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Founders to open taproom in Cass Corridor

A 14,000 square foot tap room, only the second in the brewery’s 20 year history, is set to open at 456 Charlotte this winter

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Founders Brewing Co., one of the top craft beer-makers in the state, announced plans Tuesday to open a second taproom in the lower Cass Corridor this winter.

The 14,000-square-foot building is planned for 456 Charlotte, just a skip away from Little Caesars Arena, the Masonic Temple, Fox Theatre, Comerica Park and other attractions.

The full-service tap room will serve food and local beers made on-site, as well as classic Founders labels. Brewery officials announced Tuesday that they plan to start hiring employees in the summer. The goal is 100 people, including brewers.

Grand Rapids-based Founders, which has partnered with Midtown Detroit Inc. and Invest Detroit on the development of the property, expects to open the taproom in the winter.

“Having been born and raised in the metro area, Detroit has long held a special place in my heart,” said Founders vice president of retail operations Mark Dorich in a news release. “It’s a hard-working, no-nonsense, culturally diverse and musically inspired town, which happens to have the best sports teams in the country.”

“Some of our strongest support has come from the east side of Michigan, and we could not think of a better place to expand our taproom experience. We anticipate creating a taproom that is inspired by what we do in Grand Rapids, but unique in its own Motown way.”

Founders co-founder Mike Stevens said at a news conference Tuesday that his beer company and Detroit have a similar story.

“This is our first market we went to outside of Grand Rapids 20 years ago, and we’ve been coming down to Detroit now for two decades, selling our brand, and we’ve watched Detroit go through its struggles,” he said.

“Founders is no stranger to struggle ... we flirted with bankruptcy a couple times, the first dozen years were absolutely brutal. I think we’ve lived very similar lifestyles, and we’re honored to put our elbows together and be part of the community that gets what raw guts, and grit and go-for-it kind of mentality looks like.”

Stevens and Dave Engbers opened Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids in 1997 and has grown to become one of the 20 largest craft breweries in the United States.

Known for beers like All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard, Breakfast Stout and its barrel-aged series, Founders also has a taproom at 235 Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids.

(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens