We are pleased to introduce our latest oak barrel refermentation with fruit — Jester King Aurelian Lure. Aurelian Lure was made by taking mature, barrel-aged sour beer and refermenting it to dryness in oak barrels with apricots from northern California. Dozens of microorganisms, including wild yeasts native to the Texas Hill Country, transformed the apricots through refermentation to create a beer unique to our land.
Jester King Aurelian Lure (Can you spot the three living things in the photo besides the grass and trees? *Answer below!)
2013 marks the first year in our brewing history that we’ve taken advantage of the growing season in Texas and abroad in a significant way. Beginning in early Spring, we began sourcing several different kinds of fruit to referment with our barrel-aged wild beer. Over the last seven months, we’ve refermented raspberries from Washington, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, Merlot grapes from Texas, and Tempranillo grapes and apricots from California.
Why have we had an interest in acquiring all this fruit for refermentation? Because we love beer that has lots of fruit flavor and aroma, but is dry, tart and funky. As we’ve mentioned before, our goal is not to create a beer that’s merely the sum of its parts by adding fruit to filtered and/or pasteurized beer and allowing it to remain static. Rather, we seek to create new and interesting flavors by transforming the character of the fruit through refermentation in much the same way that grapes become wine. Refermentation has the ability to take familiar fruit flavors and transform them into something entirely new that is unique to the surrounding microorganisms, conditions and environment.
Apricots refermenting in an oak barrel in the presence of wild yeast
We’ll continue to pursue fruit refermentation well into the future. For instance, we look forward to next summer in Texas when we’ll be able to get local strawberries again to make more Omniscience & Proselytism. We’re also excited about the prospect of eventually taking our 100% spontaneously fermented beer inoculated in our coolship and refermenting it with fruit.
Aurelian Lure is 5.4% alcohol by volume, has a finishing gravity of 1.003, and is 3.3 pH. It is made from Hill Country well water, organic malted barley, organic malted wheat, hops, Farmhouse yeast, Brettanomyces yeast, souring bacteria, naturally occurring wild yeast from the Texas Hill Country, and apricots. Like all of our beer, it is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned.
Aurelian Lure is our third new beer to be released at our 3rd Annual Funk n’ Sour Fest on Sunday, October 27th at Jester King, along with Omniscience & Proselytism and Nocturn Chrysalis. We’ll be posting complete details about our Funk n’ Sour Fest and the new beer releases very soon.
Artwork for Aurelian Lure is by Josh Cockrell of Jester King. Here is Josh in his own words explaining the philosophy and inspiration behind the art:
“This art conveys the lure and danger of extremism. Pursuing unchecked belief in any form, be it based in faith or logic, is foolish. I want to point to the folly of fleeing darkness just to be blinded by light. What better fruit to make this connection than the golden, sun-like orb that is the apricot. The sun can be just as dangerous, just as blinding, just as dooming as darkness. One must heed this warning not to fly too high.
Aurelian means golden in Latin. The root word “aurelia” actually means chrysalis. The golden lure, in this case is the sun or perhaps the apricot? This name is intended to capture the phenomenon of obsession leading to self-destruction. This story has been repeated many times over in different cultures: Icarus foolishly flying too close to the sun; Phaethon’s fatefully overambitious request to drive his father’s sun chariot; the Tower of Babel; the giant Kua Fu chasing the sun around the earth only to be killed upon catching it; and the Hindu epic of Jatayu. We have long recognized our own dangerous proclivity to follow an obsession to destruction. Extremism is in our nature. We must learn from these warnings and not be drawn to doom by aurelian lure.”
Apricots being added to an oak barrel for refermentation
*Answer: Canella the cow, a funny little bug looking at the beer, and Aurelian Lure!