HOUSTON, Feb. 16, 2006 – Saint Arnold Brewing Company, the oldest craft brewery in Texas, continued to experience strong demand in 2005, with production growth outpacing the impressive expansion of America’s craft brewers. Saint Arnold Brewing produced a record 10,946 31-gallon barrels last year, an increase of 20 percent over 2004. This comes on top of the 27 percent increase in 2004 reported a year ago.

According to the Brewers Association, craft beer was the fastest growing segment of the U.S. beverage alcohol industry for the second consecutive year, with America’s craft brewers reporting a production increase of 9.0 percent in 2005 compared to 2004.

“Our growth for the year would have been greater, but we maxed out our production capacity in the fourth quarter,” said Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner. “Our current expansion will increase production by 66 percent, which will ensure that Texans will always be able to enjoy fresh, flavorful and quality beer from Saint Arnold Brewing.”

The decision midway through the year to change the name of Saint Arnold Kristall Weizen to Saint Arnold Texas Wheat – a filtered wheat beer – has proven to be a big success. Sales of Texas Wheat jumped 100 percent compared to its predecessor. The switch was made to align the brand with Texas and simplify its name.

Meanwhile, Saint Arnold’s rotating selection of seasonal beers saw significant sales increases, indicating that Texans appreciate the flavorful, fresh and interesting beers that seasonals offer. The brewery’s seasonal brews include Saint Arnold Spring Bock, Saint Arnold Summer Pils, Saint Arnold Oktoberfest, Saint Arnold Christmas Ale and Saint Arnold Winter Stout.

The Brewers Association estimates 2005 sales by craft brewers at 7.1 million 31-gallon barrels. Compared to craft beer volume growth of 9.0 percent, spirits volume increased at 3.3 percent in 2005 and wine volume was up 2.9 percent. The import segment of the beer industry rose 7.2 percent in 2005 while non-craft domestic beer volume declined slightly for the year.

The craft beer segment includes more than 1,300 small, traditional and independent breweries. It includes packaging breweries such as Saint Arnold Brewing, which distribute beer in kegs, cans and bottles to a wide range of retail outlets, and brewpubs, which sell beer primarily at their own pub or restaurant. The Brewers Association has tabulated industry growth data for these breweries annually since 1985. 

Editor’s Note: A photo of Brock Wagner is available for download here . Please credit Matthew Mahon.

About Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Brewing’s eleven brews are made and sold by the company''s staff of 16 dedicated employees. The brewery is located at 2522 Fairway Park Drive and its free brewery tour and tasting is offered every Saturday at 1:00 P.M. For more information on Saint Arnold’s 11 beers as well as root beer, log on to http://www.saintarnold.com.