(Austin, TX) – Jester King Brewery sent out the following note to email newsletter subscribers last week…
We’re excited to announce a new collaboration beer we brewed with Brasserie Fantôme in Soy, Belgium called Fantôme Del Rey. Brewing with Fantôme was an incredible honor for us, especially for our Head Brewer Garrett Crowell, who has long loved and been highly influenced by the remarkable beers brewed by Dany Prignon at Fantôme. We analogize our brew day with Fantôme to Garrett getting to go onstage and play guitar with his rock idol!
If you follow our brewery, you know we have complete openness about our recipes and techniques. We routinely share recipes and beer making tips with homebrewers looking to clone our beers. However this time around, in deference to the mystery and intrigue that has always shrouded Fantome, we’re going to be a little secretive as to how Fantôme Del Rey was made.
What isn’t a secret unfortunately is that this beer will not be making it to our native Texas. Beer laws in Texas are heavily slanted against out of state brewers, especially small ones. We’ve written extensively in the past about how Texas sends the message to small, artisan breweries located abroad that they’re not wanted here. Texas requires that small, out of state breweries, many of which would only sell a few dozen cases of beer in Texas a year, pay thousands of dollars in licensing fees, fill out onerous paperwork, and submit each beer for laboratory testing. When faced with these hurdles, small breweries abroad simply chose to sell their beer elsewhere. That’s why we can’t currently buy beer in Texas from Fantôme, Cantillion, Drie Fonteinen, Tilquin, Brasserie De Blaugies or several of the other small, artisan breweries that inspired us to make beer in the first place. It’s not even legal for these beers to be poured at beer festivals in Texas. We’d love to have a proper beer festival at Jester King that puts these small, artisanal breweries on display, plus beer from many other small breweries you may have never even heard of yet. Unfortunately, Texas requires large licensing fees, extensive paperwork and lab testing even for beer to be poured at a festival. We of course hope this reality will change during the next legislative session in Texas in 2015.
Despite our disappointment with how Texas treats small, out of state breweries and the fact that Fantôme Del Rey won’t make it to Texas, we’re very excited about our collaboration beer with Fantôme. It will end up being distributed throughout parts of Europe and the United States. Again, it was an honor for us to brew with one of our most cherished, inspirational breweries in the world. We also look forward to possibly making a Texas-brewed version of Fantôme Del Rey in the future at Jester King!