Brewery Vivant

Brewery VivantBrewery Vivant

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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

(616) 719-1604 | map

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Added by abaculy on 01-18-2011

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 229
Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +19%

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.

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Photo of TheBeerDad
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

The atmosphere of the brewpub is amazing, Gothic and very pleasing to the eye.

Something that I particularly enjoyed was how kid friendly they were. Not only did they have a kids menu and crayons, but the kids menu wasn't just reprocessed chicken and fries. Juice, fresh fruit or house brewed root beer were options. Even to add to the kid friendly atmosphere the hosts were playing with the brewmasters daughter, who couldn't have been more than two.

The beverage selection was very accommodating as well. If you find yourself not being able to go to breweries with a significant other because they don't drink beer then this menu will solve it. They had 2 types of cider, wine and fresh root beer as options for the non-beer drinker.

I personally had there rotating wood aged selection and at the time it was Belgium dark strong ale aged 4 months in cognac barrels.

The food was chef created and delicious. I had the duck nachos and they were amazing!!!

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Photo of MichiganHammer
4.83/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Although its not my favorite style of beer, Brewery Vivant are artist when it comes to Belgian Beers and they are changing my thoughts on Belgians. The brewery is located in a very small community outside of the city of Grand Rapids in a former church; It was great being served at the alter of craft beer. The staff there were very welcoming and I would highly suggest visiting this brewery.

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Photo of HarmonMW
4.81/5  rDev +14.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Atmosphere: The brewpub is an old funeral home chapel which gives it a very unique ambiance. Inside, tables line the walls and then the center area is filled with the long "German-style" benches where you're sitting right next to other patrons.

Quality: I was blown away with the offerings in the brewpub. Extremely good, unique beers. The flights are any 6 beers, mini-snifter servings. They always have a wood-aged beer on draft. The wood-aged ancho rauchbier was fantastic and got even better as it warmed. I have not had a beer that I didn't care for in 3 totally different flights.

Service: Always stellar. I have never had any complaint about the service we have received and all the servers are very knowledgeable about the available beers. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Selection: Both times we have visited there have been very diverse offerings. Lots of brewpub only, or limited release, beers with the standards always being available too.

Food: Awesome. I get the burger with the carmelized onions which is great. I forget what my fiancee tends to get, but it's delicious. Some of the best food of any brewery we have visited.

Overall: A little pricier than the average GR brewpub, but if you haven't been, you HAVE to make the time to stop by. You will not be disappointed.

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Photo of avalonct
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

This is my favorite place in town. I'm a bit biased as this is where most of my friends go when we want to grab a drink, but read my review for what it's worth. Without question, order the burger (infused with bacon) and enjoy. Make sure you order it medium well if you usually order it medium as they tend to under cook their burgers (on purpose). It is one of the juiciest burgers you will ever have....delicious!

More importantly the beer menu is always changing with their seasonals and they do a great job of explaining the brewing process of each beer so you can make a wise decision. My personal favorite is the big red coq, but a close 2nd is the Escoffier.


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Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Innovative belgian-american brews including the usual IPAs, Abbeys and Saisons running the gamut to a poblano sour!

A bit outside downtown, in an old funeral chapel. Work the trek.

Nice staff. Happy to give tastes. Also a couple sampler platters to choose from. Love that the samples are served in snifters so that you get the full nose.

Excellent if pricey food, including a rich duck rillets nachos in brie cream sauce with cracklings. This brewery is one to watch.

Along with Logan's Alley, one of the top two destinations in GR.

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Photo of SquareGrouper
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

This is a pretty neat place. A LEED certified brewery and pub from an early 1900s building that was previously a funeral home. The pub is actually in the old funeral chapel, and is surprisingly not creepy. The place has an old world feel, a boisterous main room and good selection of excellent (but pricey) food and a wide selection of tasty brews. Might be my new favorite spot in town.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of gaugebozo
4.66/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Set in a former funeral home, Brewery Vivant is a Belgian style bar and restaurant. The serving area is in a chapel, which gives a cool feeling to eating and drinking there. There are long tables in the center where people eat and drink together, a great place for a friendly pint and a chat with a stranger. The booths on the side allow a little more privacy.

I marked the food n/a only because I just tried one thing, the duck fat fries. They were wonderful. Crispy and properly seasoned with a side of creamy dipping sauce. There were a lot of other things that sounded great.

The beer is where this place really shines. The Belgian Dark in particular was my favorite. It took a long time to pour because of the ridiculous head retention, but the wait was worth it. (Great pour, bartender!) Creamy, mildly roasty while totally hiding the 9% alcohol, and that characteristic Belgian tang. They only serve their beers, so they get docked on selection, but that shouldn't be a problem for most BA's.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

A truly unique brewpub - housed in an old funeral home. Has a wide array of their year round, seasonal and one off brews on tap along with a fine selection of Belgian inspired food - great frites, charcuterie and mussels.

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Photo of ModemMisuser
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I will start this review by saying that BV serves nachos made with pulled DUCK and duck cracklins'. Seriously. And they're REALLY F'ING GOOD. And $14. So, yeah. The food kicks ass.

The beers are good - you can read the reviews of their beers right here at BA. They offer self-chosen flights, which is nice.

The place appears to be in an old chapel/church, or is designed to appear so. Which is cool for the whole Belgian beer focus theme.

Not much else to say - if you're in GR, this is a must visit.

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Photo of Shaskins80
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Great place! Always wonderful beer and food. Last night I had the steal and truffle fries. Had a BA Zaison and a Treebucket. Desert. Followed up with a spicy chocolate ice cream. Close to a perfect meal for me.

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Photo of bigfurrynutz
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of this brewery the weekend of March 18th for my 35th birthday Michigan pub crawl. The building is an old funeral chappel in an up and coming neighborhood in Grand Rapids. The founder/owner is a brewmaster from New Holland. This place is completely Belgian inspired from the floor up. The building is a beautiful work of art and they did an amazing job of converting it into a great oplace to eat and drink with a Belgian feel. While what we attended was a festival (tickets for beer and limited food) the beer was exceptional. The Bruin was a wonderful beer with tremendous notes of raisin and brown sugar undertones. We sampled a few of the house specialties as well. Lamb lollypops served with a berry compote, duck confit nachos and a savory belgian waffle with bris and honey drizzled on it. All were wonderful and it was incredible to get such food in a festival like atmosphere. If you are visiting Grand Rapids for beer, this place should be on your must stop list.

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Photo of BoyDrinksWorld
4.58/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5

I love the ambiance of Brewery Vivant. It is quite literally the altar of Belgian style ales in the Midwest. Great staff, and the food here is to die for. Burgers with bacon ground into the meat, seriously. Break down your barriers, grab an open spot on a table and start enjoying great beer with like minded strangers.

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Photo of Flux
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I hope i'm not too out of line when I say this is like the Belgium version of Founders...

But the atmosphere is an old church with rustic wooden tables and benches. It's more of a "seat yourself" kind of place but on busy nights (which happens often) they have a first-come-first-serve list for people to be placed at tables while the long tables are open game. Waitstaff is very friendly and helpful even during busy times. The place has been packed to the brim before and I still get great service no matter where I am; bar, table, or standing. The board has a modest selection of fantastic beers as well as a couple VanderMill ciders and some wines.

Food can be pricey but for good reason. They try to aim for local and seasonal ingredients. Had their duck nachos which were like crack to a food junkie like me. They try to break the mold and be daring with their menu items which I definitely appreciate. They also have a really great burger if you want something simple.

Overall this place really captures the heart of quality beer and food in an uncomplicated, unpretentious atmosphere.

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Photo of jale
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

A truly great place for beer and food. The beer is very good and they have a wide selection of them. The food is what really stands out here. They do not have a cook, but a chef. Hands down the best food of any brewery I have been to. The truffled walnuts are a must and I would drive hours just for this. The staff is far above average and are great at every aspect of this place. The inside is very inviting with large communal tables as well as booths and bar seating. I would frequent this place every week if it was closer.

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Photo of meanmutt
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

My wife and I were in Grand Rapids on a beer-centric road trip, and Brewery Vivant was quick stop on our way out of town.

The brewpub is pretty unique for sure since it's built inside an old chapel... I think it's a cool vibe.

We got there at about 1pm on a Saturday. There was a decent crowd, we grabbed a few of the last empty seats at the bar. The bartender was quick to greet us and take our order. Since we didn't have a lot of time to stay, my wife and I opted to split a flight of beers. Went with Arctic Sunrise, Menage A Trois, Tart Side of The Moon, and Hubris. I really loved the Tart Side of The Moon, while my wife was a huge fan of the Arctic Sunrise.

We didn't order any food, but I saw a few other people eating and the food looked great.

Overall, I'd recommend stopping by to check out Brewery Vivant. On my next trip to Grand Rapids I'm definitely gonna stop in again and spend more time there so I can try more of their well as the food.

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Photo of DJSpidey
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

My biggest complaint is the lack of vegetarian food options here; that said, carnivores will love the Duck Confit Nachos and such, and many will love their beers, served in an old church with local artworks on the walls. Growlers were competitively priced, and they refilled growlers from other brewers (for those of us who already own plenty of decent growlers and do not need yet another one to use for transporting great beers). Our server was attentive and knowledgeable on the beers, but less-so on the food (in his defense, they had just switched menus from summer to fall). There is a private parking lot for their customers to use, and they sell their canned beer here, too. We missed the brewery tour by an hour, but still enjoyed the beer-hall internal decor (with long tables in the middle). I will be back here for the beer most of all.

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Photo of bwood06
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

I can't attest for the food since I did not have nay but the beer list contains a very nice, varied selection and the bartenders know how to pour a beer. The brewery is located in an old church which creates a very different feel while inside as compared to many other breweries.

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Photo of Mightyspan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

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Photo of brew3crew
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

A-inside of an old cathedral. high vaulted arches and stain glass windows. pleasant on a friday afternoon

Q-Local and high quality. Well worth it.

S-HOT. Do I need to say more? I guess I will. HOT! And knowledgeable about beer. Really all you need to know about this.

S-Some of the best belgians I have had, and I don't even like belgians.

F-Lobster Corn-Dog. Do I need to say more. LOBSTER CORN DOG!

V-Food a little expensive but it is very high quality.

If you can buy a mug club mug, do it!

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Photo of deejaydan
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of Roeters
4.45/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

The brewery is a great place, the bar is fun to sit at, just some of my friends that were raised catholic think that it is weird sitting at the bar which is the front of the old chapel. The community tables are fun, even though I always seem to meet weird but great people. The service is good even when they are busy, the food is really good but it is a little pricey in comparison to places near by but it is worth it. Their beers are priced very well and are more then worth it. the newest must stop in Grand Rapids.

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Photo of MindYourHead
4.45/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I'm from Cleveland, a beer drinkers paradise, so I know of which I speak, and this place delivers on all fronts. The setting is wonderful: old church sanctuary with exposed wood rafters, semicircular bar in front of what used to be the alter, massive unfinished oak tables for larger groups reminiscent of a German beer garden. Good beer is always enhanced by good food and the food is of high quality and well prepared and plated. My wife and I enjoyed a cheese plate appetizer with very nice local cheeses, beer chutney and crusty French bread. We also shared a Mittwurst entree with red cabbage and excellent potato pancakes. Service was friendly, attentive and knowledgable.

The only distraction in an otherwise fantastic experience was the temperature of the beer - ice cold! With all the other attention to detail this place displayed, from the beer to the food to the service and ambiance, it was a shock that they missed so badly on this detail. Turn up the thermostat 15 degrees and let the quality of your beers come through! This complaint should not be enough to deter anyone from going here as it is really one of my all time best beer drinking experiences.

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Photo of Badger6
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The brewery is in East Town (well, now East Hills), a continually funky little area of GR that has always been fun, even 30 years after I was a kid and started going to art classes and the Bijou Theater and Yesterdog.

The tap room is in an old chapel, with high ceilings, and lots of tables and benches, and stained glass windows. The atmosphere is about as Belgian as you can get in the Midwest. The beers were great, and the food was awesome. I was in there right at opening time (3 pm), so it wasn't terribly busy, but within 30 minutes there were more than 40 people in the taproom eating and drinking. The service was ready for this rapid influx, and easily handled it; the service was fast and friendly. They were very knowledgable were genuinely excited about their brand- beer and food. One note, I live in the Washington, DC, area, and I gave this $$$ because it was pricey...even by my standards of an extremely pricey city. Well worth every penny, though.

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Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
3.83 out of 5 based on 4,201 ratings.
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