Jester King Craft Brewery

Introducing Jester King 分桃

7 days ago

We’re pleased to introduce Jester King 分桃 (pronounced Fēn táo) — a barrel-aged wild beer refermented with peaches from the Texas Hill Country. After slowly fermenting for months in oak barrels with naturally occurring wild yeast and native souring bacteria, 分 桃 was racked to one of our oak tanks or “foudres” filled with several hundred pounds of fresh peaches from Fredericksburg, Texas. We then allowed the beer to slowly referment the peaches to dryness, resulting in a unique beer that reflects our setting in the Texas Hill Country.

We actually hoped to make this beer last year. However, a late freeze decimated the peach crop in the Hill Country. We only use real fruit in our refermentations (never any extracts, concentrates or flavorings), so we waited patiently for this year’s peach harvest to come to fruition. Like all of our beers that incorporate fruit, we do not add the fruit as a flavoring to filtered and/or pasteurized beer. Rather, we allow wild yeast and bacteria to referment the fruit, much like grape juice is fermented to make wine. The purpose is to create new flavors and aromas through fermentation that are greater than the sum of their parts.

分 桃 was brewed with Hill Country well water, barley, wheat, and hops. It was fermented with our mixed culture of brewers yeast, naturally occurring wild yeast, and native souring bacteria. The peaches came from Vogel Orchard in Fredericksburg, Texas. It is 6.4% alcohol by volume, is fully attenuated with a finishing gravity of 1.000, and is 3.4 pH at the time of bottling. Our first batch was bottled in July of this year. While 分 桃 is a very old beer that spent around a year slowly fermenting, we recommend drinking it “young”, as we expect the peach aromas and flavors to slowly fade with time.

分 桃 will be released on Friday, September 12th at Jester King Brewery when our tasting room opens at 4pm. About 150 cases (500ml x 12) are available, which will be sold exclusively at Jester King Brewery (500ml / $16), with a limit of 1 bottle per person per day.

The label art for 分 桃 was created by our own Josh Cockrell. Here is Josh, in his own words, describing the inspiration for the label:

“The imagery is a reflection of the fruit, its origins, and the hard work and time that went into making the beer. However, its meaning runs deeper. The scientific name for peach, Prunus Persica, suggests Persian origins, but the cultivation of the peach tree actually hails from China. With this setting in mind, I began to explore the relevant Chinese symbology and folklore. I quickly discovered a tale about two lovers. Upon biting into a peach, one lover is surprised by its deliciousness and without hesitation offers the remainder to his same-sex lover, wanting him to share the experience of its beauty. Eventually the phrase 分桃, meaning “The Shared Peach,” became a Chinese byword for homosexuality, born out of a time, prior to Western influence, when homosexuality was accepted as a normal facet of life. Further research led me to another tale called “The Passion of the Cut Sleeve,” which also involves selfless love, this time between an emperor and his male lover asleep on his sleeve. Rather than risk disturbing his partner’s peaceful slumber, the Emperor cut off his own sleeve before getting up. Finally, a third story inspired me: a carp, after successfully swimming against a strong current to a magical gate, is rewarded by being transformed into a dragon.

The first two tales, initially written with little emphasis on the same-sex nature of the relationships, beautifully illustrate the selflessness of love in a universal nature. The third tale encapsulates recognition of hardship, encouragement, and reward. Together the three tales serve as inspiration for Jester King 分桃. In the artwork, the shared peach ascends as a moon-like beacon above a mountain. Cascading down the mountain slope is a stream in the shape of a cut sleeve. Carp fight against the current toward a magical gate. Collectively, the imagery serves to recognize the long struggle for equality and is an allied encouragement to keep progressing towards that ultimate goal.

I would like to thank members of the LGBTQ community who kindly offered up feedback and helped direct me toward depicting a thoughtful representation of my support.”

Jester King 分桃

Texas Hill Country peaches

Texas Hill Country peaches

Oak tank or foudre at Jester King Brewery


Prairie Artisan Ales Event at Jester King Benefiting Farmshare Austin – August 8th

27 days ago

Prairie Artisan Ales

This Friday, August 8th from 4pm to 10pm at Jester King Brewery, we’ll be having a Prairie Artisan Ales event benefiting Farmshare Austin! We’re big fans of Prairie, and we’re pleased to host Owner and Head Brewer Chase Healey at our tasting room. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Farmshare Austin, a local nonprofit that promotes education and research on sustainable farming and land preservation.

We’re excited to have a great draught lineup of Prairie beer available on the 8th:
Funky Gold Mosaic
Wine Barrel Noir

We’ll also have a couple of cool, one-off Prairie casks!

In addition to Owner and Head Brewer Chase Healey of Prairie, Jester King Head Brewer Garrett Crowell will be there to talk beer and answer your questions. We hope you’ll join us!

Colin & Chase Healey of Prairie

Farmshare Austin


Introducing Jester King Snörkel

42 days ago

We’re pleased to introduce our latest beer: Jester King Snörkel — a farmhouse ale brewed with alderwood smoked sea salt and oyster mushrooms grown by our neighbor Logro Farms. Logro Farms is located just a few hundred yards from Jester King Brewery at Ceres Park Ranch. They use spent grain from our beer to sustainably grow delicious oyster mushrooms. We’re excited to have now come full circle by using their mushrooms grown from our spent grain to make a new beer.

Snörkel takes partial inspiration from traditional German Gose. Like Gose, it’s moderate in alcohol (~4.5% ABV), brewed with malted wheat and salt, and has some acidity or sourness in the flavor profile. We specifically used both sea salt and alderwood smoked sea salt, and fermented Snörkel (like all our beer) with a blend of brewers yeast, naturally occurring wild yeast, and native souring bacteria, the last of which lends the beer its acidity. But Gose only served as a jumping off point. From there, we set out to explore the savory characteristics of umami through use of the oyster mushrooms.

Snörkel will be released at Jester King Brewery on Friday, August 15th when our tasting room opens at 4pm. Jeremy Bastian and Ryan Sansbury of Logro Farms will be on hand to celebrate the release, provide information about their sustainable mushroom farm, and sell their Grow-at-home Oyster Mushroom Kits. Snörkel will be available by the glass and in 750ml bottles ($12 per bottle, limit 3 bottles per customer per day). We have approximately 250 cases of bottles to sell (12 × 750ml). While we won’t have enough of the first batch of Snörkel for it to go into distribution in Texas, we plan on making a second batch later this summer that we anticipate will be partially distributed.

Oyster mushrooms from Logro Farms prior to being added to the beer

Alderwood smoked sea salt and sea salt

Ryan Sansbury and Jeremy Bastian of Logro Farms

Oyster mushrooms being added after the boil by Jeremy Bastian of Logro Farms


Jester King Brewery Support for International Dark-Sky Association

47 days ago

This past February, our neighboring town of Dripping Springs was named the first international dark sky community in Texas. The mission is to “protect and preserve the character of the nighttime sky over central Texas”. We support this mission wholeheartedly, and are pleased to have recently donated to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). We plan on continuing to support the organization through donations and events at our brewery.

Central Texas is experiencing massive population growth. Austin recently topped the 2014 Forbes list of the fastest growing cities in the United States. There are many aspects of this growth we are happy about. Certainly, the culinary arts in our home town (of which we consider beer making to be part of) have prospered as a result of the increased patronage. We find this very exciting. But preserving the character and natural beauty of the environment in central Texas is a goal we feel passionate about. We will continue to be part of this effort by supporting organizations like the IDA, as well as other organizations aimed at protecting our local environment, so that the natural beauty that gives central Texas so much of its identity and sense of place is not lost.


Introducing Jester King Detritivore

56 days ago

We are pleased to announce the release of our newest beer, Jester King Detritivore, which will be available at the brewery during our normal tasting room hours, beginning this Friday, July 11, at 4pm. Detritivore was made by adding the same cherries that were used to make Montmorency vs. Balaton to fresh beer in stainless steel and allowing the combined beer and fruit to referment to dryness. This was the same technique that we originally used to make La Vie en Rose with the raspberries from Atrial Rubicite. As with La Vie en Rose, the second refermentation of the fruit results in subtler, more delicate flavors, as compared with the more intense flavors that result from the initial refermentation.

Detritivore is also among the first Jester King beers to be brewed with aged hops that were matured for an extended period of time in a horse barn approximately 300 yards from the brewery. Aged hops are traditionally used in the production of authentic Belgian Lambic. The aging process preserves the antiseptic properties of the hops, which serve to fend off unfriendly microorganisms, while significantly reducing the bittering components. Aged hops also take on a very different flavor than fresh hops, contributing to some of the barnyard and horse blanket flavors and aromas traditionally associated with Lambic. Some of these same flavors and aromas can be found in Detritivore, though Detritivore is not and does not purport to be Lambic. Authentic Lambic must be 100% spontaneously fermented, and can only be made in the Zenne Valley surrounding Brussels and in the city of Brussels itself.

Detritivore is fermented using native yeast and bacteria from the Texas Hill Country, but is not spontaneously fermented, as our brewers actively introduce our house blend of saccharomyces, native wild yeast, and souring bacteria to the wort, rather than relying on inoculation by ambient, airborne microorganisms. We brewed 100% spontaneously fermented beer both last winter and the previous winter, but all of this beer is currently aging in oak barrels and has yet to be released.

The grist for Detritivore was composed of malted barely and malted wheat. It is 5.5% alcohol by volume, with a finishing gravity of 1.000 and is 3.4 pH at the time of bottling. About 200 cases (750ml x 12) are available, which will be sold exclusively at Jester King Brewery (750ml / $14), with a limit of 3 bottles per person per day.

Jester King Detritivore

The barn where we age our hops

Hops aging in burlap bags in the attic of the barn


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