Saint Arnold’s Founder Closes Fall 2014 Alumni Breakfast Series Lineup
Business is booming in the craft brew business, and Saint Arnold’s Brewing Company is no exception.
Founded in 1994, Texas’ oldest craft brewery has seen its share of ups and downs, but through it all, staying dedicated to the community and creating a good beer has led to the company’s success, according to Saint Arnold’s founder Brock Wagner.
Wagner spoke to Bauer alumni and the Houston business community during the Nov. 20 Bauer College Alumni Association networking breakfast, discussing the winning combination of adapting to changes in the marketplace and applying personal passion to business.
As he started Saint Arnold’s in his dorm room at Rice University, Wagner knew early on that his future was in the business of brew, even if it wasn’t something that many others were doing at the time.
“I had an interesting job, but I hated it, and I wanted to do something I was passionate about, which was brewing beer,” he said. “I loved Houston, but when we opened, only 37 craft breweries existed. We then had the challenge of how to tell people about our product.”
After growing for three years, Saint Arnold’s remained flat for the next five, with a loyal customer base that would eventually grow starting in 2006. That year marked a change in the attitude of beer drinkers, according to Wagner.
“There were a couple of things working against us. In Texas, it was popular to walk around with a longneck. We saw things change in the early 2000’s where people in their mid-to-late 20s would show up on their 21st birthday,” Wagner said. “Today, if you ask a 21-year-old what type of beer they like, they’ll tell you a beer style instead of a brand.”
This new outlook on beer has allowed the craft beer industry to grow, with 25 craft breweries in Houston alone and an estimated 3,000 nationwide. Saint Arnold’s is now sold in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Wagner said he wants to continue to give back to the community while creating what he loves.
“I have achieved everything I wanted when I opened Saint Arnold’s. Now, my goal is to see everyone who works for us to reach their goals,” he added. “We will continue to be involved in the community. I have no great desire to go national. Two-thirds of our sales are in the greater Houston area, and that’s the way I like it.”
BCAA hosts networking breakfast events for alumni to network and hear from Houston’s top professionals at the Houston City Club. The Spring 2015 series will begin on Jan. 15, 2015.
See more photos from the event on WhereAwesomeHappens.com.
By Amanda Sebesta
Preview: Brock L. Wagner Speaks at BCAA Networking Breakfast
On November 20, the Bauer College Alumni Association (BCAA) hosted Saint Arnold Brewing Company Founder, Brock L. Wagner, as he spoke about the entrepreneurial endeavors he faced as a craft brewer in Houston.