Jester King DUAL WINO Shootout: Both them Grapes About to Get they First Crush, JUICY -BAL MACERATION.

Well with Jester King’s completely odd “profit-based” decision to sell the majority of their product at the brewery itself, the demand for those Texan farmhouse oil salesmen has increased markedly. How can I appreciate these beers if they aren’t just sitting in Whole Foods anymore? JEEZ.

Their fruited wild ales, not unlike my milkshake, serve to bring all the mouth breathing boys to the yard. It is such sweet irony that their equally compelling 750ml offerings are often overlooked by consumers not worthy of their embraces. In between the hyped and marginalized lies the Jester King middle class: the grapey wino offerings. A typical sweaty Austin dipshit with bbq sauce slathered in his goatee and Underarmor t shirt eschews wines. In their eyes, wine is a free beverage at weddings or a natural fuel for petulant divorcees. Wine-structured beers always create this tenor of wariness.

For this reason Cerveza de Tempranillo was criminally passed over and only now are these husky Lands End wearing outdoor enthusiasts discovering the majesty of the grape.

I identify my fruits by their corresponding otter pop color.  That's the only way I know.

I identify my fruits by their corresponding otter pop color. That’s the only way I know.

Today we have two top tier winey grappa syrahesquey tannic adventures. I might even get to use the word deflocculated while running the grid. STR8 SOMMED BRUH.

Biere De Syrah, Jester King

7.2% abv, a saison cum de wild ale, essentially

“A barrel-aged sour beer refermented with Syrah grapes. Bière de Syrah consists of a blend of beer fermented in oak barrels for nine to twelve months with our mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and wildflowers around our brewery. The blend was then refermented with Syrah grapes for about two weeks, transferred off of the fruit, then aged for an additional nine months in oak barrels. After packaging, the beer naturally conditioned for an additional two months prior to release. Altogether, Bière de Syrah is roughly two years old.

Biere de syrah comes right out of the gates with a radiant juicy magenta hue to it like a winter sunset. The pink foam whips like a broken cotton candy machine and the carb sits proudly like housing insulation, except less cancer. For some reason, this particular shade makes grown men ovulate like they are picking out nursery color schemes. They can see tastes, I guess.

oh shit so deflocculated

oh shit so deflocculated

The nose has a distinctly vinous character but travels all over the realm of skins and farmers markets. Beyond the syrah you get a dash of pinot noir, dryness of currant, this acidity tartness of ripe plum and even a nectarine closer from the acidity. It is far better than expected and uses an unlikely platform to deliver a first crush from its pulpit.

The acidity on the nose gave me pause but thankfully the mineral character at the outset offset the sheer ph of the entire experience. In the way that the composite profile of an ipa can offset a sky high ibu, the oak and lingering dryness of the grape tannins underlines a well rounded entirely crushable experience. I enjoyed this more than many of the “more touted” fruited JK wilds if only due to the way it grips the oak bannister at the fruit debutante ball with a violet gown draping the floor with elegance.  Shit is mad classy, open this at Olive Garden and watch the dental hygienists swoon.

Binder drawing tier 10/10

Binder drawing tier 10/10

Absolutely lock this one down as soon as possible

Jester King Biere de Blanc Du Bois

6.7% abv, wild ale, no saisons on this one, no way.

Bière De Blanc du Bois was brewed with Hill Country well water, barley, wheat, and hops. It was fermented with our unique mixed culture of microorganisms, which includes farmhouse yeasts, naturally occurring wild yeasts harvested from our air and land in the Texas Hill Country, and native souring bacteria. After extended fermentation and maturation in oak barrels, it was refermented with Texas-grown Blanc du Bois grapes. Bière De Blanc du Bois is 6.7% alcohol by volume, 3.2 pH, and has a finishing gravity of 1.004 (1.0 degree Plato). It is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and 100% naturally conditioned. The artwork for Bière De Blanc du Bois was created by our in-house artist Josh Cockrell.”

putting that Jack LaLanne juicer to work

putting that Jack LaLanne juicer to work

The biere du blanc du bois aka that bdbdbdbdbdbbdbdb leaves more to be desired in its simplistic, highly acidic aplomb. It is admittedly beautiful and radiant in the glass with wispy frothy carb that not only defeats the tartness below but continually sheets and shines like a glowstick at Hard or EDC, the beats perpetually drop.

This exhibits very little wine character and even the grape aspects are shy and hardly peek out from the oak curtains. Cyber sex protip: “oak curtains” is the least sexy vaginal euphemism possible. The nose is a blast of tangerine, lemon, muddled grapefruit, honeydew and a touch of Riesling sweetness.  It is relentlessly bright but also a touch offputting in the unbalanced Noel Coward dryness of the performance. Go ahead and Google “NOEL COWARD” I will wait.  People complain about the lack of depth in DDB references and think this shit is all Worldstar and Squaresoft, you ungrateful fucks, about to David Foster Wallace these tickin ass ratchets.

Let me loosen up them buttons baby, show me what them grapes can do to me

Let me loosen up them buttons baby, show me what them grapes can do to me

For a truly great comedic or wild ale performance there must be grounding upon which to predicate the extreme aspects, otherwise the whole thing goes to Crazy Town faster than you can say “butterfly.” That is where the bdbdbdbd suffers most. In seeking to provide a radiant light diaphanous performance of Chardonnay refreshment, the acidity and bone dry oak dominate. Instead of being a magnificent grapey adventure, we are left with something closer to beatification albeit lacking the yeasty complexity.  If you Monistat the Beatification, all you are left with is acidic discharge: NO ONE WANTS THAT.

It is an instance where Jester King lamentably must live up to their own catalog and arent given any easy passes as a result. If someone like Half Acre made this without any fanfare, it would be the greatest sour the midwest had seen this side of VSB; but their own pedigree infects expectations like a sour mash. So in sum, it is a tasty serviceable sour that would be the pinnacle of anyone else’s catalog, but them Extract boys with their fancy barrel fermenting and puncheons and actual farmhouse have painted expectations into a corner and now must lie in the same doghouse that them Hill boys suffer through: every release must be a revelation. If cd12 and Ambree aren’t an outright grand slam, pepperoni nips get chafed.  If your consumers predicate their self value on bottles of fermented grain, be sure that they base their feelings of intellectual superiority on pointing out shortcomings,  Working at Cici’s Pizza doesn’t exactly give them the earthly Muse to validate their pursuits.



Seek out biere de syrah, but obligingly accept a pour of bdbdbdbdb, then continue to act like an expert in all things monoculture despite the fact that you got a B- in high school biology because the Krebs citric acid cycle was just too hard and what the fuck is ATP anyway, amirite. Strap on those husky cargo shorts and call Ddb a sellout while driving your stepdad to the latest adjunct stout release. You’re a master of the internet and your palate is infallible.

Business as usual.



@hillfarmstead Biere de Norma BATCH 3: Garde’ing That Northern France Swagger By Way of Vermont

You might remember waaaayyyyy back in 2012, I reviewed the first batch of norma, that 180 bottle pre-Ann baller


I opened a batch 2 Normaa and was all pussy hurt because it wasn’t as lactic or tasty as b1. It toed the traditional BdG style guidelines and that isn’t necessarily my go to stroke material for that realm of beers.


That top-down lighting makes everything look turbid.

That top-down lighting makes everything look turbid.

So what the fuck is happening with old Norma these days? Well it is much of a Goldilocks approach, more tart than b2, but more akin to traditional Biere de Gardes than that puckering b1. If b1 is cuddling up close to the AWA section and b2 was laying in bed with Northern French BdG’s, then b3 is somewhere in between, hanging down from the top bunk breathing hard and making both feel uncomfortable.

I still prefer batch 1, but this is a vast improvement over b2, and one of the most unique entries in the HF catalog of top tier saisons. It is not quite the acidic american wild that most bitch tickers favor these days, but it isn’t the earthy metallic biere de garde you might be expecting. Awesome cherry, red grape and merlot oak interplay with a beer that is highly drinkable without fucking your gumline like a Flanders Red. One of the best examples in the underserved BdG realm, certainly.

This is an old style but Vermont is keepin it sexy.

This is an old style but Vermont is keepin it sexy.