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Beer O'Clock GR

It's 11.31am On Saturday January 23 And It's Happy Hour Right Now at 4 Bars In GR

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Founders Brewing: Where the Dirty Bastard is to Die For

By Ben Brugger

My assistant gave me a look before we made it to the door. It was one of her what-the-hell-were-you-thinking types that she has honed to the point where she is able to distill a winning argument into a half-second glance.

“What?” I said, shrugging my shoulders, trying to feign ignorance.

Christ. There it was again.

“They were moving too slow.” I barked back. “We’ve got to get a table before they’re gone.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” She said, not waiting for a reply.

Founders Brewery was the short answer. Which, when combined with an ingrained moral handicap, along with an injection of cold war-era competiveness (brought on by watching the United States women’s gymnastic team trounce the steely-eyed Russian squad into a bouncy mess of tear-soaked leotards) was the reason I nearly knocked over a couple of walker-dependant senior citizens while trying to bull my way through the crowds that were amassing near the front door of Founders tap room in SW Grand Rapids last Thursday night.

It was completely necessary, I felt. After all, there was beer inside, and I could see that there was only one table left. Which says a lot for a bar that’s about half the size of an airplane hanger.

Most likely, if you’ve reached the age where you’re allowed to drink outside your parent’s basement, you’ve already been to Founders. If not, you probably should. Founders Brewery and Taproom, located at 235 SW Grandville Avenue, has reached a tourist-attraction-like level of popularity. Although the crowd tends to look like they just jumped out of a kayak, in reality it’s a pub for people of all walks. It’s a spot to take Mom and Dad when they bounce into town from wherever moms and dads live these days. A place where you can toss-back a few IPAs and watch pops get a kick out of hucking peanut shells on the floor while mom sips on a Cherry Cerise and soaks up the sights and sounds of the “big city”. Or, it’s the bar you hit up with your crew after a day of barbecuing and lawn darts. A place to pound Dirty Bastard Ales (9.5%!) and get all misty eyed while talking about the good old days.

In short, Founders is a good time for everyone. They’ve got a huge patio, live music, a couple of big-old TV’s for your Olympic viewing pleasure, a pool table, delicious food and most importantly, the beer is outstanding. And that’s what’s really important, right folks? In my mind, it’s the only legitimate reason for knocking old folks to the ground on a Thursday night. After all, I work for a living and feel I deserve a cold beverage after a hard days work (old people be damned). So go out and get one. Now. Okay?

Photo by  l e o j. Source: Flickr