Arcadia Brewing Company
Battle Creek, MI

Style: Stout
ABV: 5.6%
Tim Surprise, along with some investors, started Arcadia Brewing Company in 1996 in Battle Creek, Michigan, and quickly established a stellar reputation with his traditional English ales. Using traditional brewing methods and imported two-row malts, most of Arcadia’s ales are relatively true to style and they’ve garnered numerous awards over the years. They also have a brewpub attached to their production facility downtown and a good number of their brews are available for distribution throughout the northeastern and eastern Midwest states.
Tonight, I dug into their Starboard Stout, which is an oat malt stout, as opposed to the more common non-malted oatmeal variety. This was a silver medal winner in the 2003 World Beer Championship.
Very dark in color, it opens up very nicely as it warms. The nose is the standard coffee aroma, from the chocolate barley, with a cocoa head that dissipates a little too quickly. The flavors are complex, however, as you roll it around the tongue. It almost has a lactic feel to it, with a little silkiness from the oats, but I also detected hints of grape and plum, in addition to the expected coffee and chocolate notes. There is a definite hop presence, but it’s not too firm. The lingering after-taste is mainly malt and sweetness.
It’s a very nice stout and pretty standard for its style.