Category Archives: Brewery Vivant

Review of Brewery Vivant/New Belgium Escoffier

Hi guys.  How’s it going?  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying another collaboration brew.  It’s called the Escoffier and it’s made by Brewery Vivant from Grand Rapids, Michigan and the New Belgium Brewing Company located in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I’ve had a few beers from Brewery Vivant, however I’ve only had two beers from the rather popular New Belgium.  For some reason they are not distributed in my area.

I found the commercial description of the Escoffier from,, but you guys should check out also to see some of what they have to offer.

Escoffier is our much heralded collaboration with New Belgium Brewing in Ft. Collins, CO. Coinciding with their entry into Michigan, this project began with a friendly meeting at our pub. After a few beers and some food, the idea to brew a beer together started to take shape.

Auguste Escoffier is considered the master chef of the 20th century. His ideas and methods left an indellible imprint on the culinary world, and are still in use to this very day. We named our beer ‘Escoffier’ to celebrate the relationship between great food and excellent beer, and how they elevate each other when enjoyed together. If you’ve ever visited our pub, this is the cornerstone of what we try to accomplish.

Ok.  Let’s have a drink.


This brew came in a 16 oz. can and it had an ABV of 9.25%.

It poured a clear, light cherry to amber color.  The cap was off white, fizzy and soapy, and not particularly large. The retention time was slight.  As was the lacing.

The bouquet was very light.  It did have a some meager hints of funk and yeast as well as some pleasant fruity tones of cranberry though.  It was only a little bit tart smelling, yet it seemed to be balanced well.  Overall, it was somewhat simplistic, but not too bad.

The flavor was, again, a touch on the subdued side.  Still it wasn’t bad though.  Savors of fruity cranberry with a solid malty backbone.  The yeast and funky “bugs” were toned down, however they did become a bit more prominent as it warmed and settled.  It wasn’t so much tart or sour either.  Just a little inkling to keep me interested.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Mostly smooth with just a touch of sharpness on the back end.  It was also a bit crisp and somewhat refreshing.  That seemed crazy for a beer that had an ABV of 9.25%.  The carbonation was a nice medium strength and only the most minor amount of warmth was felt long after the swallow.  A decent shot of flavor was left on the palate after the consumption too.

Overall, this was a pretty nice beer.  It’s not really like the typical Sour/Wild Ales that I’ve tried in the past, but it’s solid enough and definitely worth a try if you can acquire a can.  I know I wouldn’t mind having it again that’s for sure.  I really appreciate Brewery Vivant and New Belgium for creating the Escoffier.  I think it’s great that they are willing to share ideas so we can benefit from it.  Maybe they will do more of these type of things and maybe I will be fortunate enough to fetch a few cans.  With that being said, if you guys have ever tried the Escoffier let me know you thoughts.  I’d love to hear another opinion.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.7 out of 5

Grade:  B


Review of Brewery Vivant Big Red Coq

What’s up folks?  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying Brewery Vivant’s Big Red Coq (Ha, that sounded funny).  This Brewer’s Reserve Limited Release beer is brewed in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I can’t get any of these brews in my area, so I need to thank Chris Phillips ( for sending it to me.

The website,, gave an enticing description of the Big Red Coq.

We make four batches of this beer each year, once a quarter.  When it is gone, it is gone.  What started as a test batch specialty beer at our pub, has grown into one of our most sought after beers.  Plus there is so much fun to be had with the name.  Coq means rooster in French. 

Let’s give it a try.  Shall we?

This beer came in a 16 oz. can and it packed an ABV of 6.25%.

It poured to a very deep maroon/burgundy color with some ruby red hues showing through when held toward the light.  The cap was eggshell colored, smooth and soft. It was sized decently, the retention time was fairly nice and the lacing seemed to be sound as well.

The bouquet popped with some nice grapefruit and pineapple citrus, which commingled with just a wee bit of funky goodness and Belgian yeast.  Hints of pine added some more hoppy characteristics while a deep caramel malt added some additional sweetness.  I really liked this fragrance.  Very well balanced and harmonized.

The taste began with some toasted breads and caramel sugars.  The grapefruit and pineapple citrus mixed with the piny hops sat right in the middle while the Belgian yeast, funk and even some grassy components hit fairly hard at the back end.  The hop bitterness was of medium strength, however it was sturdy enough to really please the taste buds.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, dry, semi-chewy and slick.  The carbonation was lively, but not stingy.  Just a very minor amount of warmth was felt as the liquid worked it’s way across the palate.  A genuine amount of flavor was left behind for me to enjoy between sips as well.

Overall, I found this to be a very fine beer.  I’m not typically a fan favorite of “Reds”, however I really enjoyed this one.  I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that it was really “hopped up” and that it contained some of those Belgian funk and yeast components that I really like.  It’s definitely a unique take on a beer of this style.  If you guys happen to be hanging around in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and see the Brewery Vivant Big Red Coq sitting out on the shelf of a bottle shop I’d encourage you to pick it up and give it a try.  I think that you may really like it.  Again, thanks to Mr. Liquid Bread for sending this my way.  I’m most appreciative.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I’m grateful.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-  

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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Brewery Vivant, Country: USA


Review of Brewery Vivant Zaison

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Brewer’s Reserve Limited Release Zaison produced by Brewery Vivant located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Thanks, again, to Mr. Liquid Bread (Chris Phillips) for sending me some of these hard to find brews.

I couldn’t find any information regarding this beverage on their website,, so I’m just going to pour this thing and see how it is.

Let’s drink.

This beer comes in a 16 oz. can and it has an ABV of 9.0%.

It poured a quite cloudy, honey/golden/orange color.  A barely off white head that was (surprisingly) kind of creamy, soft and smooth.  The size was well to do, the retention was sufficient and the lacing was suitable.  Not a bad looking beer right here at all.

The nose seemed to be a touch light.  I was able to pick up a subtle orange citrus with a slight white wine characteristic.  It was bready, yeasty and kind of musty, yet only a very negligible amount of funk was found as well as a modest tone of spicy pepper.  I was detecting some other type of fragrance that I couldn’t quite pinpoint.  All in all, a very nice aroma.  Nothing overbearing or off putting, however sturdy and decent.

The taste released savors of orange and tangerine citrus.  I swear I thought I was even detected some very remote touches of oak or wood.  The peppery spice came forth a touch more in the taste than it did in the nose.  Still not much funk, but the bready and yeasty flavors held tight.  Even with the noticeable citrus the bitterness was very, very low.  Little to no alcohol was tasted either.   

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Dry, crisp, snappy with a bit of warmth mostly from the pepper I’m guessing.  A very lively carbonation, which helped the palate retain some of the flavor for a good long while.

In my opinion, this is a very solid beer.  Apparently, pretty rare too.  It has a super drinkability and it definitely would be a great Summer beer.  I don’t think it quite matches up to some of the other Saison style brews that I’ve had in the past.  It just didn’t seem to have the “oomph”, however this beer would be exceptional for someone interested in trying the style.  It’s not going to completely obliterate the senses like some of the Belgian offerings may.  And that’s not a bad thing.  So, if you guys happen to be able to grab a can of the Brewery Vivant Brewer’s Reserve Zaison, pick it up and give it a try.  I’d love to hear your opinion.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.75 out of 5
Grade:  B          

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