• Elizabeth Listerman

Grand Rapids Brewery Series: Founders Brewing Co.

Founders Brewing Co. found on 235 Grandville Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids is a rapidly growing and world-renowned brewery started in our very own city. Founders bottles and cans their beers where they are distributed all over the US. Founders is the biggest brewery in Michigan, and it was founded in 1997-- it surpassed Bell’s Brewery in 2017 and its numbers continue to rise rapidly.

The brewery occupies a huge warehouse that used to be a former trucking depot. The brewery is ginormous and has architecture that is both urban yet country. The dedication to wood and the ceiling beams makes it feel like you are in an upscale barn, while the black metal embellishments and red brick take you back to downtown Grand Rapids. The building offers seating from normal dining, bar seating, and a place outdoors in their beer garden.

The atmosphere is fantastic at Founders. There you are surrounded by beer connoisseurs and on the other side of the spectrum, you meet people who are trying IPA’s and local craft beer for the first time. Everyone is welcome and everyone will love their beer just the same.

Founders deli menu is downright scrumptious. The food is hearty and savory and pairs perfectly with any beer of choice. Their menu is made up of those bar food originals such as beer cheese dip, heavy meaty sandwiches, delectable pizzas, and lots of cheese!

Founders brews beers from stouts, seltzers, IPA’s, ales, and lagers. Many of their flavors are inspired by Michigan staples like maple, Mackinac island fudge, and cherries. Their most popular beverages being All Day IPA, Rubaeus, Dirty Bastard, and Solid Gold!

But Founders has also incorporated some unusual flavors from across the Atlantic. In many of their new brewed drinks, they have taken a liking to agave and tequila. This is due to Founders partnering in 2014 with Spanish brewer Majou San Miguel and then later selling a minority 30 percent stake to him in 2015.

Even though it seems that Founders has now gone worldwide. They still stay close to home by keeping their community in mind when it comes to supporting local nonprofits and donating to important charities.

Founders has its communities back by taking initiative to be sustainable and to be giving to local charities. The Big Pitcher is their corporate giving platform designed to give back to causes that mean the most to them. They are also partnered with the Conservation Alliance, an organization whose vision is to protect and restore America’s wild places. Founders gives back to organizations such as Friends Of Grand Rapids Parks, Feeding America, Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary, Crash’s Landing, Kids Food Basket, and much more.

It is great to have a staple like Founders represent Grand Rapids so well. As well as having a business as big as them be supportive of local charities and organizations. It’s important to use your platform and your name in order to make a change and make a difference in the community that has been supporting you since 1997!

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