Founders Brewing Co. Announces Plans for Reopening Detroit Taproom

Founders_Logo_color_2018Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids | Detroit, Michigan) has officially announced that it will reopen its Detroit Taproom in early 2020 with plans of donating 100% of profits to local charities and community organizations.

The crew here at Mashing In typically tries to avoid re-posting press releases in their original form, but – due to the sensitive nature of the events surrounding the lawsuit involving Founders Brewing Co. and Tracy Evans that has been dismissed after the parties reached a settlement agreement – we figured it best to leave Founders Brewing Co.’s words intact so that their message concerning the reopening of the Detroit Taproom and their renewed commitment to Detroit can be read exactly as the brewery intended.


100% of Profits to be Donated to Local Charities and Community Organizations

DETROIT – (November 7, 2019) – Founders Brewing Co. announces it will reopen its Detroit taproom in early 2020, as part of a renewed commitment to the Detroit community and employees across the company.

Founders will donate 100% of profits from the reopened taproom to Detroit charities and community organizations, through at least 2022. The company is now in the process of reestablishing and building relationships with local nonprofits, understanding that input from Detroiters must be incorporated into philanthropic decision-making in order to achieve the best possible impact for the city and its residents. This effort will add onto the company’s existing charitable program, The Big Pitcher, which will expand in 2020 to provide more support to charities in West Michigan and across the state.

“We really wanted to be a part of the historic renaissance taking place in Detroit,” said Mike Stevens, Co-Founder and CEO of Founders. “We feel we opened Detroit for the right reasons, but we recognize there’s room to do things better. When we reopen our doors to beer lovers in Detroit, we promise an environment that will be positive for our customers, employees and the community as a whole.”

Founders opened the Detroit taproom, at 456 Charlotte Street, just north of the historic Masonic Temple, in 2017. The company estimates a $3.1 million economic impact in Detroit in just two years from employee wages alone, which it expects to significantly increase, between employment and donated profits, starting in 2020. The company expects its community commitment to include the addition of trained returning citizens (formerly incarcerated Detroiters) to its workforce, providing meaningful careers in hospitality.

The company is in the process of hiring a new general manager for the location. Staff members who had been working there at the time of the temporary closing on October 25, 2019 will continue to be paid through the end of 2019.

“We understand that financial impact is not enough. We’ve committed, companywide to accelerating our diversity and inclusion efforts. That will not wait until the reopening in Detroit,” added company Co-Founder and President Dave Engbers.

Founders has hired Detroit-based Thomas Group Consulting to create a new companywide strategy, with Thomas Group principal Buzz Thomas serving as Interim Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Founders. Thomas has provided counsel in this area to companies in a variety of industries and is also a respected former Michigan State Senator and Representative. Founders will strive to ultimately create a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Management system aligned with the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Thomas Group Consulting will also assist Founders with identifying community partners in Detroit to ensure a diverse workforce and impactful philanthropy.

“I look forward to helping Founders create a best-in-class model for diversity, equity and inclusion, that will be able to serve as a model for other companies to emulate,” said Buzz Thomas.

Additionally, the company will hire a firm to conduct an independent audit of the Founders workplace to determine any workplace improvements that need to be made. 

“This experience has been humbling for us, but it’s put us in position to consider the type of future we want for Founders, creating a new vision for important aspects of the company,” added Stevens.

“We’ve built Founders on our love of bringing people together over beer,” said Engbers. “Now we look forward to continuing that mission, but in the name of doing the right thing by giving back even more to our local communities.”