HOUSTON — Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (www.saintarnold.com), the oldest craft brewery in Texas, is introducing a new old beer under its Saint Arnold Icon label. Saint Arnold Icon Red – Altbier is the Houston brewery’s take on the traditional Düsseldorf-style Altbier known as the “old and cold” ale that originated in Düsseldorf, Germany. Saint Arnold Icon Red – Altbier will begin appearing on draft and in six packs of 12-ounce bottles as supplies of Saint Arnold Icon Gold – Honey Saison run out.
“Alt” refers to the “old” style of brewing beer that preceded the rise of lagers, which became the beer of choice in the 19th century and still dominates the German and U.S. beer markets today. As is traditional for the style, Saint Arnold Icon Red – Altbier is top-fermented at cool temperatures and then cold conditioned for an extended period, creating a clean, crisp, sessionable beer with an assertive bitterness that is well balanced by a rich, clean malt profile.
Brewer Dennis Rhee says the inspiration for Saint Arnold Icon Red – Altbier came from a trip to Düsseldorf over six years ago.
“That was my first exposure to the Altbier, and I instantly fell in love with the style,” said Rhee. “Since commercial examples were hard to come by in the states, I started working on and tweaking a recipe over the past few years to try and emulate the ones I had enjoyed during my visit.”
The recipe for Saint Arnold Icon Red – Altbier uses all German malts, hops, and yeast. A healthy dose of Pilsner and Munich malts creates a malty, bready backbone. A touch of Chocolate Wheat malt gives the beer its light copper color with hints of caramel and dark fruit. The maltiness is balanced by the assertive bitterness of floral Perle hops. Saint Arnold’s brewers used an ale yeast strain from Düsseldorf that ferments at cooler than normal temperatures, much like the kölsch yeast strain used for the award-winning Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer.
“We are inspired both by the rich brewing traditions of Europe as well as our ability to be an innovative American craft brewery,” said Saint Arnold Founder/Brewer Brock Wagner. “With this Altbier, we are honoring the great contribution Düsseldorf has made to the brewing world.”
Historians cite documentation that the source of Saint Arnold’s brewhouse in Burghausen, Germany, Klosterbrauerei Raitenhaslach (Monastery Brewery Raitenhaslach), was established as early as 1313. It discontinued brewing operations in 2003, and Saint Arnold purchased, refurbished and modernized the brewhouse as part of its expansion in 2008.
Beers in the Saint Arnold Icon series are typically retired after a three-month run. They result from collaboration, friendly competition and brewhouse experimentation. More information on the Saint Arnold Icon Series is available at http://www.saintarnold.com/beers/icon.html.
Saint Arnold Icon Red – Altbier:
- Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV
- Bitterness: 40 IBUs
Connect with Saint Arnold:
- On Twitter, follow @saintarnold
- On Facebook, like www.facebook.com/saintarnold
- On Instagram, follow @saintarnoldbrewing
About Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Saint Arnold Brewing’s 10 year-round beers, seven seasonals and three special series – Divine Reserve, Icon and Bishop’s Barrel – are made and sold by the company’s staff of 80 dedicated employees. Saint Arnold beers have won 21 medals at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery on the north side of downtown Houston was listed by Thrillist among the best breweries in America for eating, and Smart Meetings magazine named it among the top breweries to host an event. Saint Arnold is located at 2000 Lyons Avenue and its beer hall open at 11 A.M. Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit www.saintarnold.com.