The Rapidian

Brewery Vivant to celebrate five years of brewing, sustainability, neighborhood advocacy

The team at Brewery Vivant are inviting the community to help them celebrate five years of neighborhood commitment and future endeavors by coming in to enjoy special beer releases, food specials and live music.
B Corp of West Michigan

B Corp of West Michigan /Brewery Vivant

Exclusive Anniversary Party Wood-Aged Tap List

  • Barrel Weiss, 4.5% ABV: Brewery Vivant's loose interpretation of a Berliner Weiss, but brewed with a nod to both their inspiration in Belgium and their home in West Michigan. Oak barrel aged sour on draft and available in limited edition 500 ml bottles to kick off the sour project.
  • Wizard Burial Ground: A big Belgian Quadrupel aged for over a year in freshly drained bourbon barrels. 10.4% ABV.
  • Dead Wizard in the Basement: Wizard Burial Ground further aged with wild yeast. 10+% ABV.
  • Paris: A tasty barrel-aged sour. 9% ABV. 
  • Angelina: Brewery Vivant has been using the same barrel since 2010 to brew their first sour brew- and they say it just keeps getting better and better. 6.5% ABV.
Kris and Jason Spaulding

Kris and Jason Spaulding /Brewery Vivant

Inside Brewery Vivant

Inside Brewery Vivant /Paul Bomers, Monk Member

This Sunday, December 20, Brewery Vivant will celebrate five years of brewing classic Belgium beer in East Hills. The pub will open at noon with various activities until the pub closes at 10 p.m.

“[It will be] a celebration of five years doing what we've always done: pair great Belgian & French inspired beers with from-scratch food, and elevating the enjoyment of both. It's not a limited or exclusive party- no cover, no exact times- we're looking at this as a day to come and be a part of what makes Brewery Vivant so great in the first place: being a community gathering spot,” says Kate Avery, Abbess of Beer at Brewery Vivant.

This celebration will also mark the release of their very first Barrel Aged Ale in bottles, available only at the pub. Patrons can also find the limited edition Barrel Weiss, Vivant’s take on a traditional Berliner Weiss sour, that day.

“So that's reason enough to come to the pub on Sunday: being a part of the start of that project. And I think that spirit will carry through all day, from the food specials, to the anniversary-exclusive wood-aged beers we're pouring, to the camaraderie we find when inside these walls,” says Avery.

“Being part of the Vivant community means being part of a growing culture of some great interaction between beer loving patrons and staff. Taking part in a wonderful experience on every visit. Seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones regularly. Everyone cares about one another weather they just met, or have known each other from the beginning,” say Rob Perez, Monk Member.

“I do consider myself the most regular, regular. I love to bring candy for the candy draw at the bar and the host stand,” says Perez.

Visitors to the pub on Sunday can also expect live tunes strumming from The Bootstrap Boys in the Beer Garden and announcements of Monkees (Monk Member Awards).

Kris and Jason Spaulding, owners of Brewery Vivant, have a long history as major supporters to Congress Elementary, just across Lake Drive from the brewery. Typically, the pub will donate a percentage of sales to Congress Elementary, but instead, have committed to donating $5,000 dollars right off the bat and are encouraging other East Hills Businesses to join the effort in anyway they fit with the school.

“Kris and Jason [Spaulding] are an amazing team, who had an amazing vision and they continue to stand by what they believe in. I have health insurance, paid vacation, a 401k that Vivant contributes too, and I spend hours upon hours in chapel every week. The amount of support I receive makes it difficult to imagine ever leaving,” says Chris Hoeksema, who has been working at Brewery Vivant since it first opened in 2010.

Natalie Maloney, also an employee since the beginning, agrees.

"[They] go above and beyond to encourage and nurture their staff. It's really incredible. They really show by example and have created such a positive environment for personal and professional growth," says Maloney. 

Brewery Vivant is one of few B Corps in West Michigan, first LEED Certified Miroc-Brewery in the Nation, Sustainable Business of the Year by West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and Silver Bicycle Friendly Certified.

“It’s important to me because I feel confident in the decision-making of my company. They basically do what Mama tells you to do: ‘do the right thing.’ There is no corner cutting; you just do the right thing. The right thing isn’t what is just right for [us], but what’s right for the community and the environment,” says Todd Masker, Brewery Vivant’s Poursuivant, which in French roughly translates to the pursuer. “We are always chasing a goal. We want to be leaders in the community” says Masker.

“Brewery Vivant has been a leader in so many ways” says Avery. "From our imaginative beer styles and influences to our role in the community. I see us continuing to deliver on a memorable experience, being the place people come to connect over a shared meal or drink. The next five years will see a continued investment in Belgian and French inspired beers, our wood-aging project into a robust program, our kitchen and garden working in tandem and our integration in the community seamless, as an extension of our community. We've got a lot to do and we're excited to do it."

Disclosure: The author worked at Brewery Vivant for over three years, and admits she still loves the place.

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