Friday, March 29, 2013

The Sustainable Brewery

We have the first LEED Certified microbrewery right here in Michigan. It’s Brewery Vivant, located in the Uptown District of Grand Rapids alongside other local foodie neighbors such as The Green Well, Grove, and Marie Catribs. Owners Kris and Jason Spaulding had the background to develop a green brewery. Kris worked for many years at Herman Miller, a sustainably minded furniture company, and Jason was one of the original founders of New Holland Brewery.

They opened with a splash in late 2010 anchoring a redevelopment in an area that had fallen into disrepair. The restaurant is located in a former chapel. When they saw the space, the Spauldings knew that the building was perfect for a Belgian inspired brewery.

The brewer, Jacob Derylo, is gifted in the art of brewing while grounded in the science. They are using a malter from Michigan; they purchase Michigan hops when they are available. And, thanks to Chef Chris Weimer, they now belong to FarmLink and serve locally grown food year-round. To close the loop, they plan to send the spent grain from the brewing process to the farmer that grows the beef for the steaks served in the pub. Annually, Brewery Vivant publishes a Sustainability Report. And, click here for their sustainability goals.

Brewery Vivant’s goal is to stay small, growing deeper rather than wider. The beer is available in Michigan and the Chicago area. They will expand until they reach 5,000 barrels annually. They have already done the math to confirm that drinking the beer on site is more sustainable than purchasing the cans of beer (which are more sustainable than bottled beer). So, head over for some great beer and food in an awesome atmosphere.

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