Brewery Vivant Becomes the Newest B Corp-Certified Brewery

News by | Aug 2014 | Issue #91

In May of this year, Brewery Vivant of Grand Rapids, Mich. became the fifth brewery to earn B Corp, or benefit corporation, certification, joining the likes of Bison Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Co., Bull City Burger and Brewery, and Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.

But what does it mean to “go B?” The nonprofit organization B Lab grants certification after evaluating an applicant in the areas of corporate governance, workforce relations, environmental performance and community impact.

For Brewery Vivant, B Corp status takes its existing practices one step further. “So many other breweries are committed to community and sustainability and things like that—and that’s awesome—but I think taking this next step of becoming certified solidifies our commitment and shows we really are doing what we say we’re doing,” says Brewery Vivant co-founder Kris Spaulding. A B Corp must be recertified every two years, and can even receive surprise in-person audits, she explains. “This helps hold companies accountable and ensures that the certification is as authentic and meaningful as possible.”

It’s nearly impossible to score perfectly on the evaluation rubrics, says Beau’s All Natural co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “There’s continually something else you can strive for; it’s the proverbial carrot for a company that wants to do better.”

In the future, more craft breweries may also seek certification. “The cool thing about our industry is that a lot of craft breweries would be easily certified,” says Katie Wallace, sustainability specialist at New Belgium. “Doing well by doing good is a key theme for independent brewers.”