Jester King Brewery plans expansion into farming, winemaking

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Lambic fans, rejoice: Jester King is helping to bring the revered beers of Cantillon to Texas.

Photo by Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Jester King’s majestic Hill Country property has grown by 58 acres.

As much as Austin and surrounding towns are growing, one change we won’t see in a few years is a subdivision of houses near Hill Country brewery Jester King — which announced today that it purchased 58 acres of land surrounding the current property.

With all the extra acreage, Jester King aims to start farming in the spring, specifically by planting an orchard and growing grapes. The brewery also has long-term goals that will take years to be realized but pretty special once completed.

“With time, we seek to make Jester King a leading destination for artisan foods, beverages, goods, and all things fermentation,” founder Jeffrey Stuffings said in a blog post. “For instance, we plan on using agriculture to support a farm-to-table restaurant and livestock to support cheese-making and cured meats. Winemaking and distilling will come into the picture using fruit and grains grown onsite, and we’ll get honey from an apiary on the land.”

But the first reason Stuffings and his team decided to significantly expand Jester King has to do with the heart of the brewery, the things they’ve been doing from the start: those tasty tart beers that have already turned it into a destination.

“The direction (Austin) is headed made it seem apparent that one day we’d look out from the front steps of the brewery and see rows of houses,” Stuffings said. “This would obviously compromise the rural, rustic character of the brewery and our ability to make authentic farmhouse ales. We felt we had to act.”

Jester King Brewery has always wanted to make beer “that’s inextricably linked to a particular time and place,” and farming the surrounding land — which will provide its fruity beers with fruit refermentations, among other things — will help the farmhouse brewery stay as authentic to its mission as possible.

“We seek to create a location where virtually everything we make comes from the land around us,” Stuffings said.

It’ll also become an integral community space. A final goal of Stuffings’ is to have “small-scale lodging for guests, a wedding and event space, nature trails, farmers markets, art fairs, and an education center on fermentation and sustainable farming.” (And don’t worry, fans of Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza: You can rest assured that this restaurant next door to Jester King will stay intact. Stanley’s remains a separate and independent business from the brewery.)

For more information, check out this video the brewery has put together to explain the next step for Jester King.


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