Founders Brewing Company

BEER AVG
3.99/5
Founders Brewing CompanyFounders Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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

(616) 776-1195 | map
foundersbrewing.com

Notes:
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:
101
Ratings:
133,612
Reviews:
31,941
PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Ratings:
1,062
Reviews:
310
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
4.55%
 
 
Taps:
18
Bottles/Cans:
7
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,062 |  Reviews: 310
Photo of akorsak
3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Visited on 17-Jul-09 as part of the Michigan tour.

Atmosphere: The tasting room is wide open with a slew of tables, both inside and outside. A long bar greets you on entrance, with the kithcen at right.

Quality: The waitstaff ignored my repeated cajoles for a KBS growler. Other than that, the whole order your own food thing is strange and costs them service points on principle. Glassware did come to us with lipstick marks from a previous drinker.

Service: Drinks were from a server but not food. WTF? This sits in the precarious middle ground.

Selection: 8 or so regular beers on tap with Maple Mountain Brown, KBS, BA Red's Rye and BA Imperial Stout were special additions. A very nice line-up.

Food: My Godfather was delicious and the other finger food that we got were passable. I'd visit again just for the stout beers.

 832 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of aoampm
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of BillRoth
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Was on Beer Safari in Northern IN and Michigan few years ago, and had the good fortune of hitting FFF, Bell's, Dark Horse and Jolly Pumpkin. Each had much to rave about. Best surprise was dark Horse...gteat biker bar with world class beer and super people.
But I find myself looking back and wishing I could get back to Founders, which really took top spot on that trip.
Went in alone and was almost immediately invited to sit with a fun crowd, We sampled beers pretty much across the Founders offerings. Great IPAs and a sublime Imperial Stout on tap. Pretty much thought I had enough, and ready to go when the word got out they had just tapped a keg of CBS. Needless to say the night took a turn that kept me at Founders for a few more hours and in Grand Rapids not my intended destination @ MSU in East Lansing. Oh well.
I've loved the Founders brews for years, but I learned you really need to get there and get them fresh on tap with a table full of pilgrims..be they locals or out of towners. It's just a great brew pub...and maybe they'll tap another special keg when you show up.

 1,087 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Super dank dirty open bar room, nothing more nothing less. All wood, killer (loud!) jukebox, and tons of peanut shells on the floor. Super cool clientele, and since this damn city (although beautiful in many ways) closes so freakin' early this place is definately one of the few true "hot spots" in this city. It's open until 2am as well, nice, and for this town rare! Quality of the beers is awesome and at around $3.50 a pint a steal! Service is fast, friendly and to the point. Perfect. Selection is great as well 10 killer draughts with breakfast stout, 2003 imperial stout, and a new double ipa on tap as well. I also got to talk to the brewers here, and they were full of info, to the point, and super down to earth guys....two BIG thumbs up all around for this place...Killer.

 783 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.36/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited a couple of times over the weekend during the 2011 KBS release party.

The atmosphere in this place is great. It is very big with lots of tables and a huge bar. The service was generally knowledgeable and friendly and the prices were very good for the quality of beer being served.

Had some KBS on tap as well as the Oatmeal Stout and Imperial Stout. Overall tap selection was very good - a good mix of the regular lineup, seasonals and some special brews.

I will definitely return some day soon...

 511 characters

Photo of Iamjeff6
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of mynie
3.8/5  rDev -13.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The building is very long. While I wasn't in Grand Rapids long enough to get a full read on the place, this seemed to be tucked into a fairly touristy area (at least, as touristy as Grand Rapids gets), but I'd say the crowd was 90-odd percent local. Middling Michigan bands were playing loudly in the bar area, but since the building is very long the bar area stretched out forever and you could ignore them if you wanted to.

The good:
Decent vibes, good prices. As busy as they were, they were well-staffed and the staff was on top of their shit. They had a nice gift shop off to the side, so that if you wanted to buy take-home beer you didn't need to bother the bartender. All the beers on tap were Founders, and Founders makes excellent beer. Also, there was a nice big patio.

The bad:
No growlers. No guest taps. No rare taps. Nothing I couldn't easily find in bottles. This isn't the biggest crime, I guess, since Founders regularly offers a great selection of wonderful beer. But usually brewers give you a little something as a reward for visiting them, you know?

Founders is worth stopping at just for what they've done to help out the craft beer industry, just to be able to say that you've been there. Just don't expect anything mind blowing.

 1,260 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Bung
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Large building in an old warehouse. Much better than their old facility, which was in kind of a pretentious apartment/condo building. Open atmosphere, but the wood throughout the building makes it warm enough. Inviting for the hippie freaks, which most good brewpubs are. Nearly all their regular beers are on tap, plus a couple extras. Wish they had some more bottles for purchase. It appears people traveling from afar are dissappointed their is no reward for their travel. Personally I like the fact I do not have to live near them to get their brews, unlike ALL the other breweries that compete with Founders top offerings.(Three Floydds, etc.) Bells is about the only other good brewery you can also widely get their offerings without having to wait in a line wrapped around their dumpy little building and parking lot. So in the end, if you are looking for some place that you are special to have found, this is not it. If you want a place to get some fine craft beers, listen to some music, this place is what you're looking for.
Visit 5/5/09. Founders is probably the best dark(porter, stout) brewer around. There may be others that have 1 or 2 better than any given Founders, but Founders stable of stouts and porters might be able to be matched, but not beaten.

 1,271 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 1,056 characters

Photo of spointon
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

The day I went there there was some St. Patrick's day celebration nearby, so the crowd naturally went to Founders to get their beer. The huge place was packed both inside and outside, but it was able to accommodate everyone! KBS on tap is AWESOME!

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Photo of ZEB89
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

After much anticipation, we finally arrived at the new Founders Tap House (attached to the new brewing facility) that just opened last November. As we walk up, I immediately like it. Nice wide front with an outside seating area (which was only being used by smokers at this time because of how cold it was) and plenty of parking available in the front and on the sides. The inside is spacious as well, with high ceilings and plenty of natural light from the windows. At the far end is a stage (they offer live music a couple of times a week, including this night) and behind that gives a windowed view into the brew house. There are lots of tables to sit at scattered throughout for seating (complete with the Founders logo emblazoned on the seat backs) but it's the large 25 seat mahogany S shaped bar that takes center stage. It retains a classic yet contemporary look (complete with TVs to watch the ball games) and I absolutely loved the stain glassed Founders logo behind it. The overall feel is just tremendous and I would expect nothing else from such a classy brewery.

We lucked into an open table (which wasn't bad seeing how it was almost 7:30 pm on a Saturday night) and checked out the tap list. There were 4 staples on (Pale Ale, IPA, Red's Rye, and Dirty Bastard), 4 exclusives (Solid Gold Ale, Porter, Vanilla Porter, and Oatmeal Stout), and then 2 seasonals (the Imperial Stout and Rubaeus). We all tried different ones with my personal favorite being the highly ranked Imperial Stout, of which I ended up having two. Naturally, everything was great and up to the high standards of Founder's beers.

I like the way they do their food service here. You order and pay for it yourself at a separate window (what I now call "Pizza Port" style) and then they buzz you when it's ready. The menu itself is a tad limited (they basically offer sandwiches, pizzas, and munchies) but the quality was top notch. I had the Rubin's Rueben, which was excellent, as was the fresh guacamole and chips that we all split for an appetizer. Our service was limited to drink service but our guy did a pretty commendable job. Although he messed up one of drink orders, he let us keep the wrong one for free, and then did a great job getting our group a bunch of merch even though the place was jammed packed by this point. I don't know what else I can say about this place. It was probably our most anticipated visit during our recent trek through Michigan and it totally delivered. A laid back and fun atmosphere coupled with some great food and do I really need to even mention the beer? This is a must hit on any Michigan beer tour.

 2,631 characters

Photo of italianstallion
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of mattmarka1
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of mklisz
4/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of beerwolf77
3.59/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in here during my whirlwind tour of GR. The place was packed to the gills while I was there. I will give as fair a shake as possible.

Rather large dark open space with plenty of seating and standing room. Nice large stage to the left of the bar. No bands were playing on this occasion. Pretty much typical of any brew pub.

The tap list was decent but nothing special. They only had one beer on tap I had never had or seen outside the brewery. Of course I ordered that. Took a hefty 5 minutes to waive down a server to order.

Basically I'm getting to the point now where every brew pub feels the same. Nothing really stands out anymore. I would love to come back here when it's warm outside and enjoy the patio. Maybe on a week night so it's not as crowded too.

 774 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Deuane
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Founders, Founders, Founders! Having been to the old place a couple of times I was so looking forward to my first visit to the new and improved facility. We visited twice...once on a VERY busy Black Friday night and then the following day at opening...like night and day visits. Good thing for the Saturday visit saving the ass of Friday's cluster!

New bar which is very long. Big, open room much like before with the "trademark" chalk boards above the bar displaying the offerings. Big garage doors to open things up in season or keep out the cold Michigan winter. Nice touch with the enclosed and heated smoking chamber...nice for the smokers and nice for the non-smokers!

Service was hectic on Friday with three different people kinda taking care of us...we really didn't wait for long between drinks but our check took FOREVER! Saturday was much better with personalized service and lots of chatting with the staff.

14 beers on tap and the Friday night firkin. A few pub exclusive brews on tap to include the divine Espresso Nitro Porter!

A well thought out and fresh selection of deli sandwiches with quality to go withs. We had two very nice sandwiches with a chips and guacamole side to die for. The guac was plentiful, homemade and garlicy!

All in all the new Founders is better than the old and easily one of the premier beer places not only in Michigan but in the US. A must see and do place when in GR.

 1,420 characters

Photo of fredmugs
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
3.99 out of 5 based on 133,612 ratings.
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