Jester King Craft Brewery

Flood Independent Distribution On Recent Texas Legal Victory

31 August 2016

Here’s a highly encouraging and refreshing take on the recent Live Oak Brewing / Peticolas Brewing Company / Revolver Brewing legal victory in Texas. We’re proud to call Flood Independent Distribution our distributor.

“A few days late to the party, but: We’re very pleased to hear the results of Live Oak Brewing Company and Peticolas Brewing Company’s lawsuit against the state to remove the restrictions on the sale of their brand rights. The ruling is another incremental step towards balanced, fair dealings in the Texas craft beer industry, and we’re pleased to see things moving in the right direction. Breweries are the cornerstone of the craft beer scene, and anything that puts them at an artificial disadvantage hurts all of us.

Live Oak has been working for over 19 years, and Peticolas for nearly 5 years, to promote their beers, develop their brands, and grow their businesses. These years of work and tangible gains were not allowed to be a part of the conversation when signing over their distribution rights (for life – Texas franchise law binds a brewery to a distributor for life). The same criteria are the cornerstone of distributor-to-distributor brand sale agreements. We’ve never heard a solid argument to justify such a blatant double standard within the law.

We strongly disagree with the previous and continued efforts to pass backdoor legislation meant to hinder breweries ability to grow and succeed in this state. It’s cowardly to hide behind a set of unjust laws to maximize profits. We look forward to the two remaining rulings coming in the next several weeks, brewery to-go beer sales and the legality of crowlers, both of which we are strongly in support of.

We’re moving in the right direction. With the victories on the legislation/litigation front, and more and more breweries putting out fantastic beer, we’re on our way to having a truly world-class craft beer scene.”


Jester King 2016 分 桃 (Fēn Táo)

23 August 2016

Jester King-0685

When our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, August 26th, we’ll be releasing 2016 Jester King 分 桃 (Fēn Táo). 分 桃 is our barrel aged sour beer fermented with our mixed culture of brewers yeast, native yeast, and native bacteria, then refermented with fresh, Texas Hill Country peaches.

Our 2016 blend, like all our previous vintages, was refermented with peaches from Fredericksburg, Texas, located about 60 miles to the west of Jester King. It was brewed with raw, unfiltered well water, malted barley, wheat, oats, and hops, and then slowly matured in neutral oak barrels for about a year. After refermentation with fresh, Texas peaches, it was 100% naturally conditioned in bottles and kegs. At the time of packaging, 2016 分 桃 was 5.95% alcohol by volume, 14 IBU, 3.3 pH, and had a specific gravity of 1.002 (0.5 degrees Plato).

2016 分 桃 will be available at our tasting room by the glass and in bottles to go. We have about 1,600 bottles available (500ml/$20). The bottle limit is two (2) per customer per day. Aside from special events, 分 桃 will only be available at our tasting room.


2016 Detritivore Label Error

18 August 2016

Yesterday, we spotted an error on the label of our 2016 Detritivore, which we’re releasing this Friday. On the back of the label in the notes section it states, “Detritivore is dry unspiced farmhouse ale refermented with raspberries already once used in the fermentation of Jester King Montmorency vs. Balaton.” It should state that Detritivore is refermented with the cherries from Montmorency vs. Balaton, not raspberries. The label correctly states that the beer is refermented with cherries on the front and in the ingredients section.

We’re sorry for this mistake, and please know that 2016 Detritivore was indeed refermented with the cherries from Montmorency vs. Balaton.

Jeffrey Stuffings
Jester King Brewery


Introducing Jester King CRU 55

12 August 2016


We’re pleased to introduce a very special, one-off beer from our barrel cellar called CRU 55. Back when we started our program of spontaneous fermentation in February of 2013, we had an extra 130 gallon puncheon barrel (#487 to be precise), which we filled with our RU55 Barrel Aged Sour Red Ale. After aging in our barrel room for three years, we decided to bottle and release it as the “Grand Cru” version of RU55.

CRU 55 was packaged on May 9th, 2016 after a little over three years in the barrel. It will go on sale today (Friday, August 12th, 2016) when our tasting room opens at 4pm. The bottle limit is one per customer per day (375ml, $14). We have approximately 900 bottles available.


Chuvashian Inspired Farmhouse Ale with Victory Art Brew in Russia

10 August 2016

This week, I had the privilege of traveling to Russia with my brother/co-founder Michael Steffing and our production manager Averie Swanson to brew with Victory Art Brew in the town of Ivanteyevka outside of Moscow. We set out to make a beer inspired by the farmhouse ales of Chuvashia, located 400 miles to the east.

Exploring old farmhouse brewing traditions from around the world is something we find very interesting. It’s fascinating to learn about how people throughout the centuries have harnessed their surroundings to make beer that’s tied to a place and time. It’s something we try to do with our own beer, which creates a natural curiosity about how others have done it before us. I’ve heard others say that “beer is people”, and I fully believe that. It’s a window into their lives, surroundings, and time period, and it brings them together. For our beer with Victory Art Brew, we tried to capture part of Chuvashian farmhouse brewing tradition and incorporate it with our own place and time.

Chuvashian farmhouse ale is part of homebrewing history and culture. We’re not talking about widely available commercial beer. Rather, we’re talking about people using what was available in their surroundings to make beer in their kitchens. Chuvashian beer was prepared by taking a large earthenware pot called a “korchaga” with a hole on the side near the bottom. The korchaga was lined with rye straw, and the hole was plugged with dough. Cold water and malt were added to the korchaga, and the top was sealed with more dough. It was placed in a stove overnight for 16-18 hours. The next day, the korchaga was removed from the stove, and the hole near the bottom was unsealed to collect the wort (unfermented beer). Additional hot water was used to rinse the remaining sugars from the grains. The wort was then placed in a wooden container for fermentation without being boiled.

Hops were not added directly to the wort. Rather, they were boiled in a separate vessel with water, then strained to create a hop tea. This hop tea was then added to the wooden vessel containing the wort. A yeast starter called the “kulaga” was then added to the wooden container. A ceremony was performed at the time of the yeast addition to “raise the specters”.

After the primary fermentation, the beer was either consumed or combined with other ingredients like honey, herbs, or berries. The beer then underwent additional fermentation in the wooden vessel for anywhere from one week to one year. Finally, the beer was served in wooden buckets accompanied by prayer.

In our case, we lined the bottom of the mash tun with wheat straw and mashed with Russian pale ale malt and rye and wheat flakes.

We then rinsed the mash and moved the wort to the kettle, but did not boil. Rather, we boiled 1kg of Chuvashian hops in a separate pot for one hour.

We strained the hops from the pot and added the hop tea to the wort.

We then chilled the wort to fermentation temperature using a heat exchanger. The wort was then racked into oak barrels that formerly contained Crimean wine and was pitched with our mixed culture of brewers yeast, native yeast, and native bacteria from Jester King.

After the wort ferments in barrels for quite some time, it will be refermented with Russian honey.

Brewing with Victory Art Brew was truly a wonderful experience. It was honestly a little intimidating for us to travel thousands of miles from Texas to a land none of us had ever visited before. We could not have been made to feel more welcome. The people of Victory Art Brew, especially the proprietors Eugene Tolstov, Doug Zent, and Denis Kovalev, were incredibly kind and made us feel right at home. It was an absolute pleasure to brew with them, and we look forward to having them to Jester King sometime in the future to brew a version of Chuvashian-inspired beer in Texas!

Jeffrey Stuffings
Jester King Brewery


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