Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Nut Brown Ale

Arcadia Brewing Company
Battle Creek, MI

Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 5.6%

Rings’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Drinkable, but flawed)

I covered a bit of the background on Arcadia Ales in my review of their Starboard Stout, but suffice it to say, they’re one of the Michigan micro pioneers and they specialize in authentic English-style ales.

Yesterday, I had a chance to try their Nut Brown Ale. Typically, this is one of my favorite beer styles, but for whatever reason, I’d never tried Arcadia’s version over the years, always preferring to dig into one of their other seasonals or more readily available flagship labels.

In any event, I poured myself a pint and was immediately struck by the brightness and clarity of the glass—it appeared to be more of a deep amber or red than brown in color. The nose was also relatively aromatic as I suspect it was dry hopped. As I sunk into the pint, it was also apparent there was a little less body than I’d typically look for. Now, truth told, most true English browns that I’ve had ARE a little lighter in body than their North American brethren, so I’m sure this is an ode to style, but the lighter body, coupled with the rather sharp and potent hop bite was really quite different than expected. In fact, in my view, it was rather unpleasant. I detected no “nuttiness,” “earthiness” and very little malt sweetness, despite a search party sent out to find it. To me, it was more of a hearty pale ale or IPA than a nut brown.

While the beer is clean, it lacked any semblance of balance and seemed to have been formulated with a heavy hand in the hop bucket.

I’m sure Eddie would’ve enjoyed it. Me? Not so much.

It’s a disappointing two mugger in my book.

Reviewed by Rings on April 27, 2010.
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