Here’s an update on 2015 Zwanze Day at Jester King. We’re still waiting on Cantillon licensing in Texas, and unfortunately it doesn’t appear it will happen in time to have Zwanze Day this month. We’re anticipating it will be in November, and will announce a date as soon as we can.
For those who didn’t see our prior announcement about 2015 Zwanze Day at Jester King, you can read it here:
We’re excited to announce that Sean Spiller has been hired as a Brewer at Jester King! We first met Sean several years ago when he volunteered for us. Over the years, we came to greatly admire his work as a homebrewer, and were very impressed with the beers he created under the Spiller Artisan Ales label. Sean previously worked in the craft beer industry at Buffalo Bayou Brewery and 8th Wonder Brewery. He hails from Houston, Texas. We’re thrilled to have him at Jester King!
Sean joins a talented team of brewers at Jester King that includes Adrienne Ballou, Ismael Salas, and Averie Swanson, all led by our Head Brewer Garrett Crowell.
We’re excited to introduce 2015 Estival Dichotomous, a farmhouse ale refermented with Texas melons. 2015 Estival Dichotomous is our sixth seasonal saison, and our second inspired by summer. Most seasonal beers are inspired by the time of year in which they’re released, but the Dichotomous series is motivated by our desire to capture the flavors and sensory impressions of the particular season in which a beer is brewed. Like all Jester King beers, the Dichotomous series isn’t fermented in a few days or weeks with a pure culture of brewers yeast, but rather, it slowly ferments over several months with our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the Texas Hill Country.
For 2015 Estival Dichotomous, our Head Brewer Garrett Crowell was inspired by agua fresca (Spanish for “fresh water”), a traditional non-alcoholic drink made with fresh puréed fruit, sugar, and water—perfect for a hot Texas summer day. Agua fresca is a popular drink throughout Central America and Mexico, as well as in many Texas taquerias and bodegas. Garrett’s goal was to make a refreshing summer saison that encapsulated the bright fruit character of agua fresca.
Estival Dichotomous was brewed in June 2015, with Hill Country well water, two-row malt, raw wheat, spelt, and hops. After the beer had fermented for several weeks in stainless steel tanks, we added four different varietals of melon—cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, and galia—all grown by our friends at Johnson’s Backyard Garden. The melons were all cut by hand and pureed before being added to the tanks of finished beer in late July. The fruit and beer fermented to dryness over the course of another two weeks, after which it was packaged on August 17, 18, and 19. 2015 Estival Dichotomous is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned in bottles, kegs, and casks. It is 6.0% alcohol by volume, 27 IBU, 4.38 pH at the time of packaging, and has a finishing gravity of 1.000.
2015 Estival Dichotomous will be released at Jester King when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, October 2nd. It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($12/bottle, no limits). Approximately 8,000 bottles are available, and we anticipate the beer seeing limited distribution in Texas. The label art was created by our very own Josh Cockrell.
Five years ago today we brewed our first batch of beer at Jester King!
Michael Steffing & Jeffrey Stuffings
Jeffrey & Ron Extract
Jeffrey & daughter Laura
We’re excited to introduce Jester King Synthesis Analogous, a blend of farmhouse ales — one refermented with raspberries and one refermented with blackberries — aged in Spanish sherry barrels!
Our inspiration for Synthesis Analogous came from multiple sources. A few years ago, we began doing second refermentations of some of the fruits we use to make our beer. For instance, we conduct a second refermentation of the raspberries from Atrial Rubicite to make La Vie en Rose, and a second refermentation of cherries from Montmorency vs. Balaton to make Detritivore. We noticed these fruits still had a lot of character left in them after the first refermentation, so we refermented them a second time. We also noticed this passage from Cantillon’s website, which piqued our interest and inspired us to experiment with second fruit refermentations:
“Two barrels of Kriek from the first extraction and two from the second are pumped into a huge barrel. (The second extraction is obtained by filling the barrel for a second time in order to extract as much from the fruits as possible).”
A second source of inspiration came from another famous Lambic brewery in Belgium — Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen. We had the good fortune to enjoy their Hommage, which is a special blend of Lambics refermented with raspberries and cherries. We were inspired by Drie Fonteinen to blend beers that had been refermented with different fruits.
As far as our process for Synthesis Analogous, in May of 2014 we took the blackberries from Nocturn Chrysalis Blend No. 2 and refermented them a second time with relatively young farmhouse ale. The resulting beer was pleasant and enjoyable, but the character from the aged hops in the young farmhouse ale needed more time to mellow. Rather than age the beer by itself, we decided to blend it with La Vie en Rose and mature it in Spanish sherry barrels. We felt the nutty, caramel character from the sherry barrels would add a nice roundness to the blend over time. The ratio of the blend was 2:1 in favor of the beer refermented with blackberries from Nocturn Chrysalis. It matured in sherry barrels for over a year prior to packaging this July.
Synthesis Analogous was brewed with Hill Country well water, barley, wheat, oats, and hops. It was fermented with our mixed culture of microorganisms consisting of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and wildflowers around our brewery, and refermented with raspberries and blackberries. It was packaged in July of 2015 and is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned. At the time of bottling, it was 5.6% alcohol by volume, 1.003 specific gravity (0.75 degrees Plato), and 14 IBU.
Synthesis Analogous will be released when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, September 18th. It is our first beer packaged in 750ml bottles similar in style to the 500ml bottles we use for our fruit refermentations. About 1,200 bottles will be available ($20/750ml bottle) with a limit of one per customer per day. We do not anticipate it being available beyond Jester King, aside from a few special events.