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Beer Reviews

India Pale Ale

Arcadia Brewing Company
Battle Creek, MI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 5.9%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Not good.)

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One of these days I’m going to build me a time machine and beam back to India, circa 1850. And, no, it’s not that I think it’d be romantic to die of malaria. I’d like to be on the docks when one of the East India Trading Company ships put in, fresh in from Burton-upon-Trent, so I could get a tap of a real, honest-to-goodness India pale ale. According to most historical accounts, the original IPAs were giant ABV monsters with a hopping rate that would make even our own Nigel’s head explode. Add that to the fact that they were barrel-aged for three-plus months while bobbing around two freaking oceans, and it’s no wonder the style managed to survive to this day, in an albeit watered down form. Those IPAs must have been incredibly complex beasts, enough so that they actually made life as a soldier in India at the time almost tolerable.

But, alas, no time machine yet. So I wander the world, in search of the perfect IPA. I definitely did not find it in a six pack of Arcadia Ales IPA. No. Not even close.

Arcadia’s take on this classic style pours a clear, medium yellow with a thick, fine-bubbled head. The aroma is a light, fruity hoppiness, with a just a tiny bit of sourness in the background. It sports a light, clean body, not too soft, not too hard. Not a single iota of hops are detectable. None. There’s some malt, but not much, and way in the background is a tiny note of Brett-like sourness.

This beer is boring. Offensively so. I know this is supposed to be an “English-style” IPA, which means “the same as the American version but blander,” but that’s no excuse. An IPA, English or otherwise, is supposed to have a hop profile! And the folks at Arcadia even had the gall to put an illustration of a clipper ship on the bottle.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on October 18, 2007.
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