25th Anniversary Grand Cru
If you have ever wondered if when I was brewing my first batch of homebrew in 1985 while still in college, I had any inkling as to what it was going to lead to, I did not.
I loved beer. I loved cooking. There was a dearth of good beer to be had, and being able to create my own sounded exciting.
I was still homebrewing in 1992 when I did begin to think about turning my passion into a business. I wanted to brew great beer for all the craft beer lovers in Houston. I wanted to create an institution that Houston would be proud of. I didn't really have a clear idea of what that would look like.
We shipped the first keg of Amber Ale on June 9, 1994. I greatly overestimated how many craft beer lovers Houston had at the time (37, I think). 25 years later, Saint Arnold has exceeded anything I had ever imagined. I never imagined I would be working with an amazing team of over 200 people doing everything we do. I never imagined we would have twelve year round beers, seven seasonal beers and a room full of beers aging in barrels. I never imagined there would be another 50 breweries in Houston and 300 in the state, several started by our alumni. I never imagined we would change the byzantine and restrictive beer laws. I certainly never imagined that we would open our Beer Garden & Restaurant this past year - the type of thing you dream about but don't believe will ever become a reality.
Most important to me is the culture of craft beer and the community it creates and seeing it grow and thrive. It was what - along with the beer - made me decide to open Saint Arnold.
Thank you for joining me in making our brewery what it is. I'm looking forward to the next 25 years!
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
25th Anniversary Grand Cru
Our 25th Anniversary Grand Cru is a blend of three bourbon barrel aged beers: Belgian-Style Quadrupel, Russian Imperial Stout, and English-Style Barleywine. It is a toast to the community we’ve worked to build through our passion for beer and represents the quality and innovation we’ve strived to provide over our first 25 years.
In the beer world, Grand Cru can have a couple of meanings depending on the origin of reference. For us, Grand Cru is a blend of some of our most cherished beers, with the hope of delivering a beer that is greater than the sum of its parts. We feel we’ve achieved exactly that. We brewed three classic Saint Arnold recipes that originally appeared in our Divine Reserve series or Bishop’s Barrel series, then laid them down to rest in bourbon barrels. After tasting every single barrel, a total of 190, we sat down to create the final blend:
50% Belgian-Style Quadrupel
25% Russian Imperial Stout
25% English-Style Barleywine
Our 25th Anniversary Grand Cru is a full bodied, complex, yet balanced barrel aged beer. The Quad presents character of plums and dried cherries, followed by bitter dark chocolate, lavender, and subtle roast bitterness from the Stout. The Barleywine provides a backbone of toffee/caramel sweetness balanced by a soft hop bitter finish. The bourbon is delicately laced throughout, uniting all the components of the blend.
Alcohol: 11.1% ABV
Bitterness: 25 IBU