At the end of the day...any craftbeer tour of Michigan begins and ends with Founders and Bellís...that doesnít mean they are the best Michigan has to offer (although they might be)...and either and both have likely held that title...its just that there are so many great up and comers (love Greenbush and Dark Horse)...but given their history...and their amazing venues and large amount of beers...they both deserve a lot of kudos. My first trip to Founders was hardly a disappointment...quite on the contrary it met all of my expectations. We visited this past Saturday...and found the venue to be impressive...loved the beers of course...and their were many...but Iíd had many of them over the years given Founders size and breath of distribution. There was a "really" good live band (reasonable $5 cover charge) and the several rooms...and outdoor spaces made Founders a cool place to hang out at. I liked that the age mix was a broad spectrum. At the end of the day Iím starting to like the smaller and more eclectic craftbeer venues (Michiganís Greenbush would be an excellent example...see my review)...but Founders does the big craftbrewery thing very well. Definitely a must visit while in Grand Rapids.
Second time I have stopped here. Older building next to the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids. Very clean with small bar and multiple tables. Draft and bottle selection is very good of brews beers and I have found new brews on tap on both visits. Service good and staff very freindly. Deli menu from 11 to 2 weekdays and delivery menus from locals aftrer lunch. Must stop location in this part of Michigan.
Finally made it up to Grand Rapids to check out this spot...Decor was a bit disappointing to me, a big spacious cold room that I didnít care for. Not a fan of the lack of seating, and what seating that was there was communal...draft list was decent, tons of regulars, 8 brewery beers including a great kolsch, nothing super special but everything was solid as to be expected from Founders... Iíd come to tick if I lived closed but unless a special release wouldnít go out of my way
Oh yeah - now thatís what Iím talking about. A large crowded spot with loads of locals drinking good beer. The location of our kickoff for RBSG 2010 and it was well-worthy of the honour. The owners took us on a rare tour of the back of the brewhouse and basically chatted non-stop about the history and the future of the brewery. They put on some special stuff for us - including the CBS, Livonia, and Kaiser Curmudgeon - which was much appreciated. Itís worth mentioning the sandwiches here too - had a pastrami that was as good as anything Iíve had in NYC - as blasphemous as that statement might be. Even cooler are the prices - 3 dollar pints of regular stuff and 5 bucks for 12 oz of the rare stuff. Iíd be here all the time if I lived in the area.
Stopped in here on a Thursday afternoon for lunch. Parking lot behind the building seemed sufficient. We were seated pretty quickly and ordered our food and had it quickly as well, but after that, the service pretty much stopped. I had an empty beer glass for about 20 minutes before anybody noticed, and that was only because I asked for another beer. Thatís way too long. I think they needed a few more waiters. The sandwich I ordered was quite good and very filling. The coleslaw was good as well as the potato salad. The store was pretty cool and pricing was fair for everything purchased.
Big pub with plenty of room. The large bar itself is spacy and very inviting. I really liked the atmosphere there, kind of hard to put into words, right from the moment I walked in this pub I had a different feeling that just about all other pubs Iíve ever visited. Crowd is rather young (mostly early twenties) but not the drunken college kind. Cool eclectic crowd. The place is probably doing well because on a Sunday night it was almost packed. So I would suggest to avoid the Friday/Saturday night cause that must be annoyingly packed. Food menu is reasonably priced interesting sandwiches. Probably not the right place if youíre looking for a full cooked meal. Only 10 taps when I was there with 7 of them being their regular bottled beers. Iíll never complain about drinking a Redís Rye or a Centennial on tap although these are also available in other pubs.
Must see on a Michigan beer tour. We showed up here on a Thursday night and it was fairly full. Besides a few pepper beers, they didnít really have anything all that exciting to taste. I was a little disappointed but Iíll be back.
Visited on a monday, July 11th 2011. The ambiance is nice, good brewery feel in a large, well spaced out environment. The service was incredibly quick, and remained pretty fast throughout the night even though the place really filled up around 10 PM. There was a good selection of standard taps and seasonals (devil dancer and blushing monk). We didnít have any food. Value was through the roof on a monday, you could get a pint of the standard offerings for a mere 2.25$. Even without the special, their beers are very well priced. A recommended stop.
Stopped by here on a Tuesday afternoon and it was fairly busy, although this is a huge place so there is plenty of room. We sat outside on the patio which was nice and pleasant. The staff was friendly and attentive. There are many taps, although most are bottled offerings with maybe 4-5 tap only selections (including CBS!). Although I didnít get any food, they do have an extensive sandwich menu (and the sandwiches looked pretty tasty!). All in all, a nice place to visit. I found the tap-only beer to be hit-or-miss so that was a little disappointing, but if you are here for good beer you are sure to find something.
warehouse type atmosphere with brewery behind the glass. Bartender was very friendly giving me a ton of free samples of the beers that they dont bottle. the assistant brewer was there doing some tank transfers so he gave me a short tour of the place. not that big of a brewery and really not flashy. however, sanitation is definatly a priority here. devil dancer, imp stout, oatmeal stout, porter, rubeaus, and scalawags old ale were on tap this day. Nice place and i really dig downtown Grand Rapids (upbeat for a downtown in the midwest).