Saint Arnold Brewing announced today that their 2012 production increased by 22% over 2011 production. They eclipsed 49,000 barrels of beer produced, which was up by nearly 9,000 barrels over 2011. In addition, they announced that Louisiana was their fastest growing market, posting an increase of 62% in 2012 over 2011.
When Saint Arnold was first released to Louisiana a bit over two years ago, I wasn’t initially impressed. The beers that were initially available here were Fancy Lawnmower and Christmas Ale. That expanded to the seasonals such as Spring Bock, Summer Pils and Oktoberfest. None of those really wowed me. But then I tried Pumpkinator in the fall of 2011, and was blown away. Endeavour, their double IPA followed in the spring of 2012 and they’ve upped their game with more special releases since then. Divine Reserve 12 came in late summer, and I still have a bottle aging. Bishops Barrel #1 was an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels, and I was lucky enough to get some to age for later consumption, despite the fact that it was only sold in restaurants and bars.
2013 appears to be another banner year. ICON Red was just introduced, and it’s an easy drinking Belgian-style pale ale. ICON Blue will follow in March, and that one will be a Cascadian Dark Ale (black IPA). Also due in March is Divine Reserve #13, a Belgian Quad. And before that, Bishop’s Barrel #2 will be released. This one will be an old ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with cherries. That should be a nice sour/tart brew.
It’s great to see Saint Arnold growing as well as doing some different things. My hope is that it will inspire other breweries to up their game since they see the success Saint Arnold has had. Release day for Pumpkinator and Grand Reserve has become huge in Texas, so much so that some friends in Texas have asked me to get some for them here in Baton Rouge when it’s released. That used to be easy, but now it’s even difficult here. Pumpkinator flew off the shelves when it was released, and Divine Reserve #12 was nearly as tough to get.
Congrats to Saint Arnold and I’m excited to see what else they come up with in 2013 and beyond.