Jester King Craft Brewery

Part Two of Our Arizona Wilderness Collaboration

3 June 2015

Last week we traveled to the Phoenix area to brew the second part of our collaboration with Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.! We brewed the same wort for our “Pecan Bière de Garde” as we did at Jester King back in January of 2015, which featured Johnathan Buford of Arizona Wilderness serenading our coolship as it filled.

For the wort, we brought Texas grown pecans and raw wheat to go with local wheat and pecans from Arizona.

For fermentation, we drove out a pitch of our mixed culture of native yeast and bacteria, which Arizona Wilderness propped-up and added to the wort. Fermentation will slowly occur over the next several months in oak puncheons in the barrel room at Arizona Wilderness.

One of the most inspirational parts of our trip to Arizona Wildnerness was seeing the relationships they’ve developed with local farmers. They have a close partnership with Agritopia in Gilbert, Arizona, where they source produce and grow hops for their beer. They also make use of Sonoran white wheat, a heritage grain from Arizona. During the trip they introduced us to the film maker of The Grain Divide, which explores concerns about modern growing practices for wheat and grains. We were able to learn a lot about making responsible and sustainable use of the land here at Jester King in the future. They also put on an outstanding beer dinner right in the meadow at Agritopia while we were in town!

Part 1 of the collaboration is maturing nicely at Jester King after being inoculated with native yeast and bacteria during overnight cooling in our coolship. If all continues to go well, we may begin blending and packaging late this year. We have high hopes as well for the beer we just brewed with Arizona Wilderness as it slowly matures over time in their barrel room.

Finally, as we’ve come to know well, Arizona Wilderness is composed of some of the nicest, most genuine people you’ll find, and it was wonderful to work with them. We look forward to seeing them again as we blend, package, and eventually release the beers we’ve brewed together!


Jester King Detritivore Batch 2

28 May 2015

We’ll be releasing our second batch of Detritivore when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, May 29th! Detritivore is made by taking the refermented cherries from Montmorency vs Balaton, and refermenting them a second time with young farmhouse ale fermented in stainless steel. While we enjoy the bright, jammy flavors and aromas of Montmorency vs Balaton, most of us here at Jester King prefer the more subtle, integrated fruit character in Detritivore. In fact, the combination of barnyard aromas from aged hops and fermentation with native yeast, with the soft tartness from a second fruit refermentation with native bacteria, yields one of our favorite beers.

Detritivore batch 2 will be available by the glass at our tasting room, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($14/bottle, limit 2 per customer per day). Approximately 2,000 bottles are available. Aside from a few special events, we do not anticipate Detritivore being available outside of Jester King.


Jester King Brewery Caribbean Cruise

24 May 2015

This August, Jester King will be participating in a beer cruise of the Western Caribbean hosted by Craft Beer Austin! Cruise destinations include Cozumel, Belize City, and Roatan. The cruise lasts from August 16th to 23rd. We’ll be digging deep into our cellar and bringing along some rarities for the cruise. Jester King Founder Jeffrey Stuffings will be present and participating in several events aboard the cruise ship including a welcome reception, guided tastings, and a beer dinner.

Here’s the link to complete details and to make a reservation:


Introducing Jester King / Live Oak Brewing Co. Foudreweizen

21 May 2015

We’re very excited to introduce Foudreweizen, our second collaboration with Live Oak Brewing Co. in Austin, Texas! Foudreweizen is a farmhouse wheat beer fermented in an oak foudre. It was created by taking Hefeweizen wort brewed at Live Oak, moving it across town to Jester King in portable tanks, racking the wort into an oak foudre at Jester King, pitching the wort with Live Oak’s Hefeweizen yeast, then allowing it to slowly transform and mature over the course of months in the presence of native yeast and bateria alive in the walls of Jester King’s foudre.

Foudreweizen took the DNA, so to speak, of one of our absolute favorite beers in the world — Live Oak Hefeweizen — and allowed it to fundamentally transform through mixed culture fermentation with brewers yeast and native microorganisms from the Texas Hill Country. The transformation was indeed dramatic! For the first few weeks, the beer was very reminiscent of Live Oak Hefeweizen, and had a lovely clove character. But as time progressed, and native yeast and bacteria became more dominant, the beer became funky and developed barnyard aromas. After two months in the foudre, a tartness began to emerge as lactic acid producing bacteria began to convert organic compounds into organic acids. Finally, Foudreweizen continued to develop more funk and acidity as it matured in bottles, kegs, and casks during the two months prior to release.

Foudreweizen, as well as our first collaboration with Live Oak called Kollaborationsbier, was born out of a desire to take some of the best made wort or beer that we know of, and take it in interesting directions through the unpredictable beauty of mixed culture fermentation with native microorganisms. Live Oak does such a number of things extremely well, quite better than us in all honestly. So it was an honor to work with them, and have the privilege of using their skilled creations as a jumping off point for some fun and exciting fermentation experiments.

Foudreweizen was brewed on January 15, 2015 with Austin water, malted barley, malted wheat, and hops at Live Oak Brewing Co. As mentioned, it was fermented at Jester King with Live Oak’s Hefeweizen culture and a host of microorganisms in one of our oak foudres. It was packaged on March 8th, 2015 and naturally refermented in bottles, kegs, and casks prior to release. Foudreweizen is unfiltered, unpasteurized, 5.6 percent alcohol by volume, 11 IBU, 3.3 pH at the time of packaging, and has a finishing gravity of 1.004 (1 degree Plato).

Foudreweizen will be released at Jester King when our tasting room opens at 12pm on Friday, May 22nd. We’re very excited that Live Oak Founder/Owner Chip McElroy and Head Brewer Dusan Kwiatkowski will be joining us at our tasting room the afternoon of the release. It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($14/bottle, limit 2 per customer per day). Approximately 3,000 bottles are available, and at this point, we do not anticipate Foudreweizen being available outside of Jester King’s tasting room. The label art features Chip McElroy and Head Brewer Dusan Kwiatkowski, and was created by our own Josh Cockrell.

Below are some photos from the making of Foudreweizen:

Averie Swanson and Garrett Crowell brewing the wort at Live Oak

Garrett, Dillon, and Dusan

Hefeweizen wort being brewed at Live Oak

Wort arriving at Jester King for fermentation

Dusan Kwiatkowski and Michael Steffing

Foudreweizen during fermentation


Introducing Off Color Brewing / Jester King Radiolaria

18 May 2015

We’re excited to introduce Radiolaria, our collaboration with Off Color Brewing in Chicago, Illinois! Radiolaria, as the label states, is a “conflagration of wild yeasts”. We brought our mixed culture of native yeast and bacteria harvested from the Texas Hill Country to Off Color, and combined it with their house culture of microbes. We then brewed a simple, low gravity wort loosely based off of Off Color Apex Predator, and allowed plenty of time for the blend of yeasts and bacteria to create interesting flavors and aromas in the beer through the wondrous process of fermentation.

Brewing with John Laffler at Off Color was a real honor for us. John has deep roots in the brewing world and has played a key role in the development of barrel-aged beers and wild fermentation on the whole. He’s also been very helpful to Jester King over the years. In November of 2011, John helped us salvage our longest brew day ever when a stuck mash left us struggling until 4am in the morning to finish the brew. John, in our opinion, is making some of the most intricate, enjoyable, drinkable, balanced, and complex beers in the world right now, and it was a real pleasure for us to make a beer with him.

Radiolaria was brewed at Off Color Brewing with barley, wheat, Sorachi Ace hops, and fermented in stainless steel with the aforementioned blend of native microbes from Jester King and Off Color. It is 4.5% alcohol by volume and 40 IBU. The name Radiolaria comes from the intricate mineral skeletons found in the ocean, which figuratively represent the living world of microorganisms responsible for the flavor profile of the beer. The label art was done by Nikki Jarecki.

Radiolaria can be found in Chicago, and other places where Off Color beer is sold. We’d love to have some available in Texas, but unfortunately our state laws make it very difficult for small, out-of-state breweries like Off Color to sell their beer in Texas. Hopefully, that will change in the future, so that Texas beer drinkers can have greater access to great beer from abroad.

Here are a few photos from the brew day with Off Color. We hope you enjoy this interesting conflagration of wild yeasts made in collaboration with one of our most favorite breweries.

Michael Steffing of Jester King mashing in

John Laffler and Michael Steffing on brew day

The frozen depths of Chicago in February 2015


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