On June 9, 1994, Saint Arnold Brewing Company shipped the first keg of Amber Ale it ever produced for retail sale. It was brewed with a mission that brewer and co-founder Brock Wagner stands by even today, 20 years later: "Brew and sell the best beer in Texas and create an institution Houston and Texas are proud of."
It's safe to say that Houstonians are mighty proud of Saint Arnold, the oldest craft brewery of more than 130 in Texas, thanks to its longevity. This Saturday, June 7th, we have the opportunity to celebrate our pride and get our drink on at Saint Arnold's 20th Anniversary Party from 5 to 10:30 p.m. at the Saint Arnold Brewery downtown.
The early years for Saint Arnold weren't always easy. Wagner and co-founder Kevin Bartol were passionate, but the crowds weren't coming. Ten people attended the first brewery tour in 1994, and the brewery continued to limp along throughout the '90s until a boom hit in the early 2000s. On the Saint Arnold website, Wagner says he doesn't know what happened to cause the increase in interest, but suddenly tours of 50 people had become 500 people. To accommodate the bigger crowds and greater demand for beer, Saint Arnold opened the new brewery, where it operates today.
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To celebrate, Saint Arnold is going all out, with barbecue, live music and, of course, the special Saint Arnold 20th Anniversary Ale. For a $65 ticket, guests can enjoy a concert on the loading dock hosted by DJ Wrangler and featuring Hayes Carll, The Suffers, The Niceguys and Sideshow Tramps, as well as special appearances by Franklin Mint & Heavy Barrel Soundsystem.
Goode Company BBQ will be providing full barbecue dinners for guests, and the ticket price includes two beer tastings (one from the regular lineup and one Anniversary Ale) and a souvenir glass. Of course, since you'll be at a brewery, you can certainly purchase additional beers, too. Saint Arnold asks that you bring cash for this, if possible.
The party is strictly 21 and up (again, it's a brewery), so leave the kiddos at home and come out for some adult fun. If you can't make it, the special 20th anniversary ale (a barleywine made with proprietary yeast) will be available on tap and in 22-ounce bottles at select locations throughout Houston, Austin and Dallas beginning June 9.
There's also a super awesome rare cellar tasting happening on Sunday, June 8, but that event is long sold out. So we won't even tell you how badass it's going to be. Instead, check out the anniversary party and taste some of that special brew! Visit the website for tickets and more information.