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Founders Brewing Company

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Today on Stateside, we recap the Michigan congressional delegation's reactions to the impeachment inquiry. Plus, following the recent settlement of a discrimination lawsuit against Founders Brewing Co., we talk to people of color in Michigan's food and craft beer scene about its lack of diversity.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Founders Brewing will re-open its Detroit tap room early next year and donate the location’s profits to local charities through 2022, in an effort to move past a disastrous episode for the Grand Rapids-based brewer.

That disaster started last month, with leaked details from an African-American Founders employee’s racial discrimination lawsuit. That employee, Tracy Evans, claimed Founders has a “racist internal corporate culture,” and that he was fired after making complaints to managers.

The bar at Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
flickr user Bernt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Founders Brewing Company settled the racial discrimination lawsuit against it this week.

Tracy Evans, a former employee at Founders’ Detroit taproom, first filed the lawsuit back in 2018. Evans alleges that several racist incidents happened while he worked there and upper management did nothing to put an end to it.

The bar at Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI
flickr user Bernt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

We Michiganders are pretty spoiled when it comes to our wide variety of beers. 

And we have Founders Brewing Co. to thank for so, so many of those beloved brews. 

The Founders baby will remain on labels in other states.
Mike Mozart / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

"You wanna sell beer in this state? You gotta go through me, kid."

While not an exact quote, that's essentially what Michigan's Liquor Control Commission said when it found that the label for Founders Breakfast Stout was in violation of its rules, which say:

Founders Brewing Company

A 125-year-old, seventh-generation, family-owned Spanish brewery, Mahou San Miguel, has bought a 30% interest in Founders Brewing Co., based in Grand Rapids.

Founders CEO Mike Stevens said the craft brewery has succeeded in its search for a long-term partner that will allow it to thrive for many generations.