Our Seasonal Beers
Available December - March.
An authentic, copper colored, German-style Bock, celebrating the coming of spring. This big, deeply flavored lager has been aged to create a smooth, malty taste with a hint of sweetness. A light addition of German hops balances the malt flavor.
Saint Arnold Spring Bock is best consumed at 40° Fahrenheit.
Recommended pairings: Roasted chicken, goulash, & grilled game.
Original Gravity: 1.064 (16.3° Plato)
Bitterness: 24 IBU
Alcohol Content (ABV): 6.9%
- Silver Medal, World Beer Cup, Traditional Bock, 1998
We use five different types of malt to create a rich, sweet complex malt flavor. We use only malted barley, no other grains or cereals such as corn or rice. Our 2-row pale malt comes from the North Plains (Minnesota and Wisconsin). Our specialty malts comes from Belgium.
We use two hop varieties in this beer: Perle and Saaz.
Debuted February 1998.
Of all our beers, the Saint Arnold Spring Bock is the laziest. It takes 8-weeks to ferment and age.
Spring Bock was our second lager and also proved challenging to devise. Not the least of the issues was the time we had to wait between brewing and tasting. When brewing most of our ales, we knew what we had in about 2 weeks. Now we had to wait 2 months with the Spring Bock test brews. Anticipation. And when we weren't happy with it: frustration.
Bocks were traditionally brewed in the spring to mark the end of the brewing season. Prior to the advent of refrigeration (can you imagine Texas without air conditioning?), the brewing stopped once the weather turned too warm. So brewers would use up the rest of the store of grains to make a bigger, higher alcohol beer, some of which could be stored over the summer. There is no truth to bock being what you get when you clean out the brewkettle or any other such legend. It is its very own recipe, and a tasty one at that. The name most likely comes from the town of Einbeck which was well known in the Middle Ages for brewing great beer. Over the years, the "ein" was lost and "beck" became "bock".
By law in Germany, to call a beer a bock it must be brewed to a high starting gravity and thus to a high alcohol content. Our beer follows these guidelines. There are many beers in the United States that use the term "bock" for their beers which aren't really bocks. They may be perfectly good beers, but they're not bocks. They are just dark colored light bodied American lagers.
Available April - August.
A golden Munich-style Helles. Crisp and refreshing, this beer is perfect for a hot summer day. Saint Arnold Summer Pils has a delicate, sweet malt taste complemented by an abundant hop aroma and flavor. This beer is brewed with fine German malt, and a copious quantity of "noble" hops imported from the Czech Republic.
Saint Arnold Summer Pils is best consumed at 36° Fahrenheit.
Recommended pairings: Spicy Mexican, pizza, & lamb kebabs.
Original Gravity: 1.050 (12.7° Plato)
Bitterness: 22 IBU
Alcohol Content (ABV): 4.9%
- Silver Medal, GABF, Munich-Style Helles, 2014
- Silver Medal, GABF, Munich-Style Helles, 2013
- Gold Medal, GABF, Münchner-Style Helles, 2009
- Silver Medal, GABF, Münchner-Style Helles, 2008
- Silver Medal, GABF, Münchner-Style Helles, 2005
- Silver Medal, GABF, Münchner-Style Helles, 2003
- Gold Medal, Colorado State Fair, Pilsner, 1997
We imported what we believe to be the best German pils malt in the world to brew this beer.
We use two hop varieties in this beer: Hersbrucker and Saaz.
Debuted June 1997.
Saint Arnold Summer Pils was our first lager recipe.
The Summer Pils was our first lager. It has one of the most simple recipes and proved to be the hardest to create. It took over 20 test brews before we rolled it out. The key ingredients are the malt and the hops. OK, so you're saying "Duh!" But it really is. We weren't happy with the recipe until we found the right German pils malt. We settled on Durst pils which has a great nutty flavor that gives the delicate beer such a complex flavor. Also important was combining the hops in the right fashion to get the spicy finishing flavor of the Czech Saaz correctly balanced.
Most all of our recipes have not changed since introduced. The Summer Pils is the big exception. We have adjusted this recipe nearly every year until we settled on a three year plan in 2003 to reach a final recipe in 2006. We knew where we wanted to go in 2004 but to make all of the changes in one year would have been too drastic. The 2006 recipe was perfect: light and refreshing with a crisp, clean bitter. Oooo, we're salivating just thinking about it.
Summer Pils was originally called Summerfest. Then we got into a legal battle with Sierra Nevada over the name. We had the legal high ground since they hadn't used the name in Texas for over 3 years, but they were bigger and paid us the cost of changing the packaging. Ironically, today we prefer "Summer Pils", so we all won. At the end of the legal battle, Ken Grossman said that one day he would buy us a beer. And sure enough, seven years later, as Brock reminded him of this after a Brewers Association board meeting, he was good to his word!
We brainstormed about different ideas about what to use as the color theme for the original Summer Pils packaging. We thought about blue sky, beaches, but nothing resonated with us. Then we thought about tie dye. We had a customer, Hunter, who started tie dying Saint Arnold t-shirts for himself shortly after we opened. We liked the look and asked if we could pay him to make some for us. He said, "Sure, dude." They proved to be popular and out of this has come many other tie-dye themes including three art cars and, of course, the Summer Pils packaging. Dude.
The tie dye on the original label was scanned from a t-shirt Kevin had bought years ago at the Kerrville Folk Festival.
Summer Pils has ended up having the longest season of any of our seasonals. This makes sense, of course. It seems to be summer for most of the year in Texas!
Available August - October.
A full bodied, malty, slightly sweet beer celebrating the Autumn harvest. This rich beer has a round malt flavor and an above average alcohol content perfect for a cool fall evening.
Saint Arnold Oktoberfest is best consumed at 40° Fahrenheit.
Recommended pairings: Crispy potato cakes, roasted turkey, & spicy sausage.
Original Gravity: 1.061 (15.5° Plato)
Bitterness: 14 IBU
Alcohol Content (ABV): 6.6%
- Silver Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Scottish-Style Ale, 2018
- Silver Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Scottish-Style Ale, 2010
- Bronze Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Scottish Ale, 2001
- Bronze Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Scottish Ale, 2000
- Silver Medal, World Beer Championship, Oktoberfest, 1998
We blended three different types of Munich-style malt to provide a rich caramel flavor.
We use two hop varieties in this beer: Perle and Saaz.
Debuted August 1997.
This style was originally brewed in Bavaria to celebrate the fall harvest. Then along came the wedding of the Crown Prince Leopold and his wife, Therese, and the brewers, sucking up to the royals, claimed that they had brewed this beer especially for their wedding. And what a wedding it was. It lasted two weeks. The wedding, that is. The marriage lasted longer. We're not talking about Britney Spears here.
The wedding was such fun that they decided to celebrate it every year and thus was born Oktoberfest. Technically, the Oktoberfest celebration is the two weeks that end with the first Sunday in October, thus most of the event occurs during September. But Septemberfest just didn't have a good ring to it, we guess.
The Oktoberfest was developed to be a lager recipe as is traditional for this style. Once we had settled on a final recipe, made with lager yeast, we decided to make a test batch with our house ale yeast for shits and giggles. When it came time to do our blind tasting to choose our beer, the ale version won by a large margin. And the ale took only two weeks to make versus seven weeks for the lager. Tastes better, brews faster, easy decision! The ale won out.
Upon release, we had many knowledgable people come up and tell us what a great lager we had brewed. When we told them it was an ale, they would suddenly start telling us how it tasted too fruity and was wrong for the style. These are people that you have to resist the urge to slap.
In the early days, our recipe development program went like this: First, we would do however many homebrews it took to get to a point where we were happy with the recipe ourselves. Second, we would invite people to come to the brewery and we would conduct a blind tasting. We would use two or three of our test brews and two or three commercial examples. These became family affairs--Kevin and Brock shuttling out tasting sets to people and Brock's wife Karen in the kitchen cleaning glasses for the next round. We don't know why we didn't think of using plastic cups. Fortunately, the results of these tastings always confirmed our instincts. We're not sure what we would have done if they hadn't.
In August 2002, we were filtering our first batch of Oktoberfest when we noticed it wasn't the right color; it was too light. We tasted it; it didn't taste right either. But it tasted good. But different. It turns out our maltster mislabeled some bags of grain and we didn't catch it during the grinding. Thus, we ended up with a batch of off-spec Oktoberfest. Our first thought was to dump it. But everybody who sampled it thought it tasted really good. So instead we sent out an email telling everyone we had a batch of off-spec Oktoberfest that still tasted really good although different. The result was everybody rushed out to get the off-spec batch and then bought some of the properly brewed Oktoberfest as well. It was an unintentional success, and since we explained the problem at the outset, our customers actually enjoyed the experience!
Available October - December
A rich, copper colored, hearty ale perfect for the holiday season with a malty sweetness and spicy hop character. The generous use of five different malts is responsible for the full flavor and high alcohol level of this beer.
Saint Arnold Christmas Ale is best consumed at 45° Fahrenheit.
Recommended pairings: Fruit cake, Christmas pudding, & squash bisque.
Original Gravity: 1.067 (17.0° Plato)
Bitterness: 24 IBU
Alcohol Content (ABV): 7.5%
- Gold Medal, Real Ale Festival, Old Ale/Strong Ale, 2000
- Gold Medal, Real Ale Festival, Old Ale/Strong Ale, 1998
- Bronze Medal, World Beer Cup, Old Ale/Strong Ale, 1998
- Silver Medal, World Beer Championships, Strong Ale, 1997
We use five different types of malted barley in the Christmas Ale, no other grains or cereals such as corn or rice. The large quantity of malts is responsible for the sweetness and high alcohol content.
We use two different Pacific Northwest hop varieties in the Christmas Ale. The resulting hop character is a spicy bitterness and a flowery hop bouquet.
Debuted November 1995.
This was the first seasonal we made. There has long been a tradition amongst brewers for making a special beer for the holidays. We decided on an old ale. The definition of this style has changed over the years. When we use the term, we use the old definition which describes big, malty, rich beers as they brewed in the olden days (as in a couple of hundred years ago--those olden days). Thus the name. (Today this name often implies a big beer that has been aged.)
We named it Christmas Ale because, well, that's the holiday most of us celebrate. Also, we didn't see anything particularly exclusive about calling it this. And we thought naming it this would set us apart from all the namby-pamby marketing wusses that tell people not to use "Christmas". We're yet to see anybody not drink this beer because of its name. So there, wussies.
There was an argument between Brock and Kevin the first year this beer was brewed. Kevin was concerned that we wouldn't be able to find enough taps to sell the single batch we were making. Brock offered to drink whatever couldn't be sold. It was released in November. Ten days later, Brock was complaining that it had sold out.
Christmas Ale, with its 7% alcohol, has interesting effects on people. Many of these people have been compelled to share these exploits with us. Why? We're not really sure. Several have involved public nudity. One of the best was a voicemail left the evening after a tour that included Christmas Ale. The lady called to say, "I don't know what you put in your Christmas Ale, but after the tour, my husband and I went home and made love all afternoon long."
Pumpkinator is a big, black, full of spice, full of flavor beer. Originally released in 2009 as Divine Reserve No. 9, it is an imperial pumpkin stout and our answer to how a pumpkin beer ought to taste. It is brewed with a combination of pale two row, caramel and black malts, Cascade and Liberty hops for a background hop flavor, pumpkin for a rich mouthfeel, molasses, brown sugar, spices and dry-spiced to make it feel like you just walked into your mom’s kitchen while she was cooking 37 pumpkin pies. It is the most expensive beer we have brewed.
A single batch of Pumpkinator will be released around every October 15. It is available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.
This beer is best enjoyed at 50°F or warmer to bring out the spices and round body. Personally we have found it to be the perfect end to a Thanksgiving meal from a flavor standpoint. Some have said it makes relatives more enjoyable too.
Original Gravity: 1.094
Bitterness: 34 IBU
Alcohol Content (ABV): 11.2%
- Silver Medal, World Beer Cup, Pumpkin Beer, 2023
- Bronze Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Pumpkin/Squash Beer or Pumpkin Spice Beer, 2019
- Gold Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Pumpkin/Squash Beer or Pumpkin Spice Beer, 2017
- Silver Medal, World Beer Cup, Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer, 2012
Pale two row, caramel and black malts
Cascades and Liberty
Pumpkin, Molasses, Brown Sugar, Spices
Debuted October 2011.
In the time it took to make the 154 bbls of Pumpkinator wort in our brewhouse, we could have made 1275 bbls of Elissa wort.
The amount of malt it took to make 154 bbls of Pumpkinator wort would have made 1514 bbl of Lawnmower wort.
During the time in the fermenter it took to age the 154 bbls of Pumpkinator, we could have made 1027 bbls of Amber Ale.
With the amount of pumpkin used to make Pumpkinator, we could have baked 437 pumpkin pies.
French Press is an imperial coffee porter brewed with Java Pura Coffee Roasters Espresso blend coffee. It pours dark brown/black in color with a creamy and tan head that lasts. It has a bold chocolate and coffee flavor and aroma with a balanced roast bitterness and mild sweetness. It finishes with a nice balance of coffee and a slight chocolaty sweetness that doesn't build and keeps you coming back for another sip.
Original Gravity: 1.085
Bitterness: 48 IBU
Alcohol Content (ABV): 9.4%
- None yet, but give it time.
2Row, Double Roasted Crystal, Pale Chocolate, Golden Naked Oats
East Kent Goldings
Java Pura Espresso Blend Coffee
Debuted December 2018.