Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Brewery VivantBrewery Vivant
BEER AVG
3.7/5
Based on:
68 Beers
2,604 Ratings
Place Score: 96
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.33
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

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: abaculy on 01-18-2011)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of spointon
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Bung
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of jmdrpi
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of qcbrewer
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of italianstallion
3.91/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Mothergoose03
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +15.5%

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.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
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!

Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of midlifec
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of cratez
4.2/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of Lynn
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of bowzer4birdie
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of CraigTravor
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of BUNZILLA
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of TheSamKuehn
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of Agentveba
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of stouts4me
4/5  rDev -7.6%

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.

Photo of Fluffheady
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of buschbeer
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of styleisking
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

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Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
96 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.