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Monday, November 26, 2012

Arcadia Brewing Company

Arcadia Brewing Company has been a consistently great producer of Michigan beers for 15 years.  The brewery is located along the main street (Michigan Ave) of Kellogg, Michigan. I visited on a chilly Thanksgiving weekend with some friends.

The place was very roomy inside, with a bank of windows that let patrons watch the brewing activities. They also have a section where they sell bottled beers for take out. 

When we visited they still had some bottles left of their 15th Anniversary Brown Ales.  There were two varieties: 15th Ale which was brewed with cherries and aged in bourbon barrels and XV Ale also brewed with cherries but aged in oak wine barrels.

 There was an extensive collection of brews on tap and what looked like a tasty menu.  One of our party thought the brisket was excellent.  The beers were excellent too.  I saw on the beer menu a cask Scotch Ale, Loch Down, that was made with ghost chilies. One of my party informed me that ghost chilies (AKA: Naga Bhut Jolokia), were the hottest chilies in the world.  I checked and indeed they hold the Guinness World Record with a Scoville rating of 330,000 - 1,000,000.  Note that a jalapeno has a rating of 2,500 - 10,000.  I ordered it anyway.  It was HOT!  I finished the pint but my throat was warm for quite some time afterwards.

A fun time at a fun place.  Highly recommended.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dark Horse Brewing Company

I finally had a chance to make the hour drive from Ann Arbor to Marshal, Michigan to visit the Dark Horse Brewing Company.  I've been enjoying beer from this company for years, including serving a keg of Crooked Tree IPA at my last birthday party.

From the outside, the place looks a bit rundown, but I think this works well with the "Marshal-old-West" theme.  The exterior is wood shingles, with a variety of ornaments, including a keg on a pole. On the same lot is a skate shop and a Harley shop.

The first thing you notice when you enter the establishment are the thousands of ceramic beer mugs hanging from the ceiling and walls.  There are literally thousands and each one looks to be unique.  They are all numbered and each has it's specific place so that mug-club patrons can find their mugs.


We tried several of the beer and all were very good.  They don't have samplers, but they will give you a taste of whatever you want to try.  They will serve you a half pint, which turned out to be a great deal, because they usually arrived in a pint glass filled about three-quarters full.  The beer server explained that she was bad at math.  She also bantered with us about the beer and the menu.  Speaking of the food, they had a surprising variety of sandwiches, pizzas, and appetizers.  All of the food we ordered was really great.

Overall, this is a excellent brewpub that makes great beer, has a slightly off-center attitude, and good food to top it off.  Highly recommended.