Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
4.11/5 rDev -4.2%
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.
06-07-2014 05:51:26 | More by DoubleSimcoe
3.85/5 rDev -10.3%
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
4.26/5 rDev -0.7%
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
4.28/5 rDev -0.2%
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
4.26/5 rDev -0.7%
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!
12-17-2013 16:17:40 | More by MarcatGSB
Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
95 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.