In France, there is a saying: “La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin!”
Translation? “Life is too short to drink bad wine.” It is true that in my home country, wine is an important part of daily life, and, as a chef, it is a very important part of my work! I love drinking wine and I am always trying to expand my palate and repertoire, especially now that I am working on my new restaurant menu!
So, today I am telling you a secret that I maybe should not tell since I am trying to be more like the people of Texas. But here it goes: I am not a big beer drinker. I also do not drink small beers either. That is to say…I drink beer only rarely. But I am willing to try!
Since I am learning as much as I can these days about Texas, and because I always like to have a new experience with food and drinks, I went on a short trip to the north of downtown Houston to the Saint Arnold Brewing Company, home to the oldest craft beer in Texas!
When I arrived to the brewery, I met Lennie Ambrose, the man in charge of marketing and events for Saint Arnold. Lennie is a very friendly man who loves his job. Most important to my mission, he really loves beer! If there is anyone who can teach me all I need to know about beer, it is him. Lennie first told me that Saint Arnold was a French man born in Soissons, France, and is the Saint of Brewers, so I should not have trouble enjoying this beer. I felt at home already! Lennie then showed me the brewery in entirety, including the rooms where the grain and hops are kept, the fermenting room with its huge machinery, and the tasting room where many people come on afternoons and the weekend to taste all of the beers.
Lennie even put me to work on the bottling line with his staff to pack the beer into cases. They pick the bottles up with four bottles in each hand! I tried my best but it would take much practice for me to go as fast as these guys on the line. It was a hard job and so Lennie gave a cold beer to me to reward me when I was finished.
I must tell you I did enjoy the Saint Arnold Amber I tried at the brewery! Now I want to try all of the varieties to find my favorite. Of course, we would love to serve Saint Arnold’s beers at Philippe Restaurant & Lounge when we open this fall! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship…who says French food must always be paired with wine?
You can learn about taking your own tour of Saint Arnold Brewing Company by visiting http://www.saintarnold.com. Tell Lennie I sent you!
French lesson of the day:
“La vie est trop courte pour boire de la mauvaise bière, donc, buvez Saint Arnold’s!”
Translation: “Life is too short to drink bad beer, so drink Saint Arnold’s!”