Jester King Craft Brewery

2016 SPON — Méthode Gueuze Release Details

14 November 2016


Jester King- Spon Bottles SMALL-5115 (2)


We’re very excited to finally release 2016 SPON — Méthode Gueuze this week! This beer has been three years, nine months in the making, and represents the culmination of patience, tradition, time, place, and people. We’re very proud of the way it turned out, and we really hope you enjoy it.


Back in early 2016, we created four blends of 2016 SPON — Méthode Gueuze. All four blends will be released this weekend at Jester King by the glass and in bottles to go.


Bottles To Go


Between the four blends, we have approximately 4,700 bottles 375ml and 4,800 bottles 750ml for a total of approximately 9,500 bottles. Half of the 375ml and half of the 750ml bottles will be released on Friday the 18th and the other half on Saturday the 19th. The bottle limit is one bottle per customer per day 375ml and one bottle per customer per day 750ml, for a total of two bottles per customer per day (one 375ml and one 750ml).


In summary, bottles to go looks like the following:


Friday, November 18th at 4pm

2,350 bottles available of 375ml, $20, limit 1
2,400 bottles available of 750ml, $36, limit 1


Saturday, November 19th at 12pm

2,350 bottles available of 375ml, $20, limit 1
2,400 bottles available of 750ml, $36, limit 1


Any bottles not sold on Friday will roll into Saturday, and any bottles not sold on Saturday will roll into Sunday, and so on, until all bottles are sold out. Customers will have the choice of whichever blend(s) they’d like for their bottle(s) while supplies last.


By the Glass


All four blends of 2016 SPON — Méthode Gueuze will be available by the glass at our tasting room while supplies last. We actually have quite a few kegs, so while we can’t promise that all four blends will be on all weekend long, we don’t expect to run out of 2016 SPON — Méthode Gueuze by the glass all weekend. We’ll have all four blends pouring both inside and outside at our tasting room while supplies last.


Cellar Beer / Events / Onsite at Our Tasting Room


As we’ve mentioned before on our social media and on beer websites, we’ll be holding back a pretty significant chunk of 2016 SPON — Méthode Gueuze for cellaring, offsite events, and onsite drinking at our tasting room throughout the year — about 1,800 bottles (750ml). This is a style of beer that should cellar very, very well. We literally want to have a small amount of this beer available at the brewery in two to three decades from now! Jean Van Roy of Brasserie Cantillon is famous for giving his brewery visitors bottles of authentic Lambic and Gueuze from their birth year. We hope to someday do the same with our Méthode Gueuze. We also want to be able to send 2016 SPON — Méthode Gueuze to offsite events around the country and world in 2017. Finally, we want for people to be able to experience SPON — Méthode Gueuze at Jester King even if they can’t make it to the brewery this weekend. We’re going to make at least three cases of 750ml bottles (18 bottles) available at our tasting room every single weekend for the next year to purchase and drink at the brewery.


We’re also very excited to have some complimentary food pairings for 2016 SPON — Méthode Gueuze. On Friday the 18th our friends at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop will have a free cheese pairing for the beer, and on Saturday the 19th, our friends at The Brewer’s Table will be serving pig tongue barbacoa tacos, wort pickles, persimmon hot sauce, with avocado hop cream!



We sincerely appreciate all the enthusiasm, excitement, and support behind the release of SPON — Méthode Gueuze. This has been a very long and personal project for us. We’re truly excited to share the beer with you, get your feedback, and hopefully have you really enjoy it!


If you have any questions about the release, please e-mail tastingroom@jesterkingbrewery.com. Thanks and we hope everyone who joins us has a wonderful release weekend!


Cheers,


Jeffrey Stuffings
Founder
Jester King Brewery

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Cloudwater Brew Co. Collaboration

8 November 2016



Jester King Tasting Room Manager Eric Kula (second from the left) and Operations Manager Matt Piper (third from the right)


Here’s a blog post by Jester King Operations Manager Matt Piper on our recent collaboration with Cloudwater Brew Co. in Manchester, England:

Nearly a month ago, three lucky rascals (Eric Kukla, Margot Piper, and me) traveled from Texas to England in a valiant effort to proudly represent Jester King Brewery at the Independent Manchester Beer Convention. I’d like to share our adventure with you (or at least as much of it as I can recollect) and this is our story:

Although it was a long plane ride, the flight seemed to fly by (see what I did there) thanks to our child-like excitement to join the festivities in the UK. We landed in London a little worse for the wear, but once we found our way to the train station, it was smooth sailing as we sat back and enjoyed the countryside view on our journey to Manchester.

Now, knowing we didn’t want to show up to a beer festival as traveling zombies, we incorporated a few days in the city to get acclimated to the new time zone. Our goal was to live like the locals, and that included a pre-planned brew day with Cloudwater Brew Co. We all know Texans are known for their hospitality, but the folks at Cloudwater sure gave us a run for our money. Seriously, this brewery consists of some of the nicest people I have come across in the beer industry. The magnificent Cloudwater team, led by founders Paul Jones and James Campbell, welcomed us with open arms and full glasses of beer as we made our late arrival into Manchester.

Fully aware that we were going to rush right into production as soon as we arrived, one of our very own Jester King brewers, Sean Spiller, pre-packaged a fabulous bottle of yeast pulled from one of our healthy fermentations that had been churning away in Texas mere hours earlier. We happily delivered our flavorful bundle of joy to Cloudwater and were pleasantly surprised to find that they were going to allow us to inoculate one of their gorgeous NEW foudres with our Texas Hill Country mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria. I warned them that it would inevitably become a “Jester King edition” foudre, to which they seemed exhilarated and happily welcomed our Texas bugs into their new Manchester home.



Allow me to take a step back and tell you a little more about Cloudwater’s approach and why we believe they’re making some truly enjoyable beer. To begin with, they’re making some excellent clean beer, while simultaneously brewing wild, mixed culture fermented beers. (Do you know how hard this is? It takes a LOT of effort to keep these systems separated!) I was highly impressed with their methods and was specifically inspired by how they are able to keep some traditional roots alive by sending portions of their beer to casks. However, with that said, they aren’t afraid to push local beer-drinking boundaries and maintain a seasonal trend that would provoke even your average beer drinker to take a walk on the wild side.



Talking to Paul, James, Marc, Al, Hannah, Lucy, and the rest of the crew at Cloudwater, it was obvious that we share a lot of the same goals. We both strive to make beer that reflects a time, place, and people, to make something that tastes delicious, and to make something that potentially encourages beer drinkers to open their minds a little wider with each sip.



For me, one of the coolest parts about working with Jeff Stuffings, Michael Steffing, Averie Swanson, Garrett Crowell, Sean, Ismael Salas, Eric Kukla and the rest of the Jester King crew is their open-minded approach towards beer. A lot of our beers integrate local ingredients and microflora from things that have been found growing around the brewery. It comes as no surprise that Cloudwater agrees with us 100%. During the later part of our brewing afternoon, Paul, Eric, Margot, and I found ourselves on a short walk around the Piccadilly Trading Estates to do some urban foraging. It was incredible to quickly discover handfuls of great ingredients thriving just a short walk from their warehouse, and we soon began harvesting wild apples, horse chestnuts (side note: Paul informed me these were instrumental to his youth in the form of a game called Conkers — look it up!), and some elderberries that had recently dried on the vine.





The beer we made with Cloudwater (name TBD) is very simple. It was brewed with pilsner malt and oats, initially fermented in stainless steel with pure culture yeast, then refermented in an oak foudre with Jester King’s mixed culture of native yeast and bacteria. Marc, one of Cloudwater’s brewers, pulled a bit of wort from the kettle at the end of our brew day to see if we could harness some of the microflora living on the skin of the fruit we found while foraging around their brewery. If all goes well, this will be propped up and pitched into the beer as it goes through extended aging in their beautiful foudre.

I believe as our collaboration beer ages and becomes more integrated, we’ll be able to view a true reflection of what this whole thing is all about — people learning from one another, becoming friends, and sharing ideas. Collaborating with the folks at Cloudwater will always live on in my memory, and in my opinion, that is the epitome of time and place. All in all, Cloudwater makes some damn good beers and are very well-rounded brewers. We were flattered to incorporate a little bit of Jester King into their process, and we cannot wait to share this beer with you in the future.



The rest of our journey revolved around the Independent Manchester Beer Convention, or IMBC for short. What a great festival! I heard many times throughout our trip that this is “THE festival” for those who truly appreciate beer in the UK. I think that statement was spot on. Johnny, James, Matt and the rest of the team at Port Street Beer House did an incredible job orchestrating a great event in one of the most unique venues that I have ever seen — The Victoria Baths. The reception for our beer was unbelievable, and honestly, very flattering considering our company at the festival!

Matt Piper
Operations Manager
Jester King Brewery




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Fall/Winter Tasting Room Hours...and We Turned 6!

7 November 2016


With daylight savings time over, we’re now on fall/winter tasting room hours, which are pretty similar to our spring/summer hours. We just close a few hours earlier on Sundays.

Friday — 4-10pm
Saturday — 12-10pm
Sunday — 12-7pm


Oh, and we turned six years old! We opened for business six years ago in October of 2010. We’re not having an anniversary party. Running our tasting room week in and week out is about all we can handle. But we did make a t-shirt with the design below, which is available at the brewery.



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Introducing 2016 Estival Dichotomous

4 November 2016



We’re pleased to introduce 2016 Estival Dichotomous. For this year’s Estival Dichotomous, we added grapefruit and tangelo zest to some mature, barrel aged sour beer. We then blended the barrel aged sour beer with citrus zest with young fresh beer fermented in stainless steel. Finally, we refermented the blend of old and young beer with a small amount of marion blackberries.


As followers of Jester King know, we’re fond of the technique of bière de coupage, which historically often involved blending young beer with old, sour beer. We like this technique because of the flavor profile of the blend, and because of the microbial impact the old beer has on the young. For the fruit addition, we used a relatively small ratio of fruit to beer, about half a pound of marion blackberries per gallon.


At the time of packaging, Estival Dichotomous was 5.1% alcohol by volume, 3.9 pH, 1.000 specific gravity (0 degrees Plato), and 25 IBU. It was packaged in bottles, kegs, and casks on September, 7th 2016 and has been naturally conditioning over the last two months.


2016 Estival Dichotomous will be released at Jester King on Friday, November 4th, 2016 when our tasting room opens at 4pm. It will be available by the glass, as well as at bottles to go. We have about 3,000 bottles available (750ml/$14). There is no bottle limit. At this point, besides for special events, we do not foresee 2016 Estival Dichotomous being available outside of our tasting room.


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Fantôme Del Rey Re-Release

20 October 2016



This weekend we’ll be re-releasing Fantôme Del Rey, our collaboration with Brasserie Fantôme in Soy, Belgium. Fantôme Del Rey is a blend of old, barrel aged beer and young beer. The old, barrel aged beer was brewed with dark candi syrup, ground coriander, and black peppercorns, and fermented with truffle honey.


We previously released Fantôme Del Rey back in May, but then halted sales when we noticed the beer had gone “ropey”. While the flavor and aroma were good, the beer had a noticeable viscosity and slick mouthful. Fortunately, it appears the living microorganisms in our mixed culture have broken down the ropiness, and we’re now happy to re-release the beer.


We posted four months ago about what we think happened. The lactic acid producing bacteria Pediococcus in our mixed culture, for some scientific reason unknown to us, produced “exopolysaccharides”, which caused the viscous mouthfeel. Fortunately, our mixed culture has an “auto-correct” function built in, figuratively speaking, that often fixes the problem over time. We think Brettanomyces yeast in our mixed culture slowly broke down the exopolysaccharides causing the ropiness to dissipate. That’s something we often do with beer at Jester King that has something that’s kind of off — we just give it more time, and the living microorganisms usually make things better.


We’re happy with the way Fantôme Del Rey is presenting, and we hope you enjoy it too. If you’ve been storing bottles at home over the last four months (hopefully warm), we think they’re fine to drink. We have quite a few bottles (about 5,000) that have been aging at the brewery, which will go on-sale this Friday at 4pm ($14/750ml). There’s no bottle limit. Fantôme Del Rey will also be available by the glass, and it will see Texas distribution through our friends at Flood Independent Distribution.


We appreciate your patience with this beer! Mixed culture fermentation often throws surprises our way, and in this case, you helped us fix things by allowing fermentation the time it needs to work its magic. If you have any questions, concerns, issues, etc., feel free to reach out to us. We hope you enjoy the re-release of Fantôme Del Rey!


— Jeff Stuffings

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