Review: A Happy Accident Leads Saint Arnold To Create A Great New Summer Beer

If you're a local beer lover, there's no doubt you're familiar with Saint Arnold, the granddaddy of Houston's craft beer scene, and you might have already heard a bit of the story behind the creation of their newest beer, Boiler Room. A boiler-room mistake (hence the name) meant a batch of Lawnmower was made with half the proper amount of malt, and brewer Stephen Rawlings decided to experiment with it rather than dump it out. He added a Belgian beer with lots of bacteria, let it sour, then boiled and fermented it.

This fortunate combination of accident and open-minded experimentation led to the creation of Boiler Room, Saint Arnold's first new year-round release since 2012's Endeavor double IPA. The beer was released to bars on March 19, and 22 oz. bombers went on sale in stores yesterday.

So a good story is nice, but what's the actual beer like? We went to the brewery this past week and spoke to Lennie Ambrose, marketing and events director for Saint Arnold, while sipping on some Boiler Room.

The first thing Ambrose wanted to clarify was the story behind the making ofthe beer. Although it's true that it was first conceived when half of the recipe's malt was left on the floor during the making of a wort, that batch was for Fancy Lawnmower, Saint Arnold's classic Kölsch. The brewmasters did not use it for release, but instead crafted an entirely new recipe for the version of Boiler Room on taps and in stores, using a grain bill of 60 percent wheat, along with some lactobacillus bacteria for souring, to create a true Berliner Weisse.

This story continues on the next page.

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Nath Pizzolatto