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Brewery Vivant to take over Cherry Street at 4th annual beer fest

The popular East Hills brewpub will be throwing their annual Wood-Aged Beer Fest October 4, from 1-8 p.m. This years' festival will be the first to take place on Cherry Street directly in front of the brewery.
Brewery Vivant taproom

Brewery Vivant taproom /Caitlin Hoop

Wood Age Beer Fest

WHEN: October 4, doors open 1-8 p.m.

WHERE: Cherry Street, right in front of Brewery Vivant

COST: $12 

*MUST buy tickets ahead of time online. For the first time no tickets will be sold on the premise day-of. Find tickets here.*


The Taproom is currently showcasing three of the beers that will be at the street party. 

Cemetarian=Undertaker aged in an oak barrel+coffee and vanilla 

Devastation=Tree Bucket aged in a Jack Daniels bourbon barrel 

Whiskey Rooster=Big Red Coq aged in a bourbon barrel


For more information, read about the event on the website.

Sampling Cemetarian in the taproom before WABF

Sampling Cemetarian in the taproom before WABF /Caitlin Hoop

Brewery Vivant is gearing up to welcome an estimated 2,500 attendees to this year’s Wood-Age Beer Fest. In order to accommodate the excited fan base, the brewpub has expanded the event and spilled out onto Cherry Street, thanks in part to their partnership with East Hills Council of Neighbors.

“We have people who care about this industry, and we want to put out the best beers for them.” proclaims Kate Avery, the abbess of beer at Brewery Vivant. “[This city] has been supporting us, so here is a fun party. Who doesn't love a street party?”

Cost to attend is $12, which includes a collector’s edition tasting glass and two tokens. Additional beer tasting tokens are available to purchase at the event as well, at a price of $2.50 each or 10 for $20. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Not only did Brewery Vivant expand the festival grounds, but they have also broadened their selection of wood-aged brews. The craft beer culture has grown immensely in the past four years, in thanks to the community showcasing their city pride and selection of Grand Rapids as Beer City USA. 

“This campaign showed us as brewers that people are interested in beer and that West Michigan is developing a mature beer palate,” explains Avery. These factors gave Brewery Vivant the confidence to push the envelope in trying new, funky and rare things.

Every year the brewers allow their creativity to shine by playing with the nuances found in their base beers such as Tree Bucket, Undertaker or Big Red Coq and putting them in different barrels to see what the end result is. Imparting different layers of flavor into beers through wood aging is very common in the Belgian-French beer drinking experience, a mentality and culture Brewery Vivant is based on.

“Our brewers are really creative,” says Avery. “Brewing is an art.”

It comes as no surprise then that the festival falls during the middle of Art Prize.

“Art Prize is a great boon for Grand Rapids and I am really excited for Wood Age Fest to throw the spotlight on Uptown neighborhoods for even just one Saturday,” says Avery.

For those members of the community who may be intimidated by beer and the funkiness of wood aging, Avery says there will be a variety of beers that even the less experienced palates will enjoy.

“Beer can be an intimidating thing, but there is a flavor for everybody," she says. "The staff at Brewery Vivant is very knowledgeable and works to guide and teach ‘young’ palates.”

This year the brewery is also offering a sneak peek into some of the beers for those wanting to get an idea of what the festival will offer beforehand. From now until October 4, brewpub patrons can sample Cemetarian, Devastation, and Whiskey Rooster, three wood aged beers with a fan club.

Even though the festival is going strong at its fourth anniversary, don't just wait until next year to attend. All tickets must be purchased in advance, which can be done online here.

“If you are lucky enough to be drinking at Wood Age Beer Fest you are drinking some amazing limited edition beer," says Avery. "You are definitely getting bragging rights.”

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