Jason Spaulding of Brewery Vivant says brewers are like “sponges,” soaking information wherever they can. Photo by Michael Buck
With a desire to explore new ventures, Jason Spaulding left New Holland Brewing Co. in 2005 — a company he helped found — but he wasn’t exactly sure what to do next.
Lucky for him, his wife, Kris, had a steady job at Herman Miller and was willing to support her husband while he charted his course.
Fast forward to 2010. The couple opened Brewery Vivant in an old chapel in Grand Rapids' East Hills neighborhood, specializing in sour Belgian-style ales.
Just a few days after they opened, the Spaulding's first-born son was born.
Kris Spaulding spent time caring for the child, but made sure to make her voice heard in the brewery's decisions.
And last winter, she took on the job of managing human resources and sustainability for one of the first LEED-certified breweries in the nation. This winter, the brewery was awarded Local First’s LocalMotion Triple Bottom Line Up & Coming Business award for its sustainability efforts.
Live video chat: Thursday, March 7 at 11 a.m.
The Spauldings are scheduled to answer questions posted in the comments section below during a live video chat at grbj.com. The chat will be filmed via webcam at Brewery Vivant and streamed live below.
The couple will discuss their partnership and how Brewery Vivant came about, the Grand Rapids beer scene and the struggles of owning and running a brewery and small business.
What questions do you have for the Spauldings and Brewery Vivant? Post your questions — before or during the chat — and look out for the live discussion.
Watch a recording of the live video chat below.
Editor's note: Reporter Pat Evans moderated the chat on-site at Brewery Vivant.