Brewery multiplies capacity


Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids is rated the second-best brewery in the U.S. by and several of its beers are listed among the top 100 beers in the world by Photo via

A downtown brewery is planning to get larger — much larger.

Founders Brewing Co. said today that it intends to continue the company’s growth in Grand Rapids, at 235 Grandville Ave. SW.

The production upgrades will give the brewery the potential to produce 900,000 barrels annually. A barrel is 31 gallons.

This year, the brewery expects to distribute 200,000 barrels. Next year, output will likely reach 300,000 barrels. The brewery continues to be one of the fastest-growing operations in the country.

Last year, Founders was the 26th-largest brewery by volume, with about 112,000 barrels. Bell’s Brewery in Galesburg was No. 7, producing 250,000 barrels.

The plan

The expansion will take two phases.

Phase one will include the addition of 37,000 square feet for a 300-barrel brew house, new fermenters and additional offices. The second phase will add 20,000 square feet for fermenters and packaging equipment.

With the growth, Founders expects to add 72 jobs over three years, including positions in management, operations and sales.

“The focus of this expansion is to increase the capacity of our production facility — to brew more beer right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan,” said Mike Stevens, co-founder and CEO, Founders Brewing Co. “Because of increasing demand from the growing beer-enthusiast community, we aren’t able to fill orders right now. We’re expanding, because we’re committed to this city, this state and the craft beer community.”

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