Monday, July 16, 2012

Ground Breaking Ceremony for Arcadia Ales

Written by  Jon Jefferson
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Ground Breaking Ceremony for Arcadia Ales

When you look at where Michigan is today, you find that there is hope just creeping over the horizon. There was a time roughly twenty years ago where changes were happening. Most were not ready and were caught a bit off guard. At that time the great monoliths of the auto industry were starting into a decline. For most it isn’t necessarily a big part of their life, but in Michigan that was life.
It was around this time (actually 16 years ago) that Arcadia Ales was born. At that time Michigan did not have the craft beer culture it does today. Sure, Larry Bell had been making some inroads for a while but other than that most knew nothing but the big three (Miller, Coors, and Budweiser). At that time for Tim Suprise to have the audacity to think he can bring hand crafted beers into the communities of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, well that was just unthinkable.

We come forward to the present, looking to the future. Arcadia Ales has been growing over the past 16 years. They now have presence in over 10 states outside of Michigan and have won awards at the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Fest. Now coming up within the next year they will be adding on with a new production facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The current plan is to maintain the facility in Battle Creek (housing a 25 barrel Peter Austin Brewing system). This is where their ales have been born and nurtured into the world class beers they are today. The intention is to use the original brewery not only in its current capacity but also for research and development of future beers.

The new facility will be bumped up to a 50 barrel brew house taking their current capacity from currently 10,000 barrels annually to 30,000 barrels annually (with a possible future capacity of 60,000). Growth is factored in to this expansion. An outdoor smokehouse and eatery will also be featured at the new location (with plans for a beer garden).

Along with the decline of the auto industry, we have now been seeing a decline in the big three of the beer industry. All this while craft beer and slow food are on the rise. It is with the success and growth of breweries like Arcadia Ales that we find hope on the horizon for Michigan’s future, Michigan the Great Beer State.

Time for a pint of Michigan Beer…

Jon Jefferson, a home brewer and writer also maintains a blog at 10th Day Brewing.

Jon Jefferson

Jon Jefferson

Having graduated from both Grand Rapids Community College (Associate of Science: CulinaryArts) and then Davenport University (BBA), Jon Jefferson has been working within the restaurant industry for roughly eight years. The last restaurant was Epic Bistro/ Central City TapHouse in Kalamazoo Michigan. In 2008 he started a journey, exploring the world of beer through brewing. It was through a desire to share his homebrewing and beer related adventures that the blog 10th Day Brewing was born. He lives in Galesburg, Michigan with his wife Joanna and daughters Chelsea and Maggie.