Hay is for horses, and it turns out, Jester King’s newest release: Repose.
I can’t really describe this particular process any better than the team can, but this product continues to show that the Jester King group continue to stretch what it means to brew beer, and more specifically, Farmhouse Ales.
I recently did a tour of the brewery and a general tone rang throughout; yes, it could be easier to please the populous and some of the investors making something that could reach a broader audience, but the stuff they are putting out is one their time line (because most of the fermentation doesn’t happen at an exact time), and it is stuff they enjoy with ingredients that are all around them.
It’s quite fascinating.
So here’s the story behind Repose below:
“We’re very excited to introduce Jester King Reposé — a farmhouse ale brewed with hay and slowly fermented in French brandy barrels with native yeast and bacteria.
The inspiration for Reposé came from dusty, hay-filled barns like the one near Jester King where we store our aged hops. We attempted to capture some of our sensory experience of the barn by adding ingredients found in the attic to the beer. We added bales of hay to the mash and old hops that had spent many months in burlap bags to the boil. Further providing inspiration for Reposé was Bière de Garde, a traditional French farmhouse beer that likely originated out of the stone-walled barns that dot the landscape of northern France. Bière de Garde was historically brewed in fall and winter to take advantage of cooler fermentation temperatures, and aged for months before drinking. Similarly, Reposé was brewed during February of 2014 and slowly fermented for months prior to being blended and packaged in January of 2015.
The wort for Reposé was brewed with Texas Hill Country water from our well, malted barley, hay, aged hops, and fresh hops. It was then pitched with Jester King’s unique mixed culture of brewer’s yeast and native yeast and bacteria harvested from the air and wildflowers around our brewery. After an initial fermentation in stainless steel, Reposé was then slowly fermented for months in Brandy barrels we received from France. It is 8.3% alcohol by volume, 12 IBU, has a finishing gravity of 1.004, and was 3.25 pH at the time of bottling. The label art is by Jester King’s Josh Cockrell.
Reposé will be released at Jester King when our tasting room opens on Friday, February 27 at 4pm. It will be available by the glass, as well as to go in 750ml bottles ($18, limit 4 per customer per day). Approximately 4,500 hundred bottles are available. The price point for Reposé is slightly higher than some of our previously released barrel-fermented beers, due to the extra cost associated with bringing in special barrels from overseas. At this point, we do not anticipate Reposé being available beyond Jester King, aside from a few special events.”