Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Recap of 5th Annual Wood-Aged Beer Fest at Brewery Vivant

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Brewery Vivant held their 5th annual Wood-Aged Beer Fest (WABF) on Saturday, September 19th. The event continues to evolve each year having begun in the taproom and over the years having grown into Vivant’s parking lot up until last year’s full fledged Eastown Cherry Street party. For 2015, the fest has moved back into the parking lot but has continued to expand this year to include both an afternoon and an evening session. This move proved to work well; the fest still saw expected long lines for some of the amazing beers offered but the lines moved quick and no one went thirsty.
Every year Brewery Vivant continues to amaze with their diverse selection of barrel aged specialties, and this year was no exception. The variety included dark beers, hoppy beers, and sour beers aged with everything from peppers and coffee to cinnamon and ginger to peaches and pumpkin. Some of this year’s highlight included the Angelina house sour oak-aged in Vivant’s first ever barrel and Paris Wild Red Wine Saison. The beer was spread out over 4 different tables, and this year each table featured a selection of firkins including Tree Bucket aged on brandy soaked cherrywood and “Hickory Dickory Coq” - Big Red Coq aged on hickory.

This year’s food options included Brewery Vivant’s famous duck nachos, smoked turkey legs, and vegan or meat chili. The afternoon session went from 1 to 4 p.m. and transitioned smoothly to the evening session from 5 to 8 p.m. The pub was open during the event (with the festival grounds separated) and over 20 different beers plus firkins were offered. Tickets to the event went for $35 which included a commemorative tasting glass with 10 tokens good towards both beer and food. This year’s fest was well attended with only limited tickets remaining before each session.

Brewery Vivant’s 3rd annual COQ to the FLY group bike ride to Rockford Brewing Co. is Saturday, September 26th. The event each year follows the early summer FLY to the COQ event from Rockford Brewing to Brewery Vivant. This year’s event includes a special new collaboration beer “On Your Left”!

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.