We’ll be releasing our second batch of Detritivore when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, May 29th! Detritivore is made by taking the refermented cherries from Montmorency vs Balaton, and refermenting them a second time with young farmhouse ale fermented in stainless steel. While we enjoy the bright, jammy flavors and aromas of Montmorency vs Balaton, most of us here at Jester King prefer the more subtle, integrated fruit character in Detritivore. In fact, the combination of barnyard aromas from aged hops and fermentation with native yeast, with the soft tartness from a second fruit refermentation with native bacteria, yields one of our favorite beers.
Detritivore batch 2 will be available by the glass at our tasting room, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($14/bottle, limit 2 per customer per day). Approximately 2,000 bottles are available. Aside from a few special events, we do not anticipate Detritivore being available outside of Jester King.
This August, Jester King will be participating in a beer cruise of the Western Caribbean hosted by Craft Beer Austin! Cruise destinations include Cozumel, Belize City, and Roatan. The cruise lasts from August 16th to 23rd. We’ll be digging deep into our cellar and bringing along some rarities for the cruise. Jester King Founder Jeffrey Stuffings will be present and participating in several events aboard the cruise ship including a welcome reception, guided tastings, and a beer dinner.
Here’s the link to complete details and to make a reservation:
We’re very excited to introduce Foudreweizen, our second collaboration with Live Oak Brewing Co. in Austin, Texas! Foudreweizen is a farmhouse wheat beer fermented in an oak foudre. It was created by taking Hefeweizen wort brewed at Live Oak, moving it across town to Jester King in portable tanks, racking the wort into an oak foudre at Jester King, pitching the wort with Live Oak’s Hefeweizen yeast, then allowing it to slowly transform and mature over the course of months in the presence of native yeast and bateria alive in the walls of Jester King’s foudre.
Foudreweizen took the DNA, so to speak, of one of our absolute favorite beers in the world — Live Oak Hefeweizen — and allowed it to fundamentally transform through mixed culture fermentation with brewers yeast and native microorganisms from the Texas Hill Country. The transformation was indeed dramatic! For the first few weeks, the beer was very reminiscent of Live Oak Hefeweizen, and had a lovely clove character. But as time progressed, and native yeast and bacteria became more dominant, the beer became funky and developed barnyard aromas. After two months in the foudre, a tartness began to emerge as lactic acid producing bacteria began to convert organic compounds into organic acids. Finally, Foudreweizen continued to develop more funk and acidity as it matured in bottles, kegs, and casks during the two months prior to release.
Foudreweizen, as well as our first collaboration with Live Oak called Kollaborationsbier, was born out of a desire to take some of the best made wort or beer that we know of, and take it in interesting directions through the unpredictable beauty of mixed culture fermentation with native microorganisms. Live Oak does such a number of things extremely well, quite better than us in all honestly. So it was an honor to work with them, and have the privilege of using their skilled creations as a jumping off point for some fun and exciting fermentation experiments.
Foudreweizen was brewed on January 15, 2015 with Austin water, malted barley, malted wheat, and hops at Live Oak Brewing Co. As mentioned, it was fermented at Jester King with Live Oak’s Hefeweizen culture and a host of microorganisms in one of our oak foudres. It was packaged on March 8th, 2015 and naturally refermented in bottles, kegs, and casks prior to release. Foudreweizen is unfiltered, unpasteurized, 5.6 percent alcohol by volume, 11 IBU, 3.3 pH at the time of packaging, and has a finishing gravity of 1.004 (1 degree Plato).
Foudreweizen will be released at Jester King when our tasting room opens at 12pm on Friday, May 22nd. We’re very excited that Live Oak Founder/Owner Chip McElroy and Head Brewer Dusan Kwiatkowski will be joining us at our tasting room the afternoon of the release. It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($14/bottle, limit 2 per customer per day). Approximately 3,000 bottles are available, and at this point, we do not anticipate Foudreweizen being available outside of Jester King’s tasting room. The label art features Chip McElroy and Head Brewer Dusan Kwiatkowski, and was created by our own Josh Cockrell.
Below are some photos from the making of Foudreweizen:
Averie Swanson and Garrett Crowell brewing the wort at Live Oak
Garrett, Dillon, and Dusan
Hefeweizen wort being brewed at Live Oak
Wort arriving at Jester King for fermentation
Dusan Kwiatkowski and Michael Steffing
Foudreweizen during fermentation
We’re excited to introduce Radiolaria, our collaboration with Off Color Brewing in Chicago, Illinois! Radiolaria, as the label states, is a “conflagration of wild yeasts”. We brought our mixed culture of native yeast and bacteria harvested from the Texas Hill Country to Off Color, and combined it with their house culture of microbes. We then brewed a simple, low gravity wort loosely based off of Off Color Apex Predator, and allowed plenty of time for the blend of yeasts and bacteria to create interesting flavors and aromas in the beer through the wondrous process of fermentation.
Brewing with John Laffler at Off Color was a real honor for us. John has deep roots in the brewing world and has played a key role in the development of barrel-aged beers and wild fermentation on the whole. He’s also been very helpful to Jester King over the years. In November of 2011, John helped us salvage our longest brew day ever when a stuck mash left us struggling until 4am in the morning to finish the brew. John, in our opinion, is making some of the most intricate, enjoyable, drinkable, balanced, and complex beers in the world right now, and it was a real pleasure for us to make a beer with him.
Radiolaria was brewed at Off Color Brewing with barley, wheat, Sorachi Ace hops, and fermented in stainless steel with the aforementioned blend of native microbes from Jester King and Off Color. It is 4.5% alcohol by volume and 40 IBU. The name Radiolaria comes from the intricate mineral skeletons found in the ocean, which figuratively represent the living world of microorganisms responsible for the flavor profile of the beer. The label art was done by Nikki Jarecki.
Radiolaria can be found in Chicago, and other places where Off Color beer is sold. We’d love to have some available in Texas, but unfortunately our state laws make it very difficult for small, out-of-state breweries like Off Color to sell their beer in Texas. Hopefully, that will change in the future, so that Texas beer drinkers can have greater access to great beer from abroad.
Here are a few photos from the brew day with Off Color. We hope you enjoy this interesting conflagration of wild yeasts made in collaboration with one of our most favorite breweries.
Michael Steffing of Jester King mashing in
John Laffler and Michael Steffing on brew day
The frozen depths of Chicago in February 2015
Tomorrow, May 8th, when our tasting room opens at 4pm, we’ll be releasing our first batch of Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout since the fall of 2013. Black Metal has always been an interesting beer for us. It originated from a time when our tastes sometimes brought us toward more extreme beers. It was also originally fermented with pure cultured brewers yeast (White Labs 007 — English Dry Ale to be exact). Since we first brewed Black Metal with pure cultured brewers yeast in 2010, the beer has evolved, much like our brewery. In the fall of 2011, we began using French Saison yeast (Wyeast 3711), another pure culture strain, for all our primary fermentations. Out of this came “Farmhouse Black Metal”, which we liked better than its English Ale yeast counterpart, but definitely drew the ire of those who enjoyed the previous version! Eventually, during the latter half of 2013, we became enamored with working with native micro-flora for fermentation, so as to better create a sense of place in our beer. Out of this inspiration came our house mixed culture of microorganisms consisting of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and wildflowers around our brewery in the Texas Hill Country. Our Head Brewer Garrett Crowell created our mixed culture, which we’ve used to ferment all of our beer, aside from our 100% spontaneously fermented beer, from the summer of 2013 to present day.
Tomorrow’s release marks the first batch of Black Metal fermented with our house mixed culture. Naturally, because of its unique fermentation with native microorganisms, the beer is different than previous versions. We’re quite happy with how it turned out, and we’re excited to release it. However, for fans of the original Black Metal, or “O.G. Black Metal” as it’s known, we feel as though we need to borrow the famous line from Stone Brewing Co.‘s Arrogant Bastard Ale: “You probably won’t like it.” Like all our beer, the flavors and aromas of the current batch of Black Metal are very much fermentation derived and rely far less on copious amounts of malt and hops. This is what we like to drink. We like dry, balanced, drinkable, tart beers with some interesting yeast complexity. We feel we’ve achieved this with Black Metal, and hope others enjoy it as well. There will be those that don’t, however, and wish we’d return to the days of fermenting this beer with English ale yeast, and that’s OK. We’d just bring up one of our favorite and most inspirational brewing quotes, which we’ve actually chosen to display on the label of this batch:
Black Metal was brewed in October of 2014 with Hill Country well water, malted barley, oats, and hops, and fermented in stainless steel with our house mixed culture for five months. It was packaged in March of 2015 and was 100% naturally refermented in bottles, kegs, and casks. Black Metal is 9.1% alcohol by volume, has a finishing gravity of 1.015, was 3.6 pH at the time of packaging.
Black Metal will be released at Jester King when our tasting room opens on Friday, May 8th at 4pm. It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($12, limit 3 per customer per day). Approximately 3,000 bottles are available. Some of this batch of Black Metal (Batch 16) will be distributed to on-premise accounts.