Thanks to Beer Enthusiasts, We’re Growing!

We announced today that we plan to expand our brewery production facility at our current site, 235 Grandville Ave SW. Pending approvals, we expect to break ground on this expansion in late October.

The expansion will take place in two phases: the first phase will involve the addition of approximately 37,000 square feet comprised of space for new production equipment, including a new 300 barrel (bbl) brew house and new fermentation tanks, as well as additional offices. The second phase will add approximately 20,000 square feet of space for more fermenting and packaging equipment.

Founders cellar from the catwalk

“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, our co-founder and CEO. “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.”

After both phases of the expansion, the Founders production facility will have the footprint for 900,000 bbl of capacity, which will be achieved incrementally through the addition of more fermenters and updated packaging equipment. We expect to end 2014 having shipped 200,000 bbl of beer and to ship 300,000 bbl in 2015.

We also plan to add 72 jobs over three years, ranging from managerial to operations to sales positions, generated by this expansion.

 

35 thoughts on “Thanks to Beer Enthusiasts, We’re Growing!”

  1. Hope you are considering additional parking! Almost always hard to find a parking spot when we come to visit. Founders IS a destination for us on occasion, coming from Grand Haven. Thank you for brewing great beer!

    • Thanks for the support, Roxana! We are working on both short- and long-term parking solutions. More information to come.

    • Since it is first and foremost a brewing company, that is to say, of alcohol, I hardly think parking expansion should be the priority. Increasing public transportation accessibility and partnering with taxi companies to provide discounts for customers would be far better options, since customers are coming to drink.

    • Our facility expansion will take over our current back parking lot, yes. However, we are working on both short- and long-term parking solutions. There will be more information to come.

  2. Maybe this expanded production will allow room for Mosaic Promise to be added to the annual roster. That beer is too good to be a memory after ArtPrize 2014.

  3. Great news! Congrats! And I agree with Patrick, Mosaic Promise needs to be year round or at least a seasonal/limited release. 12pk/15pk cans would be amazing!

    • We don’t plan to add any new markets of distribution in 2014. We may begin to look at new markets in mid-2015. You never know what we might do next…

  4. Because of this expansion, will beer begin to hit the market more quickly after packaging? For example, releasing your “special” hoppy offerings immediately after bottling as opposed to waiting for a specific release date (e.g. Dissenter).

    • We’re always working on shipping timelines but will maintain hard release dates for some beers. It’s an ever-changing process.

  5. Does this mean that we will see an increase in production quantity of limiteds, such as KBS and Backwoods Bastard?

    • We increase quantities on our limited release beers year after year. However, please keep in mind that barrel-aged beers will always be limited releases due to storage, the barrel-aging process and our ability to source high quality barrels. Cheers!

  6. Our first thought was “parking” also. Glad to hear you’re working on alternatives to the back lot. Dirt lot seems full of all day (no pun intended) cars lately…

    • We don’t plan to open any new markets of distribution in 2014. However, we will begin looking at expanding our distribution once we finish this facility expansion and will begin researching new states once again in 2015. Maryland could be on that list. We appreciate your patience! Stay tuned!

  7. Please produce more KBS. It’s so elusive. I need to purchase so many founders a week in my Kraft beer store just to be in the waiting list which might or possibly might not be enough to have a chance. I mean I get it that it’s hard to get and its cool to have night demand but it shouldn’t be impossible to get. I live in St. Louis. I purchase minimum 1 6 pack a week for any founders beer.

    • Hi Barbaros–Thank you for the support! We’ve produced more KBS year after year, but demand continues to grow as the craft beer community grows, and it will always be a limited release for us. First of all, there are only so many quality bourbon barrels for us to source, so we’re limited by that factor. Then, there’s the matter of storing those barrels for a full year in limited space in caves beneath Grand Rapids. In order for us to maintain our quality standards and keep that beer at its best, which is something we’re not willing to sacrifice, it will need to be a limited release beer for the foreseeable future. Cheers!

  8. Hi, I see that you will be adding 72 jobs over this time period. What’s the best way to view and apply for these jobs? Will they actively be posted on your website?

    • Hi Tom! We will actively post all of this jobs on our website. Check out our jobs page for current openings, and check back for more as we’re always updating it!

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