GRAND RAPIDS — Founders Brewing Co. co-founder and CEO Mike Stevens is leaving his post at the helm of the craft brewery in the coming weeks.
The Grand Rapids-based brewery announced today that Stevens will transition to become a Founders board member effective Feb. 1. The company also stated that it is searching for the next CEO, but did not specify when a new leader would be named.
“Building this company from the ground up and watching it grow into a successful business has truly been the honor of a lifetime,” Stevens said in a statement. “To find something I love doing and then create an entire brand and business from it was an incredible experience. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished, and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our organization, and to be part of that progress in my new position as a member of the board.”
With the CEO search underway, Erik d’Auchamp will serve in the role on an interim basis. He is the director of international business for family-owned Spanish brewer Mahou-San Miguel Group, which purchased a majority stake in Founders in 2019.
Co-founder and President Dave Engbers will remain in his current role while also taking on responsibilities assigned to the chairman of the board.
“We are so grateful for Mike and Dave’s vision and direction in developing and executing a brand and strategic plan that enabled Founders to gain a leadership position in the craft beer space,” d’Auchamp said. “When we very first met with Mike and Dave back in 2014 to discuss a partnership between our two brands, we could tell that we were building a connection to something special.”
“After working closely with the Founders team for years, we are excited to continue down the path of innovation with this group of talented and passionate individuals,” he added.
Stevens partnered with Engbers — a duo that met during their time at Hope College — to open Founders in 1997.
Founders brewed 592,000 barrels of beer in 2020, according to trade publication Brewbound. Per Brewers Association data, Founders was the 12th largest brewery in the country in 2020, the most recent year available.
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