Mike StevensCo-Founder, Founders Brewing Co.
Some might label him an ambassador of Beer City U.S.A., but Founders knows he’s always been a dreamer on a mission with a thirst for success and zero regrets. Mike Stevens is the co-founder of Founders Brewing Company and serves as the company’s CEO. Founders has made a distinctive mark on the craft beer community by brewing complex, in-your- face ales with huge aromatics and tons of flavor. It’s one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the nation, currently ranking among the top 20 largest craft breweries in the U.S. as of 2016. The brewery has received numerous awards from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival, and its beers are often rated among the best in the world by RateBeer and BeerAdvocate users. Founders has enjoyed remarkable success, far outpacing its competitors in the craft beer industry. The company has seen its annual barrel output nearly double each of the last seven years, while distribution has expanded from seven states to 32 - shipping a total of 347,780 barrels in 2016. Founders’ HQ is in Grand Rapids, but the brand is in the process of expanding within the city and bringing a second taproom and brewery to Metro Detroit.
This session will hone in on the origin story of Founders Brewing Co. with Co-Founder Mike Stevens. Stories and insights will be on tap as Stevens takes you on a deep dive into what it takes to find success in an untapped market. The support of community, the acceptance of diversity and the goodwill of great people are just a few of the necessities that have played a role in creating new culture unlike any other!