Other articles by the same author
Brewery Vivant announced Monday that they are collaborating with New Belgium Brewing Company, the third largest craft brewer in America. Vivant's production is much smaller than New Belgium's (1,800 barrels in 2011 compared to over 700,000 barrels respectively), but they are alike in their focus on sustainability, according to Brewery Vivant co-owner Jason Spaulding.
"They do a fantastic job of taking sustainability into their whole culture out there. It’s in everything they do. They have solar panels; all their energy is generated from wind energy. It costs them a little bit more to do that but their whole staff voted and would rather have their bonuses reduced to ensure all their energy comes from wind," says Spaulding.
The first collaborative beer will launch on tap and in cans at Brewery Vivant on August 27. Brewery Vivant is calling theirs Escoffier, after the 19th century French chef of the same name.
"He is kind of like the father of modern French cooking. By naming the beer after him, we’re celebrating beer and food," says Spaulding. "We wanted to make sure [the beer] had the flavor of both breweries. Drawing attention to creating a beer/food experience for people."
The other beer that the two breweries collaborated on will launch in Colorado, and the two breweries are still collaborating on the taste.
Alex Dwoinen, Brewhouse Manager at New Belgium Brewing Company in Colorado, thinks Grand Rapids lives up to the Beer City USA hype.
"The Michigan craft beer scene is remarkable. There is so much great beer and a tight craft beer community. Grand Rapids definitely lives up to the hype but Asheville, NC does as well. It is a tight race for the title of Beer City USA."
Both breweries hold each other in high regard.
"They are someone we would like to emulate. We hold them in a really high regard. We’re doing everything we can, but they’ve taken it further. It’s inspiring to see what they do," says Spaulding.
"Brewery Vivant are like-minded people making great beer and great food and have many synergies to New Belgium Brewing. The cool vibe and great beer make them one of our country’s treasured brewery experiences," adds Dwoinen.
Along with this collaboration, Brewery Vivant will soon be bringing their Belgian-style brews to Chicago. Both the collaboration and expansion are said to be steps for the local brewery to be a known name outside of Michigan.
"Having a brewery that we respect so much wanting to brew a beer with us, it can’t be a bad thing. We feel really good about the fact that they wanted to partner with us," says Spaulding. "We are a pretty new company, so not a lot of people outside of Michigan know who Brewery Vivant is. It’s going to get our name out there to a wider audience."
I am a graduate of Grand Valley State University, holding a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in History. I love writing stories that share the special or creative moments of our city. I am a mentor to other reporters as well. I am inspired by author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. for his words, sarcasm, perspective and legacy.