Visit the world’s first LEED certified microbrewery housed in a refurbished historic funeral home in the East Hills neighborhood. Live the bon vivant with neighbors, brewers, and monks alike enjoying rustic European inspired beers along outstanding locally sourced dishes from our scratch-kitchen.
Brewery Vivant promotes living the good life by brewing culturally inspired beer, serving a from-scratch menu, and building a sustainable community for all one beer at a time.
The core of Brewery Vivant can be found at the crossroads of three passions:
- Our love of the tradition and artistic approach of European beer styles, with some emphasis on Belgian & French styles
- 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.
Though we still brew amazing Belgian-style beers, we have expanded into brewing many European-style beers including various lagers and other thirst-quenching styles.
Nestled in the heart of the East Hills neighborhood (about a mile from downtown), Brewery Vivant is a full manufacturing production brewery. All beer is brewed on premise and either served in the pub or packaged for distribution throughout Michigan. The brewery itself is a 20-barrel (bbl), three-vessel brewhouse built by our friends across the lake in Wisconsin, the WM Sprinkman Corporation.
The brewery has seen quite a bit of change since opening in 2010. While you will still find the signature "milk-can" grant on our 20-bbl Sprinkman brewing system, the original horizontal dairy tanks have all been replaced with stainless steel brewing specific fermenters. Not to worry though, you will still find these original tanks in our completely separate "Funk House" where some of our award-winning sour beers are aged. After fermentation, the beer passes through a state-of-the-art GEA centrifuge to remove excess yeast and hop particles to achieve the desired turbidity in the finished beers: not too bright, not too cloudy. Lastly, brewers carefully package each beer on our automated Wild Goose 4-head canning line or into kegs.
One thing that has stayed the same since 2010 is our commitment to producing the highest quality European inspired beers you can find. Enjoy!
Brewery Vivant is housed in an 80+ year-old renovated building sitting in the heart of the East Hills neighborhood and has immeasurable character. While the building has had many uses, none have them have been a brewery so we had to get creative to fit our use in this space...but that is what gives it its charm.
The Metcalf family operated the largest funeral home in Grand Rapids from 1894 to 1980. The location where the brewery now stands was built in 1915. Although the building was originally constructed as an automobile garage, the Metcalfs repurposed it as the livery for the company’s 17 large white horses when they moved to the Cherry Street location in 1916.
Over the years the funeral home expanded. In 1948 the current Chapel building was built and that now is home to the Brewery Vivant pub. The original wood beams and light fixtures were able to be restored and provide a great ambiance. All the renovations followed strict Historic Preservation standards and every effort was made to bring the building back to its original look.
Learn more about the sustainable efficiencies of our space.