Jester King Craft Brewery

Introducing Wicked Weed / Jester King The Parking Lot Grissette

8 March 2016

We’re excited to announce The Parking Lot Grissette, our collaboration with Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina! As Wicked Weed mentioned in their post below, the beer was born out of a mutual friendship and love of rock climbing. It’s also the type of beer we often enjoy drinking the most — dry, tart, low alcohol, hoppy, with some interesting yeast character!

From Wicked Weed:

In this industry, finding friends comes naturally. We’re all pursuing the passion that is craft beer. It’s a baseline commonality that we all share. Sometimes, however, you find that extra similar trait which creates bonds that are a little harder to break. The relationship we’ve established with Jester King Brewery is just that type of friendship. Inspired by our mutual love of the outdoors, rock climbing in particular, we decided to create a beer for those long days that turn into headlamp-lit nights. This tart farmhouse ale is dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Huell Melon and is perfect for helping tell those stories of the day’s successes and failures. Chalking our hands was a must during the brew process. Crag after crag, parking lot after parking lot, for a climber, this is home.

The Parking Lot Grissette is just the first in a multi-part collab with Jester King. Stay tuned for the next part. But for now, The Parking Lot Grissette is available at the Funkatorium and our Brewpub. Limited distro to follow.

We’re also excited to announce that Wicked Weed Owner/Head Blender Walt Dickinson will be at Jester King the afternoon of this Saturday, March 12th to celebrate the release. Walt sent us some of his beers to celebrate the occasion and free samples will be available starting at Noon until supplies run out. Bottles of The Parking Lot Grissette will be available for purchase at Jester King at a later date once the beer has label approval from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

On a personal note, we’ve really gotten to know Wicked Weed and the people behind it well over the last few years. We can’t think of a finer, more well-run, professional organization, brewing truly exceptional beer, and headed by some of the most talented and friendly people we’ve encountered in the beer industry. We’re thrilled their beer is coming to Texas, honored to have worked with them, and happy to call them friends. Below are some photos of our climbing trip to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky that inspired the beer.


Beer Dinner at Apis on March 10th with Wicked Weed & Jester King

7 March 2016

We’re excited to announce a beer dinner at Apis Restaurant and Apiary in Spicewood, Texas with Wicked Weed Brewing and Jester King on Thursday, March 10th at 7pm!

Here’s the menu below. Each course will be paired with one beer from Jester King, as well as a special bonus beer! The beer pairings will be announced soon.


Oyster / Honey Vinaigrette / Bread service paired with Bière de Miel


Choice of Maine peekytoe crab salad / Brazilian green peppercorn and yuzu / fresh cheese and braised and smoked kohlrabi paired with Das Wunderkind;


Charred Spanish octopus / salad of fresh snow peas and lemon / house cured olives
and sauce of fermented chili and various vinegars paired with 2015 Autumnal Dichotomous


Choice of butter roasted Panama City black grouper / terrine of potato layered with spring garlic / grilled leeks seasoned with black walnut vinegar and ramp oil / first of the year wild flowering onion veloute paired with El Cedro;


Berkshire pork “ribeye“glazed in mead and Belgian ale / smoked pork jowl / coffee roasted sweet potato / black garlic vinaigrette with winter broccolis / preserved chilies and puffed sorghum paired with Boxer’s Revenge


Choice of single source cacao tart / flavors of black tea and milk chocolate / egg yolk inspired by Magnus Nilsson and our own sous chef Michael Sable / “breton” crust paired with Black Metal;


False season winter strawberries / white chocolate ganache / toasted rice / wild Turkish bay leaves paired with Bière De Syrah

The dinner is $95 per person. Reservations can be made be calling (512) 436-8918. Seating is very limited for this special event. We hope you’ll join us!


Introducing Stillwater Artisanal / Jester King Audio Palette

3 March 2016

We’re excited to announce the release of Audio Palette — our spelty farmhouse ale with American hops, brewed in collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal! The motivation behind Audio Palette stems from our mutual love of music. Stillwater Artisanal Founder/Owner Brian Strumke and Jester King Head Brewer Garrett Crowell are both musicians, and Garrett named the beer in reference to Brian’s musical background. Garrett for years has been highly influenced by the work of composer and musical theorist John Cage. Cage embraced “natural variance” and unpredictability in his compositions, which Garrett sees as paralleling mixed culture fermentation.

Coincidentally, we were contacted several months ago by a scholar of John Cage named Justin Scheibel. Comparisons with Cage came to mind for Justin after visiting Jester King and learning about our process and philosophy. Justin wrote to us:

“My reasoning is that the kind of natural variance that is a consequence of mixing yeast strains, altering environmental conditions and using chance operations with regard to fermentation additions, use of barrel aging, etc. was exactly what John Cage was going for in his desire to be surprised by unanticipated difference as opposed to intentional representation (i.e. this is a Stout or a Weißbeir specifically defined by certain symbolic cues in its composition and social context…that it should taste the same way each time rather than be a unique autographic work with greater variability).

Even in composing his erasures, Cage would not simply randomize and accept the results but rather selected only those products that were interesting and complex in a way he could not generate intentionally, and then adjusted his ear to appreciate the result. In his aesthetic philosophy, there are disparate centers of value that are irreconcilable with each other, but each intrinsically valuable. I identified this idea in the general palate of sourness created by the mode of production which is particular to Jester King’s farmhouse style and diverges from “laboratory” beers brewed in highly controlled environments. Within the domain of that sourness there is an entirely different relation between constituent flavors such that it is not a defining feature, but rather a contrapuntal difference from other brewers. In a sense, it is a different vocabulary of taste that is self-contained, just like Cage’s ‘disparate centers’.

Lastly, both Cage and Jester King engage in what I feel is the true spirit of experimental art and not avant-gardism. The divergence from convention is the natural consequence of being intrigued by unpredictable possibilities and discovering new relations rather than the desire to intentionally deviate. It is a positive valance in celebration of alterity and different preference rather than the negative oppositionary attitude of the avant-garde.

In ‘‘45’ for a Speaker’, Cage writes, ‘Not wondering am I right or doing something wrong. The preparation changes that occur during a performance are a) a simple change of position b) total or partial addition of objects c) total or partial subtraction.’

The idea being that one is fully immersed in the aesthetic process of generation and experimentation such that the question of its social function never enters the picture…merely the possible variables one can alter to instigate novel results.”

We were flattered and intrigued by Justin’s analysis and the comparisons between Jester King and Cage. Jester King artist Josh Cockrell used Cage as an inspiration for creating the label art, and speaks below on how he believes the beer is true to the spirit of his work:

“Following music as a general theme for creative direction, I compared the aesthetic similarities of our mixed culture fermentation to the stochastic compositions of John Cage. Both challenge the expectations of an audience within their fields and include unpredictability as in important part of their compositions.

However, the concept of the beer itself struck me as a bit ironic when held next to aforementioned aesthetic practices. Encapsulated within the general idea of the beer are some very popular beer trends as of late. It is essentially an American dry hopped session pale. Furthermore, it is yet another example of the growing trend of collaborative efforts between two breweries that are popular within the beer world. I liked this as a starting point for the art, because it is only at first glance that it holds to being a product of popular beer culture. The stochastic nature of its fermentation takes what might otherwise be a pop beer and transcends it into something much more layered and complex.

I chose a visual aesthetic that could reflect this irony, and that just so happened to be emerging at the same time as Cages first aleatoric compositions: Pop Art and more specifically the early layered combines of Robert Rauschenberg. The movement seemed to fit perfectly. It is a taking of the commonplace, removing it from its original context, to create something much greater than the sum of its parts. This is paralleled not only in the circumstances of the beer being pulled into a new context by mixed culture fermentation, but also in the harnessing of the mundane unrecognized micro-flora around us to make our creations.

Rather than use some pre-existing elements as Rauschenberg might have, I used all original artwork for the “collaged” composition in an effort to create a contrast of process and organic influence. What you see is the ear of John Cage, surrounded by a palette like graphic score that has been plotted around blind pen drops. An atypical musical staff enters the ear like sound and divides the more organic illustrated portions of the composition from the more processed elements. The eye that is layered into the background of the combine was created specifically for use in the label by the artist of Stillwater, Leeroy Mendoza!

The text in the left panel was constructed with a similar process in mind. It is a rearrangement of blindly selected words from randomly chosen philosophy books.”

Audio Palette was brewed on October 28th, 2015 with raw Hill Country well water, malted barley, malted spelt, and hops, and was fermented in stainless steel with our mixed culture of brewers yeast, and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the land and air around our brewery. It is 100% naturally conditioned through refermentation in bottles, kegs, and casks. Audio Palette is 4.3% alcohol by volume, 51 IBU, and has a finishing gravity of 1.001 (0.25 degrees Plato). It was packaged on November 30th, 2015.

Audio Palette will be released at Jester King when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, March 4th. It will be available by the glass, as well as in bottles to go (750ml/$12/no bottle limit). About 3,600 bottles are available. We do not foresee Audio Palette being available outside of our tasting room, aside from a few special events.

Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal making music at Jester King

Brian on a visit to Pure Luck Farms

Audio Palette brewday at Jester King in October, 2015


Jester King Homebrew Recipes, Part II

16 February 2016

A little over a year ago, we published the homebrew recipes for Black Metal, Commercial Suicide, and Wytchmaker on our blog. We’re always happy to help homebrewers out, and we continue to receive requests for other recipes. By popular demand, then, here are the recipes for Le Petit Prince, Boxer’s Revenge, Ol’ Oi, the Provenance series, RU55, and Das Uberkind, courtesy of our Head Brewer Garrett Crowell.

Le Petit Prince Farmhouse Table Beer
Le Petit Prince

O.G.: 1.021-1.024 (depending on yeast choice and attenuation)

F.G.: .997-1.002 (depending on yeast choice and attenuation)


85% Pilsner

15% Malted wheat


11 IBUs of Goldings at 60 minutes

3 IBUs of Fuggles at 10 minutes

Whirlpool/knockout addition of 50/50 Fuggles and Goldings. You will have to play with the percentages here as our commercial setup doesn’t translate well for whirlpool hop additions for homebrewing. I’d suggest around 1/2oz of each per 5 gallons, or 1oz total. Dry hop will be identical to whirlpool addition.


Mixed culture of yeast and bacteria.

Boxer’s Revenge Sour Barrel-Aged Strong Ale
Boxer's Revenge

O.G.: 1.075

F.G.: 1.000


46% Pilsner

42% Pale 2-Row

9% Malted Wheat

2% Caramunich II


Various bittering hops to achieve 20 IBUs


Mixed culture of yeast and bacteria.

We age these beers in oak barrels for 12-24 months. You can approximate barrel aging with oak cubes, chips, etc.

Ol’ Oi Barrel-Aged Sour Brown Ale
Ol' Oi

O.G.: 1.051

F.G.: 1.003


43% Pilsner

34% Dark Munich

10% Castle Abbey Malt

3% Caramunich

3% Chocolate Malt

3% Flaked Oats

3% Malted Wheat


Various bittering hops to achieve 18 IBUs


Mixed culture of yeast and bacteria.

Provenance Farmhouse Ales with Citrus

O.G.: 1.051

F.G.: 1.003


75% Pilsner

25% Wheat


13 IBUs of Goldings at 75 minutes

7 IBUs of Citra at Whirlpool

(For 5 gallons) – 1oz each of tangerine & clementine, or lemon & lime, or orange & grapefruit during whirlpool…depending on which beer in the series you’re seeking to make.


Mixed culture of yeast and bacteria.

RU55 Barrel-Aged Sour Red Ale

O.G.: 1.055

F.G.: ~ 1.002-1.005


46% Munich II

21% Pale 2-row

20% Pilsner

3% Carared

3% Amber Malt

3% Crystal 120

3% Melanoidin

Just a pinch of roasted barley


~12 IBUs of Goldings at 60 minutes


Mixed culture of yeast and bacteria.

– Primary ~ 80F

– Secondary in oak ~ 60F

Das Uberkind Vielle Saison
Das Uberkind

Das Uberkind is our most used and versatile barrel-aged beer. We blend it with fresh, hoppy beer to make Das Wunderkind!. We use it as the base beer for most of our fruit refermentations, and we also package it as a standalone beer. It’s a pretty simple recipe:

O.G.: 1.038



Mash-temp: 154-158F


84% Pale 2-Row, or Pilsner

8% Raw wheat

4% Munich II (dark munich)

4% Flaked Oats

The specialty malts like Munich, and then Flaked Oats rotate based on what we have around the brewery. Sometimes we’ll use spelt, Maris Otter, or malted wheat, etc.


10 – 15 IBUs

Always early kettle additions, at 60 minutes

Usually something like Goldings, or Fuggles

Lately, we’ve been adding aged hops for about 30% of our total hop volume with great results.


Mixed culture of yeast and bacteria.


Averie Swanson Named Brewery Production Manager; Matt Piper Named Infrastructure & Operations Manager

11 February 2016

In the wake of the recent departure of Barrel Program Head Adrienne Ballou from Jester King, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve made some in-house promotions. However, before mentioning them, it’s important to note that Garrett Crowell continues to serve as our Head Brewer! Garrett has done wonderful things over the years at Jester King, including developing our mixed culture of native yeast and bacteria we use to ferment our beer. Garrett will continue to shape the creative vision for our beer, and preside over recipe formulation, ingredient selection, process, technique, fermentation, fruit refermentation, and our overall beer making philosophy.

We’re excited to announce that Averie Swanson has been promoted to Brewery Production Manager! In that role, she will orchestrate beer making at Jester King so as to make our creative vision a reality. Averie began volunteering at Jester King in February of 2013, and after a six-month apprenticeship, was hired as Brewer in April of 2014. Over the years, she has shown a great propensity for leadership, management, and organization, and she will contribute these traits to our beer making, as our new Brewery Production Manager. Averie is native of Houston, Texas.

Jester King Brewery Production Manager Averie Swanson

We’re excited to announce that Matt Piper has been promoted to Infrastructure & Operations Manager at Jester King! Matt in many ways is the glue that holds the brewery together. He keeps our brewing, engineering, and tasting room operations coordinated and helps the brewery function cohesively. In his new position, he will oversee our infrastructure, take on new construction and systems installation projects, and manage our inventory and logistics. Matt began working at Jester King nearly three years ago in April of 2013 and hails from Rosebud, Texas.

Jester King Infrastructure & Operations Manager Matt Piper


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