Solar-powered brewing

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Brewery VIvant's newest employee, the sun, will now have a hand in its Belgian-inspired brews. Image: Marie Orttenburger.

Brewery Vivant’s newest employee, the sun, will now have a hand in its Belgian-inspired brews. Image: Marie Orttenburger.

By Marie Orttenburger

When Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Brewery Vivant opened in 2010, the only thing solar powered about the funeral chapel-turned-brewery was the sign.

Now, its rooftops are covered with 192 panels that owners expect to eventually cover 20 percent of their energy usage.

Reporter Marie Orttenburger spoke with Co-Owner Kris Spaulding about the solar panels and the brewery’s record for sustainability.

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