Brewery Vivant creates lively brews and feeds my local appetite

Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids, MI

Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids, INCraft beer is a complex mountainous landscape of highs and lows of flavor, aroma, mouth feel and pure mystery. It’s a taste of local we love so much. Sometimes we say a beer is good, great, smooth, refreshing, etc. At Brewery Vivant we say: woah! Try this. It’s an experience.

We went for lunch a few months back with my cousin Lindsey and the three of us ordered three flights, trying every beer on tap that day. We were rather happy with the French- and Belgian—style beer, our impressive food and the unique building, an old funeral chapel built in 1948. According to the website, the original wood beams and light fixtures were restored, providing a special charm. “All the renovations followed strict Historic Preservation standards and every effort was made to bring the building back to its original look.”

We went back this weekend with my Momma and Chuck (I thought they’d love the interesting, old building), and it was just as impressive. I had the Cemetarian, which is their Undertaker Belgian Style Dark Ale, aged in an oak barrel and spiked with coffee and vanilla. It was so delicious with notes of dark chocolate, roasted malts and cherries and a hint of molasses. I counted it as dessert and took my time. I would have licked the inside of the glass were it possible. Dan enjoyed the delicious Devastation, which is their Tree Bucket Belgian Double IPA aged in a bourbon barrel. This is the first place I’ve really liked many of the hoppier beers. Everything on tap has a unique French or Belgian twist, with old style techniques, funky yeasts and fresh, exploratory tastes.

Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids, INAnd the food is out of this world. I’m talking … duck nachos, prosciutto wrapped camembert cheese, and I even saw rhubarb ketchup on the menu (I have to go back and try this exotic mix up of my least favorite condiment). Our Monk Salad with toasted walnuts, pickled red onion, apricots, feta, tomatoes, and the house-made Farmer’s Daughter vinaigrette was the perfect light complement to the complex beer and rich food.

The website says that “The word ‘vivant’ translates as ‘to be alive’, or ‘to be lively’ which we thought fitting to the type of brewery we strive to be.” And it was. When we arrived, tons of bikes lined the front as a bike-to-beer tour was beginning right there. And what I love most about Brewery Vivant is that it sources local ingredients, is committed to sustainability in all aspects and pursues beer making as an artistic venture.