St. Arnulf Brewing comes to Bouchee in Palm Desert
I may be getting a little repetitive here, but there’s another new brewery on the Coachella Valley Beer Scene. This time it’s in the heart of Palm Desert, where Bouchee Café & Deli, has added an in-house brewery to its European style café.
The setup is fairly simple. Tim DeGross, owner of Bouchee, has started brewing in his kitchen. Under the label, St. Arnulf Brewing, he’s been rotating and serving 8 beers on tap since January.
I swung by and talked to Tim briefly, taking in a sampling of the beers he had on tap. Everything was good: a Pilsner, an IPA, a Brown Ale, and a Pale Ale. All made for pleasant enjoyment on Bouchee’s shaded patio. Other beers not tasted included: an Old Peculiar, a Hefeweizen, an Oatmeal Stout, while the Belgian Tripel was tapped out. Beers are served in pints and flights.
There’s definitely an English character to the beers I tried – malty, earthy, floral, as opposed to the citric bitterness that we’re more accustomed to locally. That makes some sense. DeGross’s surname originates from Luxembourg, and he’s traced his family path all the way back to Middle Ages England. In speaking to him, he comes across as a man with a strong appreciation for European history and heritage.
His interest comes through in the name of his brewery. St. Arnulf of Metz, whose portrait dominates one of the restaurant’s walls, is a patron saint of brewing. He was once quoted as saying: ““From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.” Legend also tells that after his death, parishioners from his former diocese, who already venerated him as a saint, went to recover his body. The journey was during a particularly hot part of the year, and the travelers were ready to faint of thirst. One of the parishioners cried out, “By his powerful intercession the Blessed Arnold will bring us what we lack.” Miraculously, their supply of beer was replenished and lasted until they returned home
Tim told me that he’s still dialing in his recipes and trying to figure out what works, before he settles on a portfolio of flagships, seasonals, and one-offs. He put out the Belgian Tripel with a little apprehension and was surprised that it sold out in a couple of days.
It’s a cool concept. The beers are all well presented. I was really pleased with the English theme, but in all honesty think Tim should play on his own surname, the St. Arnulf name, and the European concept to produce a couple more Belgian ales. All in all, we’re highly excited to see someone else on the local beer scene turning their hand at craft beer and offering the public more options.
Bouchee has been offering a hip breakfast and lunch menu in a classic European setting since 2013. They also offer a variety of premade meals to go. They just started serving dinner too. Tim said that he’s done various wine events and plans to add beer dinners in the near future.
St. Arnulf Brewing @ Bouchee Cafe & Deli
72785 Highway 111 #1, Palm Desert, CA 92260
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