Food Service & Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Retail

Brewery extends distribution

June 3, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Founders Brewing hits production bottleneck
Founders Brewing Co.’s bottling line at work. Photo via

A growing brewery is continuing its push westward.

Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids said yesterday that it has added two states to its distribution footprint and is expanding distribution in another state.

Through partnership with the distributor Johnson Brothers, Founders will begin shipping beer to both Dakotas and western Minnesota this month.

“We’re looking forward to getting our beer to all of the Midwestern states with the addition of our new partners, Johnson Brothers,” said Mike Stevens, co-founder and CEO, Founders Brewing Co. “As we continue the progress on our facility expansion, it’s going to allow us get our beer to even more enthusiasts this year. And we’re starting with some of our neighbors.”

The brewery expects to send all year-round and seasonal beers to the new markets immediately. Limited-release beers may be available at select retailers following the launch.


With the addition of the two Dakotas, Founders now distributes to 34 states and the District of Columbia.

Most of the states have full coverage except for Nebraska (only greater Lincoln and Omaha), Kansas (only Kansas City), Alabama (most of northern Alabama) and Minnesota, where the northeast part of the state, including Duluth, is void of Founders beer.


The brewery is finishing up a $40-million expansion, which includes a 300-barrel brewhouse, that will allow Founders to potentially produce up to 900,000 barrels annually.

Last year, the company produced 193,000 barrels of beer, which made it the 17th-largest craft brewery in the country. This year, Founders expects to ship about 300,000 barrels.

“We’re faced with a great window of opportunity,” Stevens told the Business Journal in January. “2015 and 2016 are going to be pivotal years in making us a national player in the craft beer market.”

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