While we were visiting Grandma, Jon, my cousin and I also checked out another Kalamazoo brewery; a relatively new one called Arcadia Brewery. My cousin hadn’t been there either, so she was excited to check it out too. The place is huge, with lots of space, an industrial feel, long pub style tables that appear to be reclaimed wood, and big garage doors that could roll up in warm weather.
I had the Rapunzel; a wheat IPA advertised with a crisp, sweet malt and flavors of pineapple, citrus and lemongrass. It wasn’t my favorite – too bitter. Jon started out with a beer called the Cereal Killer, which he was really pleased with. He bought some in the bottle to bring home. His second choice wasn’t so successful. He tried the Jaw Jacker, an autumn spiced amber wheat ale brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice. Neither of us liked it at all. I guess you can’t win ‘em all. We both liked the atmosphere, and will certainly visit again, but I hope their beers are trending a little less bitter next time.
After several days hanging out with Grandma, walking the quiet streets of small town Michigan, Jon and I said our goodbyes and set out to explore more of the state. It was a crisp, sunny day and the trees were just starting to change color.
We stopped in Grand Rapids because Jon wanted to visit a record store. It was late morning, and the store hadn’t opened yet. The block was crawling with panhandlers, and there was a homeless guy lying on the sidewalk a short ways away. I couldn’t tell if he was unconscious or just sleeping. Another man was pulling on him, trying to rouse him – literally lifting the man off the ground – so at that point I started wondering if he was dead. There was a police officer coming down the street toward him, so we didn’t need to call 911, but we decided not to hang around and wait for the record store to open.
So instead, we headed over to Founder’s Brewery (in a much nicer neighborhood) for lunch and a brew. I had the Michigander Salad, with dried cherries, blue cheese crumbles, candied walnuts, avocado, mixed greens, and a balsamic vinaigrette. It had onions on it, and I don’t like them, so I asked if they could leave them off – and they offered to substitute something I love – avocado! I didn’t even have to ask! I had my salad with a Honey Wheat beer – delicious and 6.1% ABV. It was a wonderful lunch; my only gripe was that the balsamic dressing was a bit too acidic – it made my mouth really sensitive – has that ever happened to you?
Jon had the Charise’s Rueben, with roasted sliced turkey, dill Havarti cheese, baby spinach, tomatoes, red onions, avocado, tangy coleslaw & 1,000 Island dressing. He loved it, and we got to turn the tables for once with him ordering the sandwich and me ordering the salad! He had the Double Trouble IPA, described by Founder’s as, “An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops will get you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front pair with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish. – 9.4% ABV.” Jon declared it a winner.
It would have been nice to wile away the afternoon at Founder’s but we had more touristing to do!