Broad Leaf Local Beer is not technically within the city limits but sits just outside of Grand Rapids in Kentwood. We’re generally pretty strict when it comes to GR-only spots on the Vegan Grand Rapids Guide, but their solid vegan menu earns them an easy exception.
If you’re familiar with the local beer scene, then it’s worth mentioning that Broad Leaf is the newest venture from Brewery Vivant. While Vivant’s French/Belgian-style has limited their ability to take on vegan food, that’s not the case with Broad Leaf Local Beer. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as they devote a good chunk of the menu – and the weekly specials – to plant-based food.
On the menu, which changes often, you’re likely to find a tempeh dish, loaded fries, or veggies “on a stick.” On our last trip, we had loaded fries topped with a vegan cheese sauce made from squash, a tempeh sandwich topped with mango basil slaw and house-made spicy veganaise, and a beet hummus platter. You can choose from a few sauces for dipping – you have to try the jerk sauce. They source locally and the menu changes based on what’s in season.
You’ll find at least a dozen brews on tap. The majority are vegan-friendly except for a few styles (they once concocted a special brew made with crickets. Yes, the insect.). The beer is as good as you’d expect with a range of styles and cider. You can check out what’s on tap each week on the website. They also offer wine and a selection of soda from Detroit City Soda.
The warehouse-style space and atmosphere at Broad Leaf is super fun. Besides the bar, brewery, and large seating area, you’ll find a small selection of classic arcade games, a gift shop selling beers to take home, and lots of merch. A cornhole set and a space wide enough to play means you can keep your game sharp year-round. The kitchen, inside a shipping container, has a counter where you’ll order your food. Another shipping container sits on top of the kitchen to make a super cool space for special events. It really is one of the most unique spots in the area.
You can find a list of all breweries with vegan beer on the Beer Guide.