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Fifteen years in the brewing business is definitely cause for celebration. While Tim Suprise and the crew at Arcadia Brewing Company celebrated the accomplishment, we took a taste at Arcadia’s XV and 15 brews — which take the common traits of an Arcadia brew — and add a bit of a kick.

So, we’ll start with Arcadia XV. A brown ale with cherries aged in oak wine barrels, XV has sour and tartness at the forefront. It pours a deep reddish, brown with a slightly substantial foamy head. The first sniff is reminiscent of a Shock Tart with apparent grape, cherry and sour scents.

At first taste, the tartness is at the forefront, followed quickly by sour and cherry, and tempered by a slight maltiness. There are definitely wine-like qualities. Smooth and creamy, it is a very drinkable brew with some prickliness from its carbonation. Throughout, the cherries are very apparent (but likely this is on purpose) and it’s not done in an overwhelming way because the balance is there.

For an aged brew, XV is more drinkable for those who wouldn’t normally try aged beer. Overall, it’s a very likeable brew and one we’d crack open again. Cheers.

Now, the 15 Ale is best described as XV’s “evil stepchild.” While the cherries once again surrounded each sip, everything else is kicked up a notch. The smooth brew pours a very dark brown color with a low head, and contains smells of malt, nut and chocolate.

The taste is just what you would expect from the smell. All of the flavors are balanced throughout — nothing dominates the other. The malt, nut and chocolate are surrounded by a hint of cherry sweetness. This is much flatter than the XV, which you would expect with it being a bourbon aged brew. But unlike most bourbon beers, this one doesn’t burn — rather it contains a moderately smooth finish.

Fifteen years in the brewing business is definitely cause for celebration. While Tim Suprise and the crew at Arcadia Brewing Company celebrated the accomplishment, we took a taste at Arcadia’s XV and 15 brews — which take the common traits of an Arcadia brew — and add a bit of a kick.
So, we’ll start with Arcadia XV. A brown ale with cherries aged in oak wine barrels, XV has sour and tartness at the forefront. It pours a deep reddish, brown with a slightly substantial foamy head. The first sniff is reminiscent of a Shock Tart with apparent grape, cherry and sour scents.
At first taste, the tartness is at the forefront, followed quickly by sour and cherry, and tempered by a slight maltiness. There are definitely wine-like qualities. Smooth and creamy, it is a very drinkable brew with some prickliness from its carbonation. Throughout, the cherries are very apparent (but likely this is on purpose) and it’s not done in an overwhelming way because the balance is there.
For an aged brew, XV is more drinkable for those who wouldn’t normally try aged beer. Overall, it’s a very likeable brew and one we’d crack open again. Cheers.
Now, the 15 Ale is best described as XV’s “evil stepchild.” While the cherries once again surrounded each sip, everything else is kicked up a notch. The smooth brew pours a very dark brown color with a low head, and contains smells of malt, nut and chocolate.
The taste is just what you would expect from the smell. All of the flavors are balanced throughout — nothing dominates the other. The malt, nut and chocolate are surrounded by a hint of cherry sweetness. This is much flatter than the XV, which you would expect with it being a bourbon aged brew. But unlike most bourbon beers, this one doesn’t burn — rather it contains a moderately smooth finish.

While it may have looked like an ordinary day at Arcadia Brewing Company on Saturday, celebration was in the air.

That’s because the downtown Battle Creek brewery and restaurant celebrated 15 years in the beer business, making Saturday a day founder Timothy Suprise wasn’t certain he’d ever see.

“There were plenty of times you think that you’ve turned the corner and you still have a number of challenges ahead of you,” Suprise said. “There’s been a lot of twists and turns, but thankfully over the last few years we’ve had some excellent growth and that’s helped us to stay in the business for the long haul.”

During the brewery’s 15th Anniversary Party — a Scottish/Highland-themed Christmas celebration — patrons were entertained through the Yard of Ale Contest, a Celtic band and bagpipe music. The day also included Suprise’s annual recitation of Robert Burns’s “Address to a Haggis.”

“It’s our way of celebrating another year in the beer business,” Suprise said.

Of course, there was also the beer. Arcadia’s XV Anniversary Ale and 15 Anniversary Ale were limited edition sour browns available only at the party. Both brews were aged with cherries — the XV with wine barrels and the 15 with bourbon barrels. Additionally, three special taps were available at different times of the day, including Cereal Killer Barleywine, Russian Imperial Stout and Shipwreck Porter.

An English Barleywine with full-bodied malts and flavors of raisin and dates, Cereal Killer had hints of citrus-like hop bitterness. The Russian Imperial featured coffee, bitter-sweet chocolate and black licorice flavors with a hint of prunes. Lastly, Shipwreck was a Baltic-style porter aged for 12 months in a 10-year-old Kentucky bourbon oak barrel.

All in all, the day was reason to celebrate for Arcadia, a milestone for a brewery that Suprise now sees continuing its success in the next 15 years and well beyond.

“I think anyone who starts a business hopes and intends of their business to make it for the long term, but sometimes it’s a little bit more challenging,” he said. “We’re grateful for sure to be able to celebrate 15 years and also to do it in this community in Battle Creek. This has been a very good town for us.”