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Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Brewery VivantBrewery Vivant
Based on:
87 Beers
3,427 Hads
Place Score: 93
Reviews: 60
Visits: 200
Avg: 4.19
pDev: n/a
Taps: 14
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

925 Cherry St SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49506
United States
phone: (616) 719-1604

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @breweryvivant

Place added by: abaculy on 01-18-2011

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 60 | Visits: 200
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The wife and I visited Vivant on a Friday night after stopping at HopCat and Founders. We had a family-reunion dinner at Vivant, with eight or nine relatives. It took a while to get a table but when we did, we had a great time.

The place is beautifully decorated, small and a little loud. I like the communal tables- all of us sat at one large table and had great service. The food is damn good! Duck nachos are wow, and so is the pissaladiere (Provencal pizza). Charcuterie ain't bad but I've had better. Lots of quality stuff, and a great pair for the Belgian-style brews.

We all sampled a couple of different brews, including the Tripel, Solitude and Big Red Cocq and I enjoyed them. Sure, they weren't, like, the best or most mind-blowing Belgian-style beers I've ever had, but they are nice. Looking at the BA listings later on, though, I wish they had some of those barrel-aged brews, sours and imperial stouts...

I will definitely revisit next time I'm in Grand Rapids. This is a fun, different place.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Flight one
French Style Farmhouse
Belgian Uytzet
Belgian Amber
Oaked Belgian IPA

Flight two
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.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Talk about another destination in Grand Rapids. Couple this with Founder's and HopCat and you have the mecca of great beer.

Vivant is located in an old funeral home, but it feels like more of a church to me. Big exposed beams, 25 foot gabled ceiling, with some beautiful stand glass behind the back bar. Very cozy, communal style tables are centered, with some bar style seating between support beams, and booths line the sides of the open format dining room. It has a very warm feel, despite the large space and tall ceilings.

The money is higher end. I love that. I hate that most brewpubs or breweries I go to have pub style food, and it's fairly basic. This food is very well crafted and thought it. Yes it is pub style food, but it's borderline artistic, well thought out, and superb. It's probably some of the best brewpub food I have ever had. I'd put it up there with food from places like HopLeaf and Fountainhead, possibly just below the Publican.

The beer is always solid. They are always offering something not available in a can at the brewpub, and sometimes some pub exclusive cans as well in the swag shop. Service was good and friendly, and knowledgeable about the beer and food. Bartenders are always attentive.

Great, freaking, stop!

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Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Was really impressed with this place ... they had 5 barrel aged selections when I was there and all were solid. Their regular line is also pretty spectacular. Food is freaking AWESOME - you must drink AND eat here!!! Gotta appreciate Belgian styles as this is what they are focusing on ... definitely an up and coming brewery - do not miss this place ... ambiance, beers, food, works, etc was super cool.

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Photo of cratez
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of stouts4me
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Parking was a little rough, and they were jammed, but that is my fault for visiting on a weekend. Just stopped to try the beer, like the converted church building, and not really a Belgium beer , saison fan, but this was a nice stop. Picked up one of their sweet snifters on the way out at the gift shop.

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Photo of Jackofallbrews
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Vivant is a newer brewery that focuses on Belgian styles of varying types. The brewery is in an old funeral parlor and the bar is actually located in the old chapel, having a cool backdrop of stained glass behind it!

I really enjoyed the beers here, though some were better than others. The Solitude was a very dry and pleasant Abbey style beer and I ended up buying a few cans to bring home. Their flagship beer is the Big Red Coq--a hoppy Belgian ale. Always fun to say the name of this beer! We snacked on duck confit nachos as we worked through our samplers, reveling in the tastes and the surroundings.

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Photo of Fluffheady
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of 98green
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Did the brewery tour for $10. Knowledgable tour leader, small group on the 4th of July. The 20 barrel facility isn't very big, so it was mostly talking in one place. I was impressed how small a canning line is compared to a normal bottling line. Vivant is owned by one of the founders of New Holland, so not surprising to see the place is laid out well and full of new equipment. Got 3 5 oz pours on the tour (and the glass) and a 4th of your choice after the tour

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Photo of jale
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of craft_shannie
2.9/5  rDev -30.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3

Pretentious w. a capital P. Visited late on a Friday night. Passed on ordering food as the menu was just as pompous & ostentatious as our neighbors on the chair rail. The space is interesting: stained glass, definitely a "church" feel even if it was a funeral home; but given the crowd, it was very tight & uncomfortable. Sampled solitude, ménage a trois, tart side of the moon, and nitro stout. Interesting & solid beers - with the exception of nitro stout which may be one of the worst i've ever had. Definitely worth picking up - at a store.

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Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 5

Atmosphere: made in an old church and is of a very cool belgian style

Quality: some of the best american versions of belgian beers I have had

Service: pretty helpful since the menu has some foreign and exotic items.

Selection: this is probably the only true down fall I can find of this place: they only have 4 or so menu beers that aren't available in cans at a store. but i do love the constantly changing barrel aged beer selection

Food: wonderful food. very unique and extremely tasty

Overall: love this place: one of the more unique brewpubs and damn good too.

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Photo of meanmutt
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

My wife and I were in Grand Rapids on a beer-centric road trip, and Brewery Vivant was quick stop on our way out of town.

The brewpub is pretty unique for sure since it's built inside an old chapel... I think it's a cool vibe.

We got there at about 1pm on a Saturday. There was a decent crowd, we grabbed a few of the last empty seats at the bar. The bartender was quick to greet us and take our order. Since we didn't have a lot of time to stay, my wife and I opted to split a flight of beers. Went with Arctic Sunrise, Menage A Trois, Tart Side of The Moon, and Hubris. I really loved the Tart Side of The Moon, while my wife was a huge fan of the Arctic Sunrise.

We didn't order any food, but I saw a few other people eating and the food looked great.

Overall, I'd recommend stopping by to check out Brewery Vivant. On my next trip to Grand Rapids I'm definitely gonna stop in again and spend more time there so I can try more of their beers...as well as the food.

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Photo of Mxsluis
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

A LEED certified brewery in a former mortuary/funeral home. It definitely had the feel of a local bar with people meeting and greeting each like a neighborhood bar. The atmosphere was casual and I was impressed with the range of age groups. The menu was a little limited and a tad pricey for GR, but all in all a nice place.

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Photo of Shaskins80
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Great place! Always wonderful beer and food. Last night I had the steal and truffle fries. Had a BA Zaison and a Treebucket. Desert. Followed up with a spicy chocolate ice cream. Close to a perfect meal for me.

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Photo of hotsudge
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Beautiful building redone in a gorgeous architectural way. The beers we had were decent to great. We loved the atmosphere and really enjoyed the cheese plates paired to the beer. The nuts with beer were also great.

We entered and were seated at one of the bench style seats along all the other patrons. Unfortunately that wasn't overly comfortable and the guests next to us (inches away) weren't too social so we jumped at the chance to move to the bar. At the bar we had a great time. Other patrons next to us at the bar were social and we had some good conversations about the beers - if this matters to you...

Overall a great visit. Unfortunately after spending $150 at the bar and another $100 in merchandise (beer and swag) to go, we asked if they could call us a taxi cab and were told flat out no. Not the best way to end an expensive visit. Luckily the restaurant next door had a fantastic valet who hooked us up with wheels back to the hotel.

The beers we took home have been wonderful and we have the growlers to take back and refill.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.65/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

A truly unique brewpub - housed in an old funeral home. Has a wide array of their year round, seasonal and one off brews on tap along with a fine selection of Belgian inspired food - great frites, charcuterie and mussels.

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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...

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Photo of ahq514
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of yankeej13
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This was another stop on my Microbrewery tour and when we pulled up in front of this place, I thought I was at a church which so happens that it used to be a church...go figure!

When we walked in we were greeted and asked if we were staying for lunch or a drink and if they could help us with anything. Once we sat down at the bar and looked around it was so old school looking. Not sure exactly how old the church was before they turned it into a brewery but they had all the old pillars across the ceiling and stained glass windows. It was the nicest interior for a brewery without actually looking like a brewery if that makes any sense.

The service was great, the women behind the bar talked to us about the history of the brewery and when it used to be a church and learned alot of history as well as beer facts!

My dad and I both got the samplers of beer which was extremely good. For a newer brewery they def knew what they were doing. Wish that we would have gone there when they were giving the tours but overall it was a great experience and I recommend that you check this place out if your in the area!

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Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
93 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.