Log in or Sign up
Extreme Beer Fest
returns to Boston on March 21 & 22, 2014.
Tickets are on sale now
BeerAdvocate mobile beta: Testers Wanted
. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Android or Google Chrome user? Get a
14 day free trial to BeerAdvocate magazine on Google Play Newsstand
today! (AU, CA, UK, US only).
Extreme Beer Fest
Google Play Newsstand
Founders Brewing Company
Active Beers: 78
Beer Ratings: 63,768
Beer Avg: 3.97
Taps: 18 / Bottles: 7
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
235 Grandville Ave SW
phone: (616) 776-1195
Monday - Saturday: 11am - 2am
Sunday: 12pm - 12am
Non-smoking Indoors, huge front porch for smoking. (heated winter room coming!)
Much larger room, with huge 25-seat custom mahogany bar.
Expanded Deli Menu and Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 11am-11pm
Live Music Thursdays and Saturdays featuring Stage, House PA and Sound
Pool Table, Real Dart Board, and Shuffleboard.
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 247 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5 | $$
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.
05-01-2007 18:48:39 |
More by leftmindedrighty
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
2nd stop on my great midwest brewery tour.
Founders brewery and taproom located in downtown Grand Rapids. The atmosphere is that of a large and long hall with an equally long bar along the side. We arrived at 5:30PM on a Sunday and it was absolutely packed. Not so packed that you couldn't move but there were no tables or any seats available. There was a concert going on, a jazz orchestra, that plays the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month. It wasn't too difficult to get beers from the bar and the bartender was friendly and fast.
The beer is uniformly excellent, we all know that. It was also very cheap, at least compared to California prices. I only had one beer, the all day IPA, as there was nowhere to sit and enly a few more. I did not sample the food but the menu consisted entirely of deli sandwiches and a few pizzas. They also have a store on site selling bottles to go and Founders merchandise.
A recommended place to go. If you don't like crowds then it probably helps to go earlier. Great beer and a great atmosphere.
12-02-2011 23:27:27 |
More by willjschmidt
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Went on a trip this past weekend to the Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids area too visit many of the great breweries in the area. This one was tops on my list of my reason to visit this area. And I tried to get here while KBS was on draught but unfortunately missed it by a week.
Went the first time on Friday night and the place was packed and loud as hell. Good times were being had by all. A good selection of beers although I was somewhat dissapointed in the lack of KBS or BS, however the IS, Oatmeal Stout, Blushing Mond, Devil Dancer, etc were all spectacular.
I did think the bartenders could have been a little more friendly. Both the Friday night and Saturday ones didn't seem overly excited to be working. Which I hate working myself but I'd love to bartend for such a great brewery.
They have large glass windows so you can view the bottling line and brewing area. No brewing was being done while I was there.
They don't have food accept for peanuts and pretzels but I wasn't going here to eat. And the prices for all of the breweries I visited were outstanding. Can't wait to return when they release KBS next year.
07-11-2006 17:46:36 |
More by mcallister
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
What can I say?
I was excited to come to Founders. It was stop three on my mini-brewery excursion and I was looking forward to grabbing some beers from one of the greats.
Founder's sort of sticks out in a gentrifying neighborhood on the South side of Grand Rapids. There is a newish condo complex across the street with "hop" in it's name. I wonder if its a coincidence or not...
As for the brewpub, it's essentially a large warehouse-type set up. It's just one extremely large room with a bar along one wall. There were tables set up during my visit, but none of them are permanent. From what I can tell, Founder's gets bands on a regular basis and the space can be a venue as well as a brewpub. Multi-purpose I suppose. However, from a brewpub perspective, it's a shitty set up. There is no hostess so you don't where to go or where to sit or what.
Never-the-less, found a table after some searching. But no waiter. and no menu. and no beer menu. all except what is written on the chalkboards. Is this how it's supposed to work? I'm supposed to get up and walk half-way across the restaurant to stare at the fucking wall every time I want to make a decision about what to drink or eat. What a pain in the ass. (as it turns out - there are menus, my server was just a dipshit).
So, speaking of my server. This guy probably shouldn't be a server. Didn't bring us any menus, didn't offer any suggestions. When I asked about one of the only beers available that I've never heard of, the Mister E Froot, he was incapable of describing it. I asked him to try. He noted it was unique. Okay... what about the yeast, I asked, attempting to get some sort of description or idea of what this beer resembled. "Founder's uses the same yeast in every of their beers." I found that interesting, but whatever. So is it like a lambic? No was the reply. How about Brett, does it have brett in it? What is brett? he asked. You know, like a sour, is it a sour? No. Okay, I give up, twenty questions is over, just bring me the fucking beer.
I am hopeful my server was an anomaly. However, while staring at the beer list over the bar, it wasn't anyone even attempted to even assist me. Never, not once. I guess Founder's just isn't a very helpful place.
As for the food, it's sandwiches and pizza made out of bread that you could otherwise use to make a sandwich. The sandwiches aren't bad. Some show creativity. And they're well made. But in the end they are just sandwiches and they're nothing all that special.
Selection was decent, but there were only two brewery-only beers available on my visit. Considering I was coming all the way from Chicago, I was hoping for a little more pizzazz, a little something to make the trip worthwhile. Two brewery-only beers and a dozen beers I didn't need to leave Illinois to drink was a little bit of a let down.
Overall, the place was just okay. I imagine the vibe would be a lot different at night, but I really didn't get the feeling this was a place to kick back and sip a beer. It just felt like they were catering to the "let's go out and get drunk" crowd and I'm way passed that stage.
09-23-2011 02:26:43 |
More by Florida9
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
What a cool brewpub. It’s an absolute must visit if you’re a beer dork. Or if you’re not. It gets crowded, but they have a dedicated service area that keeps everything moving. The food comes from a window. Basically everything is self service, but in a place this big and busy, it works the best.
08-05-2013 01:58:11 |
More by Fluffheady
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Came here for the CBS release last week. I feel like I am more intimate with the outside of this building than the inside, seeing as I was in line before five in the morning until a little past 11am.
Inside, it is a very impressive and large seating and bar area. The only time I was inside was to get my beer, then the group I was with headed to the tables outside. It was a cool crisp day with bright blue skies. A perfect time to enjoy a couple of fresh CBS on tap. The staff was friendly, and did their best to accommodate everyone on such a stressful and busy day. The entire place looked like it was brand new (and I believe it is quite newly redone/expanded) and was a great time.
One complaint I have is that for such a big day, the only special beer on tap was CBS. I would have really enjoyed to try Cashew Mountain Brown or Black Note. Oh well!
10-09-2011 00:38:19 |
More by SpdKilz
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Founder's is a small brew pub located in the downtown area of Grand Rapids. There are pool tables on one side and other tables for sitting and not much else. Every once in awhile there will be bands that play in which case talking becomes very hard. The bartenders are cordial and provide a friendly atmosphere. Lots more choices than what they bottle but only Founder's beers. All beers are served in appropriate glassware which is nice. This is a nice place to go, relax, and drink some really good beers.
04-14-2004 14:19:35 |
More by granger10
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I was at the old place back in August and this is from notes:
I love Founders' beers. Their bar however, was a bit crazy. We inadvertently went on a night with a band and the room was ear-shatteringly loud and filled with more smoke than a chain smoker's car. The beers however, are awesome. I got a lot of great beers on tap and actually discovered a deeper appreciation for the Kentucky Breakfast Stout after having it on tap. All the bar staff were helpful and fast which was impressive because it was wicked busy. I'm definitely going to have to check out the new place.
12-13-2007 18:32:16 |
More by drseamus
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Based on a visit there 10 17 09 with some notes but also additional recollections. This and New Holland were the top two reasons for making a Michigan beer trip which means that long ago when I saw where Founders was located I got the idea of visiting here. I was very much looking forward to visiting here for months. Located near the thriving city of Grand Rapids, the modern brewpub of Founders greets the visitor. There is a lengthy main hall with a winding, serpentine bar with about 100 tables and the brewery facility at the far end. Very spacious, modern.
Atmosphere Very college, organic, hippie appearance but also with significant modernity since it is very open with visible brewing equipment through windows all of the way to the left as you enter. On the right is the long bar (it probably seats 30?) and seating for another 250 (?) makes up the bulk of the main area of the brewpub. I can recall rows of tables with loose chairs on either side. There is an "order window very near the entrance on the right before you get to the bar and, of course, this is where you order food, get a beeper and then return to get your food. Interesting system since there are no "waiters" or "waitresses." 4.0
Quality Very high since everything is presented in proper glassware and great pride and care is taken to present the beer accurately. 4.5
Service Very good indeed. I mentioned to the bartender during an afternoon that I am basically making a tour of beer places in Michigan and he was welcoming and interested in where else I had visited. Before I left he gave me about half of a pint of what turned out to be a mixture of 3 different beers, including two different vintages of Dirty Bastard. That was generous an unexpected and welcomed. 4.5
Selection Well if you love craft beer then the selection is simply great. I tried a few new beers I had not heard of before that night, Founders Hole Mole, Founders Hand of Doom, Founders Newaygo County Cherry, and all of their standard line up including FBS, a pleasure to try on tap from the source. 4.5
Food Pretty good. I ordered a turkey sandwich and it came in a basket with chips and a pickle as I recall. It was good and fresh. 3.5
Value Just fine but I was honestly not looking at the prices.
Notes: A great Beer Advocate place.
11-25-2009 06:35:11 |
More by adamette
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.
05-12-2011 16:39:42 |
More by Knapp85
Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address