Advent Beer Calendar 2007: Day 10: Saint Arnold Christmas Ale

Saint Arnold Christmas AleI think this is the first year I’ve picked a Texas beer: Saint Arnold Christmas Ale. I don’t normally associate "Texas" with "beer" (other than Shiner and—originally—Celis), but there’s been something of a craft brewing renaissance happening in Texas, I understand, so I thought it was high time.

Saint Arnold Brewing is billed as "Texas’ oldest craft brewery" and their Christmas Ale was their first seasonal, first brewed in November 1995. At 7% alcohol, it’s brewed in the tradition of an Old Ale. I enjoy the description and history Saint Arnold provides:

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.

And, for a little more on the beer itself, check out the Session blog entry from Akelas Biggins. Enjoy!

BeerAdvocate score: 84/100, 96% approval. RateBeer score: 3.41/5, 78th percentile.

One Response to Advent Beer Calendar 2007: Day 10: Saint Arnold Christmas Ale

  1. The Dude says:

    "I don’t normally associate "Texas" with "beer" (other than Shiner and—originally—Celis)"

    I really do miss the Celis White. I could still find it here in Houston at Specs Liquor (via Michigan Brewing) up until a few months ago but I can’t find it at all now. It really bums me out, because that was one of my favorite beers to drink. I can still get Hoegaarden though, so I guess I can’t rightly complain much. I count myself fortunate to have toured the Celis brewery while they were still up and running in Austin.

    They made a nice Grand Cru as well. That one wasn’t quite as "chuggable" on a hot Texas Summer day as the White, but it certainly had its time and place. I gladly drank the St. Arnold Christmas Ale in July so again, I’m not complaining. Gotta love air conditioning!