Jester King Brewery

In: Drinking

3 Jun 2011

(map) The new tasting room is now open Saturday afternoons. From 1 to 4, you can stop by, get a tour and quaff a few of their delicious craft brews. For $10, you get a glass and three beers of your choice from whatever’s on tap. When we were there, that was Wytchmaker Rye, Commercial Suicide and deep, dark Black Metal Imperial Stout. You can tell by the names these guys don’t take themselves too seriously. In fact, they joke that while Jester King is meant to be creative and playful, they hope someday that small craft brewers will be “the king of beers.”

Beer ever in hand, Jeff, one of the owners, gives a tour. He starts with the actual brewing process, then heads to the barrel-aging room. Here, the beer slowly ferments for three to six months in used wine and whiskey barrels. They add wild Hill Country yeasts and bacteria to the beer to bring out more tart, rustic flavors. As Jeff puts it, “We’re basically adding spoilage mechanisms.”

Malted barley from Germany. To make stout, it’s toasted. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized for better flavor.

Tasting room pourers are at your service and also make sure you don’t have more than three beers. Note the sign on the tip jar: “Shannon & Denise Mexico Fund.”

They also bottle-condition some beers, adding yeast and sugar for natural carbonation in these 750-ml bottles. The bottles then rest for two to three weeks in the barrel room. Asked about the bottling line, Jeff said, “You’re looking at it!” Meaning himself.

Exterior view of the new brewery/tasting room. They tried to incorporate a lot of recycled materials for character. You can taste inside or bring your beer out on the porch. Inside, there are t-shirts, hats and souvenir glasses for sale.

Jester King Brewery website

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