EASTERN SHORE, November 4, 2011—November began with All Saints’ Day earlier this week. Fear not, though; there are no plans to get religious here. We are not drinking with those saints; no, rather some of the following saint-related beers and breweries. While on the topic of saints, it should be agreed up front that St. Ides will not be discussed.
This saintly journey around the beer world begins with Saint Somewhere, of
Two of the brewery’s easiest-to-find beers are two of its best. That speaks well for quality when the two most common are viewed as two of the best. Saison Athene is a solid food-pairworthy saison (as are many saisons) with an herbal spiciness and weighs in around 7.5% ABV. The Lectio Divina is a notch higher at 8% ABV and is a heftier saison based on a Belgian Dubbel grain bill.
Fun fact: Sylvester found inspiration for the brewery’s name in Jimmy Buffett’s song, Boat Drinks. “I gotta fly to Saint Somewhere…”
Coming back closer to my mid-Atlantic home base is where the freshest St. Victorious (doppelbock) and St. Boisterous (bock) can be found during the cold Northeast winter months. Victory Brewing Company loves it lagers and these are two big ones weighing in at 7.6% ABV and 7.3% ABV respectively. Think rich, solidly malt-forward beers with slight noble hop bitterness in these world-class beers.
Heading out to the
Opened in 1994, Saint Arnold is Texas’ oldest craft brewery. Brock Wagner founded the company at a time when
St. Arnold of
Looking for a Texan favorite? Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower is a German-style Kölsch and an outstanding beer for quenching thirst in the sometimes stifling heat of south
St. Louis Brewing Company brews a line of beers under the name Schlafly. That is why it is rather uncommon to to find someone who refers to it as the former. But, the theme here is saints, so it can be used to further the theme.
Schlafly was opened in 1991 by Tom Schlafly. The Tap Room was the state’s first brewpub and has since been the number one sold craft beer in
Their second location, Bottleworks, opened in 2003 and can be found in the outlying
They are about to grow again with a new brewing plant near Iowa City, Iowa called Backpocket Brewery which will nearly double capacity to 60,000 barrels. This will serve to support an astounding 30% growth in 2011 to 45,000 barrels. While Schlafly may be a mere fraction of a fraction the size of Anheuser-Busch — 150 employees and no endlessly looping factory tour buses for visitors — their beer can now be found much more readily then ever at the home of the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium. The brewery website even has a helpful map for finding the beer at the stadium.
One of the country’s more interesting brewery projects of the last couple years has been Pretty Things, a brewery without a system to call its own. But that is all part of the plan. Based out of
For the saint theme here, Pretty Things’ St. Botolph’s Town is an Old Peculiar-inspired English brown ale. It has plenty of
According to the Pretty Things website, “The name ‘Saint Botolph’s Town‘ is in tribute to our great home in
Finally, going from the most recent past to the way-back past, would any beer/saint theme be complete without discussing Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy? It is the home to Brasserie de Rochefort, from where Rochefort 6, 8, and 10 originate.
Often referred to by connoisseurs as some of the best beers in the world (particularly the Trappistes Rochefort 10), these beers are brewed by Cistercian monks to help financially support their way of life.
Perhaps nothing sums up perspectives on brewing, God, and life at Rochefort than what follows the tasting notes on the website:
“Make no abuse of this gift of God. Let your Rochefort moment also be a moment of reflection. Enjoy it, drink a second glass, and a third for special occasions, but never more. Be heedless of the way of living of the monks, who devote their life to God, and who, with respect and worship for the components that nature gives us, deliver quality products. Let their silence and their austerity persuade to you, and be amazed over and over again, which beautiful results love and belief can produce.”
Here concludes today’s beer-y reflection on saintly beer. Go forth and commune with friends and a great beer to ponder those that have gone before us.
–Read more of Bryan’s work at After Hours in the Communities at the Washington Times.
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