Jester King Brewery’s incorporation of local ingredients for its beers will continue this week with its latest barrel-aged sour.
Named Bière de Blanc du Bois, the new beer from the Austin, Texas-based brewery comes in at 6.7 percent ABV and is brewed with Hill Country well water, barley, wheat and hops before being aged in oak barrels for an extended period of time. In addition, the beer was then refermented with Texas-grown Blanc du Bois grapes, an American hybrid varietal.
“At the start of this year’s past harvest, our friend Doug Lewis, from Lewis Wines, contacted us about some extra Blanc du Bois grapes from east Texas that he would have available,” said Adrienne Ballou, head of the barrel program, in a post on the brewery’s website. “Blanc du Bois, an American hybrid, is an interesting varietal that is often overlooked in the wine world. My interest in this varietal began during my time working in the experimental vineyards at U.C. Davis. The varietal was released by the University of Florida in the 1970s and is a cross between Cardinal, an American species, and Florida D6-148, a cross between several Vitis Vinifera species including Golden Muscat.”
Jester King also used an unconventional approach to how it process the grapes, taking its cue from ancient Georgian winemaking. Instead of immediately pressing the juice from the grapes prior to fermentation, the brewery left the skin, stems and seeds on the grapes to ferment with the beer, which “provides a controlled environment for slow, oxidative aging.”
Bière de Blanc du Bois is packaged in 500ml bottles ($16) and will go on sale at the Jester King tasting room on Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. Approximately 800 bottles are available and there will be a limit of one bottle per person per day.