Sometimes, you need to drink to dream. On a recent day, as a winter storm passed through an unusually cold Texas, one beer immediately came to mind: St. Arnold Brewing Company’s Fancy Lawnmower Kölsch, one of the oldest summer sips from one of the oldest craft brewers in the state, reminding me of warmer temperatures ahead.
Appearance and Aroma
Its can may mimic grass, but Fancy Lawnmower resembles a different field-filler: wheat. When poured, this kölsch is the same color as those picturesque wheat fields from ads for beers with much bigger budgets. A small bit of foam lingers at the top of the beer, and bubbles pleasingly rise from the bottom for a while.
Even though kölsch is a lighter style (the German beer is kinda-sorta between an ale and a lager), there’s aroma here, too. Wheat shows up again, but lemon serves as the most prominent fragrance.
Kölsch is perfect for those long summer days when you want a beer that offers flavor without overwhelming the senses.”
St. Arnold’s named this beer not because of its flavor, but because kölsch is perfect for those long summer days when you want a beer that offers flavor without overwhelming the senses. (A Louisiana brewer once jokingly explained the style to me as "the Germans' post exercise drink.") So “wheat, not grass” may be the overall theme for Fancy Lawnmower. This kölsch produces clean sip after clean sip, with the citrus tones a little less pronounced when compared to its aroma. The beer’s low ABV (4.9%) and medium mouthfeel certainly make it a welcome accompaniment to yard work or more leisurely outdoor activities, too.
As with mowing the lawn or a pre-midday heat workout, the most satisfying part of Fancy Lawnmower may come after you’ve finished it. St. Arnold’s brewers describe it as a “light beer that’s not a light beer,” and from my experience that’s primarily due to the pleasant bitterness that lingers well after a few sips. Even though this kölsch will remain as crushable in some parking lot tailgates as the next summer cooler contender, you’ll always taste a thoughtful beer, not just some hoppy water.