Jester King Craft Brewery

Das Überkind Organic Vieille Saison

Following quickly on the heels of Funk Metal Sour Barrel-Aged Stout, we are pleased to announce the bottle release of yet another new sour, barrel-aged beer from Jester King. Das Überkind Organic Vieille Saison is a blend of 100% oak barrel-aged sour beer. The word “Vieille” means “old” and is made in reference to the many months Das Überkind spent aging in our barrel room. After undergoing primary fermentation in stainless steel with farmhouse yeast, Das Überkind was racked to oak and inoculated with native, wild yeast from the Texas Hill Country and souring bacteria. It was allowed to slowly mature and develop complexity in oak barrels as most of the remaining sugars were fermented. After months of aging, it was then racked back to stainless steel and given a nice, bright, fresh dry hop with Cascade, Columbus and Zythos hops prior to packaging. At the time of packaging, Das Überkind was re-yeasted with Brettanomyces yeast and allowed to naturally re-ferment in the bottle for nearly another two months. All of the time and steps that went into making Das Überkind result in an “old” beer that’s fruity, funky, and sour, with undertones of sherry and oak.

We consider Das Überkind to be the relative (perhaps the big sibling) of another beer we make called Das Wunderkind! Saison. The two beers are very similar in terms of ingredients. However, whereas Das Überkind is a 100% oak barrel-aged sour beer, Das Wunderkind! is a blend of mature, barrel-aged sour beer with young, freshly dry hopped beer. While Das Überkind takes on a complex sourness from its time in oak, Das Wunderkind! remains lightly tart with notes of citrus, barnyard, and tropical fruit. Das Überkind is also higher in alcohol (6.5%) than Das Wunderkind! (4.5%).

Up until now, we’ve released two batches of Das Wunderkind! Saison. For the first batch, the character of the sour, barrel-aged beer that we blended into the young, fresh beer took hold somewhat forcefully. As the first batch aged in the bottle, the sour complexity became more dominant. We were very happy with the way this beer turned out, but it may not have been entirely obvious to anyone it contained anything other than mature, sour, barrel-aged beer. Our recently released second batch of Das Wunderkind! was made using essentially the same proportions of old and young beer as the first batch. However, the second batch preserved more of the character of the young beer, while still developing a good deal of aroma and flavor from the wild yeast and souring bacteria, contributed by the older beer.

Traditions of blending older and younger beers, like we did with Das Wunderkind!, are fairly common throughout the brewing world. Geuze (or gueuze), which is traditionally made by blending one, two, and three year old lambic, is one example of this, but others include the original recipes for Rodenbach and Liefmans, as well as some older variations of English porter. Alongside many of these blending traditions, there is also a secondary tradition of packaging a small quantity of some of the older components on their own from time to time, with a description such as “special reserve” or “grand cru”. Das Überkind Vieille Saison follows in this tradition.

As with all of our sour, barrel-aged beers, Das Überkind takes a good deal of time and effort to brew, and depending on how quickly the barrels mature, we’re rather limited in how much we have available to package at any given time. The current release consists of roughly 200 cases, the majority of which will be distributed throughout Texas over the course of the next couple of weeks, with a small number of cases and a handful of kegs set aside for both in-state and out of state events.