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Saint Arnold whiskey

For those of you that like spirits.

Houston’s oldest craft brewery has quietly launched a new venture that could bear some tasty results. Speaking on this week’s episode of CultureMap’s “What’s Eric Eating” podcast, Saint Arnold Brewing Company founder Brock Wagner and brewmaster Aaron Inkrott shared news that the company has been testing recipes for its first-ever whiskey.

Working on a still at Gulf Coast Distilling, Inkrott and the Saint Arnold brewers have been slowly developing recipes by experimenting with different grain bills, yeast strains, and other elements necessary to make Saint Arnold’s whiskey. Currently, the barrels are aging at Gulf Coast’s facility in East Houston.

“We’ve been working on different washes that we make at the brewery and take over there,” Wagner says. “We’ve been very focused on fermentation and the basic wash recipe, plus playing with different barrels, chars, and toasts. We seem to be zeroing on what we really like and starting to do a little bit of scaling on that.”

“The amount of variables we came up with were dozens,” Inkrott adds. “We’d get encouraged as we made big steps, [such as] determining what yeast strain we want to use. Then picking three or four recipes that had potential on the small scale and scaling them up. Finally, tasting the shine that’s coming off the still. It’s all very exciting.”

Wagner says that Saint Arnold has product that’s been aging for about a year. Saint Arnold has yet to determine how much time the whiskey needs to age before it will be released.

“Like I’ve always said with beer, we don’t tell the beer when it’s done, it tells us. It’s going to be the same with whiskey,” Wagner says. “It’s not ready yet, but I can easily see it being ready in two years from when it was put in the barrel. We’re not planning on selling it or marketing anything until we’re really excited about what we have.”

I’ve never developed a taste for liquor, so the product doesn’t interest me, but I’m a longtime fan of Saint Arnold’s, so it does interest me to see them continue branching out. They already make cider and hard seltzer, and their restaurant is quite nice, so I would expect this latest venture to do well. If you like this sort of thing, it will almost certainly be a thing that you like.

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