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Active Beers: 35
Beer Ratings: 1,096
Beer Avg: 3.78
Taps: 14 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
925 Cherry St SE
phone: (616) 719-1604
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Set in a former funeral home, Brewery Vivant is a Belgian style bar and restaurant. The serving area is in a chapel, which gives a cool feeling to eating and drinking there. There are long tables in the center where people eat and drink together, a great place for a friendly pint and a chat with a stranger. The booths on the side allow a little more privacy.
I marked the food n/a only because I just tried one thing, the duck fat fries. They were wonderful. Crispy and properly seasoned with a side of creamy dipping sauce. There were a lot of other things that sounded great.
The beer is where this place really shines. The Belgian Dark in particular was my favorite. It took a long time to pour because of the ridiculous head retention, but the wait was worth it. (Great pour, bartender!) Creamy, mildly roasty while totally hiding the 9% alcohol, and that characteristic Belgian tang. They only serve their beers, so they get docked on selection, but that shouldn't be a problem for most BA's.
05-13-2011 16:20:10 |
More by gaugebozo
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
Had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of this brewery the weekend of March 18th for my 35th birthday Michigan pub crawl. The building is an old funeral chappel in an up and coming neighborhood in Grand Rapids. The founder/owner is a brewmaster from New Holland. This place is completely Belgian inspired from the floor up. The building is a beautiful work of art and they did an amazing job of converting it into a great oplace to eat and drink with a Belgian feel. While what we attended was a festival (tickets for beer and limited food) the beer was exceptional. The Bruin was a wonderful beer with tremendous notes of raisin and brown sugar undertones. We sampled a few of the house specialties as well. Lamb lollypops served with a berry compote, duck confit nachos and a savory belgian waffle with bris and honey drizzled on it. All were wonderful and it was incredible to get such food in a festival like atmosphere. If you are visiting Grand Rapids for beer, this place should be on your must stop list.
04-05-2011 20:48:07 |
More by bigfurrynutz
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Been here a couple times now. Really beautiful place as you walk through the front doors into an old funeral church. Long tables go from the entry way all the way to the bar which are then surrounded by booths. Everytime I am here this place seems to be packed. The bar staff was friendly and we grabbed a couple of beers. The ambiance is nice and energetic. Service as I said was good. The selection was better this go arond as they now have about 10 beers on tap. We did end up ordering some frites that were basically just really good french fries. Overall, a cool place that I would go to again only after having my fill of Founder's and Hop Cat.
04-04-2011 17:00:02 |
More by kbutler1
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Brewery Vivant is a new-ish beer bar and restaurant on Cherry in Grand Rapids. It has actually been "open" since mid-December but the "grand opening" was held on St. Patrick's day. I have been there a couple of times and I can tell you that it has come a long way since January when there were only three beers on the menu. The selection is more varied now and it seems to change regularly.
The place is pretty gorgeous I think. It used to be a funeral chapel and it's got the kind of high-ceilinged coziness that I enjoy. Wood beams and an overlook (for where the organ used to be, on assumes) complete the package and the bar is not particularly large but it is ornate yet humble. It looks larger than it actually is, but there is ample seating (more on that).
The beer is a solid 4/5. I have yet to sample one that really blew me away and I've sampled quite a few of them. The Contemplation is my favorite thus far. All the beers I've had a extremely drinkable but I haven't exactly been transported to flavor country yet. Still, they seem to be trotting out new ones every now and again. So far they only have two strong beers (over 9%). I think they should try and make some more of those. A quad perhaps?
The food is high quality stuff and a bit on the pricey side. You won't break the bank, but "The Burger" is 12 bucks - which seems like quite a lot to me but this was one fantastic burger.
Outdoor seating is forthcoming (if it ever warms up!) and they offer a "Monk Club" which comes complete with your own engraved chalice. Cool.
There isn't much to complain about. The lack of actual space causes there to be long waits at certain times. So, if you want to eat dinner there on a Saturday, get your name on the list early. The other problem I have, which some may not find problematic at all, is that half the seating in the place is communal a la the Hofbrau House with long wooden tables. I am not personally a fan of this seating style and with Vivant I could see ending up forced, against my will, to sit next to some sort of undesirable. Of course, lots of people enjoy this sort of thing and it works for Vivant because they seem to be all about community.
From the coasters to the bike-powered television - a tv that has never once been on because it would take too much pedaling - Vivant sees itself as one of these new-fangled sustainable/local places. I wish they would just have a functional tv though and I do hope Vivant doesn't end up too full of itself.
But if you want a friendly place with it's own beer selection and fantastic ambiance, you will be quite happy with Vivant.
03-28-2011 18:10:05 |
More by Gigantis
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $
Absolutely remarkable atmosphere! I really loved the size of place. A lot smaller than i thought but it works to make you feel like youre at a private party in a friends pole barn - a pole barn made to look like a beautiful Belgian monastery. The details are amazing in this place. One thing i noticed that probably gets overlooked or under-appreciated are the coat/purse hooks under the ledges between the pillars - speaks to the amount of thought that went into the design. I like the efforts made to be energy efficient including motion lights in the bathrooms. Seems common sense.
The beers are all good, though im not sure any of the ones i tried were outstanding. All seemed to be pretty textbook though they are still many i have not had. only had one dish there - the duck and brie sauce nachos. Holy shit. seemed like a lot of money but you got a decent plate full and it was very rich and filling not to mention delicious. I look forward to trying some other fair.
The service seemed average, nothing out of the ordinary either way.
Overall ill be going there quite a bit because of the quality of products and the atmosphere. Way to go Jason and co for doing it right!
03-21-2011 17:35:39 |
More by Frosty80
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I was very excited to try this place out; heard great things and just thought it was a cool idea for a new brewpub.
A- Wow, this is one of the few places I've been to that actually blew me away- set up in a old church with stained wooden beams through the vaulted ceiling, the bar was set up within the altar (which had very nice wooden tap handles). Lighting was reasonably dimmed, perfect for the atmosphere. Wooden tables set up as booths where the pews were, flanking two long, large wooden tables that run through the middle of the place. Set an excellent 'old european church' feel to it, very in tune with what they were trying to accomplish.
Q- Beer was pretty good too- the Kludde was the highlight for me, the Abbey and Bruin were decent brews as well. The farmhouse missed the mark in a big way, the wit was decent, but not what you would exactly expect for the style. Overall, happy with the beers.
S- people were friendly, took a little while to get served, but in their defense it was a busy friday night. Pretty average, no big gripes here.
S- For just starting out, they had a reasonable selection of beers- when I was there, they had 6 beers on tap, along with two different ciders. i would expect this to only get better as they get settled in a start cranking out new brews.
F- cant really comment much on this, didnt have any myself, but the friends I were with seemed happy with what they got
$- beer was 4-5$ for a tulip/becher, depending on what you ordered- very reasonable for what you got.
Overall, I really enjoyed this place. I will definitely be back, if only for the wonderful atmosphere. The beer was pretty good, but if I'm strictly in the mood for running through beers, I'd still probably head to Founders or Hopcat. Very fun place though, another great beer option for the GR area.
01-29-2011 20:15:59 |
More by browna71
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I was pretty hyped when I learned that a brand new brewery was opening up in my neighborhood. I'm lucky enough to have Founders Brewing Company within biking distance, and now twice as lucky to have an establishment I can walk to! That said, as a new "Monk" member (their version of a mug club), I shall be spending many nights enjoying what will surely be an ongoing slew of tasty brews.
One thing that I'm particularly fond of is the setup of communal tables. With every sitting, I'm forced to interact with those I probably never would have. It is pretty fun, and a welcome change from the normal bar scene. It isn't often that you find guys who own tons of real estate in Grand Rapids buying entire rounds for Eastown misfits and other beer folk. (At a table at least 4 picnic table lengths long.) It happened, and I'm sure there will be many other odd (but nonetheless special) interactions to come.
I can only imagine things getting better as they swing along, and get more styles on tap. These first few weeks have been pretty limited, but damn tasty. (My fave so far being Triomphe, the Belgian IPA. The Abbey Ale is a close second.) Not every beer has been completely on par with Belgian styles, but the influence is there.
Service is hit or miss at this point, but I understand the staff is still learning. Food is a tad on the pricey side for a girl on a budget like me, but not completely unreasonable. Once I'm not in the poor house, I'll venture beyond fries into the food realm.
For a former funeral home, the atmosphere is light and fun, though I continue to find my inner goth wishing they would dim the lights a bit or add some color. Decoration is minimal. It would be great to see some art go up on the walls.
In all, a welcome addition to the West Michigan beer scene. Looking forward to watching them emerge in the community, as they really seem to really care about their neighborhood and creating a sustainable business.
01-20-2011 09:08:48 |
More by sullenbee
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
The ambiance and aesthetics of Brewery Vivant may quite possibly converge to compose the most unique commercial setting in which you will ever quaff a quality brew in West Michigan. This former funeral chapel is quite alive and quite well in these present times. Double doors lead to a vestibule containg Brewery Vivant logo goods and a few more steps lead to the seating area. A balcony showcasing a perfectly relevant stained glass window overlooks the mingling room from the entry side of the complex. Rustic furniture built from salvaged barn wood, including bench seating along picnic style tables that will inevitably lead to natural socialization among patrons, four place tables, and booths of walnut for more intimate gatherings comprise the seating area that besets a very lovely bar with tap handles that pour forth the delicious offerings of Brewery Vivant. A very appealing landscape indeed. Outdoor seating is a future luxury that will add to the already engaging character of this brewery.
The quality is good of course. It can only be expected. The brewery is owned and operated by industry professionals who have significant history in the craft brew realm as well as formal training within the particular brewing domain that this brewery will become famous for.
At the time of this review, which is based upon an experience on a Wednesday in the afternoon, the service was very prompt from attentive servers.
The selection at the time of this review was solid although more selections, by rule, would be more than welcome. A million taps would never be enough taps for the beer enthusiast. The brews on line during this encounter were well crafted and include an IPA named Triomphe, a rye ale named Sgt. Peppercorn, the perceived flagship farmhouse ale known as Farm Hand, and a quite satisfying brown or Brune ale. Very nice selections all, and quite approachable by both nuanced palates and those without experience in consuming beers of exceptional quality.
The food was not sampled at the time of this entry. Future updates may ensue.
The prices are on par with the prices of the other purveyors of fine drink within the Grand Rapids area.
It would appear that Brewery Vivant is off and running. It will be exciting to watch the progression as this enterprise takes its place within the craft brew industry and secures its nitch within the juggernaut that is the West Michigan beer scene. Cheers to Brewery Vivant, and well wishes on your journey...
01-20-2011 03:40:28 |
More by SupaCelt
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
I went to Brewery Vivant on the Monday they opened. What a cool place! Rather small compared to other West Michigan places, there was still a fair amount of seating(which means you the place can get pretty crowded). The interior and exterior are both done up to resemble French/Belgian monastery a.k.a. abbey. I selected 4.0 for selection, but wish I could omit this category. I was told they would have 14 taps, and also have cider and wine. They plan to make their own wine in the future, and currently have Vander Mill's cider on tap(Not sure if they have their own taps or not). The first night, they had a Belgian IPA, an amber(I think an abbey), and one other. When I went back with my parents during the first week of 2011, they had 4 beers on tap (brown, amber, farmhouse, and one other). I would be more comfortable rating their selection when they've everything going at full force, but I do have confidence they will have a good selection relative to their theme. It was pretty crowded and the place will surely benefit from having their outdoor patio open, as many of the tables are like long picnic tables (although there are booths and many other smaller tables, plus bar seats). The mug club mugs are AWESOME! They are like a chalice or big goblet. I rate the foot as 3.0 because it was good, but the amount of fries you get doesn't seem like $5 worth. The beers were good, but not my style. I like a lot of Belgian beers, but the sour aftertaste sometimes gets me. The IPA had this and it just wasn't for me. I believe this may have been an abundance of lactic acid in the beer, but I would need it in front of me again to say for sure.
Overall, I recommend trying this place, as I can only see it getting better!
01-20-2011 01:42:09 |
More by abaculy
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Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI