Brewery Vivant, in Grand Rapids’ East Town neighborhood, has been one of my favorite breweries since my first visit a bit more than two years ago. To say that their examples of Belgian and French beers are outstanding is an understatement. I’ve been known to spend fifteen minutes or more simply enjoying the aroma of one of their beers before taking my first sip. After that each sip is a joy as you journey to the bottom of the glass. In the fall of their inaugural year I attended their first Wood Aged Beer Fest. I remember being amazed at the uniqueness and flavor of each beer that I tried. I missed WABF 2012 but in 2013 Jason, Jacob, and the gang have done it again.
Last Saturday was a perfect day for WABF3. It was overcast and in the 70s. There was rain to the north and rain to the south but due to what I can only attribute to an effect similar to Daryl Waltrip’s Vortex Theory no rain fell on Brewery Vivant while my wife Serenity, my friend Tom, and myself were there. The last time I was at this event they hosted it on the restaurant’s patio and it was a bit crowded. This year they took over the parking lot and there was plenty of room.
Under the tent there were 20+ wood aged beers on tap and each one that I tried was better than the next. Wandering around with my souvenir tasting glass I was able to try wonderful barrel aged and sour beers such as Whiskey Rooster, Two Princesses, and Cassandra. I wish that I had been able to take notes on each of them but what I will say is that if you haven’t been to Vivant, it’s definitely worth the trip. If you can only make it there once a year, Wood Aged Beer Fest is the time to go.
I’ll see you next year.