Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A few days ago on twitter, someone mentioned seeing a new Saint Arnold label approved for Weedwacker ale, and that this beer was going to replace Texas Wheat. Well today the Chronicle's Ronnie Crocker posted confirmation, that yes Texas Wheat is gone and Weedwacker will replace it. For those that remember, Weedwacker was the first release of Saint Arnold's moveable yeast series. To brew the beer, Saint Arnold took their Kolsch style beer Lawnmower and changed the yeast to a Hefewiezen yeast. I have some pretty strong opinions on this move, and it has nothing to do with eliminating Texas Wheat. Frankly it was my least favorite of all Saint Arnold beers. I'm not a huge fan of American Wheat beers, and I never could get into this beer. Having said that I don't really get replacing it with Weedwacker. I know in Mr. Crocker's post he quoted Brock as saying "Everybody loves it", but most of the folks I talked to didn't really like the beer. Oh sure they appreciated the educational experience of seeing how yeast changes the flavor of beer, but no one I'm aware every said "Gee, I'd love this to be available year round." I'm a staunch defender of Saint Arnold, and have never understood why some "Beer Nerds" talk bad about them. They make a solid range of regular beers, very good seasonals, the Divine Reserve series is extremely good, and the moveable yeast series is one of two being done in the world as far as I know. All in all Saint Arnolds is a great award winning brewery. But (you just knew there would be one), I really don't get this move. If your going to add a new beer to the line up to replace TX Wheat, why not go one of two routes: 1) I get the desire to have a ligther beer in the lineup, and yes weedwacker does that, but why not produce a wit, something that I think would go great in TX. The only other brewery in TX that brews one is (512) but they don't bottle it, so Saint Arnold would be the first bottled offering by a TX brewery. 2) Why not go big? They just finished brewing a very good double IPA in Divine Reserve 11, why not turn that into a year round offering. The first and only year round DIPA by a Texas Brewery. Offer it in Louisiana where Saint Arnold's is just expanding and really make some in roads into that market. I would bet good money that a well made DIPA sold year round would sell more than TX Wheat did and Weedwacker will. I know its my two cents, and Saint Arnold will do what they want, but that's the beauty of a blog, a place to write down my opinions. What do you think? Did Saint Arnold make the right decision?