This Saturday, December 7th at Noon for SPON Day, we'll be releasing Jester King 2019 SPON Three Year Blend!
2019 SPON Three Year Blend is our blend of 100% spontaneously fermented beer from 2018, 2017, and 2016. To make the beer, we brew with well water, Texas-grown malted barley and raw wheat, and aged hops from the attic of our barn. We let the wort rest overnight in our coolship and collect wild yeast and bacteria from our environment. The next morning we move the wort into oak barrels and allow the beer to 100% spontaneously ferment (no yeast or other microbes pitched). After longterm fermentation and maturation, we create a blend that stretches the course of three years. The blend is then packaged in bottles and kegs and allowed to referment and mature for almost another year before release.
Why do we pursue this process? To us, it's the ultimate partnership between time, place, and people. We're taking one night of the year, one location on the doorstep of the Hill Country, and one group of people to create something that will never exist again. The beer is a unique cross section of these three variables. We believe this special process is worthy of pursuit, not just at Jester King, but all over the world.
Our 2019 blend is our 4th "vintage", following 2018, 2017, and 2016. We've been pursuing spontaneous fermentation at Jester King since February of 2013. Back then, we built a coolship, waited for a cold night, let the wort rest overnight in the cool air, then moved the wort into oak barrels. To our amazement, a few days later the wort began fermenting. Flash forward to today, and we're about to begin our 8th winter of spontaneous fermentation.
Our process for making our three year blend has remained very consistent over the years. We want for the variation to be mainly driven by spontantaneous fermentation, rather than recipe manipulation. With that said, one change we've slowly made of the years is to gradually dial back the amount of aged hops we use in the brew. We're huge fans of aged hops, especially how they present in mature spontaneously fermented beer. However, we've desired for our three year blend to present slightly more bright and acidic than herbal and bitter, so we've decreased our ratio of aged hops per barrel down from about 1.25# per barrel in 2013 to about 0.75# per barrel today. We were initially surprised that hops aged in the attic of our barn for years still retain a good amount of bitterness. We're quite pleased with the balance we've been able to achieve for our 2019 blend, and we're excited to share it. We've learned a lot with this program over seven years, and have tried to get a little better each year.
As we mentioned, 2019 SPON Three Year Blend will be released this Saturday, December 7th at Noon for our SPON Day. The blend is 5.9% alcohol by volume, 20 IBU, 3.4 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.003 (0.75 degrees Plato). Unlike past years, we just made one three year blend as opposed to multiple ones. We packaged it in kegs, 750ml bottles, and 375ml bottles. In addition to SPON Three Year blend by the glass, we'll also have it available in bottles to go. We'll have 831 of the 750ml bottles ($36) and 2,024 of the 375ml bottles ($20) available. The bottle limit is one for the 750ml bottles and three for the 375ml bottles.
We hope you enjoy this humble product of a time, place, and people. It represents much of what we're about here at Jester King, and we're hopeful you'll get to enjoy it among family, friends, and community this SPON Day at Jester King!