As music technology has evolved, Founders Brewing has kept it simple. Their goal in the taproom has remained simple: keep things classic and current.
The atmosphere varies daily in the wide open, sun-laden space, which means the tunes must morph into whatever crowd and feel presents itself during that period of time. The employees move behind the bars seamlessly, churning out pours with ferocity. The taproom is a living, breathing organism.
“Music symbiotically keeps the spirit of the Founders Taproom pumping in front of and behind the bar,” said Taproom Manager Molly Rent, who is an eight-year veteran of the Founders family.
The German beer hall style taproom, which contains three separate bars, was created from a former trucking depot and now includes a patio and beer garden. Since the brewery itself is constantly growing and evolving, the same holds true for their taproom, customers and of course, music.
“Whether it's morning or night, busy or slow, the tunes in the taproom are equally vital to the moods of our servers and customers alike,” said Rent. “When there’s a playlist that fits the vibe of those slinging beers, that energy pours into our customers as well.”
It’s always a blast to create high energy playlists that cater to the theme of that day.”
Much like their ever-expanding beer list, the music selection has a little something for everyone. And the recipe for success is as follows: one part soul and funk, one part ‘70s and ‘80s classic rock, sprinkled with blues, hip-hop, Latin, jam bands, metal and electronic.
“We really try to mix up the music as much as possible,” said Rent. "Most of us on the management team have put in our time in the taproom as part of the utility and/or serving crew, and understand first-hand how important the vibe of the taproom is to our staff and customers.”
On a regular day, the music selection is “as assorted as our tap list,” according to Rent. But similar to any good DJ, Founders realizes special occasions call for a special soundtrack in order to set the stage and put the vibe out there. “Party Days” for the brewery and taproom include KBS Release Day, Black Party, Harvest Party, and Firkin Freeze Out, to name a few.
“It’s always a blast to create high energy playlists that cater to the theme of that day,” Rent said. “And we have some awesome employees who rock at that.”
When patrons are lucky enough to get a taste of that famous, sweet, sweet maple-y, bourbon-y goodness called Canadian Breakfast Stout, Founders taproom likes to pay tribute to our good friends in the north.
“When we tap highly anticipated beers like the kind-of-but-not-really-mythical CBS, we’ll crank up the Canadian National Anthem while a taproom employee runs around with the Canadian flag,” Rent said.
Oh, Founders. We stand and guard for thee!