During a recent trip to Michigan my girlfriend Cindy, and I, were more than happy to stop at the Arcadia Brewing Company’s Brewery and Restaurant in Battle Creek. We stepped through the door, after kicking a substantial amount of snow from our shoes, and our quest for good ale and good food was satisfied for the day. I am adding Arcadia to my list of highly recommended Brewpubs, and they have the distinct honor of being the first Brewpub reviewed here at Cryptobrewology.com.
The atmosphere was pleasantly dark, wooden and rustic. A huge wood fired oven stood to my left, where they bake up delicious appetizers and entrees. A saloon-style dining area, with little square tables, stood between us and the bar. I initially set my sights on the bar, but we were greeted by the maitre d’, and instead escorted to a nice table for lunch.
After informing our host of my intention to write a review of the Arcadia Brewery and Restaurant — and proving that by showing off a Cryptobrewology sweatshirt that Cindy was wearing, because I forgot my business cards — we were treated to top notch service, though I’m sure the staff at the Arcadia Brewery offer every customer top notch service, not just reviewers!
For lunch, Cindy, my good-beer-and-food cohort, and I enjoyed a tray of tasty bruchetta and some delicious quesadillas.
Now, on top of the quesedillas was a little stack of sliced jalapeño peppers, one of which I tossed down my gullet without a thought. It’s something I’ve done before, with no ill effects. I like jalapeños, but this time was different. It must have been the seeds and juice that did me in. I gulped some water, then realized that was the wrong thing to do.
Cindy suggested bread or a quesedilla with sour cream. I tried both, and it worked, but not before the heat made it to my gut. I thought I was in some serious trouble, but then… I hiccoughed. Once. A quick swig of a Starboard Stout, more quesedillas slathered in sour cream and I was good as new. Please note: this is no reflection on the establishment. The jalapeño horror was all my fault.
After lunch it was time for our private brewery tour. Arcadia Brewery, founded in 1997 by Tim Suprise, offers several great tasting, unique beers, all in the English ale style. They are brewed in small batches using a 25 barrel Peter Austin brewing system, which we were fortunate enough to be given a tour of.
The wood mash tun seen in this photo is actually a steel mash tun with a nice wooden facade. Looks cool though. And the “brick kettle” you see in the background is a steel kettle with a brick facade surrounding it. Looks authentic, but while Arcadia does stick to a strict British brewing method and system, they use modern gear.
One of the assistant breweers showed us around and explained all aspects of the Arcadia brewing process, including a walk through the temperature-controlled fermentation room (seen below), and kegging and bottling systems. We had to don special clean suits and masks as we walked by the fermenters, but I took mine off for this photo. Kidding. Funny thing, our guide gave us the tour beer-in-hand. I wish I had a job like that.
Arcadia brews great beer. I highly recommend their Imperial Stout, one of my favorites, but I can’t deny that every sample I had was unique from the other in very distinct ways. On tap during my visit (those which I tried) were their Angler’s Ale, Hop Mouth, Nut Brown Ale, India Pale Ale, Big Dick’s Olde Ale, Scotch Ale, Starboard Stout, London Porter, and Sky High Rye. Cindy had to drive.
Arcadia also offers a Whitsun, Cereal Killer, Jaw-Jacker, Hop Rocket, and Cocoa Loco, their triple chocolate milk stout.
I highly recommend you stop by the next time you find yourself in Battle Creek, Michigan. Arcadia has a friendly, informative staff, nice atmosphere, terrific food, and a great selection of outstanding, award winning ales. Arcadia gets The Cryptobrewology Seal of Approval. I will be back for more! If you stop by the Arcadia Brewing Company for a beer or two, make sure you mention that you heard about them at Cryptobrewology.com!
For more information, visit the Arcadia Brewery Website.