Founders Brewing co-owner: Discrimination suit ‘biggest challenge’

Associated Press

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.

Founders Brewing Company's Detroit taproom at 456 Charlotte Street.

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.”