Active Beers: 63
Beer Ratings: 2,179
Beer Avg: 3.76
Taps: 14 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 48 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Gigantis:
4.15/5 rDev -3%
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
More User Reviews:
4.36/5 rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
The brewery is in East Town (well, now East Hills), a continually funky little area of GR that has always been fun, even 30 years after I was a kid and started going to art classes and the Bijou Theater and Yesterdog.
The tap room is in an old chapel, with high ceilings, and lots of tables and benches, and stained glass windows. The atmosphere is about as Belgian as you can get in the Midwest. The beers were great, and the food was awesome. I was in there right at opening time (3 pm), so it wasn't terribly busy, but within 30 minutes there were more than 40 people in the taproom eating and drinking. The service was ready for this rapid influx, and easily handled it; the service was fast and friendly. They were very knowledgable were genuinely excited about their brand- beer and food. One note, I live in the Washington, DC, area, and I gave this $$$ because it was pricey...even by my standards of an extremely pricey city. Well worth every penny, though.
03-25-2014 03:06:55 | More by Badger6
Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
95 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.