Broad Leaf Local Beer

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The off-shoot, side-project, weird-cousin brewery of Vivant

2885 Lake Eastbrook Drive | Kentwood, MI

Brewery Vivant owners Jason & Kris Spaulding have opened their second taproom in the bustling retail center of Kentwood on the corner of Lake Eastbrook Boulevard and 29th Street. Broad Leaf Local Beer shares the core values Brewery Vivant is known for in the world of sustainability, service, and connection with community. However the beer, atmosphere and food menu at Broad Leaf is an entirely new endeavor.
“The world of craft beer has rapidly changed over the past five years. With Vivant we set out to be a top Saison & farmhouse ale producer and have done that quite well. While those are welcome design constraints for Head Brewer Jacob Derylo and his brewing team, they are also interested in exploring other styles of beer. With the development of new hop varieties, new beer styles, and emerging brewing techniques we wanted to push the creative line and participate in this new wave of craft.” says owner Jason Spaulding.
According to national trade magazine Craft Beer and Brewing, Brewery Vivant is regarded top of class as a Saison producer on a national level and was ranked 8th in 2018 in the “Who Brews it Best” readers choice. Despite the success of these farmhouse beers, there is a new movement in craft beer that is focusing on other beer styles and these newer breweries are pushing the industry in interesting directions. According to Jon Ward who is the company’s Creative Director, “(W)e will continue to explore Farmhouse ales at Vivant and with the opening of Broad Leaf we have a whole new corner of the map to explore -- beyond the edges of the map in some ways. We will be brewing some beers that speak to tradition and others that try to break from tradition. If you couple the beers we currently produce at Vivant with the beers we plan on making at Broad Leaf what you’ll see is a very large spectrum of process, ingredients, and style. It’s going to be really fun to expand the variety of colors we have to paint with.”
Broad Leaf Local Beer opened its tasting room and retail area to the public May 1 in a preliminary fashion. Food will initially be provided by area food trucks & food carts onsite as well as delivery & take out from area restaurants. The official Grand Opening is planned to be later in the summer when the food service is online. “We are veering from the norm with our kitchen being built in a recycled shipping container. It will be worth the wait though as we have some exciting menu ideas in line with the street food movement and popularity of food trucks.
We will continue the company focus on sourcing locally and making everything we can from scratch, but our menu will be smaller and focused on a lower price point” says Derek Stek who is returning to the company as the Kitchen Manager and Chef.
“The atmosphere will be self-guided and casual” says Taproom Manager Jared Rader. “We look forward to applying our reputation for beer knowledge and great service in this laid back format while continuing the Company focus on building community.”
The facility was designed to have a low environmental impact. It is outfitted with state-of-the-art daylight harvesting light monitors, advanced controls for monitoring energy usage, industrial overhead fans that can save up to 30% in heating & cooling, low flow bathroom fixtures and includes recycled & repurposed materials throughout. “We tried to be creative in our design and use materials that could be considered scrap material, but presented in a fun way. Our cooler wall is over-layed with recycled shipping pallet boards and we have been able to create fun mini-environments for seating with scrap ends of shipping containers. The live edge bar top is made from slabs of a fallen Michigan Ash tree, you can see the signature of the Emerald-Ash Borer as you drink your beer” says Spaulding.
Like Brewery Vivant, Broad Leaf is a Certified B Corporation which means there is an active focus on using the “business as a force for good.” This takes many forms including the Company providing a great benefits package and paying their employees above the local living wage, establishing strong partnerships with local organizations and actively pursuing supplier relationships with locally-owned and diverse product and service providers. Owner Kris Spaulding “is excited to be a part of Kentwood and work alongside city leaders and community members in their efforts to continue building a thriving community.”