(GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL) When Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers walked into an empty rundown truck depot in 2007, they saw something others didn't.
They transformed the rusted-out building on the south edge of downtown Grand Rapids into a warm, friendly taproom and production brewery. Now, seven years and another $25 million expansion later, it's even warmer and friendlier. The owners of Founders Brewing Co., 235 Grandville Ave. SW, have turned the old industrial transportation hub into a thriving brewery, not to mention a cultural hub of Grand Rapids - or Beer City USA.
It wasn't the first time Founders had searched out such a location. The brewery started in 1997 in the Brass Works Building on North Monroe, which was not the hopping location it is now. The main draw of both locations: plenty of space at a cheap price. Both qualities are a necessity for breweries because startup costs are expensive and equipment takes up a lot of space.
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