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Active Beers: 52
Beer Ratings: 1,855
Beer Avg: 3.75
Taps: 14 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
925 Cherry St SE
phone: (616) 719-1604
(Place added by: abaculy on 01-18-2011)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 45 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
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 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $
Visited for dinner and some beers on a recent trip to Grand Rapids.
This is a truly unique place inside and old church. Really cool atmosphere overall.
Service with both friendly and informative and the owner even stopped by to chat with us when he heard he had some visitors from Toronto.
The beer was definitely above average overall with a good variety of styles to choose from.
The food was the real hit here. The only bad part is that we didn't have any room for the desserts that also looked amazing. Best value for a meal that I have ever had at a beer bar or brewery. Top notch gourmet food for reasonable prices. Definitely a differentiator for Vivant.
Got some beer to go as well.
Great place and a must visit if in Grand Rapids.
08-10-2012 21:18:09 |
More by TheSevenDuffs
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Came here on a Saturday afternoon with nicktbm and our significant others in October 2011. The sign outside invited us to "warm up with beer," so we took them up on the offer.
Inside sports a beautiful and spacious church-like interior with stained glass windows, high ceilings, communal tables, and about 10 seats at the bar. Crowd is locals who mind their own business. Our server was relaxed and welcoming - he helped us along with beer recos and suggested some dishes to pair with our drinks.
We ordered two flights of the Triomphe Belgian IPA, Farm Hand Ale, Big Red Coq, and Heavy Handed Double Chocolate Stout. The IPA and Red Ale were my favourites, and my oenophile girlfriend really liked the Farm Hand. Compared to other brewpubs, the beer selection is limited, since they do not carry any guest taps, bottles, or cellared offerings. But their house beers are bold, tasty, and unconventional, so they get high marks from me.
For food I had a delicious Oxtail Hash with sunny side eggs and English muffin toast. The lady enjoyed her Pork Belly BLT, even though she couldn’t finish the massive portion. Prices are reasonable as most pints are $4-5 and lunch entrees are in the $12-14 range. After our meal we popped into the retail store, where my friend bought a few cans of beer and a brewery t-shirt. The cashier was happy to chat with us while we looked around.
Overall, we were quite satisfied with our experience here and it made for a nice afternoon stop. Vivant is an impressive, quality brewpub with friendly staff, interesting beers, and an attractive, unique atmosphere. I highly recommend this place if you happen to be in Grand Rapids.
11-05-2011 19:39:25 |
More by cratez
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
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: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This is a really cool space. It’s an old chapel of some sort. The bar mirrors the arch of the altar. Somebody put a lot of money into it.
The beer is quite good. All Belgian style but with a little more exploration than, say, Ommegang.
The food is pretty good, but not quite what they talk it up to be. The duck confit nachos were yummy. We ordered sausage as well. It came on a bed of the most disgusting kraut I’ve had in a long time. Definitely was par cooked hours prior and dried to crap. Sausage was pretty dry too.
It’s worth a visit. The beer is too good not to.
08-05-2013 02:00:26 |
More by Fluffheady
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
A truly great place for beer and food. The beer is very good and they have a wide selection of them. The food is what really stands out here. They do not have a cook, but a chef. Hands down the best food of any brewery I have been to. The truffled walnuts are a must and I would drive hours just for this. The staff is far above average and are great at every aspect of this place. The inside is very inviting with large communal tables as well as booths and bar seating. I would frequent this place every week if it was closer.
07-17-2011 21:31:30 |
More by jale
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$
Innovative belgian-american brews including the usual IPAs, Abbeys and Saisons running the gamut to a poblano sour!
A bit outside downtown, in an old funeral chapel. Work the trek.
Nice staff. Happy to give tastes. Also a couple sampler platters to choose from. Love that the samples are served in snifters so that you get the full nose.
Excellent if pricey food, including a rich duck rillets nachos in brie cream sauce with cracklings. This brewery is one to watch.
Along with Logan's Alley, one of the top two destinations in GR.
06-15-2012 02:42:16 |
More by 4thoseabout2bock
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75 | $$
I had gone to Founders the last couple of years passing through Grand Rapids and decided for a change of pace. I pulled up across the street. The outside of the building had Brewery Vivant on it, and it also had the word chapel. I later found out that it was a former mortuary chapel. I walked into a church-like atmosphere. There were high vaulted ceilings. The tables were long with bench seating like a German beer hall. At the opposite side of the building was the bar. Above it was a stained glass window adding to the church vibe.
I sidled up to the bar. There were probably about 12-15 beers on tap. They were all in house selections. I ordered a sampler. Actually, I eventually had a 4-5 ounce sample of all the beers on tap. They are all Belgian styles ranging from good to very good in taste. Solitude is one of the year round beers. They had a couple barrel aged versions of it that were great.
While sitting at the bar I noticed a gentleman giving the bartender three beers. I could see that they had Three Floyd's caps. I heard him mention the aroma, so I asked if they were Zombie Dust since I had yet to see or try it. He affirmed that it was indeed Zombie Dust, then went to his car and brought one in for me along with a New Glarus Moon Man. I told him it was not necessary but was GREATLY appreciated. He told me to just pay it forward sometime.
Shortly, afterwards my friends showed up, and I moved to the beer hall style seating. I ordered the poutine which is a great comfort food. We decided to take the brewery tour since we were having a good time. We went to the production part of the building which was connected to the brewpub. The tour guide was a server at the pub. He knew very little about the brewing process. The $10 fee was for the four beers that we sampled. I was disappointed with this part of my visit.
I would absolutely go back again. The beer was great. The food was good, and the staff was friendly, courteous, and helpful. The tour was a waste of time and money. Go for the pub and skip the tour. I liked this place way better than Founders.
08-04-2013 19:16:57 |
More by buschbeer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Been here a couple times now. Really beautiful place as you walk through the front doors into an old funeral church. Long tables go from the entry way all the way to the bar which are then surrounded by booths. Everytime I am here this place seems to be packed. The bar staff was friendly and we grabbed a couple of beers. The ambiance is nice and energetic. Service as I said was good. The selection was better this go arond as they now have about 10 beers on tap. We did end up ordering some frites that were basically just really good french fries. Overall, a cool place that I would go to again only after having my fill of Founder's and Hop Cat.
04-04-2011 17:00:02 |
More by kbutler1
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
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
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Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
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