“Why the name Brewery Vivant? (pronounced Ve-vaunt) 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 excited about most 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. There is also the French term “bon vivant” which translates to “the good life”. It is often used in reference to people who enjoy eating and drinking well…and that is what we are all about.”
- Big Red Coq (89 Points)
- Contemplation (82 Points)
- Farm Hand (86 Points)
- Ski Patrol (86 Points)
- Tree Bucket (94 Points)
- Triomphe (93 Points)
- Undertaker (77 Points)
BIG RED COQ: 89 Points
This Belgo American Ale is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “What started as a pub specialty beer has quickly become one of our most sought after. A malt-forward red ale with our signature Belgian yeast create the base for plenty of Citra hops in this unique beer. Big Red Coq, BRC, the Coq, Big Red..anyway you order it, you know you’re in for a treat. (By the way, “Coq” is French for Rooster, which is our mascot, so…get your mind out of the gutter).”
My Description: Initially, I wasn’t impressed with this Vivant but after around 10 minutes I began to enjoy this beer. Somehow the flavors began to work in harmony. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head that lasts for a while leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is pleasant with citrus notes coming through nicely along with notes of tropical hops, caramel malt, and a delicate Belgian yeast funk note. Big Red Coq is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a very dry finish. An earthy presence along with a mild caramel malt backbone hold up notes of citrus and some yeast spices. The Citra hop plays more a subtle role here unlike some potent IPA’s that showcase this hop strongly. I like the way it blends cleanly with the rest of the ale. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and refreshing. This makes for a great pub ale or a beer to drink on those hot days. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled jerk chicken, tropical fruit salads, or asparagus.
ABV: 6% Color: Dark Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10
CONTEMPLATION: 82 Points
This Specialty Belgian is released in April in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “Clover honey added during the boil contributes color and complexity but adds no sweetness to the beer as the sugars are broken down during fermentation. Look for whispers of apricot and nectarine on the palate, mixed with the floral aroma of the hops grown in northern Michigan.”
My Description: I think a quick decision is made with this beer, nothing to sit back and contemplate. It begins with a decent, light beige colored head that fades to a ring leaving no lacing. The aroma is welcoming with sweet fruit notes along with some yeast esters, floral notes, and a hint of honey. Contemplation is medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is pleasant but nothing to write home about. Light clove notes pair cleanly with some fruit notes, grassy lemon notes, and a touch of honey. The alcohol is picked up on from time to time and the aftertaste shows very little bitterness. Overall, this beer is more on the sweeter side, obviously from the honey, with soft flavor notes and a clean body. It is best served around 45° and pairs nicely with sourdough bread, soft cheeses, or a light salad.
ABV: 7% Color: Reddish/Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
FARM HAND: 86 Points
This Farmhouse Ale is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “There was a time in old world France when nearly every family farm had a brewery. A necessary part of farm life was to provide a ration of beer to laborers, as beer was safer to drink than the water of the time. (Has to do with water carrying bacteria and alcohol killing said bacteria. Yay beer!) Farm Hand is our interpretation of what these rustic beers must have been like. It is slight in body, mildly sweet, and has a slight cloudiness from the simple un-malted grains similar to the period.”
My Description: This is a great Summer beer; it is smooth, very refreshing, and easy drinking. It begins with a weak, white colored head that lingers for some time leaving behind no lacing. The aroma is subdued with notes of citrus peel, grains, grass, and some funkiness. Farm Hand is lighter bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile follows the nose closely with citrus being a dominant flavor along with notes of wheat and yeast phenols with a hint of spice. There isn’t too much flavor going on but this beer is designed to be drank on the farm for sustenance not as a sipper. The slightly bitter finish is a welcoming addition and overall it is a pleasure to drink on a warm day. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with soft cheeses, spicy pastas, or grilled white fish.
ABV: 5.5% Color: Hazy Straw Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
SKI PATROL: 86 Points
This Witbier is released seasonally in January in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “This crushable slopes-inspired beer complements our Michigan winters with a hazy golden pour and a warming spice on the nose. The cardamom sets this wit apart from the traditional corriander variety. It also plays well with the orange peel, creating a soft warmth so necessary when dangling from the chairlift.”
My Description: Not every Winter beer needs to be high alcohol, it’s nice to have a change up from time to time. It pours a weak, white colored head that fades quick to nothing leaving behind no lacing. The aroma shows prominent spice notes with hints of wheat malt and cardamon. Ski Patrol is light/medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is refreshing with wheat malt aspects detected throughout along with spice notes and hint of sweetness. The beer is balanced beautifully with a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste with lingering cardamon notes. Overall, this beer is definitely “crushable” and a nice take on a Winter Ale that isn’t some big and heavy stout. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with chicken pot pie, veggie pizza, or pea soup.
ABV: 6.1% Color: Golden Bronze Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2/10
TREE BUCKET: 94 Points
This Belgian Strong/Belgian IIPA is released in late February in 16 oz. can.s
Brewer’s Description: “Belgian candy sugar and the Ardennes yeast strain lend sweetness to this very, very hoppy beer. Tropical fruit-forward Citra hops, among others, give balance to the sweet profile and high ABV. The beer is babied in the fermentation tanks and dry hopped just before packaging. From aroma to sip to burp, this beer will have you storming the gates for your next pint.”
My Description: This is one soft Imperial IPA, the hops are mellow and the candy sugar comes through easily. It begins with a large and dense, white colored head that lasts the whole way leaving behind a wall of lacing. The aroma is unique and pleasant with notes of Belgian yeast esters, citrus hops, melon, and a touch of lemon funk. Tree Bucket is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is definitely on the softer side of bitterness. Sweet candy undertones are detected throughout along side juicy notes of tropical hops and citrus hops. The beer exhibits an overall earthy and lemon funk presence but it never takes center stage; these notes are sometimes faint allowing the other notes to come through cleanly. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the aftertaste is slightly bitter with lingering sweet notes. Overall, this is an extremely smooth ale that is pleasure to drink. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with sharp Cheddar, shrimp tacos, or spicy veggie chili.
ABV: 9.3% Color: Golden Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
TRIOMPHE: 93 Points
This Belgian IPA is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “Triomphe is made with a classic Belgian style yeast strain that gives the complexity and slight sweetness you may expect from a Belgian style ale. The beer then reaches deeper still, providing a smack-down of American grown hops to turn the style on its head. It has a light caramel color and is strongly bitter with a fruity, citrus aroma.”
My Description: I love the balance of this ale. This beer does not deliver juicy hop flavors but that is not a requisite of the style. I think Vivant did a great job showcasing their version of a Belgian IPA. It begins with a good sized, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level that leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is amazing here; a beautiful collage of different notes that blend cleanly together. Some sweet scent notes are accompanied by notes of Belgian yeast funk, citrus hops, and mint. Triomphe is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is clean and tasty with notes of green bananas, citrus hops, and some minor biscuit notes. This beer has a herbal presence to it that fits right in and the alcohol is completely hidden. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a lingering yeast spice note. Overall, this is an easy drinking beer that is crisp and tastes great. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with Thai dishes, veggie pizzas, or jerk chicken.
ABV: 6.5% Color: Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10
UNDERTAKER: 77 Points
This Belgian Dark Ale is available year-round in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “Expect a dark, sinister pour with notes of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of dark cherries. The lingering finish whispers molasses and roastiness.”
My Description: With such a badass name this beer is the exact opposite. It’s not a bad beer but this is something that I wouldn’t be proud of showcasing. It begins with a big, beige colored head with an excellent retention level that holds the whole way leaving behind hardly any lacing. The aroma is decent enough with notes of roasted coffee, some yeast funk, and hints of chocolate. Undertaker is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. Unfortunately, I found the flavor profile to be bland and not satisfying. There are notes of coffee, chocolate, and hints of dark fruit but there is no depth and yeast notes are held to a minimum. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and I don’t think the finish is anything special. Overall, this is a whatever beer that is not memorable. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled steak, smoked ribs, or a heavy salad.
ABV: 6.7% Color: Very Dark Brown Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
DUBBELICIOUS: 87 Points
This Belgian Dubbel is a limited release in 16 oz. cans.
Brewer’s Description: “Dark and Caramel malts and a high temperature fermentation produce a mahogany pour with aromas of plum and raisin and a rich nutty finish.”
My Description: For a local Dubbel, this is a nice choice but nothing that I would write home about. It begins with an extremely weak head that fades away quickly leaving behind no lacing. The aroma is mild with some subtle earthy notes and a hint of toffee; there really isn’t too much going on. Dubbelicious is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is satisfying and slightly complex. Caramel malt builds the backbone here with notes of dark fruits but not one specific fruit stands out, it’s more of a collage of dark fruits. Some medicinal notes and a hint of roasted malt are present and overall this beer is more on the sweeter side. The finish is smooth and I think this is a good representation of the style. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with beef brisket, baked duck, or chocolate cake.
ABV: 6.5% Color: Mahogany Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10