Jester King Craft Brewery

Introducing Jester King Cerveza de Tempranillo, Bière de Merlot, & Montmorency vs Balaton








We’re excited to announce the release of three new barrel-aged wild ales refermented with fruit — Cerveza de Tempranillo, Bière de Merlot, & Montmorency vs Balaton. As the names imply, Cerveza de Tempranillo and Bière de Merlot are beers refermented with wine grapes. For Cerveza de Tempranillo, we refermented Tempranillo grapes from California with mature, barrel-aged wild beer, and for Bière de Merlot we used Merlot grapes grown in Texas. Both beers employed a wine making technique called a punch down. As the grapes referment, they rise to the top of the oak barrel to form a cap. Several times a day we punched down the cap with a stainless steel mashing tool to break it up. This procedure was important to achieve good flavor and color extraction from the grapes and to prevent the cap from drying up and becoming oxidized, which can lead to unwanted growth of acetobacter. Acetobacter, while harmless to consume, creates vinegary flavors and aromas that we dislike very much in beer. Punch downs and temperature control in our barrel room were important parts of our effort to keep acetobacter at bay.

The base beer for Cerveza de Tempranillo was made from blending oak barrels of pale, sour beer. It’s 9.4% alcohol by volume, with a finishing gravity of 1.000 and 3.7 pH. The base for Biére de Merlot consisted of a single oak barrel of pale, sour beer. It is 8.5% alcohol by volume, with a finishing gravity of 1.001 and 3.6 pH.


Grapes refermenting in an oak barrel. Photo courtesy of Wes Kitten / The Beer Haul

Montmorency vs Balaton was made from a blend of two different barrel-aged sour beers, refermented with a combincation Montmorency and Balaton sour cherries from Michigan. It’s 6.7% alcohol by volume, with a finishing gravity of 1.005 and 3.5 pH.

500ml bottles of Montmorency vs Balaton and Cerveza de Termpranillo will be released at Jester King Brewery over the course of three weekends: March 7-9th, Match 14-16th, and March 21-23rd. Customers wishing to purchase them can reserve one bottle each per person of either or both beers, beginning Monday, March 3rd, at noon, using an online form that will be linked to on our homepage. The link will remain live while supplies last. Reserved bottles can be picked up anytime during Jester King’s regular tasting room hours between Friday, March 7th, and Sunday, March 23rd. Any bottles that have not been reserved, or that have not been picked up by the close of business on Sunday, March 23rd will become available on a first come first serve basis, with a limit of one bottle of each beer per person per day, beginning Friday, March 28th. There are a total of 2,250 bottles of Montmorency vs Balaton (500ml) and 1,500 bottles of Cerveza de Tempranillo (500ml) available for purchase. Both beers will be priced at $16 per bottle.

Due to Biére de Merlot’s very small batch size (about 45 gallons), we packaged it exclusively in kegs, which will be available beginning Friday, March 7th at our tasting room and will remain on tap while supplies last. Please check our Tasting Room page for upcoming tasting room menus.


The remnants of Tempranillo grape refermentation after barrel-rining


Jester King Cerveza de Tempranillo & Montmorency vs Balaton

---