Jester King Craft Brewery

Jester King / Franklin Barbecue Figlet Batch 2

14 January 2016

When our tasting room opens this Friday, January 15th at 4pm, we’ll be releasing our second batch of Figlet, our collaboration with Franklin Barbecue! Figlet is a farmhouse ale fermented with Texas figs smoked at Franklin Barbecue. We sourced the figs from Lightsey Farms in Mexia in and Lewis Wines in Johnson, City.

This year’s batch is about 6,000 bottles (750ml, $12, no bottle limit). Here are some photos of Figlet batch 2!


First Fill of New Coolship

12 January 2016

Last night we filled our new coolship for the first time. Here’s a video and some photos:


New Coolship at Jester King

11 January 2016

We have a new coolship at Jester King, as we begin our fourth season of spontaneous fermentation! Our coolship is used to capture airborne yeast and bacteria as the wort cools overnight. The wort then ferments “spontaneously”, meaning that we do not pitch our mixed culture of yeast and bacteria. For us, spontaneous fermentation is the ultimate partnership with nature when it comes to making beer inextricably tied to a particular time and place.

Our new coolship holds about 950 gallons of wort and is made of copper. It has been permanently situated in one of the upstairs corners of our barrel room. Windows were installed nearby to allow cold night air to flow over the coolship and inoculate the wort with native yeast and bacteria from the land. A wood ceiling was built over the top of the coolship to aid in microbial momentum. As the wort cools, steam rises and seeps into the pores of the wood above. The steam then cools and drips back into the coolship, bringing with it microorganisms living in the wood. A microbial feedback loop of sorts is created, which aids the momentum of fermentation.

As we recently mentioned, we’ll blend and package our first 100% spontaneously fermented beer this winter. After several months of refermentation in the bottle, it will be released later this year. We began inoculating wort in our coolship back in February of 2013, so again, this winter is our fourth coolship season. Our coolship season is very short in central Texas, with sufficiently cold temperatures typically only present in January and February.

As for our old coolship (pictured here), we’ll be holding onto it. We have some exciting plans for it this winter! The plans involve seeking out some interesting microflora for fermentation around the Texas Hill Country. We’ll have more on this later this winter. In the meantime, we’re excited to move forward into our fourth season with a new coolship!


Jester King to Preserve 58 Acres of Land & Begin Farming

1 January 2016

We are very excited to announce that Jester King has purchased fifty-eight acres of beautiful Hill Country land surrounding the brewery! Our plan is to conserve the natural beauty of the land, so as to prevent it from ever becoming yet another residential subdivision, while at the same time working with our new natural surroundings to make Jester King one of the world’s leading destinations for artisan foods, beverages, goods, and all things fermentation.

Our decision to purchase the land around us is two-fold. First, we were afraid that had we done nothing, the land would one day become a residential sub-division. It’s no secret that Austin is rapidly expanding. For instance, our city is number two on Forbes list of fastest growing cities in the U.S. We see the signs of commercial and residential growth all around us. The direction we’re headed made it seem apparent that one day we’d look out from the front steps of the brewery and see rows of houses. This would obviously compromise the rural, rustic character of the brewery and our ability to make authentic farmhouse ale. We felt we had to act. We now have the confidence of knowing that the natural beauty of the land around us, for as far as the eye can see and then some, will be preserved for the long run.

Second, by owning the land, we can soon begin to make Jester King a working farm. It’s no secret that we consider ourselves to be an authentic farmhouse brewery. We make this claim on the label of every bottle of our beer. To us, farmhouse brewing means using our natural surroundings to create beer that’s inextricably linked to a particular time and place. In order to breathe more life into our claim of authenticity, we think it’s very important that Jester King farm its own land for use in beer making.

As far as the near future, this spring we’ll begin planting our first crops. In addition to planting grains, herbs, and vegetables for brewing, we’ll devote land to starting both a vineyard and orchard. We often blur the lines between beer and wine with our fruit refermentations, so growing our own fruit at the brewery will be an exciting step forward for us.

With time, we seek to make Jester King a leading destination for artisan foods, beverages, goods, and all things fermentation. For instance, we plan on using agriculture to support a farm to table restaurant, and livestock to support cheese making and cured meats. Wine making and distilling will come into the picture using fruit and grains grown onsite, and we’ll get honey from an apiary on the land. Onsite malting of barley and wheat is also part of our plan. Bread baking, coffee roasting, fermented vegetables, olives and olive oil, composting, dairy farming, and horticulture are all aspirations of ours too. In other words, we seek to create a location where virtually everything we make comes from the land around us. If it can be grown, crafted or fermented using what’s available to us, we seek to do it. Finally, our vision includes small-scale lodging for guests, a wedding and event space, nature trails, farmers markets, art fairs, and an education center on fermentation and sustainable farming.

Jester King Founder Jeffrey Stuffings on Jester King’s land preservation & farming

Please note that our land purchase did not include Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza. Stanley’s will remain a separate and independent business from Jester King under its own control and ownership.

We look forward to sharing the development of our vision for an artisan destination location as it plays out over time. In the meantime, we can rest assured that fifty-eight acres surrounding Jester King on the outskirts of one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. will remain beautiful Hill Country farm land, never victim to encroaching residential development.

— Jeffrey Stuffings, Jester King Brewery Founder

Here are some photos of the land recently purchased by Jester King:

Aerial photo of the 58 acres


Cerveza de Tempranillo Blend 2 Release

22 December 2015

When our tasting room opens at Noon on Saturday, December 26th, we’ll be releasing our second ever blend of Cerveza de Tempranillo — our barrel-aged farmhouse ale refermented with Texas-grown Tempranillo grapes. It has been quite some time since we last released Cerveza de Tempranillo. Blend 1 came out in February of 2014.

As we seek to do with all our fruit refermentations, the goal is to ferment the grapes with mature, barrel-aged beer, so as to create aromas and flavors greater than the sum of their parts. For instance, think about the difference between grape juice and wine. Why does the latter have much more complexity than the former? It is because the grape juice has been fermented by microorganisms to create a host of new flavors and aromas. We apply this same principle to the use of fruit in our beer. We referment fruit with beer to create something that had previously not existed. To us, this is more interesting and enjoyable than adding fruit or fruit flavoring to filtered, pasteurized beer, thus creating what is effectively is a beer cooler. This, in our opinion, is one plus one equals two, rather than creating something greater than the sum of the parts.

There are a few differences between blend 1 and blend 2. We’re happy about the fact that the grapes in blend 2 came from Texas, as opposed to California. Not that the California grapes aren’t good, but we prefer to embrace the characteristics we get from Texas microflora and soil, so as to make beer with a sense of place. The alcohol content of blend 2 is slightly lower (7.2% alcohol by volume versus 9.4%), which we believe is due to the Texas grapes having a lower sugar content. Finally, we refermented the grapes with mature beer in stainless steel, as opposed to oak. We wanted a little more control over the fruit refermentation, so as to avoid the development of acetic acid (think vinegar).

Cerveza de Tempranillo blend 2 was brewed with malted barley, malted wheat, raw wheat, oats, and hops. It was fermented with our unique mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and land around our brewery. After an initial primary fermentation in either a stainless steel tank or a foudre, it was racked to oak barrels for extended maturation and fermentation. It was then refermented with Tempranillo grapes for about a month, then 100% refermented in bottles, kegs, and casks over the course of another month.

Our tasting room will be closed on Friday, December 25th. When we open the following day — Saturday, December 26th at Noon — we’ll release Cerveza de Tempranillo. About 3,000 bottles (500ml/$16) will be available with a bottle limit of two per customer per day. It will also be available by the glass at our tasting room. Aside from special events, Cerveza de Tempranillo blend 2 will only be available at Jester King.

Tempranillo grapes from the Texas high plains prior to refermentation


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