Arcadia Whitsun Ale | Arcadia Brewing Company

225 Reviews
Arcadia Whitsun AleArcadia Whitsun Ale

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in the style of a mid-19th century English Festival Ale, this unfiltered wheat beer displays a translucent orange color topped with a creamy, white head. Wheat enhances the mouthfeel of the beer and produces pleasant bread-like notes while Michigan honey provides a caramelized sweetness in the flavor profile. This beer is spiced with orange peel and coriander and small amounts of three hop varieties pleasantly counterbalances the sweetness.

Brewed with Michigan honey.
1062 OG; 17 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-27-2002

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Reviews: 225 | Ratings: 548
Photo of CortexBomb
4.84/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice pale yellow colour with a decent head, though that seemed to leave me before long. Smell is wheaty, as expected, but it also has some strong floral / fruity tones which are enticing. The floral aspects are not like IPA floral either, softer, less abrasive but still intense. For its style, the nose on this is really top of the line.

Flavour, wow, another Arcadia that actually appealed to me. Wheat and a unique citrusy orange banana all whirl about with hops and make for a quality summer brew. This beer features excellent lightly floral tones (not like IPA style floral, light) and a residual sweetness from the honey. A distinctive Summer flavour.

Mouthfeel, is good, solid for the style. Not overly thick, but it has some body. The drinkability on this is perfect for the warmer months, easy to drink, and enjoyable too.

The bottom line: Whitsun is my fallback Summer brew at this point. Though Arcadia doesn't have wide distribution by and large Whitsun is fairly easy to find on tap in the Mitten, and it is worth seeking out in a bar as opposed to a bottle. I know, I know, most beers are better on tap, but Whitsun, for one reason or another, is dramatically better as the sweet honey and floral tones seem to come out much better from the tap than they do from the bottle and the beer gains a half notch in the taste department when it's served on tap, if not a full notch. Rating by style this is my gold star favourite in its class and I throw back plenty of mugs of this during the Summer months watching the Cubbies play.

For my money much better than Bell's overrated Oberon, and I'm from Kalamazoo!

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Photo of oberon
4.71/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Started drinkin this on tap on Mckinac Island where I spend my summers,one of the best wheats on tap I have had.It rates with Franziskaner in my book,yes that good!The perfect beer to drink in the summer.

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Photo of HeightsEats
4.57/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Smell is a pleasant bittersweet combination of orange and wheat. Pours a hazy golden with some fizz. The taste is very refreshing American wheat (which I don't usually like) with distinct orange elements and a refreshing hop / coriander aftertaste. Surprisingly full-bodied for a wheat beer (higher ABV than most) but not at all heavy. This is extremely drinkable on a hot summer's day, and, unlike most beers, I don't get tired of the flavors at all.

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Photo of WillKorn
4.56/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy showing this beer to people who like Oberon, which is how it was presented to me as well. I think the flavor components are very similar so it is an easy transition, but to me, this as a slightly sharper flavor, which i tend to enjoy .

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.47/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

One of the first really warm and sunny days this spring in Michigan make me reach for the Whitsun. Whitsun is gold to copper in color and hazy. Peaches and wheat aromas are present along with a faint honey sweetness. Honey wheat and a light citrusy sweet taste. This one goes down so easy, it is very refreshing and highly drinakable. Low carbonation with a medium body. A great seasonal that I love to enjoy with some barbecued chicken in the summer.

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.45/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's very cloudy burnt orange with a large fluffy head that reduces to a nice coating throughout consumption. The aroma is great....buttery and hoppy and wheaty. It's such an interesting white because it has this certain caramel maltiness amongst the wheat character. This is definitley a unique wheat beer and is exceptionally drinkable and refreshing. I just love the malt character in there.

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Photo of proc
4.4/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Here in Michigan, we are blessed with two fine summer beers. Bell's Oberon and Arcadia's Whitsun. This beer is flat out, good. There is a light citrus taste with malt sweetness to it. It is unlike any wheat I've had before. There are hops, but they are there for balance, not for show. A very easy to drink beer and due to that I am giving it a "5" in the "Mouthfeel" category as it just feels and tastes right. While Oberon is one of my all-time favorites and a great summer beer, I can honestly say Whitsun ranks right up there. A great summer beer.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.38/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Super cloudy and chunky big ol' yeast sediments, this brew is carrot juice orange and has a one finger white head that has great retention. A large amount of really pretty white lace is left on the glass.

S - Doughy and yeasty donut and orange juice aromas remind me of a great breakfast fit for champions. This is twangy to my nose, but sugary sweet smelling enough to keep it from smelling totally wheaty. I smell some Belgian-like hops that are funky and fresh at the same time. Some chemical notes are there, but totally unoffensive.

T - Rich and sweet with doughty and yeasty notes. This is really good! It somehow reminds me or Orval in it's yeast and hay like hop profile.

M - Thick and full bodied. I can literally feel the yeasty thick cake bater-like goodness. The finish comes back with a refreshing twang of lemon and orange juice freshness.

D - A really good brew! I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting much from this one, and I'm pleasantly surprised! This is thick, rich, sweet, but never cloying. The orange fruit freshness keeps this firmly planted in the sessionable category. A really nice beer.

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Photo of Brenden
4.35/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the look, I would think this beer was filtered, a clear, completely unhazed dark gold in color. The white head rests at two fingers in height, slowly and steadily fading down to a foam that leaves good lacing on the glass.
This is a nice American wheat: the foundation is strong, the citrus and spices are evident but not overdone, blending well, and it's just ever so slightly hoppy. Yeast adds a dimension while remaining moderate in flavor. I know honey is almost entirely brewed out, but when done well, it's still a presence; that's true of this beer. The flavor is stronger than the aroma, which could use a bit more to push it up a notch, but is very nice regardless. For a Belgian, this wouldn't be a standout, as the Belgian yeast strain isn't present, but it never claims to be. For an American, I don't know that a whole lot more could be expected. Truly great.
The body is good, light enough for summer and hot weather but verging on medium with good, level carbonation and a refreshing crispness. The smoothness underneath adds to the enjoyment.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.34/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

CAN you believe I am only the second person to review this beer from a CAN?!? Not even GrappyPunk, who sent it to me, has reviewed this particular serving type. Many thanks for the trade and always keep me in mind for new CANs.

From the CAN: "Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. Uncompromised."; "Wheat Ale Brewed with Spices (Coriander & Orange Peel)".

The Crack & Glug was music to my ears and as the two fingers of eggshell-white head began to form, the room filled with the scent of orange zest. Drool! The color was a very cloudy orangish-amber. The nose was definitely orange peel/zest, but underlain by the spiciness of the coriander and the unmistakable lightness of ... no, not being, that is unbearable, but instead, wheat. Mouthfeel was slightly thin, which is not unusual in wheat beers and the immediate flavors were of the coriander's spiciness and the zestiness of the orange peel, followed by the sharp tartness of the wheat. This was a beer whose principal ingredients really worked well together and were exactly as advertised. Finish was light, dry, refreshing and perfect for yet another slow summer day. I would absolutely put this in my cooler, certainly during the summer, but also as a nice pick-me-up on Hula in the Coola Day (01 Feb, annually).

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Photo of benmiliron
4.29/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Paid 7.99 for a six-pack.

Murky orangeish color in the glass. Smells like it advertises, with a hint of orange blossom honey. Tastes great. Honey and hops blended well, honey not strong at all. Very light, with that ringwood yeast flavors all over the place.

This is one of my favorite "summer" ales, along with Bell's Oberon. Certainly worth the price of a sixpack.

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Photo of spointon
4.27/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Arcadia brewpub last week. From my notes:

A= This ale poured a very cloudy, unfiltered but glowing, orage-gold color. The foamy white head rose just 1/2" and then settled to a thin cap. Some spotty lace decorated my glass.

S= Bursting with aromas of sweet caramelly malt, dessert bread, orange, lemon, melon, and even a hint of white wine. Very nice.

T= Hit the ground running with the malt flavors smacking first. Caramel, biscuit, honey and a general wheat "twang" all made strong appearances. These were followed by a big citrusy fruit note (orange, lemon, tangerine) and some complex esters, herbal notes, and even some spice. No noticable hops, but the finish did dry our considerably and left my mouth puckered in anticipation of the next sip.

MF= Straight-up medium body, with a slightly chewy feel. Carbonation was crisp enough to help this beer not get bogged down on my palate.

D= I really like this beer. By far my favorite "American Wheat Beer". Though the brewery tries to sell a story about this being a traditional beer served at country festivals in the olden days of England, it is delightful now and that is what counts!

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Photo of zhooker
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From tap into a pint-sized mason jar. Hazy, golden with some light amber hues. Less than 1/2 finger of a full head; little lacing.

The aroma is wheat-forward with lemon/citrus tones. There is a sweetness as well, like roasted fruit or a cobbler fresh from the oven.

The taste follows the smell accordingly. A nice, full-bodied wheat flavor with sweet floral and citrus notes. Has more flavor than many comparable wheat/wit beers. The hops are surprising pronounced but by no means strong or overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is substantial. Very different than the light crispness of most witbiers. Much more like an amber or dark, deeper unfiltered ale.

I like this beer. I much prefer this as a summer beer than the lighter, crisper stuff with less body. A beer-drinker's summer brew? Something like that. Recommended.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A--Great color to this beer. Sundown yellow, cloudy with an off white head

S--yeasty smell somewhat fruity

T--Really great taste. Citrus, grapefruit, malt middle (faint) and a little hop bite at the end.


D--This is a great american wheat beer. Alot of really nice,well developed flavors. Maybe too much alcohol for a session but a great summer BBQ beer none the less.

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Photo of TinyRicks
4.24/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Closest beer to Bell's Oberon I've ever had. It pours a beautiful orange that's a tad on the dark side. Take wise this beer is the next closest thing to Oberon but a bit lighter in flavor. Great summer beer.

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Photo of trumick
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange with a finger head and little lacing.

Scent is sweet malts, orange-ish, yeast, moderate spice and alcohol.

Taste follows the nose, but not exactly. Starts out with sweet malts a bit of orange, spicey hop all with nice balance. It starts out almost too sweet then the hops absolutely balance this superbly, nice. It finishes with a spicey dry sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and smooth. The carbination seems to be just right for this beer.

Drinkability is above average for me. It is easy going down and refreshing. This is one of my favorite seasonals. I look for it each spring and it never dissapoints me. This is a staple in my fridge during the warm Michigan months.

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Photo of KI9A
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Saw the WHITSUN, and figured it to be a Wit. WRONG! Poured a fantastic cloudy amber, with a huge puffy off white head, lingers, nice lace.

S: Molasses, bourbon, cloves, honey. I'm getting excited about stumbling on a new favorite.

T: First sip, sweet honey, bourbon ( sure it isn't barrel aged???). Roasty malts. Cloves. Oranges. Not a real hop presence.

M: Medium body, alcohol warmth lingers, as does bourbon taste. Beautiful.

D: Very cool how you stumble upon a new favorite beer. Thought this was a WIT, but, to my pleasant surprise, was not. Very nice drinker, lots of character.

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Photo of nota
4.18/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orange with moderate head. Has a light wheat mixed with citrus taste. This beer was really refreshing and delicious and was hard to stop drinking it. Reminded me a lot of Bell's Oberon. If you like that beer you will like this one. Oberon is only brewed April- October. This is my alternative for this style November- March.

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Photo of soper2000
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I keep on finding some bargains at my local store and this was one of them. It pours out with a sizable 3 finger head containing small and medium sized bubbles. Body is orange with a few chunks of sediment (looks more like protein than yeast). Smell reminded me a lot of an English pale ale. Very biscuity with a hint of citrus. Can only pick up a slight aroma of banana. Taste is very clean and quenching. Notes of citrus in the beginning gently fade into a strong bread like malt before disolving into banana. Nice beer. This could quite possibly be my favorite Arcadia brew to date.

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Photo of aaronh
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, medium amber color topped by a thick, off white head. The head never really completely fades away, hanging around for the entire trip. Spicy, clove laden aroma. Has a strong wheat component. The taste is great, a nice balance between a wheat beer and a stronger beer, almost like an IPA. Nice dose of hops, but still has that creamy, bready yeast note and good fruitiness. A good touch of banana in the flavor, but not much in the nose. Exceptionally smooth mouthfeel lends to the very good drinkability. I'm glad I finally found this beer. A great beer lover's wheat.

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Photo of Barbarosa
4.14/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A nice orange and copper look. Smells of orange and spices very fresh. Taste is very good, like a beer should taste. Malt and light spices with a slight hop bite. Light carbonation, with a little aftertaste. A very good beer, one of my favorites.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.14/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Looks a lot darker than I expected, almost an amber/honey color. About a finger of creamy, off-white head which dissipates smoothly leaving almost no lacing on the glass. Little to no carbonation. Perfectly average.

Smell: Ah, this is nice. Upon first scent there is this beautiful bittersweet aroma. Mellow malty nose with a lemony zest background. Not as "clove-y" as German Hefe Weizens (which inspired the APWAs) which is alright by me. Pleasant.

Taste: Just a touch of bite to lead off with (the citrus) followed quickly by gentle, malty character and rounded out with a banana-like flavor as the beer warms in the mouth. Aftertaste is just slightly bitter with hops and traces of the banana-like flavor. Very well done here.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation that didn't seem to be present in the appearance is making its debut here! Upon hitting the tongue, it foams into a million tiny bubbles which mellow down after a moment. The beer leaves a light coating in the mouth, which is good in this case since the taste is decent. Mouthfeel matches the taste well here.

Drinkability: Pretty good. I'm drinking the beer at about 50 degrees, and I'm sure if it were about 10 or 15 degrees cooler, I'd give it a 4.5 or a 5. As it stands, I could definitely drink the other two that came in the sampler pack.

This (as I seem to recall) is one of Arcadia's masterpieces, and it has stuck around for good reason. Definitely a good end-of-summer beer in my opinion, something that hearkens to fruit beer but dabbles in earthy tones as well. I like it.

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Photo of nortmand
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque amber pour, with little head to speak of.
Citrus smell with rich overtones of wheat and banana.
Sweet, slightly sour taste, with a hint of banana. Alcohol presence higher than should be, the only reason this doesn't get a 5 for taste.
Nice level of carbonation, good, light wheat beer.
Very drinkable, it's just too bad this isn't the flagship beer of Michigan.

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Photo of hoffhin2
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very thin layer of head, slight orange color.

Smell: Has a very strong orange smell, not too many other smells that I pick up.

Taste: There is a strong orange, bitter taste. Pretty smooth with a slight spiciness.

Overall: I really enjoy this beer and is a nice change of pace from IPAs i have been drinking as of recently. Its somewhat light but has a nice orange taste, not over the top.

Serving type: bottle

Poured into a pint glass

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Photo of Brent
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a rare proof that "American wheat" does not have to mean bland and insipid. Very fresh malt flavor, without any bready or cracker notes. Some lightly fruity flavors that did not call to mind any particular fruit, but, rather, a general "fruityness" that rode along the malt. Some slightly acidic tartness in the finish cleaned up nicely. Not a beer that makes a big commotion, but, when it is done, you are sorry to see it gone.

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Arcadia Whitsun Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 548 ratings.
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