Introducing Scratch Brewing Co. / Jester King Abscission

We’re pleased to announce Abscission — a collaboration with Scratch Brewing Co. in Ava, Illinois! Abscission is a 100% spontaneously fermented beer with grapevines, fallen leaves, spicebush, juniper branches, laurel and sassafras steeped overnight in the coolship as the wort chilled. It was brewed in February, 2016 when our wonderful friends Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon of Scratch rounded up a “winter harvest” from their farm, drove it to Texas, and added it to our coolship. The result is a beer unlike anything we’ve ever tasted before that’s uniquely tied to time, place and people.

Below is a film created by our friends at Frazer Pogue Collective that describes the philosophy and approach behind Abscission. Abscission is the scientific term for the process of leaves being dropped from a tree, as well as for a state of cell division. It comes from the Latin for “to cut away”.

The brewday with Scratch was a special one for us. Walking around Jester King with Aaron Kleidon of Scratch was an incredible experience. In the course of an hour, Aaron identified what seemed like two dozen different ingredients growing on the ranch that could be used to make beer. Aaron is a true master of his craft. He, along with his partner Marika, combine to create a treasure for beer in America. The brewday was made extra special by our former Head Brewer Garrett Crowell and Jester King Brewer Sean Spiller playing a guitar duo in our barrel room while the coolship filled.

In addition to the ingredients that steeped in the coolship, Abscission was brewed with Hill Country well water, native barley and wheat from Blacklands Malt, and aged hops from our barn. It was cooled overnight in our coolship, then racked to oak barrels for 100% spontaneous fermentation. It slowly fermented and matured for twenty-two months in oak before being blended in February, 2017. It was then 100% naturally conditioned through refermentation in kegs and bottles. Abscission is 5.5% alcohol by volume, 38 IBU, 3.4 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.003 (0.75 Plato).

Abscission will be released this Friday, March 16th when our tasting room opens at 4pm. It will be available by the glass and in bottles to go. We have about 1,200 bottles available (750ml/$22). The bottle limit is six per customer per day. Abscission will only be available for sale at our tasting room. This is due to the limited supply, as well as the fact that we’ll never be able to get federal label approval (COLA) for the beer with all the ingredients!

We hope you enjoy! Below are some photos from the special brewday and of the beer!