Jester King Craft Brewery

2017 SPON — Three Year Blend

30 October 2017


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We’re very excited to announce that on this Friday, November 3rd, we’ll be releasing our 2017 SPON — Three Year Blend!


2017 SPON — Three Year Blend is a blend of three different vintages — 2014, 2015 and 2016 — of 100% spontaneously fermented beer. Our goal is to make beer inextricably linked to our time, place, and people by harnessing the microflora, climate, and ecology of the Texas Hill Country.


Simplicity and patience are the key elements at play. We add Texas-grown malted barley from Blacklands Malt and raw, Texas-grown wheat to the mash, boil with gnarly old hops that have been sitting in our barn attic since 2013, let the wort sit out overnight and collect native microflora from the air, then spontaneously ferment it in oak barrels without pitching any yeast. From there, we see what slowly develops as the years go by, and then blend and bottle it, if it’s any good.


When it comes to spontaneous fermentation, the Belgian Lambic tradition lit the path for us by showing us how unique and beautiful spontaneously fermented beer could be. We’ve tried to learn from what came before us and allow it to adapt to our own surroundings. We know of no simpler or more elemental way of making beer that’s tied to place than making sugar water with what’s around us, and letting the microbes at the brewery turn it into beer. Like our natural wine maker friend Lewis Dickson says, “Our secret is that there is no secret”.


For our 2017 blending season, we made five separate, distinct blends bottled on different dates:


2017 SPON 1 — Three Year Blend (Bottled on January 25, 2017)
2017 SPON 2 — Three Year Blend (Bottled on January 31, 2017)
2017 SPON 3 — Three Year Blend (Bottled on February 6, 2017)
2017 SPON 4 — Three Year Blend (Bottled on February 13, 2017)
2017 SPON 5 — Three Year Blend (Bottled on February 15, 2017)


All the blends contain roughly 17% three year old beer, 33% two year old beer, and 50% one year old beer. The 2017 blends were made by our Head Brewer Averie Swanson.


The first two blends will be released at 4pm on Friday, November 3rd at our tasting room. Blends 3, 4, and 5 will be released sometime later this year. 2017 SPON 1 — Three Year Blend is 5.6 percent alcohol by volume, 42 IBU, 3.4 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.002 (0.5 Plato). 2017 SPON 2 — Three Year Blend is 5.8 percent alcohol by volume, 39 IBU, 3.3 pH, and also has a finishing gravity of 1.002 (0.5 Plato).


Both blends will be available by the glass and in bottles to go. Here are the quantities, bottle limits, and pricing for the first two blends:


2017 SPON 1 — Three Year Blend, 375ml, $20, 1,800 bottles, limit 3 bottles per customer per day
2017 SPON 1 — Three Year Blend, 750ml, $36, 1,150 bottles, limit 3 bottles per customer per day
2017 SPON 2 — Three Year Blend, 375ml, $20, 1,400 bottles, limit 3 bottles per customer per day
2017 SPON 2 — Three Year Blend, 750ml, $36, 1,075 bottles, limit 3 bottles per customer per day


Like we did for our 2016 blends, we’ll be holding back a pretty significant portion of our 2017 blends for long term cellaring and to have available at our tasting room every weekend to enjoy onsite. Our 2017 blends will not see distribution and will only be available outside our brewery for special events.


Finally, 2017 SPON — Three Year Blend adheres to the standard of Méthode Traditionnelle. As we’ve written in the past, it has been an enormous challenge trying to decipher a stylistic name for spontaneously fermented beer inspired by Lambic, but made outside the traditional region. Saying “G(u)euze-style” or “Lambic-style” without using the actual “G-word” or “L-word” creates a conundrum. Fortunately, such problems do not exist when it comes to other styles like Pilsner, IPA, and Tripel! We like and support the notion of having it mean something when a brewer says their beer is Lambic-style or Lambic-inspired. The beer should in fact be 100% spontaneously fermented and adhere to a simple, elemental process. Aside from this however, we have little desire for politics and discord, and are content to make beer tied to our surroundings at our tiny brewery in the Texas Hill Country, and share it with those who come to visit us.


We hope you enjoy our 2017 blends! They took a lot of time and patience to produce, and represent a simple, authentic expression of time, place, and people.


Cheers,


Jeffrey Stuffings
Founder, Jester King Brewery


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2017 Jester King Bière de Blanc du Bois

19 October 2017


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This Friday, October 20th, we are releasing 2017 Jester King Bière de Blanc du Bois — our barrel-aged farmhouse ale refermented with Texas Hill Country Blanc du Bois grapes!


Blanc du Bois grapes are pretty special to us. For starters, they taste wonderful and produce beautiful flavors when fermented. Beyond that, they’re grown in the Hill Country and played an important role in Texas wine. Blanc du Bois was bred to be be resistant to Pierce’s Disease, a bacterial disease that often affects grapevines in the south/southeast region of the United States.


For 2017 Bière de Blanc du Bois, we refermented 1,100 pounds of Blanc du Bois grapes from Torre di Pietra Vineyards in Fredericksburg, Texas with about twelve oak barrels (~2,700 liters) of Jester King Das Überkind. The base beer was blended from barrel stock ranging from about eight to fourteen months old. After refermentation, the blend was packaged on September 7th, 2017 and naturally conditioned through refermentation in the serving vessel. At the time of packaging, the blend was 6.9 percent alcohol by volume, 10 IBU, 3.5 pH, and 0.999 specific gravity (-0.25 Plato). This is our fourth blend of Bière de Blanc du Bois.


2017 Bière de Blanc du Bois will be released when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, October 20th. It will be available by the glass in and bottles to go (500ml/$20). We have about 2,300 bottles available with a bottle limit of three bottles per person per day. Aside from special events, 2017 Bière de Blanc du Bois will only be available at our tasting room.


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Introducing Jester King No Whalez Here

18 October 2017


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This Friday, we’re pleased to introduce Jester King No Whalez Here — our farmhouse witbier made with Texas coriander, house-dried Texas tangerines, and hand-harvested lavender from the flower beds in front of the brewery.


No Whalez Here was brewed on June 12, 2017 with Hill Country well water, White Horn pilsner malt from Blacklands, malted wheat, raw wheat, flaked wheat, Carafoam malt, rolled oats, hops, fresh-crushed Texas coriander, Texas tangerines, and Texas lavender. It was fermented in a horizontal stainless steel tank with our mixed culture of brewers yeast, native yeast, and native bacteria. It was packaged on July 24th, 2017 and naturally refermented in bottles and kegs. Like all our beers, it is unfiltered and unpasteurized.


The beer is 6.8% alcohol by volume, 1.000 specific gravity (0 Plato), 31 IBU, 4.3 pH. It will be released at our tasting room at 4pm on Friday, October 20th. It will be available by the glass and in bottles to go (750ml/$13). We have about 2,300 bottles available. There’s no bottle limit, and we expect for a portion of the batch to be distributed.


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The Wine Program at Jester King

11 October 2017


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At Jester King Brewery, the beer is the star of the show, but much effort has been put into cultivating our wine selection. The wine program here at Jester King is something we have been nurturing and growing over the years, and our goal is to have our wine selection parallel and complement what we do with our beer. Because our beer is deeply philosophically driven, we strive to represent beverages that are as well-crafted whether it be beer, cider or wine. Headed by Traci Walker as the Wine Coordinator, Dan Largess and Courtney Schwamb round it out to create the Wine Team.


The primary motivation of our brewing efforts here at Jester King is to capture a sense of time, place and people. Our beer encapsulates the unique character under the conditions in which it is made. Water, grain, hops, and yeast make up the foundation for beer. Our water is raw Texas hill country water sourced from an on-site well. We source grain from the only micro-maltster in Texas, Blacklands Malts in Leander, who works closely with local farmers to obtain grain for malting. And lastly, our yeast is not lab-derived yeast, and not even simply yeast, but in fact a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria indigenous to the region and collected from plants and flowers on our land, while our spontaneous beers employ ambient microorganisms for fermentation. Any additional ingredients or adjuncts are sourced from farmers and growers that we have a relationship with and know are thoughtfully grown. We frequently use the term “terroir” when discussing our beers with the effort we put into having our beer represent the flavors of our land, however, the term “terroir” is typically used in the winemaking world. This really gets to the heart of what we are trying to capture here; the flavors relating to the time, place, and people involved in the creation of the beer which cannot be replicated or recreated elsewhere.



Wine is the product of fermented grapes. It should be as simple as that, but in fact, hundreds of additional ingredients and chemicals can be added to a wine and producers are not required to notate these ingredients on the bottle. This is a standard practice in the wine industry and because of this, wine has become an extremely industrialized product, losing authenticity and therefore its terroir. The natural wine movement is essentially a push back in response to the over-industrialization of this industry. Rather than looking to technology, chemicals, and specific yeast strains to influence a wine, natural winemakers use the old world methods of viticulture and winemaking that harken back to how wine was made for centuries. It is these practices that give us a truly honest expression of the final product.


When sourcing wines for our Wine List, we think about what we would look for in anything we source for our beers. We look for those natural winemakers whose philosophies mirror our own – winemakers who work intimately with growers or better yet grow their own grapes, producers who intentionally oppose the use of preservatives and colorings that can go into mass-produced wines, and wines that are naturally fermented with native microorganisms. We want to represent those small producers making honest wines that uniquely tell the story of their origin on your palate.


We strive to curate a wine list that represents those who have taken strides for this movement in natural winemaking. Producers such as young Sicilian winemaker, Arianna Occhipinti, who from the start of age 16, has been an advocate for organic and biodynamic farming, hand harvesting, and natural fermentation. Or Brendan Tracey, American punk rocker turned French winemaker, who implores a mixture of cutting edge and traditional winemaking techniques to result in an uninhibited wine that captures the spirit of his land and of himself. We simply cannot fail to mention a true comrade in Texas terroir, Lewis Dickson of La Cruz de Comal. Located in Canyon Lake, Texas, Lewis operates a small vineyard that produces true natural Texas wines. His farming practices adhere to the same philosophy and mentality as us, using minimum human interference and utilizing spontaneous fermentation in order to let the quality of his grapes come through in a honest and wonderfully balanced finished product. His wine is bottled by hand, without fining or filtration, and without the addition of sulfites. In tasting his grapes at harvest, it is easy to see that a truly unique wine first begins with honest farming. Considering his efforts in the natural wine movement, especially here in Texas, we like to think of Lewis Dickson as the analogous wine producer to us.


Another goal for us as a Wine Team is to bridge the gap in folks’ minds between the worlds of wine and beer – both being fermented beverages. It is often that our beer making processes relate more closely to winemaking than to commercial brewing. In recent years, we have worked closely with Texas vineyards to source a wide variety of grape varietals for our fruited sours and spontaneous fruited blends. We feel that these beers in particular, are a step in closing that gap between beer and wine with their fruity complexity and tannins that shine through in the final product.


We find a kinship with our fellow producers and are extremely lucky to work hand in hand with folks that have a similar philosophy, and it is those producers that we choose to showcase in our wine program. Ultimately, we fill our Wine List with winemakers that remind us of our own mantra as a brewery of making a product that reminds us of a time, place and people.

Cheers,

Traci Walker, Wine Coordinator, Assistant Tasting Room Manager
Dan Largess, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Wine Team
Courtney Schwamb, Beverage Director, Associate Tasting Room Manager



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2017 Jester King Kvass

10 October 2017


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This Friday, October 13th at 4pm, we’ll be releasing our 2017 batch of Kvass! Kvass is our farmhouse ale brewed with rye bread from Miche in Austin.


For this year’s Kvass, we added 300 pounds of rye bread (twice the amount as 2016) to a mash consisting of 60% Munich malt and 40% rye (malted, flaked, and raw). It was fermented in stainless steel with our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria. It was packaged on September 6, 2017 and naturally refermented in bottles and kegs. 2017 Kvass is 4.4% alcohol by volume, 26 IBU, 4.0 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.002 (0.5 Plato).


2017 Kvass will be available by the glass and in bottles to go in our tasting room. We have about 2,900 bottles available (750ml/$13), and there’s no bottle limit. We expect for some of 2017 Kvass to be distributed beyond our tasting room.


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