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The Beer Circle » Breweries, Jester King Craft Brewery » Jester King Craft Brewery — Austin, TX

Jester King Craft Brewery — Austin, TX

Howdy from Texas, Beer Circle readers! I’ve been out of Pennsylvania for the past few weeks on a whirlwind trip on the west coast, visiting San Diego (Stone, Lost Abbey/Port, and Alesmith), Los Angeles (Father’s Office), Phoenix (Four Peaks), and then onto Austin, TX. Last Saturday I visited Jester King Craft Brewery with my friends Sandra, Dave, and Teri. As noted in Bob’s previous post on Jester King, they are out in the “Hill Country” of Texas- this is more true than I realized! They’re on a big plot of land about 25 minutes outside of Austin, surrounded by what looked like ranches. When we pulled up it reminded me of Hill Farmstead in terms of size and setup, with the most salient difference being that it was 0 when we went to Hill Farmstead and clocked in at 98 for Jester King.

Jester King Craft Brewing

Jester King is only open to the public on Saturdays from 1-4pm, though we arrived around 12:40 and were welcomed inside. Once you arrive, $10 (cash) will get you a Jester King tulip glass, a tour of the brewing facilities, and 6 half pours. They had 6 beers available: Le Petit Prince, Noble King, Wytchmaker (cask and draft), Mad Meg, Boxer’s Revenge, and Kissmeyer Brewing’s PilNZer. I was especially excited for the Boxer’s Revenge, a barrel-aged wild ale– it was delicious!

Boxer's Revenge

They offer three times to tour the brewery–1:30, 2:30, and 3:30– our’s was lead by Jeff, one of the founders of the brewery. It was a pretty standard tour, though our time in the barrel room was much welcomed since it was 40 degrees cooler than outside. Their brewing facilities are pretty small, with only 6 fermentation tanks. He talked a lot about the history of Jester King, their brewing philosophy, and also where they see the brewery going. They really try to stay true to the Farmhouse style of brewing in Northern France and Belgium, while trying to use as many local ingredients as possible. They collect wild yeast by placing dishes with beer on top of the barrel house over night, and then basically have at it, blending after aging to try and achieve consistency across the bottles and kegs. They really see barrel aging and wild ales to be the future of their brewery, which I fully support. Though there is not food currently in house, they have food trucks there on Saturdays, and are currently building a wood-fire pizzeria just across from the brewery.

Jeff in the Barrel Room

Overall, I thought Jester King was a blast. There were a lot of families and dogs there, and they even had a bags set (Russ noted that at Penn State, people call it cornhole. Illinois’ colloquialism is bags, which I stick with because I find it less crass). Many people brought picnic lunches, camping chairs, and even other beers for sharing. This, paired with the live music, contributed to a really lively ambience, and a lot of fun. If you’re in Austin, I highly recommend that you check out Jester King.

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Written by Paige Deckert

Paige is a fifth year graduate student at Penn State; she received her craft beer education while bartending during undergrad at the University of Illinois. Over several months, Rogue’s Dead Guy served as her gateway beer, because it was $2/pint on Thursdays, and thus offered the highest ABV/$. This eventually turned into enjoyment, and everything is history from there. Her first legal beer was Robert the Bruce on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign, followed by the Duchess de Bourgogne. Paige has visited over 15 breweries, including Great Divide, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds and Dogfish Head, with plans to add more in 2012 via trips to San Diego, Phoenix, and Austin. Paige became friends with Russ (and subsequently Garrett) when they became friends on untappd. She clearly remembers seeing a check-in of his and thinking, “Who is this clown checking into Miller Light at the Shandygaff?” Soon thereafter he introduced himself at a Zeno’s beerfest, and they bonded over their beer geekery (sans adjuct lagers). Find Paige Deckert on Google Plus

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