(Austin, TX) – The latest from Jester King Brewery as announced in Tuesday’s email newsletter…
We’re very excited to introduce three new beers from our SPON series: SPON — Peach & Apricot, SPON — Raspberry & Cherry, and SPON — Flor!
SPON — Peach & Apricot and SPON — Raspberry & Cherry are barrel aged blends of 100% spontaneously fermented beer refermented with fruit. For SPON — Peach & Apricot, we blended 75% two year old spontaneous beer from 2014 with 25% one year old spontaneous beer from 2015, and refermented it with Texas peaches and California apricots. We chose to blend in some one year old beer from 2015 to lessen the acidity, since we get plenty of citric acid from the stone fruit. At the time of bottling, SPON — Peach & Apricot was 5.2 percent alcohol by volume, 19 IBU, 3.3 pH, and had a gravity of 1.004. It was bottled on July 12, 2016. For SPON — Raspberry & Cherry, we blended 100% two year old spontaneous beer from 2014 and refermented it with Washington raspberries and Michigan cherries. At the time of bottling, SPON — Raspberry & Cherry was 5.2 percent alcohol by volume, 18 IBU, 3.3 pH, and had a gravity of 1.005. It was bottled on June 21, 2016.
SPON — Flor is a curious one-off beer from our SPON program. Some of our spontaneous beer from 2014 was fermenting in neutral oak barrels in close proximity to some Oloroso sherry casks. To our surprise, the spontaneous beer started to develop some very distinct fruity, tropical flavors and aromas. We’re not sure, but we suspect this character came from the sherry flor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flor) migrating through the wood of the sherry casks into our spontaneous beer. We decided to separately blend and bottle this unique beer as “SPON – Flor”. It’s uncertain whether anything like this will ever happen again with our spontaneous program, so we consider SPON — Flor to be a curious one-off. At the time of bottling, SPON — Flor was 5.1 percent alcohol by volume, 17 IBU, 3.1 pH, and had a gravity of 1.005. It was bottled on February 15, 2016.
All three of these beers were inspired by authentic Belgian Lambic and Gueuze. We took raw Texas Hill Country well water and did a turbid mash with malted barely and raw wheat. We then boiled for four hours and added only aged hops from our barn. We allowed the wort to cool overnight in our coolship and become inoculated with airborne yeast and bacteria. We then moved the wort into oak barrels and allowed it to ferment 100% spontaneously. No yeast or bacteria was added. The beer then slowly fermented in oak barrels for one to two years before being blended, and in the case of SPON — Peach & Apricot and SPON — Raspberry & Cherry, refermented with fruit. All three beers were 100% refermented in bottles (horizontally) and kegs without the addition of any other yeast or bacteria.
It’s important to note that while all three beers were heavily inspired by the Belgian tradition of Lambic and Gueuze, they are not authentic versions of those beers. Far from it. These beers are not Lambic or Gueuze and should not be considered as such. Nor do we consider these beers to be “Méthode Gueuze” either. While they were brewed and fermented using the traditional method, they are not blends across at least two years with an average age of 20 to 24 months, and two of the three beers were refermented with fruit.
SPON — Peach & Apricot, SPON — Flor, and SPON — Raspberry & Cherry will be released at Jester King when our tasting room opens at 4pm on Friday, December 16th. All three beers will be available by the glass while supplies last. All three will also be available at bottles to go. We have about 3,000 bottles of each beer in 375ml format. No 750ml bottles are available. SPON – Flor is $20/375ml and SPON Peach & Apricot and Raspberry & Cherry are $25/375ml. The bottle limit for each beer is two per customer per day, meaning that a customer may buy a maximum of six bottles per day (two Flor, two Peach & Apricot, and two Raspberry & Cherry). Outside of special events, SPON — Peach & Apricot, SPON — Flor, and SPON — Raspberry & Cherry will only be available at Jester King. After the initial release, we plan to continue to have a very limited amount of all three beers available at our tasting room each week to purchase by the bottle and drink onsite (details to follow).
We really hope you enjoy these three beers! We consider them to be very special. A lot of time, patience, and love went into making them. Our goal with our SPON program is to use the very special, time honored method of making authentic Lambic and Gueuze, but to do so with our own ingredients, microflora, and palates, so as to make something entirely unique to our own time, place, and people.