Brewery Vivant

BEER AVG
3.82/5
Brewery VivantBrewery Vivant
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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

(616) 719-1604 | map
breweryvivant.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by abaculy on 01-18-2011

BEER STATS
Beers:
98
Ratings:
4,325
Reviews:
930
PLACE STATS
Score:
93
Ratings:
234
Reviews:
65
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
5.74%
 
 
Taps:
14
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 234 |  Reviews: 65
Reviews by Yetiman420:
Photo of Yetiman420
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

 2,564 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of heddar33
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Michiganman2325
4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of NateDyk47
3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.75

Vivant has a diverse selection of quality beers including an experimental beer or two on tap. Their food is also phenomenal although expensive ($17 bacon cheeseburger?!?). The service, however, has been sub-par the last couple times I've been here. They also recently added a strict 4 beer limit per customer.

 309 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of FlaviusG
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

The besf part of this visit was the young dude up front that was highly knowledgeable abou the beer. Great hospitality in which hebthrew in an extra beer with my flight. Had an amazing burger. Beer selection was very good in which BA BARLEYWINE WAS THE HIGHLIGHT. Easy to get to.

 283 characters

Photo of PhillyBoy23
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of Cotton_27
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Spreetaper
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of DougC123
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of deejaydan
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
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 -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of seanchai
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Beginner2
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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 +10.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Bethaz83
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of cadaugherty
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Danielr26
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of teamwiggum
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of jpbolton
4.6/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of petersonmatt22
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of shivtim
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of WesMantooth
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25

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Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
3.82 out of 5 based on 4,325 ratings.
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