toppings, the bread in particular was great. One slight complaint is that for the price I was hoping for a bit more meat on my sandwich.

V- Beer prices are great and I was there when they had their Monday special going on so that was nice. The food prices are pretty reasonable as well, around $10 for most sandwiches.

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Photo of italianstallion
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of shellsncheese
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Atmosphere: very big and open now that they went through the expansion. a stage with what looks like some cool concerts and events. really nice outdoor area, can't wait to be there when the weather is nice. wish there was more available gaming zones, they just have the one pool table

Quality: founders brews some beers that are top notch. one of the best american ale breweries in michigan if not the country

Service: no real problems here. it is seat yourself which gets crazy since its always busy

Selection: probably one of the better combinations of what they bottle and pub exclusives around. there pub exclusives aren't the best though

Overall: a great place to go and a must visit when in grand rapids. great beer and a fun place

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Photo of theecaleb
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

A: Looks like a former train station, the place is HUGE. Nice long bar, plenty of seating.

Q: Its Founders. If you've had their beers in bottle, expect nothing less when you visit. The place is all about quality.

Ser: Much better than most brew houses I've visited. It seems most craft brewery's either have miserable employees, or servers who belong at the your local Applebee's and just don't understand craftbeer. You wont find this attitude at Founders, all the employees seemed to genuinely care about their industry and were there to serve you.

Sel: Selection was nothing to write home about, it seemed they only had three or so beers that were unique to the brewery. Most the other taps you can pick up at the local brew store.

F: Pretty dang good. They only real down fall was the sandwiches don't come with any sides, and if you ask for chips they come in a little single serving bag. Made it feel kind of cheap, would have been nice to something homemade or unique to go along with a delicious sandwich.

Visit was early, around noon on a Saturday in September. So it was not very busy yet. Due to Michigan weather, we did not get to explore if they had any outdoor seating or beer garden. They had a few small TV's to watch the local sporting events. Overall, I thought Founders was above average, and I would recommend it to anyone as one of the top craft brewery's in the Mitten. I would visit again.

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

My wife and I visited Founders on a lazy Saturday afternoon, well before the crowds. We were, in fact, one of the few people in the bar this afternoon. Selection was simliar to last posters: RIS, Breakfast Stout, Red's Rye, Trois, Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale, IPA, the Raspberry (whose name I also forgot), and an Imperial Brown Ale. I partook in the Imperial Brown and Red's Rye, which were both superb. $3.50/pint. Staff was quick to wait on us when we came in, and friendly. Overall very good experience for the both of us.

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Photo of Chief99
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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

A- Very wide open with tables scattered around. There's a bit of patio which is nice too. We got there at around 7ish, and had a couple hours of having a nice quiet corner and left just before the live music started up.

Q- About what you'd expect from a brewery like Founders. A pretty clean place, although at the same time a place that's constantly needing to be cleaned. Very full and busy.

S- Both the servers that we had were pretty nice. The drinks did take a little bit of time to come to us, but that's not due to the staff, which were doing a great job, but rather the excess of people they needed to wait on.

We first came up to the bar as we weren't sure whether to seat ourselves or not and said we'd never been there. The bartender then offered beer advice asking us if we enjoyed sweet or bitter more. I can appreciate that sort of accomodation, regardless of the fact that we knew what we wanted but were curious of seating.

S- The selection was pretty solid. They had many of their regular offerings as well as a few that weren't bottled. We didn't try the food, although after reading reviews, we possibly should have.

V- Ridiculously cheap. We got 4 pints and 2 samplers for 18.75. I remember double checking the math to make sure they didn't forget anything. If I were a local, I know where I'd be dropping a lot of money.

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

We passed this place without even noticing it. We were looking for it too. The old Brass Works building houses some of the best beer in the world? Yes, it does. This inconspicuous locale in the downtown of Grand Rapids is a portal into a taproom full of character and charm. Rustic wood flooring besets the path to any of the many antiquated metal topped tavern tables or to the bar itself. This reminds me of an old barn or mill, but with dreadlocked wookies delivering beers to patrons. There is a modest amount of seating capacity at the bar which was fine on this particular afternoon. Bunches of hop cones were hung above the bar trimming the edges. I didn't go so far as to count the other tables. I wouldn't call this place a large capacity bar room though. Our resident Beerfly guide said that the place gets quite full during evenings and weekends, which I can understand. This is a pretty smooth place. Extra points get awarded for the pool table adjacent to the bar. Darts present as well.

The quality was superb if we are talking product ( maybe not air quality ). These fellas make some great brew! The waitstaff all seemed to be decent ( groovy may be a better description ). We didn't have any trouble getting refilled or getting quarters for the billiards table.

The selection was a bit lighter than I had hoped ( six or seven offerings I think ), but there was still more than enough to satisfy me. We even got to sample a secret reserve thanks to the two brewmasters who came out to receive our praise. This secret tap will remain nameless, but be assured it was fabaliss!

The place was pretty reasonable on price. I sampled the tap fairly aggressively for an afternoon whistle wetter and got a souvenir shirt to boot all for twenty somethin bucks. The beers are fantastic. The staff is real laid back. The place is great. I'll be back.

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Photo of yankeej13
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I was most excited to go to Founders while I was on my Microbrewery crawl and once we arrived I couldn't believe how many people just were there to have a beer and hangout. Parents brought their children and it was crazy to see the age group that was there. I did not realize how giant the acutal restaurant/ bar was.

I for the first time got to try Devil Dancer which I have been looking forward to try for the last year or so. Lived up to every expectation I have had. Was served in a nice snifter glass and once I was done with that beer I was good to go.

Sad to say I did not get to go on a tour there but I was just happy to have experienced going there. I can't wait till I am in the area again to go back but this time I would live to actually take the tour and learn more about the brewery itself! Cheers!

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

This turned out to be a late night visit following a West Michigan WhiteCaps game. Located right downtown in Grand Rapids. It's a rather small place with wooden tables and peanut shells on the floor. A lot of locals were hanging out and people going in and out to purchase beer from the refrigerator located in the bar area. They have a very friendly staff who wait on you and a good, lively atmosphere. I had tried a bottle of Centennial IPA and pale ale earlier in the week and was curious to know how the draft IPA tasted. The bottom line is it was excellent. I decided to purchase a six-pack there since I was not sure I would find anymore as I headed east toward Detroit. I was diligent enough to save a few bottles for the trip back to California and used one of the bottles for a Michigan IPA blind taste test with friends that included the following Michigan IPA's: Founders Centennial, Bell's Two-Hearted, New Holland's Mad Hatter, Arcadia's IPA, and Michigan Brewery's High Seas. New Holland's Mad Hatter came out on top, followed by Founders, then Bell's, followed by Arcadia and then Michigan.

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

I was in the area and had to swing by.

Notes: Massive patio, but it is quickly taken up and expect lots of people. Quite a bit on tap, but not as much experimenting as I wished for. Hard to turn down some of Founder's great beers on tap.

For me the crowd just kinda took away from the awe of the place. Not to say locals on a weekday don't love it.

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Photo of MasonBeerMan
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The second stop, after Hopcat for our anniversary trip in Aug 08. A very large bar and a lot of seating. What a selection of beer they had on tap. The were about 15 different beers including breakfast stout and bourbon barrel aged porter (incredible). My wife and I split a sandwich, which we both really enjoyed. A couple of bands were there and they were pretty good, although it was too loud for my liking. You pretty much had to shout to talk. They had some shirts and glassware along with beer for sale. Overall, a great brewery and experience.

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

Nice little brewery that I'll get to more often, now that I know an easy way to get there (thanks Mike). Very unpretentious, nothing special. Bar with room for about 10-12 tops, sheet metal covered tables with seating for probably 70-90 more. Not a fancy place, but a decent place. A few pool tables, and a dartboard for entertainment. There are also bands some nights. Bartenders are quick with the beer (as that is all you can get there), and are knowledgeable. If you are in the area, stop by, but be warned, they do not offer any food outside of popcorn and peanuts. They will let you order in pizza though, so that's cool.

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Photo of gvhockey
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of kbarnes9
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

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

What a pleasant surprise. My future sister-in-law is from GR, and she's been talking up Founders for months we all made the trek to scenic Grand Rapids a few weeks ago. Founders is located in an old warehouse of some sort just a little ways North of downtown (along the river).

Inside, it's a very casual atmosphere punctuated by the old hardwood floors and metal tables. They had about 10 or so beers on tap, and I tried four. First, the Breakfast Stout was as good as advertised - lots of chocolate, creamy, spicy, roasty, delicious. Next, Red's Rye was a nice change of pace - surprisingly hoppy but also with some toasted biscuit notes. Third, I tried the Scotch Ale - sufficiently malty. Last, I had a pint of their Imperial Brown - wow. Rich, malty, bordering on tasting the alcohol, a big delicious beer.

The server was sweet and attentive, but they don't serve food there beyond pretzels and cheese (they did have a menu for a local deli that delivers, however). The bottom line: Founders is a top-tier brewery that I think is starting to bust out of Bell's shadow in Western Michigan.

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

I stopped into Founder's last week since I was in the area for work. What a treat. I didn't really try their food, but I did have a basket of peanuts. By far the coolest thing about this place is that you throw the peanut shells on the hardwood floor. The decor is nice with a small bar tucked in the back of the place fronted by about 20 or so tables. A pool table, dart board, and big windows looking into the brewing area give the place even more character.

A big chalkboard hangs above the bar noting the days offerings. The back of the bar is covered with glasses and growlers waiting to be blessed with Founder's brew. They will fill a growler with any bear you want. I brought home some Breakfast Stout and some bottles to share with friends. The wait staff is friendly. I sat at a table since the bar was full when I showed up.

They had about 10 beers on tap when I was there including the Imerial Stout, Dirty Bastard, Breakfast Stout, Old Curmudgeon, Trois, Imperial Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Centennial IPA, Red's Rye, and Belgian Wheat. Also in the refrigerator case were bottles of Red's Rye, Dirty Bastard, Centennial IPA, Rübæus, and Pale Ale. On their website they list what's on tap.

By far the surprise of my trip was the Trois. This is a fantastic session beer that should not be missed. Because of it's 3% ABV I'd be many overlook it heading for the 8,9, and 10% beers that are plentiful at Founders. Have a pint of the Trois and you will know what I am talking about. Great session beer hidden amongst the giants.

Founder's was a great stop on my trip and I am very glad I drove out of my way to get there. Great atmosphere and great beer. My total bill for 2 pints, a basket of peanuts, a growler of Breakfast Stout, and 4 bottles to take home was $31. Not bad if you ask me.

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Photo of ElizabethCraig
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Ahh.. Founders... =)

We arrived on a Thursday night, their live music night.

The bartender was helpful even though they were very crowded that night and took her time with us helping us select the beers we'd enjoy the most. We chose the Cashew Mountain Brown, Oatmeal Stout and Cerise.

Seating was community tables with some high up bar tables near the back away from the bar/stage. They had a couple of pool tables and probably a lot of other stuff that I didn't see due to the dark and the crowds. Huge outdoor patio that was also very crowded.

The beers were good quality, and if it wouldn't have been crowded we would have brought some home. Staff was circulating the tables clearing them quickly, offering limited table service (it was REALLY crowded!) and answering questions.

The Antipasto platter from the deli was delicious - we split it between 2 people and were pretty satisfied, you could definitely split it 4 or more ways for a light snack. Everything coming from the deli smelled pretty tasty.

We enjoyed our trip here - and have enjoyed the beers we've had from them both on premises and at home. Definitely worth the trip to see the mothership - go on Thursdays if you like good live music!

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I have been going to Founders since they were in their "startup" on Monroe in downtown GR. After those humble beginnings, they moved to a much larger facility on Grandville ave in downtown GR. After seeing their brand absolutely explode over the past several years they recently dumped several million into completely revamping the Brew Pub and they hit a home run with a complete overhaul on the drinking experience.

This place is a "destination" and I pinch myself to think it is in my own back yard. It features several garage style over head doors that were all open while I was their because it was a beautiful day. The recent renovations added two huge fire pits and several overhead heating lamps that make it nice to sit outside on even cold days and have a brew. From world class beer, to damn good deli sandwiches, to an open space where people are just their to have beer and socialize with friends, this place is truly one of a kind. I love that there aren't many TV's (maybe 1 that I saw) because that isn't what this place is about. Its about being with friends, family, or just other beer lovers to to simply that - enjoy beer.

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Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
Brewery rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 129,196 ratings