Jester King Craft Brewery

Aurelian Lure Blend 2 Release

We’re excited to announce that when our tasting room opens this Friday, September 26th at 4pm, we’ll be releasing our second blend of Aurelian Lure — our barrel-aged, wild beer refermented with apricots.

Aurelian Lure is actually one of the trickier beers we make. It amounts to a great balancing act in order to get the flavors we want in the finished beer. This can be especially difficult when working with wild yeasts and bacteria, which are often unpredictable. However, through experience, we’ve developed some techniques that we feel have resulted in the right balance, particularly in the realm of organic acids. For instance, for this year’s blend, we reduced the amount of contact time the apricots had with the beer to slightly reduce the amount of citric acid. We also blended a base beer from our stock of mature beer in oak barrels that was relatively low in lactic acid. We did this because we knew we would still be getting a good amount of citric acid from the fruit, despite the shorter contact time. The citric acid creates a firm sourness in the beer. Finally, as we do for all our beer, we carefully controlled the temperature of the refermentation to keep the development of acetic acid (think vinegar) at an absolute minimum. Overall, we’re content here at Jester King to take a hands-off approach and be patient while time and natural fermentation with native microorganisms do their thing. But when it comes to temperature, we’re adamant about controlling this variable because we by no means want our beer to be acetic or vinegary. In order to stave off acetic acid, we also performed “punch downs” on the cap (the layer of fruit that rises to the surface during refermentation) to prevent oxidation that could lead to its development. Punch downs also lead to better color and flavor extraction from the fruit. All of these techniques resulted in a beer that we feel is very well balanced and drinkable, especially in terms of the organic acids.

Our second blend of Aurelian Lure is made from Hill Country well water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops, brewers yeast, naturally occurring wild yeast and native bacteria, and apricots. It’s 6.0% alcohol by volume, has a finishing gravity of 1.001 (0.25 Plato), and is 3.4 pH. Like all our beer, it is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned by refermentation in the serving vessel, as opposed to being artificially force-carbonated.

As we mentioned, Aurelian Lure will go on sale this Friday, September 26th at 4pm at Jester King Brewery. Our first blend of Aurelian Lure was released last October during Austin Beer Week at our Funk n’ Sour Fest. Only about 400 bottles were available, which were tied to admission to the fest. While blend 2 is still a small release, the bottle count is much higher this year. We have approximately 2,700 bottles (500ml, $16) for sale. We also have about six kegs of Aurelian Lure blend 2 we’ll be pouring in our tasting room starting Friday, as well as a few gravity kegs. Aside from some upcoming special events, Aurelian Lure blend 2 will not be sold beyond Jester King Brewery.

In order to help expedite the bottle sale process, we will have a special station reserved exclusively for the sale of Aurelian Lure. The bottle limit for Aurelian Lure is one per customer per day. To help cut down on individuals exceeding the bottle limit and therefore reducing the number of people who get to enjoy Aurelian Lure, we will be applying a small, inconspicuous mark to each purchaser’s wrist in semi-permanent ink. We’d prefer not to have to do this, but unfortunately the number of people who snuck through the line multiple times (sometimes wearing a disguise!) at our recent 分桃 (Fēn táo) bottle release was quite significant.

Here are some photos from the making of Aurelian Lure blend 2. We hope you enjoy the beer!

Apricots from northern California

Apricots being prepared for refermentation (pits removed, skin retained)

Head Brewer Garrett Crowell and Barrel Program Head Adrienne Ballou filling the foudre

Oak fermented wild beer being added to apricots inside the foudre