Founders Brewing Company

235 Grandville Ave SW Grand Rapids

Historic Brews of Grand Rapids/Founders Brewing Company
Experience Grand Rapids
Written By Experience Grand Rapids

Get ready to be wowed - Grand Rapids never fails to surprise visitors with the huge variety of things to see and do here: World-renowned art, museums and historic sites for cultural vacationers. World-class golf, recreation and beaches for nature lovers. Incredible farm-to-table restaurants for foodies and wholesome "playcation" fun for families.

It’s hard to tell after a decade of massive expansions, but Founders Brewing Co. is located in a truck depot from the middle of the 20th century. When the brewery founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers first looked at the space, it was vacant and run down, perfect for a growing brewery. Since Founders moved into the former truck depot, which is now the taproom, the brewery has grown from brewing 6,000 barrels of beer in 2007 to brewing more than 460,000 in 2017, making it the largest brewery in Michigan.

Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers both seemed to have life figured out when they opened Founders Brewing Company. Even though they both had steady jobs the two men decided to take out huge loans and embark on a beer fueled journey, but despite their enthusiasm Founders didn't take off right away, in fact just the opposite happened.

Mike and Dave had been brewing good beer, but they hadn't tried anything new or daring. They had been brewing beer that other people wanted to drink, so when they were almost bankrupt and everything seemed to be crashing down, the pair decided to go for broke and brew an ale that they would want to drink themselves.

Today, Founders is one of the most recognized breweries in the US. They have been ranked in the top breweries in the world by Ratebeer.com for the last five years and they have several beers listed in the top one hundred beers of the world on Beeradvocate.com. They have won six World Beer Cup medals, four European Beer Star medals and three Great American Beer Festival medals—thirteen medals total across eight different beers.

Founders Brewing Company runs their business with a simple philosophy- “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.”

Cover Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids

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