Jester King Craft Brewery

Introducing Mad Meg Farmhouse Provision Ale

We’re pleased to announce the release this week of Jester King Mad Meg Farmhouse Provision Ale. We previously made mention of the Farmhouse Provision Ale we had in the works in a blog post back in November:

In addition to Noble King and the farmhouse versions of Wytchmaker and Black Metal, we also have a new Farmhouse Table Beer that’s currently in the works, to be followed soon by a limited release Farmhouse Strong Ale, a new Farmhouse Provision Ale, and a farmhouse version of Commercial Suicide Dark Mild. Some of you may recognize the terms “Farmhouse Table Beer” and “Farmhouse Provision Ale” as having been applied at one time to two other beers that we showcased during Austin Beer Week: Das Wunderkind! and Boxer’s Revenge. When we first formulated these beers, we had a particular vision in mind for each of them, but after extended aging in oak barrels with wild yeast and souring bacteria, Das Wunderkind! and Boxer’s Revenge quite literally took on a life of their own, and as we continued to sample them, those visions began to change. Eventually, we felt that the terms “Farmhouse Table Beer” and “Farmhouse Provision Ale” no longer captured the essence of what they had become, so we decided to change those descriptions. Das Wunderkind!, we felt, had become a very good example of a sour saison, of the sort Yvan De Baets talks about in Phil Markowski’s book, Farmhouse Ales, so we decided to label it “Sour Saison”. (Look for a very limited bottle release of Das Wunderkind! Sour Saison sometime in the upcoming months.) Boxer’s Revenge has not been bottled yet, but when it is, we plan to go with the more straightforwardly descriptive designation, “Barrel-Aged Wild Ale”.

Since our blog post in November, we’ve brewed our Farmhouse Table Beer, Le Petit Prince, our Farmhouse Strong Ale, Thrash Metal, and now our Farmhouse Provision Ale, which we’ve given the moniker “Mad Meg”. Also known as “Dulle Griet” or “Dull Gret”, Mad Meg is a peasant woman from Flemish folklore who leads an army of women to pillage hell. She’s famously depicted in Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s 1562 painting by the same name.

Mad Meg is simple in terms of ingredients with French pilsner malt, wheat, a touch of caramunich and acidulated malt, Czech Saaz hops and our farmhouse yeast. It is golden colored and quite strong at over 9% ABV (we can tell you the strength now!). The palate intertwines delicate farmhouse esters with earthy, spicy hops and clean malt flavors.

Mad Meg will be available beginning this week on draught at select locations around Austin, followed by a statewide bottle release once the beer has conditioned through re-fermentation in the bottle, label approval has been received, and the labels have been printed.

We will incorporate Mad Meg into our year-round lineup of farmhouse ales. Our plan is to brew Le Petit Prince Farmhouse Table Beer, Noble King Hoppy Farmhouse Ale, Mad Meg Farmhouse Provision Ale consistently throughout the year, along with larger batches of Wytchmaker Farmhouse Rye IPA, Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout and Commercial Suicide Farmhouse Mild Ale (we can call Commercial Suicide “ale” now!) which we’ll release once every few months. We will also release as much as of our barrel-aged wild ales as possible in 2012. These beers are fermented in part with native wild yeast from the Texas Hill Country as well as other strains of wild yeast and souring bacteria. Our goal is to have our barrel aged wild ale regularly available in the Texas market by the end of the new year, along with our current lineup of farmhouse ales and a rotating array of “house specials”.