Author: Andrea Coan

Advanced Cicerone Study: Phenols

Advanced Cicerone Study: Phenols

Ahh phenols…they really know how to spice things up.  But seriously, phenols can add a huge amount of complexity and character to a beer.  They give weissbiers their characteristic clove-like quality and give saisons that barnyard, animal, “je ne sais quoi” thing that makes them so delightful.  In some cases, they can even break the beer…looking at you chlorophenol.  Whether good or bad, phenols are an important component of many styles.  Let’s examine a few.Read More

Advanced Cicerone Study: Organic Acids

Advanced Cicerone Study: Organic Acids

In this section we will cover the category of off-flavors known as organic acids.  These are a class of compounds that contain a carboxyl group and impart highly flavorful properties to beer.  At lower levels they may present a level of freshness while at high levels they generally indicate the presence of spoilage organisms.Read More

Advanced Cicerone Study: All About Esters

Advanced Cicerone Study: All About Esters

Anyone who has ever experienced the lively fruitiness of a Saison or the deep, rich sweetness of a Belgian Dark Strong then you are in the know when it comes to esters.  Read More

Gigantic Shazoo Milk Stout

Gigantic Shazoo Milk Stout

Gigantic’s Shazoo Imperial Milk Stout is a part of a series of beer releases that include unique label art by an original artist, as well as a musical release by an independent musician.  The beer’s not too shabby either, actually, it’s truly inspiring.  In fact, after one of these boozy brews I too thought I could create something beautiful with my voice, if only in the shower.


C: Deep, opaque onyx

A: Bitter coffee grounds, unsweetened Baker’s chocolate, black licorice

T: Cold brew coffee, rich mocha, burnt bread, and bitter chocolate

F: Dry, roasted coffee with hints of mocha

B: Full, full, full

Visiting the Farmhouse: A Trip to Jester King

Visiting the Farmhouse: A Trip to Jester King

Jester King is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, a picturesque locale dotted with wineries, breweries, and the occasional gun range, just so you don’t forget where you are.   The hills roll on and on, and you can’t help but feel you’ve got nothin’ but time.  Book a Bed and Breakfast and an Uber, the beers are the only thing that’s rustic in these parts, and saddle up for some wine tasting and brewery touring.  But we came all the way out here for one thing…to visit the infamous Jester King.

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Jester King Montmorency vs. Balaton

Jester King Montmorency vs. Balaton

Montmorency and Balaton are cherry varieties from Michigan that are prized for their tartness.  It stands to reason, then, that the sour seekers at Jester King would use these little nuggets to tart up one of their creations.  Honestly, this fruit lends itself perfectly to this sour ale.  They take a pale base sour and age it in oak, then referment it with about 4 pounds of cherries per gallon of batch.  That’s a lot of cherries man.  But thank god for it, cuz this beer is goooo-oooood.

C: Cartoonish raspberry with a slight haze

A: Cherry, leather, and tart funk

T: Tangy with light cherry and berry flavors

F: Tart, dry finish with light lingering berry

B: Light to medium

Jester King Wytchmaker

This Farmhouse Rye IPA is every bit the beer I want from this magical brewery.  Bright, zesty sweetness from the rye and minty, floral notes from the hops give themselves over, willingly, to the yeasty goodness and tart funkiness.

C: Hazy sunshine golden

A: Funkiness with floral, herbal, and minty hops

T: Balanced with tart citrus, and bright lemon juice and all the same hop aromas

F: Quick, slightly dry finish

B: Medium

Jester King Queen’s Order

The Queen’s Order is a new incarnation from Jester King.  It’s brewed with guajillo honey and two types of Texas lemons; these guys source the crap out of Texas products.  It was actually brewed for an Austin Honey Beer Summit, so that honey flavor goes a long way.

C: Hazy lemon

A: Bitter lemon rind and funk

T: Spritzy lemon peel with bready notes

F: Bitter lemon, then quick and dry

B: Medium

Jester King Noble King

This Hoppy Farmhouse Ale is an oldie but goodie; we tasted Batch 18 on our visit.  It’s brewed with Noble hops and native yeast as well as Hill Country well water, duh.  This guy doesn’t overwhelm the taste buds with complexity, but has the right amount of light fruits and farmhouse funk.  A perfect beer for day drinking in an idyllic setting.  Like the Texas Hill Country perhaps.

C: Pale straw

A: Slightly overripe pear with grass

T: Funk, light fruits, hay and grass, with light cracker notes

F: Lingering, dry finish

B: Light body

Jester King 2017 Hibernal Dichotomous

Seasonal Farmhouse release that focuses on local Texas ingredients.  This one is chock full of grapefruit zest, fresh rosemary, and dried chilis, there’s no shortage of those here.  What you get is a savory wonderland of funky flavor.  It’s delightful.

C: Pale Copper

A: Apricot, pear, grape with savory rosemary

T: Light fruits with bread and bitter citrus peel

F: Dry, with warmth from the chilis

B: Light to medium