A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves headed toward Eastown and decided it would be a good chance to check out Brewery Vivant. A former funeral home and chapel, the building is certainly unique for a brewery. They offer some unique Belgian inspired beers and the company is committed to sustainability, purchasing many of their ingredients locally. The prices were not cheap, but everything did seem high quality.
Tom and I were joined once again by our friends Meghan and John. Tom and John decided to go with a letter grading system this time around. Here's what they tried:
Helen: This was the first beer Tom tried. It's a sour beer -- Tom said it had a light mouthfeel and a sour finish to it. He liked it and gave it a rating of a B+
North French Ale: This beer they described as having a kind of "cellar" taste to it...if that makes sense. It's very light for having such a high percentage of alcohol. Overall, they said it was pretty good. John gave this one a solid B or B+
Ancho Raucbier: John went out on a limb and got this chili pepper infused beer. His remark: "I don't hate it." It was a bit like a funky wine where you can only take small sips. According to John, though, this beer was better than all of the ones at Rockford Brewing...combined. I failed to get a letter grade, however.
Solitude: This beer was supposed to have flavors of caramel, pear and raisin; it tasted more strongly of coffee and caramel. It was good though, and earned itself an A- or B+
Triomphe: This was voted as they best beer they tried at Brewery Vivant. It has a little bit of hoppiness, but not too much. It got an A- grade.
Overall, the consensus was that all of the beers here were very clean and crisp tasting. Besides the beer, we also ordered some of the garlic parsley fries -- yum! They had lots of interesting looking items on their food menu, but we were between meals. I also ordered a root beer since (despite Tom's best efforts throughout our brew tour) I still am not a beer fan. It was not too bad, either! Although we don't get over to Eastown too often, I think this is a place we'd come back to when we're in the neighborhood.
click here to read the back-story on our Brew Tour!