If you’re an O.G. Houston-area craft beer supporter, this might be the time to put your money where your mouth is. Saint Arnold Brewing Co., the state’s venerable, oldest craft brewery (since 1994), is building a beautiful new beer garden facility, and they’re offering one hell of a deal to those locals who want to commit to a long-term engagement. For the sum of $1,000, members of the newly established Saint Arnold Society will receive a slew of perks. Most notably, they’ll get beer, and lots of it—a beer a day for the rest of their natural lives.
“Since opening Saint Arnold Brewing Company in 1994, I have long had a dream of creating a beer garden that would be a destination for the community to gather—a place Houstonians are proud of and want to bring visitors to,” said Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner in a statement. “After 23 years, much brewing, getting laws changed, and moving to our downtown location, this dream is finally becoming a reality.”
The beer garden, scheduled to open next summer, will be located next to the brewery’s existing facility on Lyons Street in Houston. Offering a view of the downtown Houston skyline and a variety of murals depicting iconic Houston sights, it should be an ideal place to down a beer or five. But enough about the building—let’s talk about this beer-for-life deal.
Those who purchase membership in the Saint Arnold Society for $1,000 will receive the following: A hard hat tour of the beer garden construction site, an invitation to the grand opening, a pewter mug with their name engraved on it that will be kept at the beer garden, and one free beer per day, for life.
Naturally, there are some craft beer geeks already complaining about the “one beer per day” rule, but come on—if the brewery made it “all the beer you want, any time you want,” some of the $1,000 members would drink their way through that figure within the space of a month or two.
It’s perhaps better to think of the Society as a long-term commitment to supporting a brewery that has managed to grow, thrive and stay relevant in the craft beer market for more than 23 years, with a slew of impressive performances in Paste blind tastings along the way—I’m reminded of the time that Saint Arnold finished at #4 in our blind tasting of Belgian quadrupels in particular. One might also consider the membership as a way of getting ahead of inflation itself. After all, if they’re still honoring these memberships 20 years from now, each beer might be $10 at that time, rather than $5. Dedicated drinkers and Houston natives will surely turn the deal in their favor … eventually.
“I want to create a tourist destination for Houston, and certainly there’s a business aspects of it,” Wagner said at the time. “But it’s also to create that environment where people want to come to Houston, where there’s something really positive they remember and associate the city with. I don’t mean to infer there’s nothing else positive, but it’s an additive element to make Houston a better place.”