The Texas-based Saint Arnold Brewing Co. is offering a bit of history with its latest offering in the Icon Series. Saint Arnold Icon Red is an American Roggenbier, a fresh take on the Rye Ale style enjoyed for thousands of years in Germany. Roggen is German for ‘rye,’ the key ingredient in Saint Arnold Icon Red – American Roggenbier. Unlike a traditional German Roggenbier, which is dominated by the flavor and aroma of rye, Saint Arnold’s American Roggenbier goes easier on the rye and is hopped like an American pale ale, using Cascade and Chinook hops.
“I wanted to create more balance to allow the other flavors and aromas to shine through, so we limited the rye to about 15 percent of the malt bill,” said Brewer Dennis Rhee. “The spicy, hearty rye is complemented by the citrusy, piney notes from the hops and the clove phenols and banana esters from the weizen yeast. They also add an unexpected bitterness that you usually don’t see in Roggenbiers.”
The Roggenbier style fell out of favor about 500 years ago. The Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516 known as Reinheitsgebot limited brewers to using only malted barley in their grain bills. The style was rediscovered about 25 years ago.
“Rye is a really interesting ingredient that adds new dimensions to beer flavors, just like it does when baking bread, which is what we showcased earlier in the year with Saint Arnold Icon Blue – Rye IPA,” said Saint Arnold Founder/Brewer Brock Wagner. “The Icon Series allows us to be honor beer styles we appreciate while still being creative, in this case starting with a beer style that is literally thousands of years old and giving it a twist to reflect modern tastes.”
The Saint Arnold Icon Series is a line of rotating beers that complement the brewery’s year-round and seasonal offerings. Saint Arnold Icon Red features a striking metallic red and black label with an image of the brewery’s namesake, St. Arnold of Metz, the patron saint of brewers. Saint Arnold Icon Red – American Roggenbier will begin appearing on tap and in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles as supplies of Saint Arnold Icon Gold – Belgian-Style Wit run out.