Jester King Brewery - Citrus Froot Direct
Serving Temperature:43–50° F
Suggested Glassware:Nonic, Tulip, or IPA Glass
We’ve been working with Jester King to put together an exceptional roundup of their latest releases, and this feels like one of the tastiest collections we’ve put together to date. We’ve got their triple-dry-hopped farmhouse IPA, a brand-new version of their seasonally shifting Provenance, the latest batch of their smoked-fig beer (made in partnership with the famous Franklin Barbecue), and a Brettanomyces-influenced interpretation of a mid-20th-century porter.
Availability varies slightly between these four featured beers, but generally speaking these will see about 140 cases distributed throughout the brewery’s home state of Texas, and about 70 cases sprinkled throughout California, North Carolina, and Wisconsin—with the remainder of each batch being sold through Jester King’s tasting room. For these four, we’ll be taking a sizable chunk of each beer’s inventory for our Rare Beer Club members.
We start off this Rare Beer Club special offer with Jester King’s new Citrus Froot Direct, a triple-dry-hopped farmhouse IPA with oranges and mandarins. This beer features raw wheat and flaked oats along with TexMalt San Jacinto 2-row and Wildfire pale malt, which in turn get fermented by the brewery’s mixed culture of yeast and bacteria in stainless steel. This gets a first dry-hopping of Ekuanot and Amarillo, then is refermented with hand-juiced Hamlin oranges and Dancy mandarins from Orange Blossom Farm in Utopia, Texas. This beer is then dry-hopped twice with Ekuanot and Sabro cryo-hops, before (for good measure!) the hand-processed zest of the oranges and mandarins gets added. Jester King processed over 800 pounds of locally grown citrus for this, and it’s 100% naturally conditioned in bottle.
Citrus Froot Direct pours a delicately hazed, deep golden color approaching orange, looking like something between a saison and an IPA. This offers a nicely formed, bright-white foam with mixed bubbles and a considerable amount of lacing around the edges of the glass. The exceptional levels of bright citrus and tree-fruit characteristics are apparent from the get-go, and the aroma leads with pulpy orange and zesty lemony elements. Apricot, fresh-squeezed lime, touches of sweet mango, some welcome grassiness… We also noticed the firm acidity, lemon-pepper notes, sourdough, and subtle funk contributed by the mixed-culture ferment.
Nicely carbonated, with a hoppy bitterness that sneaks up on you. Citrus Froot Direct leads with those special additions, as oranges and mandarins take center stage throughout (even if there’s a ton of other stuff going on). Deep, firmly bitter orange, expressive lime and tropical notes, loads of pithy grapefruit, plus hints of citronella and passionfruit throughout. Smooth integration between the fruit additions and the considerable dry-hopping. This beer was built to showcase its delicious Texas citrus fruit, with its hop additions providing complementary fruit character and bitterness, and that mixed-culture ferment bringing in welcome peppery and bready aspects to counterpoint—plus a touch of lemony acidity. A beautiful farmhouse IPA, with everything working in tandem to highlight locally grown mandarins and oranges.
We’re inclined to enjoy this on the fresher side, when the dry-hopping and fruit additions are at their most impactful. For food pairings, we’re considering roasted chicken with a tropical salsa, or some creamy, herbaceous goat cheeses to work with those generous citrus notes.
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