ABOUT PEOPLE. PLANET. PROFIT. ABOUT US | PHILOSOPHY | THE OWNERS | BREWERY STAFF | PUB STAFF Brewery Vivant is the realization of years of dreaming and much discussion of what a great brewery can be. What makes our brewery different from the rest is the way we approach our craft and operate our business. The core of Brewery Vivant can be found at the crossroads of three passions: Our love of the tradition and artistic approach of the Belgian & French styles of beers Devotion to using local sources for ingredients and running our business according to the three pillars of sustainability; Environmental Integrity, Social Equity, and Economic Viability Sharing the experience of how beer and food can be paired to uplift the enjoyment of both Much of the inspiration for our beer came out of a trip to the French-speaking Belgian countryside visiting small farmhouse breweries. The beer we were most excited about comes from the southern part of Belgium, called Wallonia. This area is also the inspiration of our logo, which is modeled from that region's flag and was created to honor the beer and people of that region. The word "vivant" translates as "to be alive", or "to be lively" which we thought fitting to the type of brewery we strive to be. The French term "bon vivant" which translates to "the good life” is often used in reference to people who enjoy eating and drinking well...and that is what we are all about. PHILOSOPHY LEAN. NICE. PROFITABLE. LEAN We will operate without excess square footage, equipment or labor hours. NICE We will run our company being nice to our customers, co-workers, community and our environment. Our brewery is designed to offer a great experience while being conscious of our environment. PROFITABLE We have identified a ‘“sweet spot” of 5,000 bbls of beer produced where we can maximize our output with our brew system and be profitable. Our goal is to get this volume of production, be profitable and stay there. THE OWNERS A FAMILY BUSINESS JASON SPAULDING Jason Spaulding Owner and CEO of Brewery Vivant, Jason Spaulding, has been brewing beer since college where he discovered just how great beer can taste when it’s made well. A ski trip to Colorado following his West Michigan undergraduate education diverted his attention from other pursuits and led him to open New Holland Brewing Company in 1997. Jason established himself in the brewing world as an innovator and all around good guy while leading NHBC. After eight years, differing visions compelled him to part ways and build the Bon Vivant brewery we now enjoy. Jason enrolled at the Doemens Brewing Academy in Munich, Germany and continued to travel through Southern Belgium and Northern France with wife and Brewery Vivant Co-owner, Kris Spaulding, to visit small farmhouse breweries. They tasted incredible beers and met many artistic brewers, building the foundation of Vivant. Back to the Mitten, Jason managed the bar at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor to learn their secrets to great food and great service. Returning to West Michigan, Jason was on the hunt for a neighborhood space that could house a production brewery. As fate would have it, he found an old, historic funeral home chapel, fell in love with it, and somehow found ways to open the business despite the bad (really bad) economy. It was meant to be. KRIS SPAULDING Kris Spaulding Owner & President, Kris Spaulding, manages the operations as well as the people and planet aspects of Vivant’s triple bottom line focus while her husband and business partner Jason concentrates on the company’s product and profitability. She was the driving force in the pursuit of Vivant’s LEED and B Corporation certifications and is an advocate for businesses engaging with their community in a meaningful and impactful way. Kris has always been passionate about environmental and social issues and enjoys having the opportunity to apply that passion in interesting ways as a small business owner. BREWERY STAFF WHO MAKES YOUR BEER? JUST CURIOUS. JACOB DERYLO Jacob Derylo Head Brewer Jacob brewed with New Holland Brewing Company for 10 years prior to heading up brewing at Brewery Vivant. We knew he was the only head brewer for Vivant because of his artistic skill and passion for creating great and unique beers. Jacob is one of those guys who stays until the job is done no matter what. His dedication comes through in the beer which we think you will agree. You can often catch him having a well earned pint at the end of the day at the Pub. If you see a bearded man with glass in hand, wet pants, tall boots and stains on his shirt that is most likely him. CHRIS MITUS Brooks Twist Operations Manager Adam was first introduced to craft beer while getting his business degree at Hope College during long afternoons of helping New Holland Brewing Company bottle their beers. He enjoyed the work enough that he kept hanging around until they offered him a job. Over the next dozen or so years, he spent time learning as many aspects of a production brewery as possible before finding himself in an operations role. Adam went on to work for Perrin Brewing as Operations Manager for four more years before finding his way to BV. Here he attempts to coordinate some of the production related chaos that comes with operating a small, independent craft brewery. Outside of the brewery you are most likely to find Adam training for his next ultra marathon on the local trails. He is a firm believer that there is value in choosing to do things that are difficult and that moving his body is the key to his own happiness. He spends his down time watching his wife play roller derby or hanging out with his two dogs, Iris and Winnie. BERNIE BUTGEREIT Bernie Butgereit Brewer Brewer Bernie oversees our Quality Assurance Lab. RYAN "R1" REICHLE Ryan "R1" REICHLE Wandering Monk West, Sales Representative Ryan spent the first nine months of his Vivant life managing the brand new warehouse space. His wizardry helped make it a smoothly operating machine and he traded in his windowless brick building and lengthy conversations with the forklift for the bright lights and beautiful smiles of the Grand Rapids general public. Wandering Monk is a suitable title, as you can find him in the back of a canoe or sitting around a bonfire on most weekends when he isn't home making marginal improvements to his lawn out in the 'burbs. If you feel like getting him talking, ask him about the Chicago Cubs, mediocre rounds of golf, or what it's like to marry someone who lived on three different continents while they were dating. JESSE WEINKAUF Jesse Weinkauf Brewer Jesse hails from the wilds of Northern Michigan where he cultivated his passion for the outdoors...as well as his love of brewing beer which began in 2002 alongside his father. After attending Grand Valley State University and getting his BA in Photography in 2013 he worked various odd jobs before deciding to return to one of his original obsessions; beer-making. The ethos of Brewery Vivant with its commitment to sustainability coupled with the amazing beers brewed here are his new driving force. Before arriving at Brewery Vivant, Jesse worked as a brewer for Perrin Brewing Company. Terry Lancaster Alec Hamelink Brooks Twist Brewer Alec first found his love for beer in a home brew kit in 2013. Quickly after that he pursued a career in the industry on the packaging lines at Founder’s Brewing Company. In his free time he enjoys exploring Michigan’s fresh water coast with his wife and dog. BROOKS TWIST Brooks Twist Operations Manager Adam was first introduced to craft beer while getting his business degree at Hope College during long afternoons of helping New Holland Brewing Company bottle their beers. He enjoyed the work enough that he kept hanging around until they offered him a job. Over the next dozen or so years, he spent time learning as many aspects of a production brewery as possible before finding himself in an operations role. Adam went on to work for Perrin Brewing as Operations Manager for four more years before finding his way to BV. Here he attempts to coordinate some of the production related chaos that comes with operating a small, independent craft brewery. Outside of the brewery you are most likely to find Adam training for his next ultra marathon on the local trails. He is a firm believer that there is value in choosing to do things that are difficult and that moving his body is the key to his own happiness. He spends his down time watching his wife play roller derby or hanging out with his two dogs, Iris and Winnie. PUB STAFF KNOW YOUR LOCAL CHEF. CHRISTOPHER VANDER MEER Christopher Vander Meer Executive Chef Chris clawed his way into the role of Executive Chef through hard work and a love and passion for fine food. He graduated with honors from Grand Rapids Community College holding a degree in culinary arts. Chris has worked in a variety of kitchens around the Grand Rapids area, ranging from country clubs to fine dining restaurants. He also spent time living and cooking New England fare on the coast of Maine. Go Red Sox! VANESSAAGUILAR Vanessa Aguilar Sous Chef Vanessa grew up in a small farm town north of Grand Rapids and earned her associates degree in culinary arts from Baker College. She's got a level head, a good eye, and an incredible sense of how flavors flow together...and set each other off. As Banquet Chef at a couple GR country clubs, she knows how hot the kitchen can get but keeps her cool under pressure. In 2013 she vacationed on Mackinac Island as the Sous Chef for the Island House Hotel, learning a lot and having a lot of fun doing it. Vanessa brings a wealth of experience to our kitchen, working her way up from prep cook, to lead prep, and now stewarding our kitchen as Sous. When she's not cooking for you, she's chasing her pup down country trails and enjoying Mother Nature in any way, shape, or form. KATYWALTZ Katy Waltz Pastry Chef Katy grew up in LaGrange, IN. She attended Purdue University (go BigTen!) to study Hospitality and Tourism Management. She discovered her passion for the pastry process as a summer intern at a small lodge in Alaska. Then as an apprentice at Sea Island in Georgia she rotated between the main bake shop, the five star restaurant, and the Lodge (recently named Best Hotel in America!). All that Southern summertime humidity drove Katy back to Alaska for another rotation through the lodge life. Somehow she found her way to Grand Rapids and wound up at the Vivant bar one night, reading "Letters from a Wine Stained Notebook" by Bukowski. Chatty bartenders persuaded her to stay in GR and the rest is glorious buttery baked history! JONATHANWARD Jonathan Ward Experience & Retail Warden Ward is now in his second stint at Vivant after dipping his toe into the Pacific Northwest Craft Beer scene. A half year into his western adventure he came home for a visit and decided to come home to stay. He happily brings his girlfriend Katy Waltz and (somewhat unhappily) a plump telepathic feline named Pinot back with him after adventures too numerous to mention here. His new role as "Experience Warden" is as non-linear, left-field and open-ended as he is. He will be doing everything in his power to make the Vivant experience a powerfully good one through community, art, design, education, events and of course food and beer. His main goals are to get Vivant beers on tap at at least one brewpub in Japan and to have a pint at the Vivant arches with Dan Pashman and Simon Pegg. CHRIS "BATES" STOFFEL Chris "Bates" Stoffel General Manager Wait. His last name isn't Bates?? Loving this workplace place since 2011, Bates is our make-it-happen-man and the Mister Master of the Monk Club. Always the one to hit up for a new or rare beer release, Bates' affability and beer knowledge endear him to his coworkers and guests alike. Bates loves meeting new people and he shines in the pub finding answers to your questions and [seemingly] effortlessly executing award winning food & beer experiences. HOPEBYRON Hope Byron After an almost 10 year hiatus living in the mountains of California and Colorado, Hope returned to her home state to pursue her education and dream of working at Brewery Vivant. A self proclaimed beer nerd and foodie, you can find her brewery hopping across the state (and country) exploring the local eateries and music scene. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and camping with her two rescue pups Frankie and Eric. She dreams one day of having a large piece of property to fill with ALL the rescue animals, especially the old ones. MARCO RUIZ Marco Ruiz Floor Manager This guy. Hailing from Southern California, Marco has chosen to grace West Michigan with his buoyant joyfulness. Further, he's offered to herd cats here at the Chapel. Marco joined our team back in 2014 as a server where he endeared himself to guests and co-workers a like. After a stint on the East side of the state, he realized his community was here in Grand Rapids and the rest is history. When he's not at the Pub brightening peoples' days, he's outside playing with his beloved pup Holly, relaxing with tunes (and Holly and friends), and soaking up the electric energy at live music shows.