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Active Beers: 52
Beer Ratings: 1,858
Beer Avg: 3.75
Taps: 14 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
925 Cherry St SE
phone: (616) 719-1604
(Place added by: abaculy on 01-18-2011)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 45 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Very cool atmosphere - the brewery is in an old chapel, so sitting at the bar you are surrounded by stone pillars, wood beams, stained glass windows, etc. Fits the style of beer too - heavy on Belgian and French beer styles.
Beer was very good - but you had better like funky Belgian yeast flavors - as the selection are Abbey style ales, Farmhouse, Saison, Sours, etc. They have hard cider and wine for the non-beer drinkers.
Bartender was very nice - and after we had our drinks gave us a free sample of their sour ale thats aged with peppers. We didn't have any food - but if we hadn't already just eaten we would have tried their aged cheeses.
06-12-2012 22:35:27 |
More by jmdrpi
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2 | $$$$
Nice place with an overpriced menu. The food is delicious, but supper fancy. Caviar with beer? The fries were like six busks for a small serving.
The beer is fair in price though, and they had 6 to 10 to choose from. Was there on a firkin Friday. That was fun but I did not care for that beer.
Love the old church thing and the common seating area. People in West Michigan are friendly and easy to talk to. The culture of Grand Rapids accentuates the atmosphere.
Staff was friendly and quick to serve. They were also knowledgable about there products.
All in all it is a nice place and I would return; however I would either eat before I went, or have a few then head to one of East Grand Rapids other restaurants for dinner. Way overpriced food.
04-07-2012 19:03:10 |
More by hmbrewer336
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Stop #332 on my world brewery tour.
Full disclosure: If I ever take the leap to making a living off beer it would be to open a Belgian brewpub in an old church (if rehab was fiscally possible). Color me jealous.
Stopped in around 7:00 on a Tuesday in mid December.
Second brewery in a church. The other being Church Brewing in Pittsburgh which is much, much bigger. Vivant is cozy with a very nice bar coming out from the alter (not sure of the religious term for the very front of the church). Cozy booths line the side walls and large wood communal tables on the floor. It was previously a funeral home and I wonder how much time, money, and effort it took to make it this nice.
The friendly couple next to me at the bar said two more brewpubs are opening within walking distance. Lots of great beer choices in Grand Rapids.
I went with two Cambier flights where you get four four ounce pours for $10.
French Style Farmhouse
Oaked Belgian IPA
Red Hoppy Belgian
Belgian Oatmeal Stout
Raspberry Apple Cider (two ciders on guest tap)
I had a male and female (cute with junior dreads) bartender and service could have been friendlier. It's the only thing stopping them from getting an "A" rating. During downtime, they stood at the back of the bar and didn't socialize with the guests. Most questions to them got me a one word response and did even thank me as I signed the check.
To eat I had a wonderful cheese plate with Humbolt fog, point reyes blue, and Chimay. It was accompanied by thin bread and jellies and chutney. It was brought out by the kitchen person with a full description.
The beers were good but not great. The (hoppy) Belgian IPA was probably the best and that isn't even a traditional Belgian style. I like the fact that they had a historic Uytzet but I found it a bit clean and lacking in flavor. Oatmeal stout had the Belgain yeast taste but was way too thin for me for an oatmeal stout.
It's a much broader discussion but good beer in Belgium comes from (aged) bottles and not taps. An attempt to crank out Belgian beers in a quick time frame and serve them on draft creates a void in the soul of the beer. While Vivant has a great atmosphere and fine food, I feel the beer falls short with those well accustomed to Belgian beers. It's still good beer and I could be accused of being too critical. I'm just particular when it comes to Belgian beer.
Overall, it was an enjoyable visit and I would recommend it and will return for a complete dinner next time.
12-14-2011 13:28:56 |
More by Yetiman420
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Came here on a Saturday afternoon with nicktbm and our significant others in October 2011. The sign outside invited us to "warm up with beer," so we took them up on the offer.
Inside sports a beautiful and spacious church-like interior with stained glass windows, high ceilings, communal tables, and about 10 seats at the bar. Crowd is locals who mind their own business. Our server was relaxed and welcoming - he helped us along with beer recos and suggested some dishes to pair with our drinks.
We ordered two flights of the Triomphe Belgian IPA, Farm Hand Ale, Big Red Coq, and Heavy Handed Double Chocolate Stout. The IPA and Red Ale were my favourites, and my oenophile girlfriend really liked the Farm Hand. Compared to other brewpubs, the beer selection is limited, since they do not carry any guest taps, bottles, or cellared offerings. But their house beers are bold, tasty, and unconventional, so they get high marks from me.
For food I had a delicious Oxtail Hash with sunny side eggs and English muffin toast. The lady enjoyed her Pork Belly BLT, even though she couldn’t finish the massive portion. Prices are reasonable as most pints are $4-5 and lunch entrees are in the $12-14 range. After our meal we popped into the retail store, where my friend bought a few cans of beer and a brewery t-shirt. The cashier was happy to chat with us while we looked around.
Overall, we were quite satisfied with our experience here and it made for a nice afternoon stop. Vivant is an impressive, quality brewpub with friendly staff, interesting beers, and an attractive, unique atmosphere. I highly recommend this place if you happen to be in Grand Rapids.
11-05-2011 19:39:25 |
More by cratez
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
While I've been to this brewery many times and will continue to visit, this is such a difficult place to review. Like their beer, I find there are wild swings in the quality of their pub. While there are things they do extremely well, there's always something that just isn't up to snuff that offsets it.
Atmosphere is a perfect example of the swinging pendulum. As many have remarked, the structure itself is amazing. It's really cool how they've taken a building that's gone through many transformations to create the feel of a centuries old French/Belgian brewery. I'm even cool with the communal seating. That said, it is one of the loudest bars I've been to that isn't booming club mixes. The concrete/stone architecture and high ceilings mean conversational levels just bounce all over the place. Some friends said they are surveying whether they should bring in live acts. I don't see how that can go well. Coolness of the building does get a slight edge here.
Quality of the beer is a lot like the atmosphere. I've had some amazing brews that I wouldn't hesitate to drink again. Then, I've had some real "misses."
Service has always been quite good. There are always a ton of servers that tend to check up just enough that you aren't ever empty. Most have been pretty well versed in the taplist and profiles of what they are serving any given night.
Selection is quite good. Always have a nice combination of "regular" brews and a couple "one off" beers. Sometimes availability doesn't match the menu. Since it's marketed as a Belgian style brewery, you can't be disappointed that all of their beers have some sort of Belgian quality.
Haven't had the food, but it does look spectacular. I'm willing to re-review if I ever eat here.
This place is pricey. I can understand the premium pricing on some of their beers and you can get some deals with their "Monk Club." But, it's generally difficult to have a couple and make it out with a lighter wallet.
In the end, the things they do so well overcome most of the shortcomings. It's a good place to have a beer.
10-16-2011 01:35:54 |
More by GRPunk
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
My biggest complaint is the lack of vegetarian food options here; that said, carnivores will love the Duck Confit Nachos and such, and many will love their beers, served in an old church with local artworks on the walls. Growlers were competitively priced, and they refilled growlers from other brewers (for those of us who already own plenty of decent growlers and do not need yet another one to use for transporting great beers). Our server was attentive and knowledgeable on the beers, but less-so on the food (in his defense, they had just switched menus from summer to fall). There is a private parking lot for their customers to use, and they sell their canned beer here, too. We missed the brewery tour by an hour, but still enjoyed the beer-hall internal decor (with long tables in the middle). I will be back here for the beer most of all.
10-14-2011 04:05:48 |
More by DJSpidey
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 5 | $$
Visited 10/1/11 with 3 others after the CBS release.
Atmosphere is very cool. Brewpub in an old church. Local art on the walls, large wooden tables and benches. Very well lit. A really nice place to sit down and have a beer. Varied crowd, saw lots of families, and lots of others who came straight from the CBS release.
Quality of the beer was very good. I tried the saison, Belgian IPA, Belgian amber, and the brune. All were very well done, I personally thought the amber was the best.
Service was friendly and prompt. Our server was well versed in the beer and food. Can't ask for much more.
Selection was the only thing lacking. I think there were maybe 6 to 8 house beers, and maybe 2 guest drafts. They're a small brewery, and the quality did make up for the quantity.
Food was outstanding. We were there for lunch, so the menu was slightly smaller than the dinner menu, but great selection. I had the fried alligator tail po boy, which was very well done with tender meat and a great garlic aioli. I also tried some of the lobster roll and pork belly BLT. All were fantastic.
Very friendly prices, especially considering the quality of the food. Beers were average price, but were quite tasty.
Overall I think this is a must stop when in Grand Rapids.
10-02-2011 23:00:53 |
More by Brophmonster
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
I hope i'm not too out of line when I say this is like the Belgium version of Founders...
But the atmosphere is an old church with rustic wooden tables and benches. It's more of a "seat yourself" kind of place but on busy nights (which happens often) they have a first-come-first-serve list for people to be placed at tables while the long tables are open game. Waitstaff is very friendly and helpful even during busy times. The place has been packed to the brim before and I still get great service no matter where I am; bar, table, or standing. The board has a modest selection of fantastic beers as well as a couple VanderMill ciders and some wines.
Food can be pricey but for good reason. They try to aim for local and seasonal ingredients. Had their duck nachos which were like crack to a food junkie like me. They try to break the mold and be daring with their menu items which I definitely appreciate. They also have a really great burger if you want something simple.
Overall this place really captures the heart of quality beer and food in an uncomplicated, unpretentious atmosphere.
09-26-2011 05:47:58 |
More by Flux
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
A-inside of an old cathedral. high vaulted arches and stain glass windows. pleasant on a friday afternoon
Q-Local and high quality. Well worth it.
S-HOT. Do I need to say more? I guess I will. HOT! And knowledgeable about beer. Really all you need to know about this.
S-Some of the best belgians I have had, and I don't even like belgians.
F-Lobster Corn-Dog. Do I need to say more. LOBSTER CORN DOG!
V-Food a little expensive but it is very high quality.
If you can buy a mug club mug, do it!
08-23-2011 04:12:44 |
More by brew3crew
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Visited here on a Friday afternoon for lunch. Such a different sort of atmosphere for a brewery. Located inside of an old church, the chapel has converted to the brewpub area. Has sort of an old church feel with the stained glass and wood furniture. The altar area has been replaced by the circular bar. Pretty small, I could see this place fill up fast at night time.
There wasn't many other people there so service was pretty good. Waitress was prompt and accurate.
They had maybe 8 to 10 of their beers on tap. Belgian style beers with an american twist. Wished I could have tried more.
Food was pretty good, but pretty expensive, especially for lunch. Cheapest option was around 11 bucks. Beer on the otherhand was reasonable. 4 or 5 bucks for every beer.
Would go back here mostly to try the rest of their lineup. Interesting concept, also love the sinks in the bathrooms.
07-30-2011 02:35:36 |
More by ahq514
Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
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