What would Arnold Brew??
2017 PILGRIMAGE OF PINTS – We have lined up 14 brewers for a May 6th launch, so check back to see what special brews they are featuring for your pilgrimage.
Pilgrims who complete all 14 breweries will get a free VIP glass when they enter the event.
A little about Arnold of Metz
According to the Scriptora Rerum Merovingicarum, a contemporary account of the life of Saint Arnold of Metz, Arnold married Dode, daughter of the Count of Bologne around 600 in Moselle in what was then known as Austrasia. They had many children including Clodulf (later St. Cloud) who also was Bishop of Metz. Another son, Ansegisel, produced a line of historical figures, Charlemagne among them, who shaped what is now France.
About the Pilgrimage
We have 14 breweries signed up for the Pilgrimage this year, which is up from 9 last year. All 9 from last year are back, too!
To earn the 2-for-the-price-of-one admission to the Feast of St Arnold, pilgrims need to visit at least 10 of the 14 breweries. We organized breweries into three groups (Realms, in Saint Arnold speak). Of the 10 breweries visited, there must be at least 3 from each Realm and at least 1 Frontier brewery.
The Realms (click on image at left for larger sized image of this cartogram)
- Mountain Realm – Ute Pass, Fossil, Colorado Mountain Brewery, and Cerberus
- Valley Realm – Triple S, Iron Bird, Fieldhouse, Gold Camp, and Bristol
- Plains Realm – JAKS, Peaks-n-Pines, Rockbottom, Cogstone, and Storybook
- Frontier Breweries – Ute Pass and JAKS are also designated as Frontier breweries
The Pilgrimage kicks-off May 6th and runs until the Feast on June 10th. The VIP upgrade drawing will be on June 7, so most folks should be finishing up for that. But since we’ll take completed cartograms (Pilgrimage postcard) at the gate, there will probably be some pilgrims turning in cartograms through the 9th.
So, pilgrims, visit all 14 breweries to get your free VIP glass. Click on thumbnail for official rules.
The 2017 Breweries and their Beers
A funny thing happened back in 2016 when we asked local brewers to participate in that first Pilgrimage of Pints: they got into the whole thing in a big way. Not only were they enthusiastic about developing their concept of a period-authentic beer that Saint Arnold might have enjoyed, but they wanted to tell you all about it. Continuing that enthusiasm, we will be posting their brew descriptions here as they become available. So, read below and find what the breweries came up with as they got into the story and times of Saint Arnold, and how they express that in their Saint Arnold brew.
Key: A word about the measured values.
- The ABV value is the percentage of alcohol in the beer.
- The IBU value is the amount of isohumulone, measured in parts-per-million (ppm), contained in a standard volume of beer. Isohumulone is the main chemical compound derived from hops that makes beer taste bitter. Isohumulone is created when the alpha acids in hops isomerize (basically dissolve or breakdown) in the boil. Almost all the beer you’re ever going to drink will have an IBU rating between 5 and 120. A beer measuring 5 IBUs has a very low measured bitterness, something comparable to milk & honey, while one measuring 120 IBUs will taste very bitter, comparable to a wail emanating from the wicked witch of the West. Quote that to your bud’s in the bar and they’ll either buy you a beer or relegate you to an out-of-the-way corner. Either way take care, but thanks to The Brew Enthusiast website from which I adapted this exposition.
Cogstone Brewing Company
- Beer: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
- Saint Arnold, considered to have preached in Flanders, Belgium, would have brewed a strong, dark ale. Sure to keep the water content pure at 10% alcohol, it could be easily mixed to produce a lighter beer with a lot of flavor and still remain pure. Giving credence to St. Arnold’s ability to make beer multiply, this is a brew that quite literally might be worthy of a saint.
- A complex blend of rich malt and dark fruit flavors. The malt flavors are richly bready and deep caramel that marry into the raisin and plum-like dark esters. At over 10 percent ABV, it remains deceptively light and smooth. This beer is like James Bond: complex, rich, smooth, but dangerous.
- 10% ABV
JAKs Brewing Company
- Beer: Strawberry Blonde
- Saint Arnold of Soissions, (1040 – 1087) at first was a career soldier before settling at the Benedictine St. Medard’s Abby, in Soissons, France. There, he rose to be Abbot of the monastery and later became a priest, and in 1080 Bishop of Soissons. At the Abbey, he began to brew beer, and he believed it was as essential in medieval life as water. Today, JAKs continues to keep his spirit alive by offering you our Feast of Saint Arnold Strawberry Blonde. This beer is a bright and copper colored light ale with a crisp mouth feel and large strawberry presence.
Peaks n Pines Brewing Company
- Beer: Miraculous Marzen
- Here in the Plains Realm, Peaks N Pines presents ye a malty surprise for all who wander to thine brewery. The patron saint of hop-pickers would fancy the opportunity to imbibe on a nicely balanced, well-aged German lager that reminds him of the days in the Abbey of St Peter when he saved many a peasant’s life by encouraging them to drink beer rather than the foul water of Oudenburg – ahhhh the good ole days. Our Miraculous Marzen is made with Czech Pilz, Munich and Vienna malts and only the finest German hops; ’tis a flavorful malty beer that Peasant or King alike would relish on a fine Belgian Spring day. Take note my lord, our beer is guaranteed NOT to infect thee with cholera, plague, or any other wicked maladies of the past, for it tis a miraculous Marzen indeed!
Rock Bottom Brewing Company
Storybook Brewing Company
- Beer: Multa Paucis
- Meaning to say much in few words. Choosing among one’s thoughts before speaking is the art of great minds.
- The art of blending beer is centuries old. Multa Paucis is a barrel blend of two brews, a lactobacillus sour aged 18 months in a wine barrel, and a young brown ale aged 5 months in a neutral barrel.
- 7.2% ABV and more tart than the Ora et Labora. This brew’s blended IBU value is hard to measure.
As a second offering, Storybook brings back its Ora et Labora
- Beer: Ora et Labora
- Meaning prayer and labor. Combining contemplation, or prayer, with action requires a balance between prayer and work. When brewing beer and aging it in barrels, there must be contemplation about what is to be the outcome of one’s work as well as about the reason for this work.
- Ora et Labora is a specialty beer aged in a French oak barrel, from the Winery at Holy Cross Abby, in which wine from the dark-skinned Syrah grape had been aged. At first taste you get flavors of the malted barley, wheat, and honey. Complexity builds from the French oak and Syrah flavors. Organic fruit added after initial fermentation adds only a small tart compliment.
- 7.5% ABV and 20 IBUs
Bristol Brewing Company
- Beer: Saison Brett
- This refreshing Saison is a slight departure from our more traditional Belgians. Still brewed with a blend of farmhouse and saison yeasts for that hint of spice and touch of mild fruit, but with Nelson Sauvin hops for a little more kick. A secondary fermentation with brettanomyces contributes to the complexity with an earthy barnyard funk
- We think St. Arnold would have brewed a farmhouse beer and would have used oak in the aging process. So that’s what we did. As the monks say, “Gezondheid!”
Fieldhouse Brewing Company
- Beer: Dode’s Delight
- A Cracked Pepper French Saison named after Arnold’s wife. This beer will delight your taste buds with hints of pepper, cardamom spice, coriander and a hint of lemon. The French saison yeast imparts a cloying fruitiness and a round mouth feel that teases the palate. Dode and Arnold may have shared this beer in their love nest.
- Arnold spent much of his early life at court, later ordained Bishop of Metz. The palace location along the Moselle River is on the trade route from the Persian spice regions, so they would have had ready access and the financial means to purchase rare and coveted spices such as cardamom, coriander and pepper. King Theodebert II, (whom Arnold served at court) would have had good access to grain and skilled brewers.
- 6% ABV, 46 IBUs
Iron Bird Brewing Company
Triple S Brewing Company
- Beer: Whatza Gose
- History (from the Beer Judge Certification Program): GOSE is a minor style associated with Leipzig but originating in the Middle Ages in the town of Goslar on the Gose River. Gose is documented to have been in Leipzig by 1740. Leipzig was said to have 80 Gose houses in 1900. Production declined significantly after WWII and ceased entirely in 1966. Modern production was revived in the 1980s but the beer is not widely available. So there’s a good chance Saint Arnold enjoyed a Gose in Goslan! Contemporary Gose seems to be making a comeback and we’re seeing several Gose releases at other craft breweries in town.
This Triple S brew is the result of the Peterson ProAm Challenge, where an amateur winner, homebrewer Zach Poulton, earned the opportunity to brew his 5 gallon homebrew recipe as a 150 gallon commercial beer. Come enjoy our Whatza Gose!
- Impression (again, from the Beer Judge Certification Program): A highly-carbonated, tart, and fruity wheat ale with a restrained coriander and salt character and low bitterness. Very refreshing, with bright flavors and high attenuation. Triple S will also be presenting special infusions on our Gose during the Pilgrimage of Pints.
Cerberus Brewing Company
- Beer: Splintered Staff Belgian Style Single Ale
- The reason for the name is a funny story. We were just starting to mash it and our wooden mash paddle got caught up in our mash rake. Well, the rake is pretty powerful so it just broke the paddle in half. We were able to get it out before we mashed it, so no wood was used in the beer!
A Belgian Single is described as a hoppier Belgian Pale version of a Pilsner. Brewed with a trappist yeast, Single’s will have similar characteristics to a Belgian Triple.
- Our Splintered Staff Belgian Single is pretty straight forward, backed by a simple grist bill and a great Trappist yeast. Great fruity esters play along with the slight breadiness of the malt. Almost sessionable at 5.3%, this Belgian Style Single would have been a very popular style to consume on a daily basis.
- 5.3% ABV
Colorado Mountain Brewery
- Beer: Lemon Poppy Seed Wit
- After living a life of solitude, St. Arnold quickly became the biggest beer advocate of his time. His brews consisted of ingredients unique to the French and Belgium countryside. Brewers were adding many new ingredients such as various fruits, sugars, aromatics, and poppy seeds.
It is in this spirit that our Lemon Poppy Seed Wit is meticulously crafted with traditional ingredients and brewing techniques. Brewed with wheat, pilsner malts, and Trappist ale yeast, the beer is crisp with a refreshing finish. The lemon and the wit yeast work together creating a zesty brightness balanced against the bitter hop elements.
In the vein of St. Arnold, we welcome you to enjoy the Lemon Poppy Seep Wit, and experience the traditional flavors of the 11th century.
- 5.3% ABV, 18 IBUs
Fossil Craft Beer Company
- Beer: Boisson de Jour
- As Arnold aged and accepted retirement, he headed to the Abbey of Remiremont and then settled in near Habendum. Through his travels he came across many people to barter with, gathering new herbs and spices along his way. When he reached Habendum he began to develop new hobbies and learned the best way for him to brew beer would be to grow his own ingredients. So he planted all the herbs and spices he found along the way and created a garden that would supply him the rest of his days.
- Loosely translated as day drinking, the name Boisson de Jour means a Witbier brewed with lemon grass and sage. Aromas of lemon and spice, with clove and fruit fill the pallet and blend nicely with a full body. At 4.8% and 13 IBU, this “lawnmower” beer would have been flavorful refreshment as Arnold tended garden and relaxed on his porch admiring his accomplishments of the day.
- 4.8% ABV, 13 IBUs
Ute Pass Brewing Company
- Beer: Vespers Gruit Ale
- Colored red from the mugwort and orange from the orange peel, although Saint Arnold may not have enjoyed mugwort and orange peel in this lovely combination, he certainly brewed gruits. The hop, as we know it today, would not become a notable ingredient in beer for another 500 years! Saint Arnold most certainly knew of mugwort, though. He could have incorporated the healthful aspects of mugwort, well known in pre-Christian Roman times, into his beer. Vespers, however, denotes evening prayers, is also Latin for evening star. In combination, its name Vespers Gruit Ale, along with its warm, summer sunset color calls to mind healthful, peaceful, and well-deserved evening relaxation.
- Gruit was the dominant style of ale in Saint Arnold’s time. This was before hops were used in ales. Instead, floral or herbs were used to balance the ale. Our Vespers Gruit Ale uses mugwort as its primary bittering contributor, but also orange peel to round out the flavor. From over 50 herbs and flowers, brewer Todd DeRemus selected this combination for his 2017 Saint Arnold Pilgrims.
Mountain Rose Herbs (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/mugwort/profile) profiles mugwort this way:
“Mugwort is said to have derived its name from having been used to flavor beer before the wide use of hops. The botanical name is derived from Artemisia, the Greek goddess of the hunt, fertility, and the forests and hills. Roman soldiers were known to put mugwort in their sandals to keep their feet from getting tired. Native Americans equate mugwort with witchcraft. They believed that the rubbing of the leaves on the body keeps ghosts away, and a necklace of mugwort leaves is said to help protect against dreaming about the dead. It has been believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle of mugwort in the wilderness for protection. Other magical attributes include protection for road weary travelers and general protection against the evils of the spirit realms.”
- 4.5% ABV, 0.0 IBUs (no hops, but plenty of flavor!)