Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Founders Brewing Company Tour + Tasting

Once we decided that we were going to have a staycation in Grand Rapids to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary I knew that I wanted to do something new and something Thomas would really enjoy. So what's better than a tour + tasting at our favorite local brewery, Founders? I purchased the tickets, $30 each, and hoped that Thomas would be on board (we're there all the time after all..). Our tour was on Wednesday evening and blew every expectation out of the water.

The tour began in a "classroom" where we met the other 10 attendees and surprisingly only 3 of us were Michiganders, which I think is awesome and shows how big Founders is! After introductions we watched a quick promo video and then headed off to the production facility. One of the most fascinating things about Founders is that they produce every single one of their beers at this location, one block in Grand Rapids, MI. They produce over 500,000 barrels every year and are available in 47 states and 23 countries. That is mind blowing! Also mind blowing is the fact that they don't have ANY storage space, so they operate on a one order in one order out.

We learned the history; they started under the name Canal Street Brewing Co, the meanings behind the beer names, and that they almost filed for bankruptcy twice. We saw the bottling line, canning line, and keg-ing line. We spent over an hour walking through and it is very apparent that when they added the expansion they had these tours in mind. It was such a amazingly planned out tour with murals and diagrams.

Once we had finished the tour we headed back to the classroom where the tasting started. We sampled seven beers: Dirty Bastard, Rubaeus, Porter, Sumatra Brown, Red's Rye IPA, All Day IPA, and the highly coveted KBS as our surprise tasting. KBS just so happened to be on tap that week so Thomas was actually able to enjoy a few of them! Our Education Ambassador explained the history behind each beer and while I don't like beer I did taste each one :) Our tasting took about 45 minutes and at the end we were given a couple vouchers for a beer in the taproom and stickers. On our way back to the taproom we walked through the offices, conference rooms, etc. and even those were very impressive!

We were so blown away by this tour. Thomas has been to a couple brewery tours and said the others didn't even compare! We highly recommend that anyone visiting or living in Grand Rapids should check it out.  It is well worth the $30 price tag, even if you visit the taproom often.

1 comment :

  1. I love brewery tours, especially when they're in your hometown! It looks like y'all had a blast, and I can't believe that they have their beer in that many states and countries! That's crazy!