Last Visit : June 12, 2010
I had the pleasure to visit the Founders Brewery this past weekend in Grand Rapids, MI. This visit is important for the Pittsburghers because Founders has only been available in the Pittsburgh area since late last fall. Right in a beautifully restored downtown area of Grand Rapids, this fairly new location (opened in 2007) has a great laid back vibe with good views into the brewery. A great location combined with a whole lineup of great brews made for my favorite of the four Michigan breweries I visited this weekend.
I tried a couple of things that you won’t normally find out in the stores. The Devil Dancer is an excellent imperial IPA weighing in at 12% ABV. The alcohol is not overpowering but there is a residually sweet flavor with a wonder ful bitterness. Sarah enjoyed the Cerise (Michigan Cherry Beer!) which is very much like a cherry cider. For a nice summer brew, try the Endurance Ale (4.8%) which is bursting with Cascade hop aroma and flavor. Sarah and I both enjoyed the Curmudgeon Olde Ale (9.8%) which has a wonderful malt bill giving it the flavor of a much darker beer. The food is mostly sandwiches but there are a lot of choices. It’s the little touches on the sandwiches that make them so good here. I enjoyed the Big Easy sandwich which is sort of like an italian sandwich served with an olive tapenade on sundried tomato bread. Sarah thoroughly enjoyed the Turkey/Bacon/Gouda on Ciabatta bread. I highly recommend the sandwiches!
My favorite brew from Founders is probably the Double Trouble Imperial IPA (avail. Jan-Feb). Since you won’t be trying this one this summer, I highly recommend the Centennial IPA and the Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale. I have not even encountered a mediocre beer from Founders (one of only a handful of breweries that I can say that about). Wait around for the late fall for a special treat: one of the best breakfast stouts you may ever drink! Try it now!
***Brewery Visits are a biweekly post about our favorite tours and taprooms all over the U.S.. Check back to see where we are going next!