Jester King Brewery is on a real farm, just outside of Austin, Texas.
Speaking of Jester King Brewery (Austin, TX), just a couple days ago the brewery announced that it had bottled its first 100-percent spontaneously fermented beer, which was a three-year vertical blend of coolship beers from the winter of 2013, winter of 2014, and winter of 2015. The beer will referment and condition in corked-and-capped bottles for months before being released sometime this year.
“We’re seeking to make a beer inextricably linked to a particular time and place, never to be precisely recreated again,” says Jester King founder Jeffrey Stuffings. “Beer that has a sense of place and time is what intrigues us, and motivates us to be immensely patient with a project that is now three years old.”
Unfortunately, Jester King is not sold in the Pacific Northwest, but here in Bellingham you can find some Lambics at Elizabeth Station (though aside from Tilquin, most are of the sweetened variety), as well as the occasional American-made spontaneously fermented beer.
One such beer that is currently available at Elizabeth Station is a spontaneously fermented beer (which was inoculated with additional bugs) from Seattle’s Urban Family Brewery called The Only Schip Worth A Damn. This was a collaboration between multiple breweries during last year’s Seattle Beer Week. It’s a surprisingly tasty beer that features fruity esters of lemon and pineapple, earthy notes of sourdough, a bit of funk and a healthy amount of acidity.
Oh, and be on the lookout for bottles of Lindemans Oude Kriek Cuvée René, which is supposed to be hitting shelves in America this month for the first time ever. It’s a delicious, refreshingly tart and sour Lambic with huge notes of cherries and woodsy cherry pits, and it’s not to be mistaken with the widely available Lindemans Kriek.
Other Lambic producers include Boon, De Cam, Timmermans, Hanssens, Girardin, Belle-Vue, De Troch, Mort Subite, Oud Beersel, and my personal favorites, Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen. Unfortunately, some of these are not sold in the U.S. and others can be extremely difficult to find. Regarding the latter, the same could be said for many American-made, spontaneously fermented beers, which tend to be special, limited-release offerings. But I suppose that just adds to their allure.