Yesterday, Alison and I had the distinct pleasure of touring Brewery Vivant, a Belgian-style brewery in the East Hills neighborhood of Uptown Grand Rapids. This impressive facility was awarded a Silver LEED Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and remains the nation’s and therefore the world’s only LEED certified commercial brewery.
Some of the environmentally sustainable and innovative steps taken at Brewery Vivant to achieve this distinction, include:
- Canning beers instead of bottling them;
- Adaptively reusing a former mortuary and chapel as the brewery and brewpub;
- Centrally locating the facility in Uptown Grand Rapids;
- Utilizing handmade stainless steel fermentation tanks;
- Distributing the used mash to area farms for feed; and
- Providing onsite bicycle parking for employees and guests.
Of all the breweries and brewpubs I have visited across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, Brewery Vivant is my personal favorite. This is not just do its sustainable practices, but its delightful location, its attention to details, its distinctively European atmosphere; and its superbly crafted beers.
Next time you are in Grand Rapids, be sure to check out Brewery Vivant. While it may not be the best known brewery in the city, it certainly is the most environmentally sensitive and sustainable. Beside, as a devotee of Belgian brews, I think they produce the best brews too. Kudos to everyone at Brewery Vivant for a great job and we look forward to returning there often.
Here are some photos from our visit.