View Full Version : Arcadia Ales Brewery Tour

07-01-2012, 06:59
Yesterday Josh aka Josh rolled into Napoleon from Royal Oak and we hit the road to Battle Creek to take in a tour of Arcadia Ales.

Here she is, I have never been to downtown Battle Creek, it's a good looking town, cereal business must be good.
Arcadia Brewing Company was established in 1996 as a microbrewery specializing in handcrafted British-style ales. All of our beers are produced in small batches, and our 25 Barrel Peter Austin Brewery and methods originated in England, which allows this style of beer to reflect over 250 years of world class brewing heritage.
In addition to brewing on authentic British equipment, Arcadia uses only the finest malted barley from England, and when combined with the freshest hops from the Pacific Northwest of our United States, and our legendary Ringwood yeast, the result is some of the best and freshest handcrafted ales available, on any continent.

We got to see Brewster (females are not called Brewmasters) Stacey Roth in action. Here she is emptying to grain tank.
Did you know that in its early beginnings, beer was made only by the midwives and nurses that brewed medicines and tonics from plants and roots? A large number of these women - brewsters, alewives or midwives - were also listed as witches and were condemned to death. It wasn't until 1445 that the first "men only" brewer's guild was established. By the mid 19th Century, brewing became a man's world and that's predominantly how it remains today.

Here is the spent grains. Barley on the right, hops front left and orange & coriander back left.
I coulndn't resist to taste the hops, they were fairly bland as expected, they have been boiled and the flavor went to the beer.
They give this to a local farmer to feed his cows and the farmer pays them back with a cow every year. Fresh steaks!

Behind the wooden cooker you can see the fire pit opening in the brick covered kettle.

Had to get up on a ladder to look into the fermentor, nasty looking.

Here is the bottling line, bad pic, I didn't get the feeder and sanitizer on the right.
It is a 1957 RC Cola bottlling line.

The canning line is also a used one, they got it from Maui Brewing.
They now can do a whole 300 cans in an hour!

I don't recall his name but a person applied for a job at Arcadia and in the interview he said he used to work at Maui Brewery. They said follow us and showed him the canning line, he freaked, he used to operate it.
They were having trouble with it and he said you have to put a Yoda doll on it and sure enough in a couple of hours it worked smooth.

To be continued,...

07-01-2012, 07:08
Part II

We went outside, here is their Southern Pride smoker, pulled pork in the pub.

A beehive for honey to add to some of their beers.

Their Community Garden for fresh ingredients for pub food.

OK finally the beer, Hop Rocket wasn't available so I got a Hopmouth.
Went great with the Garden And Goat Quesadillas.
I also sampled their Big Finish Ale, a fruit forward hopper, awesome, so I bought a 22oz bottle to go.
We got super lucky, our tour guide Sean went to the back and brought us a bottle of an Imerial Stout that was bottled in 1999.
Like I said we got lucky, I'm sure this doesn't happen often because he set up four glasses and called over another guy and showed him the bottle.
He scurried over like at a party when the cool kids would go to another room for a doobie or a line.

It tasted like liquid liquorice and oh so deep.
I got the setiments from the bottom of the bottle, it tasted like unsweetned cocoa.

It was a very good time. Of all the brewery, wineries and distilleries tours I've been on I'd rank this one right at the top with the best of 'em.
Next year Arcadia is moving out of Battle Creek to Kalamazoo in a new facility that will be able to produce 30 thousand barrels per year.
They will be keeping the pub in Battle Creek.
They said they used to be in 13 states but now only 5 because they couldn't keep up with demand.
Two years ago they did 10 thousand barrels, last year 15.

Special Reserve
07-01-2012, 07:18

Thanks for posting I'm a big fan of several of their products. I've never been there it along with Founders are a couple of MI brewpubs I want to visit in the future.

Good having you back.


T Comp
07-01-2012, 07:56
Oscar, All looks great except...no Sarah ;).

07-01-2012, 08:07
Yeah, right you are Thad.
But you know she crossed my mind yesterday, oh, just a couple of times.

07-01-2012, 09:38
Brother Oscar! My goodness, is that really you? I thought you'd fallen off the earth. Thanks so much for the great pictures and the account of your brewery tour experience. Many years ago, I'm guessing shortly after Arcadia opened, I managed to find a sampler twelve pack of their products and remember remarking to my wife that their beers were the most authentic English ales I had encountered since we had moved back to the US from England. And then Arcadia disappeared from the shelves for quite some time and I was severely bummed. I'm going to an afternoon barbecue at a neighbor's house today and will pick up another sampler before heading over. Can't wait to drink that Angler's Ale again!

07-01-2012, 11:45
Lovely pictures. The garden and bee hive are behind the building in your first picture? or is that just the pub and the brewing is done elsewhere?

07-01-2012, 11:55
And, nice to see you posting here again Oscar. We gotta get together again sometime soon!

07-01-2012, 12:01
Very nice recap of your brewery visit Oscar. Thanks for sharing.

07-01-2012, 16:47
Lovely pictures. The garden and bee hive are behind the building in your first picture? or is that just the pub and the brewing is done elsewhere?

It's all one building.
Looking at the front of the building from the street in the first pic the brewing is in the right half of the building and the pub in the left half.
The smoker, bee hive and garden are in the back of that building behind the brewing half.

07-01-2012, 20:11
And, nice to see you posting here again Oscar. We gotta get together again sometime soon!

You name the time and place and I am there.:cool:

07-02-2012, 07:11
Thanks for the pics, Oscar. I will be making a trip to BC, MI later this Summer. I'll have to schedule a visit to Arcadia!

07-05-2012, 13:39
and our legendary Ringwood yeast,

I am sipping an Arcadia Ales Hopmouth and it just occured to me that I did not tell y'all what Sean the tour guide said,.."we are now using the 139th generation of this yeast".

07-05-2012, 18:42
Ringwood yeast is used in Old Thumper, another fine English ale.

07-09-2012, 05:39
Thanks for letting me ride along Oscar, and thanks for posting your great pictures! Much better than mine. It was a great tour and a great time. Never seen a brewery that was that protective of their yeast. A part of me is a little sad they are moving brewing from Battle Creek, but I'm glad the pub will still be there.

Also, I didn't want to contradict our tour guide, but that stuff about women brewers being burned as witches is BS.

07-09-2012, 14:02
Also, I didn't want to contradict our tour guide, but that stuff about women brewers being burned as witches is BS.

Yeah, but it was fun at the time.

07-09-2012, 18:25
Yeah, but it was fun at the time.

Burning witches or the tour? :D

07-09-2012, 18:39
So what will the good employees of Kellogg pour on their corn flakes once Arcadia moves out of town?

07-15-2012, 03:57
Also, I didn't want to contradict our tour guide, but that stuff about women brewers being burned as witches is BS.

Yeah, but it was fun at the time.

Burning witches or the tour? :D

Maybe this burning of women brewers is why Adolphus Busch, Eberhard Anheuser, Fredrick Miller, Joseph Schlitz, Adolf Coors, & Captain Pabst had to flee Germany and came to the USA.
I'd kick them out of my country too if they were burning their female competition.
Come to think of it, if I was young and single I think I might have to give Stacy a social call, could a Brewster be the "perfect woman"?

Bourbon Boiler
07-15-2012, 13:13
I haven't been in Western Michigan since yesterday, but I always feel I need to go back soon.

02-26-2013, 14:21
An associate of mine told me he has it on good authority that Arcadia Ales is going to produce a lager beer.
He said that they have invested in a below ground aging area.
So I contacted Arcadia and asked them if they had plans to produce a lager and if so can they share some details.
Tim Suprise, Founder & President of Arcadia responded with the following,...

Thanks for reaching out. No plans on our end at this time specifically for a lager style, but stay tuned...