On the way back from Pappy’s house, I stopped by a beer distributor (oh, the joy of PA liquor laws) that specializes in sampler packs and picked up an Arcadia Ales sampler. In the pack was a little something for each of us, as the case contained the Anglers’ Ale, their IPA, the Sky High Rye and the Whitsun Ale. Arcadia is a relatively new microbrewery (est. 1996) in Battle Creek, MI that specializes in handcrafted British-style ales.
First up was the Anglers’ Ale. From the Arcadia site:
Our original flagship ale! First brewed in 1996, Angler’s Ale is a strikingly authentic English-style Pale Ale. Medium-bodied and easy-drinking, this clean, crisp ale boasts well-balanced flavors of caramel, toffee, and toasted malt, with just the right amount of bitterness. A delicate herbal hop finish is provided by Goldings whole leaf hops.
Truly a study in balance, Angler’s Ale is clean enough to be a perfect thirst-quencher on a hot day, yet complex enough to pair with a wide array of intensely flavored foods.
I found the Anglers’ Ale to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Deep golden amber. Lots of quickly dissipating foam and lacing.
- Aroma: Muted hints of sweet malt, citrus and floral notes.
- Taste: Crisp, sweet and a little hoppy with a smooth finish.
- ABV: 5.4%
This was not a great beer but not a bad beer either. It was a little thicker than expected, a little flat, a little bitter, just an easy drinking beer.
The second beer was the IPA. From the Arcadia site:
Our IPA is the essence of “beer in balance”. Dry-hopped with Columbus hops in our open fermenters, our IPA boasts a bright floral aroma and flavor reminiscent of pine and lemon peel. The pronounced hop bitterness is balanced by a medium-bodied caramel and biscuity malt character with a nutty finish.
True to the original English version of this style, our India Pale Ale showcases many subtle earthy bitter notes, rather than the resinous citrus-rind bite often featured in many American-style IPAs. This unique, sessionable brew would have surely pleased British troops stationed in faraway lands.
I found the IPA to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Clear orange. Nice foam and average lacing.
- Aroma: Hops and grapefruit.
- Taste: Mild carbonation, a little thin with just a little bitterness.
- ABV: 5.9%
While not on a par with a West Coast IPA, this was a nice one.
The third beer in the pack was the Sky High Rye. From the Arcadia site:
In honor of our adventurous friends at Sky Dive Inc., in Hastings, Michigan, we crafted a truly adventurous brew in SKY HIGH RYE. A West coast style pale ale with rye malt, SKY HIGH RYE boasts a massive floral aroma of resinous hops. The hops contribute flavor notes of lemons, peaches, and pine needles, combined with the sweet, malty flavors of toffee and bread. Rye adds a pleasant peppery, spicy note like a fresh slice of pumpernickel bread. Very well-rounded and very drinkable, SKY HIGH RYE will surely inspire adventure in all who taste it.
I found the Sky High Rye to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Cloudy golden. Good foam and lacing.
- Aroma: Muted with a faint floral scent.
- Taste: Hoppy with a bitter finish.
- ABV: 6%
This was an okay beer.
The final beer in the pack was the Whitsun Ale. From the Arcadia site:
Whitsun is our Spring/Summer Seasonal, a wheat beer brewed with just the right amount of coriander, orange zest and Michigan honey. Wheat gives the beer a slightly viscous texture while offering pleasant bready flavors. Honey provides an earthy sweetness not often found in beers of this style. Coriander and a light hop addition add balance and never allow the sweetness to be cloying.
Brewed in the style of a mid-19th Century English Festival Ale, this unfiltered wheat beer boasts a translucent orange color topped with a creamy, white head. Its full-flavored drinkability makes it the perfect choice for any warm weather events, while the unique flavors pair nicely with many dishes.
I found the Whitsun to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Cloudy copper. Average foam and average lacing.
- Aroma: Wheat, orange zest and coriander.
- Taste: Spicy, wheaty, a little citrus and a little sour.
- ABV: 6.2%
I’m not really a fan of this style, but it was pretty good. It’s a poor man’s wheat ale with the usual flavor and a slightly odd after taste.
Overall, Arcadia makes a wide range of very drinkable products and the sampler pack was a good way to try them.