Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jester King Brewery grand opening party.

This after noon Rachel and I attended the Jester King Brewery grand opening party in south Austin. As a recent transplant to Austin this was a treat for me. To be outside enjoying a pint in January was almost unreal for this Buffalo, NY native. The weather forecast predicted rain but the sky stayed clear and it was pleasant and breezy in the low 70s. The good weather meant a large turn out. I won't bother to guess how many people actually attended but the photos should speak for themselves. There was a ton of excitement and activity there. People just seemed happy to be there. The full pint or snifter glasses for tastings may have had a hand in the good mood. They sure made me smile. I was hoping to leave with a t-shirt but they were sold out by the time that I enquired about them. There was also a gathering of some rat rods and hot rods that was a nice little treat.

The newly constructed brewery was nice. It was still unfinished but it looks like it is going to work for them nicely. I'm especially excited about their tasting room. They had several 30 barrel fermentors, A wall of casks, and a cold storage room for cask conditioning (which I'm assuming will be kept in the mid 60s for proper aging). We didn't get a full tour but Rachel and I briefly spoke with Ron (one of the partners) about the brewery. He told us about what the guys were doing between the time a business plan was submitted and today. Which was you guessed it, a ton of brewing and recipe tweaking. I left him with a hand shake and my resume. To be a part of this would be awesome.
The lines for the samples were pretty long so Rachel and I were only able to taste two styles, Boxers Revenge Farmhouse Provision Ale and Black Metal Imperial Stout. I was happy none the less. Both brews were unique, exciting and damn delicious.

We sampled Boxers Revenge Farmhouse Provision Ale in a commemorative snifter glass appropriate to the style. I found this beer to be pleasantly tart with a mild hop aroma and strong fruit notes. This one was actually much more sour than I anticipated. That's a good thing though. I really enjoyed it and found it to be quite unique. This brew has an ABV of 9.0% and 23 IBUs.

Awesome Pint glass and Snifter.

Black Metal Imperial stout was a beast. Rich, complex and very malty. I found strong chocolate notes and a slightly burnt coffee flavor. A seriously strong brew that in which the alcohol taste was pleasant and unapologetic. The mere fact that this exists puts a smile on my face. Black Metal + Beer (an Imperial Stout for that matter!) = Me with a ridiculous grin on my face. Too awesome, total krieg. Black Metal has an ABV of a little over 10% !!! and 60 IBUs.

I am excited about the future of this brewery. They have some unique brews in a sea of craft beers now available in the U.S. You don't need to look too deep to know that these guys are doing this because they love it. With a brew literally called Commercial Suicide and another called Black Metal (which is a reference that I can truely appreciate) how couldn't I love this place. I had a great time at the grand opening and hope to return for a tasting once they're fully up and running.

- Jay

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