Kalamazoo, MI- We always love to stop by Arcadia Ales, whether we are in Kalamazoo or Battle Creek. Each place is distinctly different. I’ve been good friends with owner Tim Surprise since I taped an episode of the Great American Brew Trail with him at the original location in Battle Creek. It was one of those tapings where I couldn’t stop laughing and had the best time. The new brewery and restaurant, located on the river downtown Kalamazoo, is big, beautiful and full of beer and barbecue.
When John and I visited the brewery, Arcadia was coming fresh off a big award at the Great American Beer Fest. Tim was beaming as he told us that they had won a silver medal in the Classic English Style Pale Ale category. We had ordered up some barbecue at the counter, picking out brisket, mac and cheese, and barbecue beans. We also got a smoked lamb chop for good measure.
So we had to try the beer with this amazing food, and got a couple of pints of their India Pale Ale. In the words of Arcadia, this beer “showcases a bitter pine and lemon hop flavor, balanced by a medium-bodied, caramel and biscuit malt character with a nutty finish.” All true. John and I just thought “that is one fine beer”. Really nicely balanced, without that punch in the face some West Coast style IPA’s have, this is an IPA that actually pairs really well with food, especially all that barbecue.
When you go, grab a table and a server will come get your beer order. Then head to the back and order your barbecue from the counter. The setting of the brewery is beautiful, on the river, and there is lots of outdoor patio seating, as well as lawn games you can play. In the future, look for a new outdoor stage to be built as well as a wood burning oven. And remember, you can still get their great beer at the original Battle Creek location!-Amy Sherman