Jester King Craft Brewery

Introducing Jester King Snörkel

7 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

12 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

21 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


Jolly Pumpkin in Texas

25 days ago

We’re excited to announce that when our tasting room opens this Thursday at 4pm for Independence Day weekend, we’ll have beer from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales available. Jolly Pumpkin in Michigan is one of the breweries that pushed our appreciation for beer to a whole new level and inspired us to open a brewery in the first place. Jolly Pumpkin owner/brewer Ron Jeffries has been a tremendous source of information and inspiration for us over the years. We could not be happier that his beer is now available in Texas, and seeing our beer sold side by side with Jolly Pumpkin is a tremendous honor for us. Perhaps if Texas beer laws were more friendly to small, out of state brewers, we would have seen Jolly Pumpkin in Texas a long time ago. But the wait has been well worth it for this inspirational and excellent brewery.


Jester King / Fantôme Del Rey

34 days ago

We’re excited to announce a new collaboration beer we brewed with Brasserie Fantôme in Soy, Belgium called Fantôme Del Rey. Brewing with Fantôme was an incredible honor for us, especially for our Head Brewer Garrett Crowell, who has long loved and been highly influenced by the remarkable beers brewed by Dany Prignon at Fantôme. We analogize our brew day with Fantôme to Garrett getting to go onstage and play guitar with his rock idol!

If you follow our brewery, you know we have complete openness about our recipes and techniques. We routinely share recipes and beer making tips with homebrewers looking to clone our beers. However this time around, in deference to the mystery and intrigue that has always shrouded Fantome, we’re going to be a little secretive as to how Fantôme Del Rey was made.

What isn’t a secret unfortunately is that this beer will not be making it to our native Texas. Beer laws in Texas are heavily slanted against out of state brewers, especially small ones. We’ve written extensively in the past about how Texas sends the message to small, artisan breweries located abroad that they’re not wanted here. Texas requires that small, out of state breweries, many of which would only sell a few dozen cases of beer in Texas a year, pay thousands of dollars in licensing fees, fill out onerous paperwork, and submit each beer for laboratory testing. When faced with these hurdles, small breweries abroad simply chose to sell their beer elsewhere. That’s why we can’t currently buy beer in Texas from Fantôme, Cantillion, Drie Fonteinen, Tilquin, Brasserie De Blaugies or several of the other small, artisan breweries that inspired us to make beer in the first place. It’s not even legal for these beers to be poured at beer festivals in Texas. We’d love to have a proper beer festival at Jester King that puts these small, artisanal breweries on display, plus beer from many other small breweries you may have never even heard of yet. Unfortunately, Texas requires large licensing fees, extensive paperwork and lab testing even for beer to be poured at a festival. We of course hope this reality will change during the next legislative session in Texas in 2015.

Despite our disappointment with how Texas treats small, out of state breweries and the fact that Fantôme Del Rey won’t make it to Texas, we’re very excited about our collaboration beer with Fantôme. It will end up being distributed throughout parts of Europe and the United States. Again, it was an honor for us to brew with one of our most cherished, inspirational breweries in the world. We also look forward to possibly making a Texas-brewed version of Fantôme Del Rey in the future at Jester King!

Here are some photos from our brew day with Fantôme:

Dany Prignon and Garrett Crowell brewing Fantome Del Rey

Adrienne Ballou, Garrett Crowell, Dany Prignon

Mashing in

(l-r) Josh Cockrell, Jeffrey Stuffings, Garrett Crowell, Dany Prignon, Adrienne Ballou, Ron Extract, Amber Watts, Eric Kukla, Averie Swanson, Michael Steffing

Garrett Crowell and Dany Prignon


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