It was Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner who first mentioned the ghosts that supposedly haunt the brewery.
While it's not the first place one thinks of for a haunting, the former warehouse that has been home to Saint Arnold's since 2009 was built in 1914, giving it plenty of time to accrue a ghost or two.
According to Saint Arnold's marketing manager Lennie Ambrose, the first unexplained sightings were from one employee's young daughter, who on two different occasions claimed to see "kids" running around the brewery when there weren't any others there.
As brewer Dennis Rhee recounts one sighting,
Philip Dagger, our packaging manager, and his 2- or 3-year-old daughter Sydney were in the brewery's beer hall one night. Dagger was sitting at one of the tables while Sydney was playing near one of the corners of the hall. All of a sudden she points to an area near the windows that separates the beer hall from the brewhouse and shouts, "Hey Daddy! Kids!" Dagger looks over to where she is pointing but sees no one. Still, Sydney is insistent that there are children in that corner and continues to say, "Kids!"
While he says he is still skeptical and doesn't believe in ghosts, hearing the story from Dagger made Rhee reconsider another experience he'd had while working alone late one night.
I was cleaning out the lauter tun (one of the brewing vessels) late one night (probably around 2 or 3 a.m.) towards the end of a 12-plus hour shift. While squeegeeing and hosing out the spent grain, I started hearing some noises that sounded a lot like children's laughter.
I paused for a moment, thinking that the noises might have been caused by the echoing of my movement in the lauter tun. The laughter was still there. Since I was the only person in the brewery at the time, I poked my head out of the manway to see who was out there. No one. I was a little spooked, so I quickly finished my tasks, locked up, and got the hell out of the brewery."
Ambrose says other employees have heard singing and seen mysterious shadows at night. With the building used for years as an HISD food storage facility, Ambrose likes to joke that the young ghosts are the kids that died from eating meals stored there.
There is another possible explanation for the ghosts, though. In 1912 the entire neighborhood was burned to the ground in a fire started by two hobos trying to keep warm behind a bar about a block away from the current site of the brewery. Perhaps the spirits of anyone that may have died in the fire migrated to the warehouse when it was built two years later.
Have you ever seen anything spooky at Saint Arnold's? What are you favorite local ghost stories?