Oktoberfest has always been a big deal for Saint Arnold Brewing Co., the oldest craft brewery in Texas, but this year the celebration of all things German will be more special. For the third year in a row, judges at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) awarded a medal to Saint Arnold Weedwacker in the German-Style Wheat Ale category. This year’s medal was gold. It is Saint Arnold’s 21st GABF medal, a record for any Texas craft brewery.
Saint Arnold Weedwacker was among 15 Texas craft beers recognized with GABF medals. Weedwacker is light and refreshing with a spicy clove note and some banana esters that come from the use of Bavarian hefeweizen yeast. Four separate additions of Hallertauer Hersbrucker hops contribute to Weedwacker’s delicate flavor and aroma.
“It is a great feeling for our entire team when we bring home any medal from the GABF, but a gold medal is especially gratifying,” said Saint Arnold Founder and Brewer Brock Wagner. “Winning medals is harder and harder every year as more breweries open and the number of beers entered increases. We enjoyed celebrating our win with all of the other Texas breweries and there were a lot of us in Denver last week.”
Saint Arnold Weedwacker was originally released in 2010 as part of the brewery’s educational “Movable Yeast” series. It started the same as Saint Arnold Lawnmower, but instead of pitching the wort (unfermented beer) with Saint Arnold’s proprietary yeast, Weedwacker is pitched with Bavarian hefeweizen yeast. Saint Arnold responded to strong positive feedback by making Weedwacker a year-round beer in 2011.