925 Cherry Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
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Brewery Vivant, local brewpub, was recently named in Midwest Living Magazine's list of Top 25 New Places to Stay, Eat, and Play. The only other Michigan location to receive recognition on the list with Brewery Vivant was Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City.
Located on Cherry Street SE, Brewery Vivant (pronounced ve-vaunt) runs out a building which was once a funeral home chapel. Owners Jason and Kris Spaulding had been building a business plan for the brewery for five years. When looking for a place to house their budding business, Jason Spaulding says the old funeral home was the obvious choice. "When I walked into the old funeral home chapel for the first time, I knew we had found it. It reminded me of one of the old monastery breweries I had visited in Belgium."
The brewery is known for brewing Belgian and French inspired brews. Their menu can be surprising to some, as the expectations of "bar food" is quickly realized to be untrue for this local watering hole. "People are sometimes surprised with the menu we offer because they are expecting that a brewery would have the typical pizza & hot wings bar food. We offer classic Belgian dishes like country pate, escargot, white bean cassoulet, and Belgian style frites," said Jason Spaulding.
The story behind Brewery Vivant, from their location to the menu offerings, recently received attention from Midwest Living Magazine. Janet Korn, VP of Marketing at Experience GR, introduces travel journalists to places around town. "I often interact with travel journalists and connect them with stories or introduce them to new businesses in Grand Rapids," said Korn. Korn introduced Amy Eckert, travel journalist for Midwest Magazine, to the brewery last summer. "I invited Amy to Brewery Vivant because it was relatively new at the time and both the location and the owners have interesting stories behind them," said Korn.
"They came in to interview us earlier this summer," Jason Spaulding revealed, "I knew they were doing an article on the brewery but was not really aware that this recognition was even on the table."
Korn acknowledges that Brewery Vivant, in addition to other local breweries, is attracting people to visit Grand Rapids to experience the city's craft beer. "Craft beer is quickly becoming a real reason to visit Grand Rapids and having a craft brewery included on this list adds further credibility to our efforts to attract visitors to Grand Rapids as a [cool city with great beer]."
Jason Spaulding appreciates the support in Grand Rapids. "I love that the people in Grand Rapids have embraced what we are doing and have given us great support. Michigan gets overlooked sometimes when young people are looking for places to live but there are some really cool things happening here. Grand Rapids is a great vibrant city with a lot to be proud of."
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.