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Brewery Vivant to host "Beer the Change" celebration

The East Hills brewery will present its annual sustainability report interactively on Sunday, March 30. A portion of beer sales proceeds will benefit Congress Elementary's community garden.
Underwriting support from:

Where to find Brewery Vivant:

925 Cherry St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506


Brewery Vivant's website
Brewery Vivant's Facebook


Sustainability focused brewery tour and discussion begins at 4 p.m.

/Hayley Grzych

On Sunday, March 30, Brewery Vivant will welcome the community to participate in their annual “Beer the Change” event. The brewery’s visual sustainability report will be presented visually and interactively featuring a sustainability-focused brewery tour and round table discussion about sustainability challenges and opportunities. A portion of Sunday’s beer sales will be donated to the community garden fund at Congress Elementary park.

"One of the things we always want to do is work on the education side of what we’re doing," say Kris Spaulding. Spaulding and her husband Jason opened doors to the Belgian and French inspired brewery in December of 2010. Spaulding says that while they are no experts, she hopes sharing sustainability business reports can help inspire others to be more sustainably progressive.

"Part of why we do the report is to put ourselves out there in hopes that we get others to notice and learn," says Spaulding. 

"I think [we are] using our report as an example, where we’re not afraid to put ourselves out there in this scary way," says Kate Avery, titled the Abbess of Beer, or marketing guru. "Seeing what we’ve done can break down that [impression that] 'Oh, it’s too hard, oh it’s too scary.'"

"Even better is when people get engaged in a great dialogue. We can learn a lot from others, whether it’s just ideas they’ve had or experiences they’ve had," says Spaulding. "Overall, it should be beneficial to the brewery as well as those attending. 

The event will also feature the official unveiling of plans for the new Vivant Garden.

"Since the beginning, we wanted to have a farm. We knew that was more of a long-term goal because buying a farm requires capital and finding the right land, et cetera," says Spaulding. When the Spauldings moved into a new home this year with extra land, the opportunity to start a garden and experiment with growing food presented itself.

"We can test out the waters to see: Does it makes sense [to grow our own food]? Can we have a farm one day?" says Spaulding. "We have a goal of 50% of our food coming from local sources and now we have a goal of 10% coming from our own garden."

"So we’re fired up about it. It’ll be cool that it’s at our home because then my kids can grow up with this really awesome garden," says Spaulding. "They will know where their food comes from."

Brewery Vivant is using the sustainability event to deepen connections to the rest of the East Hills community as well.

"Something else we’re really proud of, that we talk about in the report but is always fun to talk about more, is our relationship with Congress Elementary," says Spaulding. Because the elementary school neighbors the brewery, Spaulding looks forward to continuing to aid community gardening projects, the beautification of the school's property and planting more trees in the area.

Spaulding is also proud of Brewery Vivant employees who work on volunteer projects of their own. She mentions associations with Girls on the Run, a health and wellness program for young girls, and after school educational programs in STEM fields-- science, techonology, engineering, and math.

"It’s cool that Vivant supports them, and we volunteer initiatives that support them, and we also have this outgrowth of our staff taking things on independently," says Spaulding.

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