St. Arnold Santo 4.9% ABV
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
I cracked open the bottle and poured my beer into a Texas Longhorns glass. The Longhorns, the previous evening, had beaten Iowa State on a last second field goal. I was very confused as the beer flowing out of the bottle and into the glass was black. It was suppose to be a Kölsch, after all. I double checked on my Untappd app, and it clearly showed the Santo as a Kölsch style beer. I took a sip and my confusion turned into hearty appreciation.
My friend and I had made a beer run to the grocery store during the halftime of the Giants v Cowboys game. (All this Texas football talk is occurring because I drove down to Houston to be part of a surprise party for my dad’s 60th birthday. For an amusing read check out the comment my dad left on the Big Muddy Vanilla Stout review that I posted on his actual birthday.) I wanted to grab a local brew, and in Houston it doesn’t get more local than St. Arnold’s. We decided on a 6 pack of the Santo, as I saw that it was a Kölsch and we were looking for something light, crisp and refreshing to enjoy throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening of football viewing.
The Santo was quite the opposite of what I was anticipating from a Kölsch. It is a full bodied beer with tremendous flavor. It is smooth with hints of sweetness and a nice malty finish. As we imbibed the Santos, watched the Cowboys win a thrilling game and then witnessed Peyton Manning throw his 509th career TD pass, a new NFL record, I kept saying to my friend, “This is a really good beer.” I was thoroughly impressed.
The beer strongly reminds me of Shiner Bock. It has a similar appearance and flavor profile. Shiner Bock has long been one of my favorites, but I found the Santo to be even better. Next time you are in the mood for Shiner Bock, give the Santo a try and I think you’ll find it to be the more flavorful and satisfying of the two.