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Grand Rapids – A Founders Brewing co-owner says the backlash the western Michigan brewery has faced over a former worker’s racial discrimination lawsuit has been the “biggest challenge.”

Tracy Evans, who is black, filed the lawsuit last year saying workers at the Grand Rapids-based brewery repeatedly used racist language around him. He says the company fired him in retaliation for complaining to human resources, but the company denies that.

MLive cites a Detroit Metro Times report that says Founders general manager Dominic Ryan, who fired Evans, told Evans’ lawyer in a case disposition that he didn’t know Evans was black.

The Detroit Free Press report s that several bars have stopped serving Founders’ beers in response to the disposition.

Co-owner Dave Engbers told MLive that he’s trying to rebuild trust and that he wants to reassure the Detroit community that Founders celebrates “people of all different backgrounds and ethnicities.”

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