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Brewery Vivant

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Brewery VivantBrewery Vivant

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

925 Cherry St SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49506
United States

(616) 719-1604 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by abaculy on 01-18-2011

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 226
Reviews by Gigantis:
Photo of Gigantis
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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 good:
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.

The Bad
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.

 2,625 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Spreetaper
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of tripledbrew
3.98/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of DougC123
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of deejaydan
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 5

The vibe is cool, being in a chapel of an old funeral home, and it was the first LEED certified brewery. It is a bit loud though, just the acoustics, it can be hard to hear people at your table when it's busy. There's no TV, it's not a sportsbar. The Service by the waitstaff has always been great, front of house is usually okay, they sometimes seem distracted. Selection, well, they do have their mission, they are a Belgian Style brewery. You aren't really going to get a knock your socks off Imperial Stout or Double IPA or Lager here, but they know what they are, they have a vision, and they are doing a good job at making Belgians.

The food though.. That's where this place shines. The Burger is the one of the few burgers that they charge over $10 for, and it's actually worth it. Most of the menu does rotate around, seasonally, so don't be afraid to branch out, but what you love on one visit might not be there on your next visit. I had a beef shortrib sandwich there a few years ago that was amazing, but sadly, I haven't seen it back on the menu. Be aware though, they do tend to cook things on the cooler side of the doneness that you request. Outside of the high end steakhouses more towards downtown, I think this is probably the best restaurant in Grand Rapids.

 1,291 characters

Photo of chuckgietzen
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of seanchai
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Beginner2
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

I had an average first impression and that has changed 30 months ago when I had Vivant's Farmhouse ale. Prejudiced against cans, I didn't think much of their flagship ale and it didn't seem to go with lunch. It seemed like they hadn't figured out the Belgian thing, probably the yeast was eluding them.

Then five months ago, I bought a sampler box of 9, with 5 different cans. I had two nice beers and the others were good or good gifts. Maybe I had misjudged their quality... or they had gotten better.

Then this week, I went on a tour of Grand Rapids as part of national urbanist conference meeting in Detroit. I bought eight beers at their brewpub and have reviewed all but two.

I think what changed and has caused me to give an above average rating is Vivant's adventurous spirit. I also like that the brewpub adds to this neighborhood in an already very livable city.

I Had a taster of their flagship Farmhouse Ale at the bar, but couldn't stay for food as the bus would have left me. I will return.

 1,011 characters

Photo of jessewilliamson
4.61/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Bethaz83
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of cadaugherty
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Danielr26
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of teamwiggum
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of jpbolton
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of petersonmatt22
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of shivtim
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of WesMantooth
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25

Photo of Loudog1411
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Mightyspan
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I like the beers they make. Tasted 5 of 'em when they did the Tap Takeover @ Meat Southern BBQ. Glad they came thru. It was great to taste their hard work!

 155 characters

Photo of BLZR
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of MichaelCoyne
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Much different brewery than the norm. In an old church.Duck Nachos are a must. Get the Wizard Burial Ground if they have it on tap.

131 characters

Photo of mcrawford
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Photo of BigTDog
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of BudznSudz13
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

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Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
3.86 out of 5 based on 4,066 ratings.
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