Escoffier, the beer & the chef inspire Brewery Vivant kitchen for Restaurant Week
Limited edition beer, “Escoffier” to be released August 6
(Grand Rapids, MI) – Brewery Vivant set to re-release the beloved Escoffier beer on Sunday August 6, in conjunction with Restaurant Week Grand Rapids and the official announcement of new Executive Chef, Chris Vander Meer. Escoffier is a mixed culture farmhouse wild ale and the next in the Plein de Vie (“full of life”) series of wood and wild beers. First brewed in 2012 as a collaboration between Brewery Vivant and New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO) as a straight brettanomyces fermentation, Escoffier was later proclaimed one of the Best Beers in the World by Draft Magazine. This year’s re-release was cellared for over a year to let the flavors properly develop and presents with a deep orange-red hue, brett fruity-funkiness on the nose and a slightly spicy fruity character on the sip. It clocks in at 11.2% ABV.
The beer release leads Brewery Vivant into the annual Restaurant Week where executive chef, Chris Vander Meer, has prepared a menu inspired by the man the beer is named after– the famous Chef Auguste Escoffier. “He is the Godfather of French cuisine,” Explains Vander Meer, “and has influenced much of Western cooking as well.” Brewery Vivant will offer a 3-course meal as a part of the promotion. “I wanted to show off the simple yet elegant flavors of hand crafted foods and fresh ingredients.” The brewery teamed up with Aperitivo of the Downtown Market for the first course featuring a cheese and olive board with breads from Field and Fire (also of Downtown Market). The second course is a seared sea bass with a fruit ceviche. The brewery’s full-time, in-house, award-winning pastry chef, Katy Waltz, will offer a refreshing peach melba crepe to complete the meal.
Chef Vander Meer has been cooking with Brewery Vivant since 2011 and progressing into the role of Sous Chef and most recently Chef de Cuisine. After earning a degree in culinary arts from Grand Rapids Community College, Vander Meer traveled and gained experience along the Maine coastline. He returned to Grand Rapids honing his craft in kitchens around the city. He brings a wealth of experience, attention to detail, and passion for excellence with him into his new role at the brewery. “We’re happy to have Vander’s leadership in the back of the house.” Says Jason Spaulding, President and Owner of Brewery Vivant, “He understands how to take locally-sourced, quality ingredients and turn them into wonderful dishes.”
Restaurant Week GR runs August 9 through 20. Brewery Vivant’s 3 course meal is $28, with a portion of proceeds going to the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education Student Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community College. Along with the Escoffier wild ale release on draft and in 500ml bottles, the brewery also plans to release it’s bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout, Love Shadow, on draft and in 16oz cans on Sunday August 6.
About Brewery Vivant
Brewery Vivant promotes living the good life by brewing farmhouse inspired beer, serving a from-scratch menu and building a sustainable community one beer at a time. The brewery employees around 65 employees and is located in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, in a renovated funeral chapel built in the early 1900’s. Husband and wife partners Jason and Kris Spaulding opened the doors for business in December of 2010. Vivant beers are distributed throughout Michigan and the greater Chicago area. They are the first commercial brewery in the nation to receive Silver LEED Certification from the USGBC. Additionally they are 100% renewably powered, a gold level Bicycle Friendly Business, and are a certified B Corporation. Beer the Change®!