Owner Tim Suprise has immense pride in Arcadia, as well as Battle Creek and Scotland. It was particularly evident on Saturday as the Battle Creek brewery celebrated its 18th Anniversary and Highland Christmas at its original location.
“One of the nice things about owning your own brewery is that you can decide what kind of things you make that become resonating annual events,” said Suprise. “This has been one of them.”
The festivities began at 9 a.m. with breakfast — including Arcadia’s famous corned beef hash — and progressed well into the evening with special menu offerings, timed beer releases and live music.
Around the supper hour, the Kalamazoo Pipe Band played as a cast of characters assembled to perform Robert Burns’ “Address to a Haggis.” The traditional poem was recited by Suprise, dressed in authentic Scottish garb including a kilt of tartan representing his heritage in clan Gordon. A sgian-dubh tucked into the top of kilt hose and a sporran made from a river otter completed the costume.
The haggis, made in the old world way with lamb offal, was sourced from WA Bean in Maine. WA Bean is one of a few butcher shops in the country capable of producing it using Scottish tradition while meeting USDA meat standards.
This year’s Anniversary Ale is Loch’d Up, a special edition bourbon barrel-aged version of the Loch Down Scotch Ale. Weighing in with an ABV of 12%, this beer warmed guests from the inside out.
Celtic music performed by the Northern Indiana band Soltre provided the atmosphere of a pub in Scotland.
“It’s important that you have some kind of distinctiveness to your events that give people a chance to say ‘this is unique to the community’ and you’re doing something good with your money,” said Suprise.
Proceeds from the admission donations benefited Food Bank of South Central Michigan.
“This is where we got our start, we embrace our past and our terroir. We’re as committed as we ever have been in 18 years to maintaining at ground zero in Battle Creek,” Suprise said.
“We weren’t able to get it done in Kalamazoo on plan A in 1996, we were able to get it done in Battle Creek. We’re here, and we were in a position to add the Kalamazoo location because of what we were able to do here for 16 years ahead of that. So I can assure you that we are as committed to this community as we ever have been and we think it’s very important that we maintain our roots and honor them.”
Suprise is involved in the community as a member of the Battle Creek Downtown Development Authority and the Cereal City Development Corporation.