Founders Announce Closure of their Detroit Taproom

Founders Announce Closure of their Detroit Taproom

Founders Brewing Company’s Announcement

Founders Brewing Company Announces Closure of Their Detroit Taproom

Founders Brewing Company – Detroit Taproom

Just a little bit ago (about a hour and a half ago) (at 6:30PM EST), Founders Brewing Company posted on their social media accounts that they are closing their Detroit Taproom.

Citing COVID-19 related issues and other economic related causes. (Founders Brewing Company also disabled comments on their Facebook and Instagram announcement posts.)

Their announcement reads:

It is with with great sadness that we announce that the Founders Detroit Taproom will be permanently closings its doors today.

Unfortunately, our Detroit location has not been immune to the struggle to regain foot traffic after temporary Covid closures that have impacted restaurants and bars across the nation. We are working diligently to find new positions within the company for the employees impacted by this closure.

We would like to thank all of our loyal customers, Mug Clubbers, and friends for your support and business over the years. It has been a great pleasure to serve you.

Founders Brewing Company – Facebook Post

The Detroit Free Press had more information as per their closure.

The Grand Rapids-based brewery, Michigan’s largest, cited “an ever changing craft beer market, coupled with the struggle to regain foot traffic after temporary COVID-19 closures” as the reasons for shuttering its second location, which originally opened in late 2017 at 456 Charlotte in Midtown Detroit.

“This decision involved a lot of careful consideration of each aspect of our business, and ultimately, what we felt was best for the company and our employees overall,” said Founders CEO Elton Andres Knight in a statement. “We explored every possible avenue to course correct the business and gave it as much time as we could. We are now working diligently to find new positions within the company for the employees who are displaced upon this closure.”

Founders Brewing Co. closes Detroit taproom, cites ‘ever-changing’ craft beer market

Racial Discrimination

In October of 2019, Founders Brewing Company announced that they were closing the Detroit taproom “until further notice”.

Michigan’s largest brewery sent an email to ticket-holders of this weekend’s highly anticipated Canadian Breakfast Stout release and party in Detroit that it’s canceling said release and party while closing the popular Detroit taproom indefinitely “in light of the recent events” and due to safety concerns for its employees.

Those “recent events,” of course, include the pending racial discrimination lawsuit that reached national news this week when a leaked deposition first posted by the Detroit Metro Times sparked a social media firestorm and led to some Detroit shops, bars and restaurants pulling Founders products from their shelves.

Founders co-founder and president Dave Engbers told the Free Press on Friday afternoon that the brewery closed its Detroit taproom out of an abundance of caution for employee safety and that it has “every intention” of reopening the taproom.

Founders Brewing closes Detroit taproom indefinitely amid racial discrimination lawsuit

Founders, which had announced a majority-stake sale to Spanish beer company Mahou San Miguel just weeks earlier, temporarily closed its Detroit taproom in October 2019 after a racial discrimination lawsuit a former employee filed against the company made national headlines and caused a social media firestorm. It reopened the taproom in February 2020 with plans to donate 100% of the profits from the taproom to charities and community organizations through “at least 2022” (it continued that commitment through Sunday, the company said). The COVID-19 pandemic began a month later.

Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers co-founded Founders in 1997 and, along with Larry Bell and Bell’s Brewery, helped lead the Michigan craft beer boom into the 2000s and 2010s. Founders became best known for its sessionable All Day IPA, which represents more than half its output, as well as its Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Dirty Bastard scotch ale and Centennial IPA.

Stevens stepped down as CEO in 2022. Engbers is still with the company as president.

Founders Brewing Co. closes Detroit taproom, cites ‘ever-changing’ craft beer market

Founders Brewing Company

Founders Brewing Company was certainly one of the early craft giants of the 2010s, but their market share, and value has greatly declined over recent years. While still greatly available and distributed, they have fallen off many ‘favorites’ lists.

Their controversies and issues have also certainly caught up to them over the years.

Lawsuits, racial discrimination cases, employee issues, and much more has caused them heartache throughout the late 2010s and early 2020s.

COVID-19 and the coronavirus has probably been the least of their issues in recent years.

For further information on craft beer market share, check out our two articles here:

For More Information About Founders Brewing Company

The following comes from Untappd. Founders Brewing Company is a macro brewery, and a subsidary of Grupo Mahou-San Miguel, from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They have 975 unique beers, and over 7 million ratings, with a global average rating of 3.96 (as of 5.1.23). Their Untappd description reads: We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us. Founders. Brewed for us.

You can follow them on their social media pages here:

Articles we have written:

Brewery News

Interested in finding out about many other brewery openings, new locations, closings, movings, and in general brewery news? You can check out our links below:

Thank You For Reading

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