Typically, when someone uses the phrase "it's 5 o'clock somewhere," he or she is engaging in a slightly illicit activity best suited for post work hours. Not actual trouble — just a little low-level rebellion against the conventions of the work calendar. Now, Houston's oldest craft brewery has the perfect beverage for any such occasion.
On Monday, Saint Arnold Brewing Company announced the latest addition to its year-round lineup. Dubbed 5 O'Clock Pils, the brewery describes the beer as a "bright and hoppy year-round lager" that's inspired by classic Czech pilsners. Originally released as part of the Icon series in 2013, the beer employs Saaz hops and a brewing technique known as "decoction" that involves removing a portion of the mash, boiling it, and adding it back into the brew. The process yields "a slightly richer bodied beer by causing caramelization that deepens the beer's color and lowers the fermentability of the sugars," according to a statement from Saint Arnold.
Until now, Saint Arnold had made a pilsner only as its summer seasonal, but more and more craft beer drinkers are developing an appreciation for the lighter style, which has grown in popularity in recent years.
"A big reason craft lagers and craft pilsners are growing is an appreciation for brewing tradition and an increased understanding of how difficult it is to consistently brew high quality craft lager," said Saint Arnold founder/brewer Brock Wagner. "Brewers tend to gravitate towards enjoying light, flavorful beers at the end of the day. Actually, at any time of the day! Saint Arnold 5 O'Clock Pils is perfect for that."
5 O'Clock Pils joins last year's smash hit Art Car IPA as an addition to Saint Arnold's year-round line up, which also features long-time favorites like Santo, Fancy Lawnmower, and Boiler Room. The company also maintains a rotating seasonal lineup, the ongoing Icon series, the highly coveted Divine Reserve beers, and the Bishop's Barrel series of barrel-aged beers.
"We released Saint Arnold Summer Pils 19 years ago, and it is a six-time medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival, so we have been brewing lagers for a long time," said Wagner. "Saint Arnold 5 O'Clock Pils is the Swiss Army Knife of our beer family – it is appropriate for a lot of different occasions and accessible to a lot of different palates."