Jester King Brewery - Gotlandsdricka
Serving Temperature:50–55° F
Suggested Glassware:Snifter, Tulip, or Teku Glass
Gotlandsdricka, the indigenous beer of Gotland, Sweden’s largest island situated in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Latvia, is akin to Finland’s Sahti. This unique beer is typically crafted in homes or farmhouses using family-based traditional recipes, resulting in distinct flavors. Despite Gotland’s relatively small size, the interpretation of Gotlandsdricka varies widely due to local herbs, juniper berries and twigs, availability of rye, oats, malted barley, and occasionally local honey. Jester King was the first to commercially brew a Gotlandsdricka in the US, drawing inspiration from this legacy, the ingredients, and obscure style. Their version is brewed with three types of smoked malt, juniper berries, rye, sweet gale, hops, and Jester King’s own mixed cultures. Gotlandsdricka is available at the Jester King Brewery and through The Rare Beer Club, as we have procured a handful of cases.
The Jester King Gotlandsdricka pours a deep straw color with a white, pillowy head, offering a lightly smoky aroma complemented by honey, toffee, and melon notes. The juniper provides a lift, balancing sweet malt notes, and the sweet gale comes through as floral and aromatic. There are other intriguing aromas coming through as we swirl the beer in our glasses with notes of smoked apples, white grapes, orchard fruits, and hints of lychee coming into the mix.
On the palate the Jester King Gotlandsricka is smooth and well balanced allowing the smoked malts to mingle with the herbaceous sweet gale and juniper berries. Slightly vinous qualities come though with the white grape and orchard fruit notes holding firm mid-palate and herbal bitterness arriving towards the finish. The mixed cultures add a bit of farmhouse funk without being mouthpuckeringly sour. The Gotlandsdricka is medium bodied with a slightly prickly mousse and a long, drawn-out finish. The finish exhibits a fine bit of smoke akin to a well-aged Islay Scotch Whisky encouraging our next sip of the “Drink of the good Land.”
The Jester King Gotlandsricka is ready to drink now and doesn’t require further aging but can mature for a few more years without losing any of its pronounced flavors and will gain a bit of roundness in mouthfeel. For pairing we’re inclined towards smoked ribs and brisket, Swedish Kalops stew or Falu sausage with mashed potatoes.
Nestled within the picturesque expanse of the Texas Hill Country, Jester King Brewery stands as a true embodiment of an authentic farmhouse brewery, dedicated to the art of mixed culture and spontaneous fermentation brewing. In crafting their beer, they intricately weave the essence of the natural surroundings and local agriculture, resulting in beer that is not just a beverage, but a living testament to a specific moment, a distinct locale, and a vibrant community. Their brewing process is a dance with nature, allowing the symbiotic relationship between the ingredients used in their unique environment to shine through in every sip.
Jeffrey Stuffings, one of the co-founders of Jester King, began his journey as a local homebrewer, embarking on the creation of the brewery in the latter part of 2007. During this pivotal time, he concurrently lent his expertise to Austin Homebrew Supply, where he tirelessly honed both the recipes and the strategic blueprint that would shape the trajectory of Jester King Brewery. After planning for a year, Jeffrey invited his brother, Michael, to relocate to Austin and join him in laying the foundation for what would eventually become Jester King. Through 2009 and 2010 the brothers established their brewery and brewed their inaugural batch of beer in September 2010 – Boxer’s Revenge, a barrel-aged sour strong ale.
Since the inaugural batch of beer, to their first bottlings, and through the transition from pure culture fermentation to the exclusive production of mixed culture and spontaneous fermentation beer, Jester King Brewery has demonstrated a deep commitment to environmental stewardship, making a substantial foray into land conservation by acquiring 58 acres surrounding the brewery. Beyond preserving the natural splendor enveloping their brewing haven, this move paved the way for a burgeoning farm cultivating various fruits and vegetables.
The Jester King brand continues to evolve while maintaining its artisan vibe. We’ve long been fans of Jester King’s attention to detail, the passionate commitment to unleashing unconventional beers on the marketplace, the artisanship, the risk-taking, the do-it-yourselfism, the brewing prowess shown by these homebrewers turned pro, the will to experiment, and the drive to source and use local, organic ingredients and harvested rainwater. For more info about the brewery, their restaurant, farm, and event hall, check out their website over at jesterkingbrewery.com.
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