Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Now that I’m in the Great State of Texas, I’m trying as many Texas beers as possible. Here’s one from Saint Arnold, a brewery with about ten selections, and which claims to be Texas’ oldest craft brewery. I’ve tried a couple of these while out at night and so far they’ve been good.
The pour immediately jumps up with a good inch of orange-tinged head that’s rocky and lively. The clarity is excellent and the carbonation is a steady string of pearls feeding the now slightly dissipated but still frothy head. The color is copper and orange, like a setting sun, but with les retinal burn.
The nose is very sticky and floral – this beer smells like West Coast hops all the way. Grapefruit and a fragrant and resinous sweetness out of what is sure to be a great hop bite. The mouthfeel is excellent. The malt kicks in at first but is quickly swept to the back of the palate by a wash of crisp hops that snaps but doesn’t sting. Those hops really impart a luscious citrus body that is complex and full but still refreshing and not overwhelming (at least not for a hophead like me).
This is as close to Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale as any bottle I can think of offhand. Perhaps it lacks some of the heavyweight punch that Sierra carries (I’m biased), but this is a truly wonderful example of American IPA. A thick trellis-work of lacing hangs around the glass, too. This beer is a must for hop lovers.