Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (www.saintarnold.com), the oldest craft brewery in Texas, anticipates some confusion when Sorachi Ace Dubbel, the latest edition of Saint Arnold Icon Red, hits the market this week. The word, “Sorachi” refers to the Sorachi Ace hops used in the recipe. It has nothing to do with “Sriracha” – the ubiquitous hot sauce – Saint Arnold Icon Red is not a chili beer. It is instead a unique international twist on the classic Belgian Dubbel style. Saint Arnold Icon Red will begin showing up next week in 4-packs of 12 ounce bottles and on tap in pubs and restaurants throughout Texas and Louisiana as supplies of Icon Gold are depleted.
As would be expected, Sorachi Ace Dubbel features yeast from a Trappist Monastery and a strong malt backbone thanks to a complex grain bill. But Saint Arnold’s brewers broke with tradition by using Sorachi Ace, which originated in Japan, as finishing hops and again to dry hop the beer.
“We wanted to use the classic Dubbel style as a baseline and throw in something interesting and unique to make it more relevant for Texas craft beer fans seeking new and innovative beer,” said Brewer Eddie Gutierrez, who cut his teeth as a home brewer before jumping from a career as a mechanical engineer in the oil patch to brewing professionally. “We did a blind taste test comparing the test batch side-by-side against many of the classic Belgian Dubbels that craft beer drinkers love and our batch did really well, so I think people who appreciate the style will really enjoy this fresh take on it.”
Icon Red pours a rich copper color. The Sorachi Ace hops, developed for Sapporo Brewers Ltd. in Japan 30 years ago, contributes to the beer’s creamy character and adds an aroma of lemongrass and dill. Malts used include Pils, which serves as the base malt, as well as Munich, Honey, Chocolate and Caramunich malts. They combine to create what Gutierrez describes as a “malty melody.”
Specifications for Saint Arnold Icon Red:
Original Gravity: 1.072
Final Gravity: 1.013
Alcohol: 8% ABV
Bitterness: 40 IBU
Saint Arnold Icon is a line of rotating beers that complement the brewery’s year-round and seasonal offerings. A new Saint Arnold Icon beer is released every three months or so, depending on how quickly supplies are exhausted. This beer is referred to as Saint Arnold Icon Red because of its striking metallic red and black label.
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