Bar Beat

How to Complete a Saint Arnold Pub Crawl: Tips from a Pub-Crawl Pro

I'm fairly certain I've reached pro status when it comes to the Saint Arnold Brewery Pub Crawl. Quite the feat -- I know. I'd like to thank my friends, the good people at Saint Arnold and myself for having way too much time on my hands.

Texas's oldest craft brewery will host the infamous pub crawls a few times a year, usually at the beginning of a season to showcase their latest brews.

The crawls are always a good time and, in my opinion, the perfect way to spend a Saturday -- show up to the first bar on the list, get a punch card and a beer, follow the crawl to the next bar and repeat. If all goes well, you'll finish the day with some good stories and one of the brewery's highly coveted souvenir pint glasses in your hand, further proving your worth and dominance over your sucker friends who stayed home.

Yes, it sounds easy in theory -- but it does take a bit of expertise to successfully complete one like a boss. And because I like you guys, I'm sharing my pro tips on how to do just that:

1. Eat a hearty breakfast before the crawl.

Skip the most important meal on the day of the pub crawl and you'll be making some extremely regrettable food decisions by the time you get to the third or fourth bar. Take the Domino's conveniently located next to Big Easy, for example.

2. Be on time.

The pub crawls usually last about three to four hours and can have up to seven different bars on the hit list. Unless you want to spend your time at the last three bars playing a little game we like to call "Chug™," punctuality is a key.

3. Be sure to get a punch card at the first bar.

The Saint Arnold crew will only be handing out the cards during the first hour of the crawl and you'll need this golden ticket for the pint glass at the end.

4. Come prepared with a disguise or a really

You'll need one of these to pawn your way into a second punch card when your friend who promised to meet you there at 2 p.m. inevitably texts you at 2:55 saying he's "running late" and can you "get him a punch card, please, he'll buy you your next beer." Depending on the day and the hole-puncher, this could be a tricky task.

5. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.

Okay, well, it's not a marathon either -- it's a crawl, but you get the point. Take your time, enjoy the day and whatever you do, don't take your friend up on that stupid drinking bet he tries to pitch to you at bar number two.

6. Try out a new kind of brew.

The delicious in-season beer is why you're here, after all. And don't fret if the bar inside just tapped out of the Spring Bock you've been wanting to try. Take a step back and look around -- there's most likely another beer line formed right behind your dumb ass.

7. If the crawl is themed, participate in it!

When else can you dress like an asshole on a Saturday afternoon? And speaking of looking like assholes...

8. Take lots of pictures.

You'll appreciate them tomorrow.

9. Watch the clock.

Be sure to actually A) make it to all the bars on the list and B) get your card punched at each bar. And if for some reason you forget, don't try to punch a hole in your card with your teeth. It doesn't work and no one will appreciate being handed a chewed up card at the end of the night.

10. Ladies: Bring extra toilet paper.

The bars will run out. Just trust me.

11. Finish strong.

You made it to the final bar! Now get in that long-ass line and collect your hard-earned pint glass. Don't worry -- the line moves faster than you think.

...You did it! You completed the crawl! But wait, you're not outta the woods yet. You still have to make it home and possibly to whatever unfortunate place you are about to go to for food. So...

12. Bring something to hold your glass in.

Otherwise, while you're ordering the largest cheesesteak Texadelphia has to offer, the glass may "squeeze" out of your back pocket and smash on the floor, resulting in a very angry mother of three scolding a very confused you as your friends laugh at you from the safety of their booth in the back corner.

That totally didn't happen; I'm just guessing that it could. Oh, also:

13. Tip well.

Enjoy your next crawl, everybody!

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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano