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Founders Brewing Co. says Detroit taproom will reopen in 2020

Brewery will donate profits from next 3 years to community

DETROIT – Founders Brewing Co. announced Thursday that its Detroit taproom will reopen in 2020 after it closed in the midst of a racial discrimination lawsuit against the brewery.

A specific date for reopening has not been named. However, when the taproom does reopen in the new year, Founders leaders said the profits from the next three years will be donated to charities and community organizations.

Founders Brewing co-founders Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens held a news conference Thursday morning at the Detroit location. They said they are searching for a new manager for the taproom and don’t know how long that will take.

“What we’re really striving to do here is to work with the community,” said Stevens. “We want to work with fellow Detroiters. We want to work with the neighborhoods. We want to work with our staff and understand where we should deploy those funds so that we really engage with the community in a very serious way.”

The company also plans to create a diversity and inclusion strategy.

Meanwhile, Founders Detroit taproom employees will be paid.

Founders faced backlash after a former employee filed the lawsuit against the Michigan-based brewery. A settlement between the brewery and employee was reached last week.

MORE: Founders, employee reach settlement in racial discrimination lawsuit

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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.

“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,” said Engbers.

Founders is based out of Grand Rapids.


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