Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Cocoa Loco

Arcadia Brewing Company
Battle Creek, MI

Style: Stout
ABV: 7.0%

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

The folks at Arcadia Brewing are hanging from a pretty thin string with me right now. First their wheat offering, Whitsun was all lactic sourness, no wheat. Then their India Pale Ale was so excrutiatingly boring I had to give it a one-mug rating. Now we’ve got their Cocoa Loco, a “triple chocolate stout,” part of their Big Beer series. Hrumph.Audemars Piguet Replica Watches

I ordered a bomber at the local establishment. I knew I shouldn’t have ordered a $15-plus bottle sight untasted, but I was in the mood for a thick stout and wanted to give Arcadia another chance.

First off, it was served way too cold, especially for a stout. Obviously, that’s not Arcadia’s fault … or is it? We could get into a long discussion right now about knowing who you sell your beers to and keeping tabs on how your product is being presented, but we’ll keep things tight for now.

When my server popped the top of the Cocoa Loco, it almost immediately foamed out of the top. I initially thought (hoped?) this was more due to it being served damn near close to freezing than anything else, but I was wrong. This brew was overcarbonated something fierce. Even an extremely mild pour instantly fizzed up to the top of the glass.

An alarm went off in my head, and I should have sent the damn thing back right then and there. But for some unknown reason I forged ahead and took a sip. It tasted like … fizz. Remember those old commercials of the cleaning product boasting the “scrubbing bubbles”? That’s what came to mind as the overcarbonated Cocoa Loco churned away on my tongue. Once the fizz subsided I was able to detect a beer with a big body and medium-to-long chocolate finish. And then, son of a bitch, a hint of Brett around the edge of the backwash. So either the folks at Arcadia fermented this beer in open containers, aged it in wooden barrels, or shipped a contaminated batch of beer. None of their literature boasts the first two. We’ll leave it at that.

Arcadia Brewing needs to get its shit together, and quick. They do have the capability of making good beer—I had a barrel-aged baltic porter of theirs at a tasting event recently that was phenomenally good—but they seem to be slacking on their quality control. Until they do turn things around, I would suggest that you tread lightly when buying their brews.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on March 4, 2008.
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