With graffiti and street art maturing and gaining acceptance — including recently announced plans for Houston to host the nation’s first museum devoted to the art form — Saint Arnold Brewing Co. brings graffiti art to the beer aisle. The oldest craft brewery in Texas releases Saint Arnold Art Car IPA in cans adorned with the graffiti art of Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr., aka GONZO247. Saint Arnold Art Car IPA is the first beer released by the brewery that will only be available in 12-ounce cans and on tap. The brewery began packaging its top sellers in cans earlier this year, including Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, Santo and some seasonal offerings.
“I like the combination of the bright flavors of Art Car IPA with the bright graphics that GONZO247 came up with,” said Saint Arnold Founder/Brewer Brock Wagner. “We’ve had a long association with GONZO247 and we gave him free reign to develop a design for this can. Love the results!”
Art Car IPA’s name celebrates Saint Arnold’s fleet of hand-painted art cars created by local artists. In fact, three of the brewery’s art cars tied for first place for Best Commercial Entry in the 2015 Houston Art Car Parade, the oldest and longest art car parade in the world. In addition to a stylized profile of St. Arnold of Metz with outstretched hand that resembles Saint Arnold’s labels introduced 21 years ago, GONZO247 used a complicated and intricate form of graffiti known as “wildstyle” for a bright blue backdrop. The idea was to leverage Saint Arnold’s brand equity and make it clear that this beer is a fresh, new member of the family.
GONZO247’s work also graces several of Saint Arnold’s art cars, the brewery’s grain silos and a mural inside the brewery’s tasting hall. Saint Arnold commissioned him to paint a massive 14- x 48-foot vinyl panel installed overlooking I-10 to commemorate Saint Arnold’s 20th anniversary last year. GONZO247 is also driving the development of a Graffiti and Street Art Museum in Houston, which would be the first museum of its kind.
Saint Arnold Art Car IPA complements the brewery’s other IPAs, which include Saint Arnold Elissa IPA and Saint Arnold Endeavour Double IPA. Made with Columbus, Cascade and Simcoe hops in the boil, which often are associated with West Coast-style IPAs, plus a generous dry hopping of Amarillo, Simcoe and Mosaic hops, Art Car IPA features more fruit and citrus in the nose. Two-Row Pale, Cara 45 and Carafoam malts are used to provide a lighter malt backbone that allows the hops to come forward.