Jester King Craft Brewery

2017 Detritivore

9 October 2017

Jester King-0458

This Friday, October 13th at 4pm, we’ll be releasing 2017 Detritivore. Detritivore is our farmhouse ale made with the “spent” cherries from Montmorency vs. Balaton. This is our fourth batch.

2017 Detritivore is 6.3% alcohol by volume, 10 IBU, 3.5 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 0.999. It was packaged on June 1, 2017. It will be available by the glass and in bottles to go. We have about 1,100 bottles available (750ml/$18) with a bottle limit of 3 per customer per day. Aside from special events, Detritivore will only be available at our tasting room.


2017 Jester King Reposé

5 October 2017

This Friday, we’ll be releasing 2017 Jester King Reposé! Reposé is our farmhouse ale brewed with hay and aged hops, aged in in brandy barrels. It’s inspired by Bière de Garde and is our attempt to capture the character of the horse barn near our brewery.

Lautering through hay

2017 Reposé was brewed on December 1, 2015. We lautered the wort through hay from our horse barn and added aged hops to the boil. The first time we made Reposé, we added the hay straight into the mash. The hay was like rope, and it ended up bending the rakes in our mash tun. So this time around, we added the hay to a tub and lautered the wort through the hay as it moved from the mash tun to our kettle. After an initial primary fermentation in stainless steel, we moved the beer to brandy barrels where it aged for about 18 months. Thank you to friend and brewer Kevin Sykes for helping us brew the wort.

2017 Reposé is 6.5% alcohol by volume, 20 IBU, 3.4 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.002 (0.5 Plato). It was packaged on July 1, 2017. It is our second blend of Reposé. It will be released at 4pm on Friday, October 6th. It will be available by the glass and in bottles to go. We have about 3,900 bottles (750ml/$22). There’s no bottle limit. Aside from special events, we don’t anticipate Reposé will be available beyond our tasting room.

(l to r) Sean Spiller, Kevin Sykes

Burlap bags of aged hops in our barn

The barn that inspired Reposé

Aged hops

Jester King-9881

Jester King-9868

Jester King-9882


Introducing Jester King Örter i Mörker

3 October 2017

We’re excited to introduce Örter i Mörker, a farmhouse ale inspired by Danish Smørrebrød aged in akvavit barrels!

Örter i Mörker was brewed with well water, malted barley, hops, woodear mushrooms, dried dill, dried caraway seeds, and fresh pine needles. It was fermented with our mixed culture and aged in 225L oak barrels formerly containing akvavit, a Scandinavian spirit flavored with caraway or dill.

Örter i Mörker was brewed on March 31, 2016. After fermenting and slowly maturing for about 16 months, it was packaged on July 6, 2017 in kegs and 750ml bottles. Örter i Mörker is 7.9% alcohol by volume, 22 IBU, 3.4 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.001 (0.25 Plato).

The artwork for Örter i Mörker was designed by Jester King’s Joshua Cockrell. He based the art off of our longtime Tasting Room Manager Eric Kukla.

Örter i Mörker will be released when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, October 6th! It will be available by the glass and in bottles to go (750ml/$22). We have about 2,700 bottles available. The bottle limit is three per customer per day. Örter i Mörker will only be available at Jester King and special events.


On Méthode Gueuze & a New Way Forward

28 September 2017

Simmering in the background for much of 2017 has been a disagreement between Jester King and the High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers (HORAL). The disagreement is over our use of the term “Méthode Gueuze”. We adopted Méthode Gueuze as the style description for our three-year spontaneous blend released in 2016, and attempted to establish Méthode Gueuze as a new, certified style of beer.

Our motivation was to deal with the problem of what to call Lambic and G(u)euze inspired beer made outside of the traditional region of Belgium. We wanted to make clear to beer drinkers that our beer was made following the traditional recipe and technique of G(u)euze, but was not made in the traditional region, and therefore is not authentic. We also wanted to help establish a set of standards for brewers pursuing Lambic-inspired spontaneous fermentation outside of Belgium. The terms “Lambic” and “G(u)euze” have been thrown around fairly causally in the past when it comes to sour beer, and we wanted it to actually mean something when a beer is said to be inspired by Lambic or G(u)euze.

It was with this mindset that Méthode Gueuze was adopted. We were bolstered by the support of Jean Van Roy of Brasserie Cantillon, and announced the terminology and certification effort last November. In hindsight, we should have done more to secure the support of other traditional Lambic producers, namely HORAL. In our estimation, if we came up with a solution for what to call Lambic-inspired beer made outside the traditional region, but alienated a significant portion of the Lambic community in the process, then we have failed.

Our intent has been to approach this topic in a respectful manner, as we’re a seven year old brewery that has been doing spontaneous fermentation for only five seasons, and the traditional producers have been making Lambic for decades, if not centuries. On top of that, it’s their tradition, not ours. We’re just the new kids who discovered what the masters have been doing forever, often times in total obscurity, grew to love what they do, became hugely inspired, and wanted to see if their traditional methods would work 5,000 miles away.

Back in March, we received a letter from HORAL voicing their displeasure with Méthode Gueuze. To be honest, when we got the letter, we went through a gamut of different emotions and seriously considered telling HORAL to “get lost” in so many words. However, in the end, we came back to the principle that our efforts will have failed if they result in a significant portion of the Lambic community being at odds with us. It was in this spirit that we reached out to HORAL for a sit down meeting to discuss the disagreement. HORAL graciously agreed to the meeting, and back in June, we travelled to Lot, Belgium to meet with them. We were accompanied by James Howat of Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales in Denver, Colorado.

(l to r) James Howat, Jeffrey Stuffings, Pierre Tilquin, and Frank Boon

First off, HORAL was a very kind and friendly host, and showed us great hospitality for which we are very appreciative. As we knew going in, HORAL did not approve of the term Méthode Gueuze, and it became apparent that they did not appreciate the words “Lambic” or “G(u)euze” being used in the fanciful name or stylistic description of Lambic-inspired beers. We can empathize with their position, as it is their tradition, and we can see how in their eyes we might come across as interlopers trying to profit off of what they’ve been doing for ages.

They did however agree that there is a problem with what to call Lambic-inspired beers made outside the traditional region and were supportive of Lambic-inspired beers in general. They also had no problem with the terms “Lambic” and “G(u)euze” being used outside of the fanciful name and stylistic description of the beer (for instance, writing on the back of the label that “this beer is inspired by Lambic”). Based on this, HORAL proposed an alternative term “Méthode Traditionnelle”, in reference to beers made following the traditional method of making Lambic and G(u)euze, but outside of Belgium. While there was some initial hesitation on our part because a lot of things can be made following a “traditional method”, we agreed that in the context of Lambic-inspired spontaneous fermentation, Méthode Traditionnelle works. In other words, we’re signifying that we made spontaneous beer following a traditional method, and are free to expound or elaborate on the fact that the traditional method comes from authentic Lambic and G(u)euze.

Sure, we would have ideally liked to have drawn a more direct connection, à la “Méthode Gueuze”, or by extension “Méthode Lambic”. But we highly respect HORAL’s position and have no desire to create the impression that our beer is authentic Lambic or G(u)euze. As we’ve stated many times over the years, our spontaneous beer is not Lambic or G(u)euze! And once again, what good is a new style description if a significant portion of the traditional producers are at odds with it? We have no desire to create life long enemies. We respect these brewers, their families, their ancestors, and the incalculable time they’ve put in over generations carving something out of nothing. We don’t want to disrespect that, even if it was far from our intent. These are several of the brewers that helped inspire us in the first place after all. And frankly, carving out our own tradition and legacy of making beers unique to the microflora, climate, and ecology of the Texas Hill Country is way more important to us than anything else. While we’re hugely inspired by and respectful of the Lambic tradition, our main purpose is to make beers reflective of our own time, place, and people.

The bottom line is that our 2017 three-year, G(u)euze inspired blend to be released this fall will not bear the moniker “Méthode Gueuze”. It will rather carry the style name “Méthode Traditionnelle”. Similarly, we will not continue to pursue the certification for Méthode Gueuze. However, we’ve continued to work with some of our most respected American colleagues producing spontaneously fermented beer on the Méthode Traditionnelle alternative. We still desire to see standards in America and elsewhere when brewers pursue Lambic inspired beer. More information about the initiative can be found HERE.

We appreciate all the support we’ve received over the last year or so. It means a lot to be part of a passionate community where there may be disagreement, but ultimately, everyone in our experience is respectful and comes at it from a good place. We’re grateful to be part of it, and look forward to a bright future for beer and the beer community.


Jeffrey Stuffings
Jester King Brewery


Introducing 2016 & 2017 SPON Still

27 September 2017


This weekend we’ll be releasing two new beers from our SPON series — 2016 and 2017 SPON Still. Both of these beers are 100% spontaneously fermented, selected from a single barrel (unblended), and bottled “still” without refermentation in the bottle.

Our SPON beers are inspired by authentic Belgian Lambic. Our goal is to follow the method of making Lambic, but to do so outside the traditional region with our own native ingredients and microflora, so as to create something unique to our own time, place, and people. It’s fairly common for Lambic to be unblended and bottled still. That was our inspiration for SPON Still — unblended, still Lambic.

We selected one barrel from our 2014 brewing season and bottled it unblended in 2016 after about two and a half years in the barrel. This beer is 2016 SPON Still. We also selected one barrel from our 2016 brewing season and bottled it unblended in 2017 after about one and a half years in the barrel. This beer is 2017 SPON Still. The year in the name refers to the year the beer was bottled, not brewed.

Aside from taking a long time, SPON Still is remarkably simple to make. In our opinion, it strips beer down to its most basic elements. We combine well water, malted barley and raw wheat in the mash, take the wort (unfermented beer) and boil it for four hours with aged hops from our barn, cool and inoculate it overnight in our coolship, put the beer into oak barrels, then leave it alone. After a few years go by, we take the beer out of the barrel and put it into bottles. It’s about as simple and hands off of a beer making process as it gets in our experience. The fact that beer can be spontaneously fermented without pitching yeast is still pretty amazing and magical to us, and presenting a really simple, elemental version of spontaneous fermentation is something we find exciting.

We think that beer drinkers will find that 2016 & 2017 SPON Still present pretty distinctly from one another. For starters, they are different fermentations from different years housed in different barrels. Another variable is that 2016 SPON Still was initially corked, but not capped. As it aged in the bottle, we noticed that it picked up an oxidative note, presumably from oxygen passing through the cork into the bottle. The oxidative note in our opinion is not unlike the character you find in sherry or yellow wine. Prior to release, we felt it was best to cap the bottles of 2016 SPON Still, as we can’t be certain how long our customers will age the beer prior to drinking. For 2017 SPON Still, we corked and capped the bottles at the time of packaging. As a result, it does not exhibit as much of the oxidized character as its younger counterpart.

As we’ve written over the years, we like to experiment with flavors and aromas typically perceived as “off”. Oxidized character, especially how it presents in old mixed culture or spontaneously fermented beer, is something we enjoy here at Jester King. We also enjoy “flat” or still beer. We’ve noticed a stigma over the years against still beer. If a beer is flat, it must be bad. We don’t believe this to be the case! Wine doesn’t suffer from this stigma, and neither should beer. If you take grapes, crush them, rack the juice to a barrel, leave it alone, then take the wine out of the barrel and bottle it still, it’s fine. But if you take grains, mash them, rack the wort to a barrel, leave it alone, then take the beer out of the barrel and bottle it still, it must be bad. We don’t subscribe to this belief and enjoy still beer.

2016 SPON Still is 5.4 percent alcohol by volume, 22 IBU, 3.2 pH, and 1.005 specific gravity (1.25 Plato). It was brewed in early 2014 and bottled on August 18, 2016 (Barrel #660). 2017 SPON Still is 5.4 percent alcohol by volume, 36 IBU, 3.4 pH, and 1.005 specific gravity (1.25 Plato). It was brewed in early 2016 and bottled on July 31, 2017 (Barrel #677).

Both beers will be released at 4pm on Friday, September 29th at our tasting room. We have 455 bottles of 2016 SPON Still (750ml/$30) and 489 bottles of 2017 SPON Still (750ml/$25). The bottle limit is one bottle of each beer (two bottles total) per customer per day. There is no draft available, only bottles. Aside from special events, it will only be available at our tasting room.


Jeffrey Stuffings
Founder, Jester King Brewery







« Older Newer »