Jester King Craft Brewery

Brewing with Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

18 April 2016


Last week we had the great honor of brewing with Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. Jolly Pumpkin is Jester King’s most influential American brewery. First tasting the beer Ron created was eye-opening and set our brewery down the path it has followed to this day.

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Introducing Off Color / Side Project / Jester King Intersection of Species

13 April 2016




We’re pleased to announce the release of Intersection of Species — our collaboration with Off Color Brewing in Chicago, Illinois and Side Project Brewing in Saint Louis, Missouri! Intersection of Species is a farmhouse ale brewed with Texas raw wildflower honey, fermented with a blend of mixed cultures from all three breweries, and re-fermented with tangerine zest and juice.


We think it’s fair to say that Off Color, Side Project, and Jester King are three breweries intent on creating unique, interesting, and enjoyable characteristics through mixed culture fermentation. We’ve independently collected and maintained cultures of microbes from the environments that surround us, and in this case, blended our respective cultures to create a new beer. Embracing the surprise, uncertainly, and natural variation that exists outside the realm of pure culture brewers yeast is what motivates us as brewers, and is what continually excites us in terms of beer making. We sense a growing acknowledgement that the microbes that surround us are responsible for creating so many of the wonderful sensory experiences in our food and drink. For instance, the wine world seems to be zeroing in on how microorganisms existing in different vineyards around the world contribute to terroir. We hope this beer contributes to this growing sense of acknowledgement, and can be enjoyed as something that’s singular in time and place due to the intersection of our breweries’ mixed cultures.


Intersection of Species was brewed on November 19th, 2015 with well water, locally malted barely from Blacklands Malt, spelt, hops, and Texas raw wildflower honey. It was fermented in stainless steel with a blend of mixed cultures from Off Color, Side Project, and Jester King, and then re-feremented with tangerine zest and juice. Intersection of Species was packaged on December 22nd, 2015, and was allowed to naturally condition in bottles, kegs, and casks. At the time of packaging, the beer had a gravity of 1.002 (0.5 degrees Plato), was 4.6% alcohol by volume, 20 IBU, and 4.2 pH.


We’re very excited to announce that Intersection of Species will be released this Thursday, April 14th at Zwanze Day at Jester King! Joining us at Jester King for the release will be John Laffler of Off Color and Karen and Cory King of Side Project! Expect a few other special surprises as well! Intersection of Species will be available by the glass, as well as to go in bottles (750ml/$12). About 4,000 bottles are available. We made Intersection of Species t-shirts and glassware to mark the occasion, which will be available at our tasting room.


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Microorganisms from Side Project


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Brewday at Jester King



t-shirt design



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Introducing Local Option / Jester King Feral Dampf

11 April 2016



We’re very excited to introduce Feral Dampf — our collaboration with Local Option in Chicago, Illinois! Feral Dampf is a play on a beer made by Local Option called Dampf Loc, which is inspired by the centuries-old, Bavarian tradition of Dampfbier. Literally meaning “steam beer”, Dampfbier was known for producing lots of foam or krausen during fermentation, which made it appear as though the beer were boiling or steaming.


For Feral Dampf, we sought to explore the period of brewing history when Dampfbier most certainly must have been a “wild ale”. Centuries ago, there was no pure culture fermentation. All beer was a product of mixed culture fermentation with different kinds of yeast and bacteria. In order to inoculate Feral Dampf with a host of native microorganisms from around our brewery, we allowed the wort to cool overnight exposed to the night air in our coolship. We also inoculated the wort with our mixed culture the next morning once the wort had cooled.


Feral Dampf also pivots upon a set of axes that we’re very familiar with and fond of here at Jester King. Early on in our history, we latched on to what Yvan de Baets of Brasserie de la Senne wrote about saison in Phil Markowski’s Farmhouse Ales. Yvan wrote about saison either being “sour or very bitter”. Based on Yvan’s writings, we constantly strive to balance the acidity or sourness in our beer through time, temperature, and hops. Beers we brew with copious amounts of hops and ferment for mere months tend to present “cleaner” and more bitter, whereas beer we brew with less hops and ferment for extended periods of time tend to become more sour. For Feral Dampf, we inoculated the wort with airborne yeast and bacteria in our coolship, but gave the beer a fairly large dose of hops and fermented it for a relatively short period of time in a stainless steel tank. As a result, the beer presents more toward the bitter side of the pendulum described by Yvan.


Feral Dampf was brewed on January 26th, 2016 with well water, malted barley, oats, and hops, and fermented with native microorganisms from the air around our brewery, as well as our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria. It was packaged on March 16th, 2016, and was naturally refermented in bottles, kegs, and casks. At the time of packaging, it had a gravity of 1.003 (0.75 degrees Plato), and was 5.7% alcohol by volume, 42 IBU, and had a pH of 4.5.


We’re excited to announce that Feral Dampf will be released on Zwanze Day, which is April 14th of this month! We’re pleased to be joined for the release by Tony Russomanno and Alexi Front of Local Option, who are traveling from Chicago to be here! It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($12). About 2,400 bottles are available. We’re also excited to have Feral Dampf t-shirts, glassware, prints, and stickers!


On a personal note, it was a real joy to work with Tony and Alexi on this beer. They are two of the nicest, most down to earth, humble brewers we’ve encountered, and they share our philosophy when it comes to simplicity, subtlety, and restraint. They’re a lot of fun too! Good times were had during the making of Feral Dampf shooting guns and listening to doom metal!


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Tony and Alexi


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Hot wort resting in the coolship


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Coolship loft at knockout



Brewing at Jester King



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2016 fruit season begins!!!

6 April 2016


Last week we hand-processed half-a-ton of fresh, Fredericksburg, TX strawberries for refermentation!





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Introducing Our New Restrooms!

1 April 2016


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They said it would never happen. They said we were crazy. They said we were flying too close to the sun. But at Jester King Brewery, we don’t like hearing the word “no.” When someone tells us, “You can’t take two years to construct an outdoor restroom,” we only hear our heartbeats pounding in our heads, the opening bars of “Eye of the Tiger,” and our souls shouting in unison, “Yes we can!”


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We are very, very, very excited to announce that when our tasting room opens today — Friday, April 1, 2016 — so will our new, luxurious, handcrafted bathrooms. Made from the finest Texas limestone, artisanal stainless steel, and so much love, these men’s and women’s bathrooms can be used by up to three people of each gender identity at once!


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We know that for many of you, the most rewarding part of the Jester King tasting room experience was waiting in line for our single-stall unisex bathroom. While we are very excited about our new restrooms, we understand that not everyone will embrace them. We hope, however, that everyone can appreciate why we are compelled to make this change. At Jester King, we are constantly innovating, constantly questioning, and constantly trying to make things better. It’s our passion, and it motivates our everyday work. Change is always difficult, but we hope you’re willing to grow with us as we continue to push the boundaries of what is real and true and possible.


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