©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Founders Brewing Co. expanding Grand Rapids facility, adding 52 jobs

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kathy Fagan


LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program incentive for the expansion of Founders Brewing Company’s Grand Rapids facility. The expansion will generate approximately $26 million in new private investment, adding a projected 52 new jobs.    

“Founders Brewing Co. is a leader in Michigan’s growing microbrew industry and deserves to be congratulated on this expansion. We thank them for their continuing commitment to Grand Rapids and to Michigan,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We should also thank both The Right Place and the City of Grand Rapids for helping to make this expansion to take place. This collaboration is a great example of what we can accomplish when working together.”    

Founders Brewing Co. began in Grand Rapids in 1997 as a sparse tap room and small beer production facility. Today the company has increased its production by 15 times with a network of 62 distributors across 23 states. Founders plans to expand its existing facility in the City of Grand Rapids to support its continued growth, investing approximately $26 million and creating 52 new jobs. As a result of the expansion, Founders has been awarded a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant with repayment terms. The City of Grand Rapids has offered a 12-year property tax abatement valued at approximately $300,000.   

“The craft beer market continues to grow, and demand for Founders beers has caused our growth to outpace average industry growth,” said Founders Brewing Co. President and CEO Mike Stevens. “Meeting this demand requires a significant upfront investment in additional facility area and, more importantly, in additional equipment. We are grateful for this incentive assistance, which will allow us to keep up with demand and to be in a position to hire more people to help us grow the brewery.”   

“Founders Brewing is a shining star in Grand Rapids, not only from a consumer standpoint but also with regard to economic development,” said Susan Jackson, Senior Business Development Manager, The Right Place, Inc. “This expansion confirms that Grand Rapids continues to find a niche in the micro brewing industry. We are pleased to help Founders grow in Grand Rapids.”   

The Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing.    

The MSF will consider a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and net-positive return to the state. Business retention and retail projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.   

The MEDC markets the state with a focus on business, talent, jobs, and helping to grow the economy. For more on MEDC and its initiatives, visit: michiganbusiness.org.