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Saint Arnold Grand Cru Celebrates 25 Years of Brewing

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Saint Arnold Grand Cru Celebrates 25 Years of Brewing

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

North Downtown Houston
Bourbon Barrel Blend of Belgian Quad, RIS, English Barleywine
ABV: 11%
IBUs: 25
Packaging: Draft, Single 12 ounce bottles, possibly delivered by Hop Drop

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It’s almost that time, folks. Saint Arnold is celebrating a quarter of a century, and they’re doing it with a bang.

Their 25th Anniversary Party this Saturday, June, 8 is gonna be absolutely lit. General admission is free, and it’ll get you in front of almost 10 performing acts including Houston’s A.S.S., Fea, and Lil’ Flip.

The beer will be flowing plentifully, but if you want a taste at some of the more rare selections, like those that combined forces to create this Saint Arnold Grand Cru, a cool big face Benjamin will get you access to the Super Saint VIP package. In addition to the rare beer, you’ll get a buffet dinner and all kinds of other cool stuff.

We’re going to try and make it out there, but busy schedules abound, so we had to get a taste of their 25th Anniversary beer, so we could share it with you!

Brock Wagner wrote a quick little letter to commemorate the anniversary and the beer.

“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.”

Brock Wagner
Founder/Brewer
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

He shared a bit more, but you can read it all for yourself if you want to go get tickets. But if we know you, (and we absolutely don’t,) you’re probably here for the beer!

Saint Arnold Grand Cru is a unique blend of three beers that have all been bourbon barrel aged to combine forces for an 11.1% tongue museum of global portions.

50% Belgian-Style Quadrupel
25% Russian Imperial Stout
25% English-Style Barleywine

Stamp your passports, and come along and ride on a fantastic voyage that is Saint Arnold Grand Cru. (If you didn’t start singing that in your head, leave now.)

This beer starts off serenading sexy from the shelves, and it doesn’t quiet down a bit. With a maroon label and silver-foil artwork, the Patron Saint sings like a siren, luring me in. The background has a super minimal 25 pattern that most folks probably missed, but in a visual way, it sets the mark high for subtleties that are waiting to be poured out.

Upon further inspection, aromas of cherries, chocolate, and airy-bourbon-barrel soothe my nose. It smells like a cordial chocolate out for a night on the town.

The tawny-tan head dies quickly and rests with a ring around my glass, as each sip reveals more and more. Sweet, dark, dried, fruit begin each sip, while caramelly malt takes over. A roasty, rich, chocolatey flavor finishes out each sip while a subtle, spicy, hop-bitterness dries my otherwise drooling palette. All the while clean, airy notes of wood and the spice of bourbon linger in the background.

Can you say rich? I have heartburn already, and good God, I’m so ok with that. Tum-tum-tum-tum-TUUUMS will be my second dessert after this dessert beer.

The full bodied nature of Saint Arnold Grand Cru is a not so subtle reminder of the breadth of this beer, and the medium carbonation helps the finish lure me in for another sip.

You may have heard me say before that I don’t love Belgian beers, much less Quads, but after Copperhead Cherry Medusa, and then this beauty, I may be turning over a new leaf.

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If you’re not interested in turning over a new leaf, and all you want to do is shake the Saint Arnold Grand Cru tree, you can find a pour from Sugar Land to Downtown, with places like Conservatory, Big Ben Tavern, and the Backyard Grill offering a taste.

In addition, bottles can be found at finer Spec’s, Kroger, and HEB’s around the city amongst others. I found mine at HEB. Maybe Hop Drop will score some, and you can have it delivered to your door. Use code BEERCHRONICLE for 10% off your next order, and enjoy safely in the comfort of your own home. Or wherever you have it delivered to.

  • My Overall Rating
4.8

Saint Arnold Grand Cru

Overall, I was stunned at the artfully balanced nature of this beer. It’s hard to imagine three very bold styles like these all being well-represented, but somehow the masters at Saint Arnold not only brewed their butts off, aged the beer like true artisans, but brought it full circle by blending their butts off. It’s hard to imagine how much work went into a beer like this.

Let us know what you thought in the comments below or by clicking the stars. Cheers!

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User Review
5 (2 votes)
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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a graphic designer, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. He's an ex-oilfield guy that spends his days doing graphic design and marketing projects for one of Houston's fastest growing companies as well as some of the coolest breweries in town. Fueled by sessionable IPAs and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking the most unusual Nikes he can find. When he's not writing for us, he's with his family or rooting for the Rockets.

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