Home Leave | Founders Brewery Tour


Founders-Brewery-Tour-4.jpgFounders-Brewery-Tour-4.jpg

founders brewing company, founders brewery, brewery tour, beer city usa, grand rapids, michiganKail and I spent part of home leave visiting his parents just outside Grand Rapids, Michigan — also known as “Beer City USA.” We even toured the driving force behind this moniker, Founders Brewing Co.founders brewing company, founders brewery, brewery tour, beer city usa, grand rapids, michiganEquipment from the original brewery.Founders was started in 1997 by two college buddies who were homebrewers interested in making a business out of their hobby. For the first couple years, they brewed what our tour guide described as “boring” beers that weren’t selling very well.founders brewing company, founders brewery, brewery tour, beer city usa, grand rapids, michiganThe brewing process.On the brink of bankruptcy, the two decided to brew a final batch with the ingredients they had leftover in their storeroom — so they’d at least have a consolation prize to enjoy while looking for new jobs. And so came into being Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale. Or so the legend goes.Founders’ slogan is “Brewed for us.” Meaning: Not for the masses but for craft beer enthusiasts or what others might consider “beer snobs.”founders brewing company, founders brewery, brewery tour, beer city usa, grand rapids, michiganStacks on stacks.Despite having visited, toured and written about other breweries (See: Brew Revolution, Cadejo Brewing Company and Kona Brewing CompanyI’m far from a beer aficionado. I know little to nothing of the beer-making process. Kail has been interested in homebrewing but has yet to take up the hobby.founders brewing company, founders brewery, brewery tour, beer city usa, grand rapids, michiganCans en route to being filled.Still, I found the Founders brewery tour particularly interesting, because it really focused on the science and engineering behind beermaking — from the different processes to create certain brews to the mechanics of the machinery required to scale up the brewery’s operations in order to meet ever-growing demand.founders brewing company, founders brewery, brewery tour, beer city usa, grand rapids, michiganStrict quality control.Founders has grown tremendously over the past 18-odd years, and the brewery itself has been expanding lot by lot in downtown Grand Rapids, slowly taking over an entire city block. Its success was evident on the Tuesday evening we visited the brewery: After our tour, we had dinner in the Taproom, the brewery’s massive bar/restaurant area. It was packed — inside and outside.founders brewing company, founders brewery, brewery tour, beer city usa, grand rapids, michiganThis floor is built to airport runway specifications. It can withstand the weight of a commercial airliner. That’s how much beer is being brewed there!Kail and I would like to visit another well-known Michigan brewery: Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo. We didn’t make it there this trip, but perhaps next home leave …Have you ever toured a brewery?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: