235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Every time we come to Grand Rapids, the crew and I always end up spending at least one evening enjoying frosty cold adult malted beverages at Founders Brewing Company. It’s a brewery and restaurant that’s literally become a destination for beer lovers who love food, and food lovers who love beer. That’s called a win-win!
If you’re serious about your beer, this place should be at the top of your shortest “short” list, and after winning second best brewery in the entire world, the recognition they’re getting is well deserved.
Like a lot of people in Michigan, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers were two hobby home brewers who decided to retool their careers and chase their dream. So they quit their jobs, took out huge loans and started Founders.
After spending some time making well-balanced but unremarkable beers, they nearly went bankrupt. They were trying to make beer that would appeal to a wide audience, and it wasn’t working. So they decided that if they were going to go down trying, they may as well make the kind of beer they liked to drink. That simple decision was their stairway to beer heaven. With names like “Dirty Bastard,” “Curmudgeon Old Ale” and “Devil Dancer,” you can pretty much guess the kinds of beers Mike and Dave like.
Founders brews big-body, aromatic, in-your-face ales with tons of character and flavor, just what the true craft beer enthusiast ordered. Their philosophy is simple: “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.”
It’s working. Founders Brewing Co. has evolved into one of the highest recognized breweries in the United States. They’ve been ranked in the top four breweries in the world and have a lot of their beers listed in the top one hundred beers. They’ve won more medals for their big, bold brews than you can shake a pretzel stick at.
Founders also is a great place to tuck a napkin into your shirt, rub elbows with all types and get a great bite to eat. Their sandwiches are outstanding and their specials sensational.
Next time you’re in Grand Rapids, do what we do on the UTR crew: stop at Founders for a pint or two, then you’ll see what I’m telling you is absolutely true. Wow, poetry!