Brewery Vivant prepares to enter Chicago market


Brewery Vivant’s business philosophy is to be “lean, nice and profitable.” Photo via

It might be a month later than expected, but Brewery Vivant is headed to Chicago on Nov. 12.

“The guys are putting the orders together this week, and we ship out next Tuesday,” Brewery Vivant owner Jason Spaulding said. “We were supposed to be in Chicago in October, but our distributors said we’d sell out in a week, so they wanted us to double the order and we said, ‘Give us 30 days.’”

Spaulding said the Chicago market is relatively underserved in terms of craft beer, with new breweries starting to pop up now. Chicago’s love of Grand Rapids beer was detailed in an August 12 article in the Chicago Tribune.

“It’s a sizable market and they’re thirsty for craft beer,” he said. “We have a lot of people come up here from Chicago and there are huge Michigan connections through Chicago.”

Spaulding said the distribution to Chicago will cap the footprint for Vivant indefinitely and likely push the brewery to its capacity limitations.

With the distribution to Chicago nearing, Spaulding and his wife, Kris, are setting up a special event on Nov. 14.

The brewery will donate 30 percent of revenues on the day to Feeding America. The commitment goes along with the company’s pledge to donate 10 percent of profits to not-for-profits.

“One of the values we founded Vivant on is being a good neighbor and active member of our community,” Kris Spaulding said. “Feeding America a great example of such an organization in that they are focused on feeding the people of Grand Rapids that are in need, and they do so through eliminating waste from other organizations and businesses.”

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