Thursday, April 07, 2011
Texas Three Step
No, its not a new dance that you'll see folks doing at your favorite honkey tonk. Instead this post will be about three beers newly available in bottles from some exciting new breweries from Texas. The breweries I'm talking about are Jester King out in the Hill Country and Ranger Creek in San Antonio. Jester King excites me for a couple of reasons. The first being is that they are taking an aggressive approach to being a Farmhouse brewery, starting from day one on developing a barrel program, and harvesting local wild yeasts from the surrounding hill country. Additionally, they are not only making the extreme high alcohol beers that craft brewers love, they are making amazingly flavorful lower alcohol beers. The first up was Commercial Suicide a English Dark Mild ale weighing in at 3.8%. However they are also making a Belgian tafelbier (or table) that I'll be excited to try. Another interesting thing that Jester King does is that all the beers are partially made with harvested rain water which is pretty cool. I'm excited about Ranger Creek for different reasons. They are not only a craft brewer, but a craft distillery as well. My hope for them is that as they produce great bourbon, they'll re-use those barrels to age some amazing beers. Jester King Wytchmaker: A bottle conditioned rye IPA weighing in at 81 IBU and 6.1%. An amazing looking label, I love the art work that Jester King uses. I enjoy that all the ingredients the beers use are on the label, each malt, each hop, each yeast (English ale in this case). Hops used were Warrior, Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade, and Centennial. Malt bill contained 15% rye. The beer pours a cloudy hazy copper brown, with a thick off white head. Lots of hops on the nose, citrusy with just a hint of pine and some pale malts. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, spicey, grapefruit, citrus peel, piney. Some notes of white pepper, spicey. Lots of rye bread notes. A very good beer, I give an A to. Jester King Black Metal: A bottle conditioned Imperial Stout, yes please! 10.4% and 60 IBU's this beer pours a viscous oily black with a quarter inch reddish cafe colored head. Dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts on the nose. Thick chewy mouthfeel, denser than I remember from having this on draft previously. Notes of chocolate, dark and milky. Coffee with creamer, some roasted malts. Earthy hops at the finish. Its a huge beer, but highly drinkable. Another wonderful beer that gets an A from me. Ranger Creek La Bestia Aimable: This is Ranger Creek's take on a Belgian Strong Ale, named after the Aimable, the ship La Salle used, landed at Matagorda Bay to claim Texas for France. The beer weighs in at 9.4% with 25 IBU's and pours a hazy cloudy brown with a thin frothy head. Very malty nose, full of raisins and figs some caramel and yeasty notes. Medium bodied, rich concentrated dark fruits like figs and raisins. Caramelized figs with balsamic. Notes of honey, creme caramel, very smooth and easy drinking. A thoroughly enjoyable beer.