Brewery plans second location

Jason and Kris Spaulding are among a statewide group of business owners who signed a letter in support of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's carbon neutrality goals. Courtesy Elizabeth Kadwell

A staple of Grand Rapids’ beer scene is planning a new suburban brewery and taproom.

Over the past three years, Brewery Vivant was searching for a suitable place for a new warehousing facility, and then the vacant Klingman’s Furniture warehouse in Kentwood, at 2885 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE, presented an opportunity for the owners to grow their vision.

“At first we turned this building down,” said Jason Spaulding, who co-owns Brewery Vivant with his wife, Kris Spaulding. “But with the new plan, including a second tasting room, it started to make a lot of sense.”

Jason Spaulding said he was originally looking for an aging facility for bourbon and sour beers, but the former Klingman’s warehouse, comprising just over 25,000 square feet, provides the opportunity for on-site brewing, retail space and a 99-seat taproom.

The new location, currently dubbed “Brewery Vivant Concept Two,” will neighbor Action Outfitter Supply, a retailer of industrial equipment like steel-toed boots and safety goggles. Spaulding said he’s looking forward to opportunities to work with the store.

The new space will require a small amount of interior work, which Spaulding said will mainly be re-converting it into a warehouse. Because of its industrial look, Spaulding said it will follow a different design from the “old chapel-style” Grand Rapids taproom.

“We’re going to do something a little different in this place,” Spaulding said. “The old chapel space is iconic, but this space is nothing close to looking like a chapel. We’re still deciding how that’s all going to work.”

The new site will also present new brewing opportunities to explore. While Brewery Vivant’s usual offerings, like Farmhand and Hopfield, will be on tap at the new location, Spaulding said they will be using the facility to explore new trends in the craft beer industry.

“There’s a whole new world of beer to explore,” Spaulding said. “You’ll see more Northwest IPAs more pilsners, more stouts.”

The owners are ironing out food options for the new space, but Spaulding said they’ve been playing with the concept of having “indoor food trucks” parked in the building during lunch and dinner hours.

Spaulding said they are going through the permitting process with the City of Kentwood, but the new Brewery Vivant may be open as soon as Dec. 20.

New staff members are being trained, and the new brewery plans to offer up to 20 new positions once the location is open.

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