Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saint Arnold Amber Ale

Sorry the picture is a bit dark, the lighting wasn't that great in the Houston, TX bohemian bar that I drank this Saint Arnold Brewing Company Amber Ale in earlier in the week.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company is located in Houston, TX, also known as a clusterf**k of concrete and heat (it was 85 degrees by 630am when I was there! balls hot!). SABC is Texas' oldest craft brewery, being founded in 1994. I guess Texans never drank craft beer before that, they were used to drinking swill and other nasty liquids. This brewery puts out 10 beers, five all the time and five seasonal, and they offer you the chance to rent the brewery. Now, when I saw that link, I thought "wow, we can rent the brewery and make popcorn flavored beer!" but sadly they don't let you near the actual brewing equipment. You just get to use the beer hall for parties and corporate get-togethers. That's not bad though, way better than Chuck-E-Cheese. Unless you're a pedophile.

Let me tell you how I came to find out about and enjoy SABC's Amber Ale. It was a Sunday night at about 10pm, and all of Houston's finest were out at this bohemian bar in Midtown. The bar was kind of dingy, poorly lit, and was the home of a white dog and a white cat. My friends Michael and Emerson were hanging out and this Peter Jackson-esque gay man named Ian started talking to us. After telling us about the NYC music and gay scenes, and asking "are y'all bears?" Michael told him that I have a baby. The exchange went like this:

Michael: "Justin has a kid"
Justin: "Yea, I have a three month old baby boy"
Ian: "Aw that's great. Did y'all adopt?"
Michael (whispering to Ian): "He's not gay. He has a wife"
Ian: "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

I guess I was gay by association that night.

During this evening, I was holding up by drinking SABC's Amber Ale (I forgot that this was a beer review for a minute...). The Amber Ale was pretty good, it had a nice strong malty flavor with some caramel notes, even a little bitterness. It wasn't one of those watery tasting beers, that's for sure, this one was full of flavor. And it was a good flavor, one that I would like to taste again. With that strong flavor comes a heavy fill, so one or two at a time will do. According to the website, it is made using a proprietary yeast strain. I love bioengineering!!! At 5.5% ABV, its no slouch, and it costs $4 a bottle at the bar (all of which goes towards the maintenance of the marijuana I'm assuming they grow in the back of the place).

If you ever find yourself balls hot in Houston, TX and deep in thirst, desperation, sadness, and insecurities, I recommend trying the SABC Amber Ale. It will help with the thirst at least.

Drinkability: 6/10
Taste: 7/10
Value: 5/10
Curb Appeal: 7/10

Overall: 6.25/10

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