Jester King Craft Brewery

Introducing Even More Jeppe

28 July 2016

We’re excited to introduce Even More Jeppe, our second collaboration with Evil Twin Brewing! Even More Jeppe follows the same path as its predecessor — World’s Worst Twin. For that beer, we attempted to mimic the flavors and aromas of one of Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin’s favorite coffees, without actually using any coffee in the beer. Here, we sought to mimic the flavors and aromas of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc without using any grapes.

If you’re not familiar with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it’s known for having flavors and aromas reminiscent of bell pepper and tropical fruit. Our effort to mimic these flavors involved taking farmhouse ale fermented in oak barrels with our mixed culture of brewers yeast, native yeast, and native bacteria, blending the barrels, then adding dried elderflowers and Nelson Sauvin hops to the blend. Elderflowers were selected to impart the bell pepper notes and Nelson Sauvin hops were selected to impart tropical fruit character.

Creating Even More Jeppe was an exercise in patience. The base beer took about one year to fully mature in oak barrels. The barrel aged blend with dried elderflowers and Nelson Sauvin hops then went through a few different phases. Initially very pleasant, the blend morphed into something that, in all honesty, I’d describe as having aromatics of cat pee and garbage. After another eight months of re-fermentation in the bottle, the beer finally transformed into something that I believe has explosive aromatics of tropical fruit and a beautiful, balanced acidity. What was once a beer I was afraid would never see the light of day is now something I’m really excited to release.

I’ve written this many times before on our blog, but our beer is alive and ever changing. Every beer from us is teeming with living microorganisms that slowly alter the flavors and aromas over time. We’ve learned over the years how to attempt to gently steer the microbial momentum of our fermentations through variables like time, temperature, fermentation vessel (stainless steel or oak), and hopping rates. But we’re never in complete control. A blend of really great tasting barrel aged beer with dried elderflowers and Nelson Sauvin hops that ends up smelling like cat pee and garbage isn’t really a shock. Mixed culture fermentation is a lot of fun for exactly this reason! The element of the unknown is intriguing. When we released Audio Palette, we quoted music scholar Justin Scheibel, who opined that our beer lies somewhere between the intentional and avant-garde, and that embracing natural variation outside our control is an element that breathes authenticity, originality, and relevance into what we do. I fully believe this, and embrace natural variation, despite even false assertions claiming we only engage in the randomness of mixed culture fermentation because we’re incapable of more intentional processes (i.e. pure culture fermentation).

The art for Even More Jeppe was of course the work of our in-house artist Josh Cockrell. Josh has created the label art for every Jester King beer ever, and has done the creative writing for almost all our labels. In this case, the name “Even More Jeppe” is a playful take on Evil Twin’s Even More Jesus, with our friend Jeppe lovingly crucified to Sauvignon Blanc grape vines. I can feel the hate mail being sent our way as I write this ;)

Even More Jeppe was brewed with raw, Hill Country well water, malted barley, malted wheat, raw wheat, flaked oats, and hops. It was fermented in neutral oak barrels with our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria for about one year. It was then blended, and dried elderflowers and Nelson Sauvin hops were added. It was then naturally re-fermented in bottles and kegs for another eight months, and allowed to fundamentally transform as I mentioned. The impact of bottle re-fermentation / natural conditioning often gets overlooked. I believe bottle conditioning to be just as critical to our flavor and aroma development as the time our beer spends in a stainless steel tank or oak barrel.

Even More Jeppe is 6.0 percent alcohol by volume, 20 IBU, 3.3 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.002 (0.5 Plato). It will be released at our tasting room at 4pm on Friday, July 29th. Supply is limited. We only have eight 50L kegs for glass pours and 1,000 bottles to go (750ml/$22). The bottle limit is one per customer per day. Aside from special events and some cases we’re sending to Jeppe, no Even More Jeppe will be available outside of our tasting room. This weekend, we’re also excited to have Evil Twin Freudian Slip, Lil B, Soft DK, Ashtray Heart, and Yin available.

Jeffrey Stuffings
Jester King Brewery


Jester King Packaging Team

27 July 2016

You may not know this, but we package all of our beer by hand. We’ve done it this way ever since we bottled our first beer in early 2011. No, packaging by hand doesn’t make our beer better. Natural re-fermentation in bottles, kegs, and casks sure as hell does, but the act of bottling by hand does not. But that’s not the point of this post.

The point is that we have an amazing team of hard working, dedicated, people who package our beer by hand week in and week out in a non-temperature controlled environment with a consistently great attitude. These people deserve a lot of credit for our beer. There’s absolutely no way we’d have had any success at all without them.

We work the same, simple setup for every packaging run. One person de-palletizes bottles, one rinses, one fills, one caps, one dries, one labels (if we have labels ready on bottling day), and one stacks them in cases or cages. It takes a crew of six or seven people a full day to package out 20 to 30 barrels of beer. You can see it all in action here. We’re not a large brewery, and we only package around 2,500 barrels per year. But this work adds up immensely, even for a brewery our size.

Our friend Tyler Malone of The Second Shooter recently photographed one of our packaging days. I think he did an incredible job capturing the nature and spirit of packaging at Jester King. Check out his work below, which is a much greater ode to the beating heart of Jester King Brewery than anything I could write.

Jeffrey Stuffings
Jester King Brewery


2016 Atrial Rubicite Release

19 July 2016

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As we announced yesterday, we’ll be releasing 2016 Atrial Rubicite this Friday, July 22nd. Atrial Rubicite is our barrel aged sour beer fermented with our mixed culture of native yeast and bacteria, then refermented with raspberries. Between primary fermentation, extended barrel maturation, and refermentation with fruit, Atrial Rubicite takes around one year to make. This is our sixth blend ever. It’s 5.1% alcohol by volume, 14 IBU, 3.2 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.006 (1.5 Plato).

Here are the details for the release. It will be available at our tasting room in bottles and on draught starting at 4pm this Friday. We have 4,000 bottles available (500ml/$20). The bottle limit is two per customer per day. Outside of special events, Atrial Rubicite will only be available at Jester King and will not see distribution. We’ll be releasing the following quantities on these days:

Friday, 7/22 at 4pm — 1,500 bottles & four 50L kegs
Saturday, 7/23 at Noon — 2,000 bottles & six 50L kegs
Sunday, 7/24 at Noon — 500 bottles & two 50L kegs

We also have a special, local culinary surprise for Saturday afternoon! We hope you enjoy this year’s blend!


Beer Dinner with Averie Swanson at Conservatory Food Hall & Beer Garden July 8th

5 July 2016


On Friday, July 8th at 7pm at Conservatory Food Hall & Beer Garden in Houston, Brewery Production Manager Averie Swanson will be hosting a beer dinner featuring the pairings below. Tickets are $70 and can be purchased by following this link:

JK/Tired Hands Cloudfeeder with Honey & Lime Miso Ramen w/ Honey Braised Pork Belly (vegetarian option) from Samurai Noodle – Houston

Snörkel with Fasolada, a traditional greek bean soup w/ White Beans, Tzatziki and Braised Lamb (vegetarian optional) from Myth Kafe

Figlet with TBA pairing from El Burro & the Bull Restaurant Group

Omniscience & Proselytism with Fig & Cream Fraiche Crepe w/ Prickly Pear Jam & Biscoff Cookies (vegetarian friendly) from Melange Creperie

Plus two special unannounced pours upon arrival!


2016 Montmorency vs. Balaton Release

5 July 2016

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This Friday, July 8th when our tasting room opens at 4pm, we’ll be releasing 2016 Montmorency vs. Balaton — our barrel aged sour beer refermented with cherries!

We’re going to try something new with this release. In an effort to try to cut down on the size of the initial push for bottles, and to give people who can’t make it to Jester King on Friday or Saturday a chance, we’re spreading the release across at least three days. We’ll have the following quantities of bottles and draught available on the upcoming weekend days:

Friday, July 8th — 1,000 bottles & four 50L kegs

Saturday, July 9th — 2,500 bottles & six 50L kegs

Sunday, July 10th — 1,000 bottles & two 50L kegs, plus any leftover bottles and/or draught

As you can see from the numbers above, we have a total of 4,500 bottles and twelve 50L kegs of 2016 Montmorency vs. Balaton. The bottle limit is two per customer per day. Bottles are $20 (500ml). Aside from special events, 2016 Montmorency vs. Balaton will not be available outside our tasting room.

We hope this plan gives people a little more flexibility in terms of getting bottles and/or draught. We’ll see how it goes. We’re not tied to this experiment and aren’t claiming it to be the new normal. We hope you enjoy our 2016 batch. We’re really pleased with how it turned out!


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