Jester King Brewery

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #831
Ranked #13,897
3.9 | pDev: 10.77%
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States
Very Good
Notes: A farmhouse ale brewed with alderwood smoked sea salt and oyster mushrooms grown by our neighbor Logro Farms. Logro Farms is located just a few hundred yards from Jester King Brewery at Ceres Park Ranch. They use spent grain from our beer to sustainably grow delicious oyster mushrooms.
Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 450 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Beginner2
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Again I raise my tulip glass to the creativity of The Jester King.
This saison was bottled in July 2018, so I'm guessing they have released it at least twice including its 2014 debut. I think that may be important because it seems like they improved the recipe from 2014 as I do not find the basis of several of the critiques from those reviews. Also, 2014 experimented with unusual ingredients and by 2018 they were figuring out how to put them together.

For example, the smoked salt is not heavy; it probably complements the mushrooms better now than before.
As for the salt/gose and wheat/weiss, these are better in three seasons... so my bad for a deep February tasting.

I find this a refreshing, tart and well-balanced saison. Its unusual ingredients are well-orchestrated. While Jester King seems tight-lipped about their yeast, it seems they used a dose of Brett... making the traditional saison foam and protein swirls a challenge.

I originally thought I didn't pair Snorkel that well. Having mushrooms, Snorkel should pair well with a stewy dish with mushrooms. Instead, I had it with a Greek spinach pie; light, but Snorkel paired well with the earthy spinach and goat cheese. (And Greek food also tends to be salty.)

Would I have Snorkel again? Probably not; but not because of its quality or, even, its price. (And price does make it rare for me to have a Jester King brew twice.) The real problem more is: too many saisons, too little time. Cheers to Jester King ! May their Brett always be tart, but not sour !

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a magnum 1 pint 9.4 ounce bottle from the June 2019 batch, a lemonade/grapefruit color. No head. Has the sour saison aroma. The taste is sour and very unique for beer. It has a thin and fizzy mouthfeel. Overall I liked this with my homemade mushroom soup. I would buy this again to pair with food.

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Photo of theunknownlocal
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking at Cobble & Spoke in H-town. It drinks more like a sour w/the 1st taste. With each additional sip you get the slight taste of smoked sea salt & oyster mushrooms. This is the 1st beer from them that didn't seem too weird.

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Photo of chitoryu12
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Very pale, opaquely hazy yellow. One finger of foamy white head with decent retention.

Smell: Sour and salty, barnyard funk, lemongrass.

Taste: Surprisingly gentle, almost closer to champagne. Lactic acid, mild wheat malt, lemon peel.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and highly carbonated.

Overall: While the smell is scary, the taste is incredible and barely even like beer.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml. bottle into a PAA Dino glass, this beer pours out like a very light, foggy lemonade. Really beautiful color. One finger worth of bone white crown rests on top. 4.75

The nose carries a light sea salt evident throughout while a funky barnyard presence is evident as well. Crisp wheat and straw. While I love that funkiness, my wife apparently hates it as she walks through the kitchen and says “ugh that smells like a skunk, go drink it outside” haha. 4.5

The taste is balanced beyond beauty. Crisp, light crackery wheat mixing with dry straw notes. The funkiness from the nose doesn’t show up much and I’m surprised I don’t detect much “oyster mushrooms” throughout as I was a little nervous about that addition.4.25

The mouthfeel is light, with a very still carbonation until it hits the throat and livens up with airiness. Touch of salinity followed by a greatly accenting touch of light acidity. 4.5

Overall, this is just a great drinking beer. Period. 4.5

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Photo of Buck89
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: a crystal-clear yellow-straw color with a thick white head. The foam slowly settled and there were champagne-like bubbles constantly rising from the bottom of the glass.
Aroma: lemongrass, bread, and a faint earthy element that was hard to describe.
Taste: moderately tart up front with lemons and limes. Some grassiness as well. The malt was faint and mostly white bread. There was a subtle earthiness and nuttiness on the finish. The salt was there on the back as well, and the finish reminded me of a Gose.
Feel: light on the palate with lively carbonation. Fairly dry and clean finish.
Overall: a fun and tasty beer. Drinks like an earthy Gose.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jester King Snörkel, 4.3% ABV. Pours pale cloudy golden with a one-finger white head that left no lacing. Nose is slightly funky, mushroom, citrus, and malt. Flavor is moderately tart citrus, salty, and earthy. Excellent mouthfeel, though a bit heavy on carbonation. Overall excellent to near outstanding.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, batch July, 2018:
Light white haze disrupts the clear light straw body, more at the thicker parts of the glass. It doesn’t block much light, and the gasses flowing up the glass are easily visible. A loose head of white bubbles doesn’t grow too tall, but keeps a thin cover over the beer.

The nose starts with a punch of sour citrus, lime and lemon. There’s a hint of smoke and earthy funk when I inhale more deeply.

The beer is light, as expected, but the tartness keeps things from being boring. Carbonation is moderate and competes with the sour for which adds more bite to the tongue.

Hay and lightly crackery malt join the sour notes that have their puckering strength quelled a bit by warmth. A light salinity is noted, but the farmhouse nature keeps this from straying too far into Gose range. Lime, Granny Smith apple, a bit of yogurt tang, farmhouse hay, a little salt, and a weak earthy note underneath.

My initial sips I thought this might have a little too strong of a sour component. As this part tapered off a little, I found the beer much more refreshing. This beer is a year old in some respect (not sure if the “batch” is bottled date or not), but that does not appear to be much of an issue.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The palest of golden straw colors with a green highlighter touch to it. Not perfect clarity, but damn well near it. Tine bubbles constantly race to the surface to no avail, as the bone white bubbles they try to support above disappear in a flash.

Not picking up on the mushroom or smoke necessarily, but definitely getting the salinity. Tart lemons, a touch of wood, and some funk with added level of earthiness perhaps thanks to those oyster shroomies...

Definitely a meatiness to it along with a strong salty brine. Those dominate over citrus zests and a faint light grainy cereal in the finish, yet all the flavors still manage subtlety.

A nice balance of puckering tartness, salty and funky bites, and a smooth residual sweetness. Nice and dry with minimal carbonation makes this go down rather quickly.

This beer had long intrigued me and I thought I'd never have the opportunity to try it. Low and behold, here we are. An enjoyable beer, but somewhat disappointing. Would have loved to see these mushrooms and perhaps that alder smoked salt shine just a bit more. Bottom line, good beer but not worth the price tag in my opinion.


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Photo of BEERchitect
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

All the earth, all the brine, all the funk and the fauna. Everything that's both prized and challenging about wild ale is not only met but exacerbated with the help of Jester King and their Logro Farms neighbors. Their mushroom, brine and campfire character takes sour ale where it's never been before.

Foggy chrome is how the ale pours as its muddled darkness though the center is a prelude to the eggshell froth the billows above. A mild mannered sweetness bounces off the front of the tongue with aspect of wafer, sourdough and cereal after its briny scent of sod, soil and sea air first captivates the nose.

Fruity on the middle palate, the ale's natural ester qualities include apple, pear, grapefruit, lemon and pineapple, all seeming of the branch dried, weathered variety. A spicy counterpart of black pepper, hay and vinous alcohol sharpen the senses while the bubbles keep the ale lively and phenol forward. The subtle hints of mushrooms and salt add a rounded salinity and smoldering simplicity to the beer's complexity along with a mossy, woodsy taste late on the palate.

Light in body despite the earth and salt flavors trying to keep flavors and textures elevated, the ale drinks like a ale version of a dirty martini- briny, earthy and refreshing all at once. A quick finish of dry baguette, champagne and subtle smoke resonate short and sour on the after palate.

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Photo of donspublic
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into tulip, minimal head and lacing. Clear pale yellow in the glass. Smells mainly of saison yeast, general saison phenols. Taste initially tart with lemon citrus, but middle is dominated with earthy flavor. Finish is somewhat dry and crisp with the earthiness lingering on the palate.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one a gift for my good friend Tim Flanders. Thanks brother. Pours a clear deep straw/pale gold producing barely a finger of thin mineral water effervescent, rapidly diminishing, foamy, white head that leaves no lacing and only a hint of a surface cap and collar ring. Aroma is mildly tart, mineral and vegetal with a low cracker like malt, faint citrus, wild yeast and brine. Taste opens with a salinity and thin sourness that complement each other without overpowering the hints of malt, faint green apple, lime and vegetal that develop during the swallow, ending in a peppery, clean, crisp, dry wild yeast finish Aftertaste shortlived salty, vegetal and green apple. Except for the little bit of wild yeast funk this comes across more like a Gose than a Saison. It lacks complexity but is a very easy-drinking brew for a wild ale. I pick up on little if any smoke. I don't know enough about oyster mushrooms to interpret their contribution, if any to the aroma or flavor. Maybe I've already mentioned it above.?. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation that rapidly dissipates as the brew warms, mildly prickly and dry.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden color. The head is about a finger high and white in shade, but has terrible duration. Not a hint of lacing is left behind...because there isn't a hint of the head left behind.

There are many familiar aspects to this brew's aroma, along with a few curveballs. Mushrooms give it a powerful earthen characteristic, and it works well with the mild salinity also present. Wheat, lemon, and black pepper are the dominant aromatic aspects, as expected. It isn't terribly funky, but it thankfully doesn't come off like a half-ass wheat beer with the word "saison" slapped on it.

It opens up with a tart aspect on the taste buds - it's very gose-like in how it blends a semi-sweet wheat base with tart lemon notes and a minor salinity. It ends with an earthy, almost musty quality. Thankfully, the latter doesn't come across poorly at all. There are enjoyable flavors prevalent, though it's lacking in both depth and flavor boldness. The latter is a bit of a problem considering I've had saisons/grisettes this small that seemingly packed a bigger punch than this.

It's light, crisp, and off-dry in texture, which is bang-on for a saison. Well...almost. It's a little TOO sharp in terms of carbonation to have a perfectly ideal mouthfeel. Still, it's wonderfully easygoing, not to mention it's downright refreshing.

A damn fine table beer that showcases its primary elements well, but it lacks the extra "oomph" to achieve proper greatness. It satisfies the palate without blowing it away. I'll definitely have it again either way - maybe with some age on it in the future?

3.53/5: Not perfect, but pleasingly unique

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Photo of bobv
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch #2 - 10.14.2014.
Moderate pour yields a 3/4 white head over a light golden body with no lacing. Nose of very slight funk (cellar floor, blue cheese), citrus (grapefruit), and a bit of the briny sea. Taste of mostly citrus with a bit of salinity. Finishes dry and somewhat crisp. Good feel and overall, a great little saison right here. Cheers to Austin and an old trading partner JSR.

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Photo of Aldric_Eberhardt
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Light straw color with a weak and ephemeral head.
S: Brine, lemon/citrus
T: Salty, tart, earthy-mushroom
F: Crisp, with a slightly tart dry finish
O: Delicious Saison, reminiscent of a gose with an earthy twist in there.

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Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L- Pours a nice light colored straw beer with a half finger head head. Looks the part for sure.
S- Oyster mushroom, sea brine, lemon, brett and yeast. Crisp and fresh smell.
T- Salt, mushroom, a very present umami savory flavor is also. It must be the oyster. Very pleasant and toned down flavor. Well grounded.
F- Not as dry as I expected. Not bad though.
O- This is a very, very good saison made by a very great brewery. I see where they're going with this beer and like it a lot. It falls a bit short on the flavor to an extent but it's still delicious nonetheless. It may be a little toned down on the flavor and lacks some depth but its overall extremely well made and very original.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I’ve had Snörkel before but this time I had batch #5, ABV 4.20%. I think Snörkel is the most perfect Pizza beer. The flavor and the aroma has notes of mushrooms and burned bread, a little bit of salt, and it is tart, all of which makes you crave Pizza.

Look: semi-clear light yellow with an inch white head.

Aroma: lemony tartness, a little bit of brett funk, and mushroom pizza

Taste: The taste is earthy mushrooms, but not too much, and I taste slightly burned bread and salt, there’s a little bit of funk, it is moderately tart, and overall it is really very nice.

Feel: light, crisp, a little bit of carbonation, a bit dry.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours light cloudy lemon color with white head which settles to a think ring around the glass.

Aroma - Sea salt, funk, very earthy aroma and some light tart lemon.

Taste - Very earthy flavor from the mushrooms, lots of sea salt, slightly funky.

Feel - Light prickly carbonation, tart slightly dry finish.

Overall - A great saison reminds me more of an earthy gose.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Beavertown Extravaganza. Aroma is salty, briney, earthy with damp cellar notes. Taste has smoked grains with some lemony and briney notes. Quite well balanced overall.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought from Beergium. Drank at September 20th 2017 a version from 2016.

Poured into a tasting glass.

A: The body is hazy with a bright yellow to almost orange coloration. Head is really minimal as usual for a sour ale. No lacing.
S: The aroma is very rich and smooth: it has a sour and almost brett-y feeling to it but very very mild, actually enjoyable. In the back, saltiness and also some pletorus mushrooms profile.
T: The taste starts off with a rich citrus of orange, turning quickly into a very likeable sea saltness - you can actually feel that taste that gets into your mouth after a dive in the ocean but a lot smoother. In the back, there's some smooth tartness, and only in the back of mouth, after swallowing, is when you get the mushrooms crunchiness that actually creates a very visceral desire to bite something. Cool.
M: Body is low. Carbonation is low but as desired. Tartness is mild but since this one year old, not sure if it's the real thing.
O: I do have some platonic love for Jester King and this actually my first beer from them. I'm very glad I could finally have. After this, I'll have SPON from 2016 as well. I'll expect to have it in one full year.

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Photo of puck1225
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer grew on me as I ate it with pizza. I poured it from a bomber into a tulip glass. It is a nice clear yellow with a thin, short lasting head, not much lacing. The smell was a bit earthy with grapes. The taste is lemony with some white wine. It had a bit of salt with its funk that made it interesting and good.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Straw, no head, clear with light haze
S: White wine, grape, tart, lemon, light earthiness
T: Tart grape, sweet white wine, light salinity, lemon, acidic
M: Suits the style
O: Possibly jester king's take on a Gose. The yeast character is classic JK

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Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't say the mushrooms stand out in particular, except possibly for a light earthy note in the aroma. Nevertheless, it is a solid, drinkable and well balanced gose.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4oz pour From bottle, Zwanze Day 2016, Green Bench Brewery, St Petersburg, Fla.
Love the Mushroom concept, but i don't get it on the nose nor the pallet. Still a good tart farmhouse. add more Mushrooms next time.

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Photo of superspak
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass; batch #4, bottled 6/9/2016. Pours fairly hazy golden straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin spotty lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Good appearance. Aromas of lightly tart lemon, lime, pear, green apple, white wine, wood smoke, sea salt, peppercorn, hay, straw, herbal, grass, funk, wheat, cracker, and yeast/mushroom earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy/funky yeast, mushroom/salt, and moderate pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of lightly tart lemon, lime, pear, green apple, white wine, wood smoke, sea salt, peppercorn, hay, straw, herbal, grass, funk, wheat, cracker, and yeast/mushroom earthiness. Fair amount of peppery yeast spice and light tannic tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, lime, pear, green apple, white wine, wood smoke, sea salt, peppercorn, hay, straw, herbal, grass, funk, and yeast/mushroom earthiness for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of of fruity/spicy/funky yeast, mushroom/salt, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from tart/spiciness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and lightly acidic/tannic/grainy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 4.3%. Overall this is a damn nice saison. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of of fruity/spicy/earthy yeast, mushroom/salt, and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth and refreshing to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Snörkel from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 450 ratings