Jester King Craft Brewery

Introducing Salt Lick Pecan Wood Smoked Saison

We’re excited to announce the debut of our newest beer: Salt Lick Pecan Wood Smoked Saison. Salt Lick was brewed in collaboration with the The Salt Lick BBQ in nearby Driftwood, Texas. We love working with local artisans of food and drink whose products we enjoy and respect. This collaboration was certainly no exception! Following on previous projects with Amy’s Ice Creams and Buddha’s Brew Kombucha, and we were very pleased and excited for the opportunity to work with The Salt Lick.

The Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas

Salt Lick Pecan Wood Smoked Saison draws its inspiration from what we imagine beer would have tasted like in centuries past. Prior to the advent of modern malting techniques, grains were typically kilned dry over wood fires during the malting process, which would have resulted in smoky flavors and aromas in the finished beers. At the same time, prior to the discovery of yeast, and the isolation of pure Saccharomyces cerevisiae, all beer would have likely contained at least a small portion of what’s now regarded as wild yeast, as well as some souring bacteria. In this respect, the combination of wild, tart, and smoky flavors in Salt Lick is somewhat of a throwback to how we think beer may have tasted long ago.

Pecan wood fire

The base malt for Salt Lick is Weyermann Organic Pilsner Malt, a portion of which we smoked over pecan wood at the The Salt Lick. We also used Weyermann Organic Wheat and Organic Munich Malt, as well as some flaked oats. Czech Saaz, U.S. Goldings, and Organic Fuggle hops were added during the boil.

The smoker at The Salt Lick in which a portion of the base malt for the beer was smoked

Organic Pilsner malt resting on perforated trays in the smoker

The beer underwent a long, slow fermentation in stainless steel tanks with our French Saison yeast, followed by a period of cold conditioning and dry-hopping with additional Organic Fuggle and Czech Saaz. Prior to packaging, the young beer was blended with a portion of mature barrel-aged beer that had undergone an extended secondary fermentation with souring bacteria and wild yeast, including some native yeast from the Texas Hill Country.

The blending of fresh, young beer with mature, barrel-aged beer, known as bière de coupage, is technique traditionally used in the production of saisons, as discussed by Yvan de Baets in Farmhouse Ales. This is the same method that we use to make Das Wunderkind!.

Attendees at last week’s “All Wild” beer dinner at The Meddlesome Moth in Dallas and Jester King night at the Dancing Bear Pub in Waco were given sneak previews of Salt Lick. This Saturday, March 9th, Salt Lick will be available for sampling at our tasting room and for sale on draught at Salt Lick Cellars and Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza. A very limited number of kegs will be released at additional locations throughout Texas, over the next several weeks, followed by a much wider bottle release, once we receive state label approval.

Label art for Salt Lick Pecan Wood Smoked Saison