Location: Houston, Texas
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: No
What you need to know: Saint Arnold is the oldest craft brewery in the Lone Star state. It opened in 1994, and co-founders Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol chose Houston as the location because at the time it was the largest city in the country not housing a craft brewery. Saint Arnold brews 10 beers, 5 year-round and 5 seasonal, and they only distribute to Texas and Louisiana. The brewery is named after Saint Arnold (Arnulf of Metz), who is the patron saint of brewers. The Saint Arnold site lists three interesting legends associated with their patron saint.
Beer #1: Saint Arnold Brown Ale
Notes: The Saint Arnold Brown comes in at a very sessionable 5.3%. Rich with five different kinds of grains and a full mouthfeel with some hints of chocolate, the sweetness here is mellowed out by three Pacific Northwest hop varieties.
Beer Advocate: B (113 reviews)
Rate Beer: 64 overall, 65 style
Beer #2: Fancy Lawnmower Beer
Notes: Proof that beer rating websites can be very fallible is the Fancy Lawnmower beer. Despite receiving only average reviews on Beer Advocate and pretty poor reviews overall on Rate Beer, you’re looking at the 2007 and 2010 GABF Gold Medal winner for German-style Kolsch. The Hallertauer Hallertauer hops provide a clean, citrusy crispness to balance out the sweetness of the malts. Saint Arnold uses an ale yeast that ferments at lager temperatures to get a slight fruitiness that ties up into an apparently pretty good package.
Beer Advocate: B (204 reviews)
Rate Beer: 24 overall, 20 style
Summary: If you’re a Kolsch fan, this is the brewery for you. Get over and try the Fancy Lawnmower, which, as a two-time GABF gold medal winner, is probably going to satisfy your Kolsch craving just fine. Get there early in the night though, the subtleties of this style will be lost after the barrage of DIPAs and imperial stouts that other breweries are offering up.
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.