Saint Arnold Brewing Unveils Santo
This is our newest year-round beer, and after a couple of hiccups, is finally ready for release. Santo is a black Kölsch, which isn’t a recognized style, but that’s the best description we could come up with. Our inspiration for this beer was dark Mexican lagers – beers we order at Mexican restaurants but somehow always find a bit lacking. Santo is what we wish they tasted like.
Santo is light in body with a pleasingly delicate malt flavor. The floral hops are noticeable but the beer isn’t particularly bitter. The black malt adds depth but not heaviness. This is a session beer (measuring around 4.7% ABV), an attribute we brewers value.
This beer has been about five years in the making and started as a project to rename Brown Ale. We asked Texas artist Carlos Hernandez, known for his Day of the Dead Rock Star paintings, to do his interpretation of St. Arnold. It morphed into what is now the Santo label. We loved the artwork, but it also made us decide to come up with a new beer to match the artwork. This is backwards from how we normally work. Between many test brews, going down a couple different style paths, building the newery and moving equipment, the process ended up taking several years. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results though. It has become the favorite post-shift beer for our brew crew. What – you don’t have post-shift beers at your place of work?
It seems appropriate that the release date is near Día de los Muertos. And to preemptively answer the question, Brown Ale is remaining Brown Ale.
For those of you who participated in the “Choose the yeast evening”, we went with Yeast Y which was the Kölsch yeast. The vote was very close, with X actually winning with 55% of the vote, but our internal vote was unanimous for Y. X was our Saint Arnold yeast which made the beer creamier and more complex, but wasn’t as crisp. The difference was especially noticeable as the beer warmed. We did one small recipe tweak following this tasting and the result is what we’re rolling out this week.