Sunday, August 26, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Bonnie the Rare Berliner Weisse | Jester King Brewing | Austin, TX

Meanwhile, back on the farm, Jester King would like everyone to know that shit is still goin' gorillas for them, and they would like to summarily put all of their glassed-over fanboys of The Brand® on notice, by keeping an ear to the ground and casual men's bags full of foldable currency.  Shit was about to get bananas.

Jester King earnestly implored for these extremists to start planning their weekday LARP events, Second Life meetups, and Quiddich fantasy drafts accordingly because when the rumors of their latest release of limited edition litter start appearing in the rumor threads on Beer Advocate, one will want to make himself available.  Available TO THE MAXX!  

... otherwise, succumb to the continued humiliation by everyone else that has had or has been having a life.  Amirite, Jesterheads?  I'm right.

Yes, this past week was 'freak-the-fuck-out,-everybody' week in Austin -- and that is because Jester King baited their cult with, not one-, not two-, but THREE limited releases of their 750mL Kim Jong Il ego trip.  The only one I'm talking about in this post, however, is their Berliner Weisse called Bonnie the Rare, and if you recollect from prior entries on [AA], you will have noted that I've already tested positive for OBD: Obsessive Berliner Disorder, which makes this whole seek-and-destroy mission a bit more intense for me.

In reality, It was pretty easy to secure as many Bonnie the Rare bottles as I wanted to by remaining calm, and remembering my survival techniques in the event of an apocalypse.  When 24 hours elapsed after initial refrigeration and I was able to appropriately open its vessel -- as per the instructions printed right on the bottle from the Jester King overlords -- there was fresh, cold Berliner Weisse to soothe my fevered brow.  I was ready to bone.

But first, I want to explain to you why Jester King -- and the obnoxious Jesterheads, alike -- were making such a fucking fuss about a beer with a harmless font and tranny mascot.

Jester King notes on their blog that this specific batch of Bonnie the Rare was ready in May of last year.  But then, they thought, not ... quite.  According to the details on its progress, the lactobacillus infused into the beer had not quite made its marked impressions on the beer's character, and so they let Bonnie the Rare sit bottled at the facility, allowing it to further condition in order to bring out its trademark notes.

And so it sat.  And sat.  And then sat some more.  This shit waffled more than Brett Farve, and presumably had his charmless, soft-dick idiosyncrasy to boot.

And so it sat some more.

That is, until a couple weeks ago when the Templars Brewluminati at Jester King said that it may be bequeathed unto mankind.  It was ready.  So it was whispered, so it was done.

And here I sat on my porch with my 39° beer and long-stemmed tulip (Again, as per bottle instructions. Fuck.) of Bonnie the Rare.


I haven't been more 'meh-ed' since hearing Lana Del Ray sing that song that goes something-something-something.  Deserved or not, Bonnie the Rare was being compared to Austin Beerworks' Einhorn and Black Star's Waterloo.  Descartes and Locke themselves didn't need to tell me that I was in fully conscious comparative mode when measuring the penises of Austin's big time brewers.

Straight away, I noticed the trademark lack of ass-puckering tartness.  Bonnie the Rare was much more sodden, like it was strained from an old farmhouse duvet and built to be Americana in nature, rather than Old World European. Yes, there are overt similarities, but nuanced, latent differences.  I was expecting lemons and granny smith apples and a nice, rewarding wheat garnish to finish the flavor relay.

Instead, Bonnie the Rare was much more subdued in tartness -- yes, the sourness was somewhat present, but too rounded -- and took on notes of herbs and yeast funk and disproportionate wheat.  Sigh.  It was Jester King's cliched farmhouse ale all over again.  Just a farmhouse ale.

Usually, the brewers with the most endowed chest gets to make all the rules, and in this region of Texas, that brewery is Jester King.  In fact, they may be the most widely recognized brewer in the entire state and are very deserved of their accolades.  They are a wonderful brewery and I respect their entire concept amorously.  However, sometimes, with their limited releases it feels like they put in all of the subtle distinction and effort of a megastar's Christmas album.  They aren't making the rules for Berliner Weisse in Central Texas.  They just aren't.

Look I love Jester King's vinyl.  I celebrate their entire catalog.  But the quality of Bonnie the Rare was not quite up to their standards, even a year later behind a watchful gaze.  It didn't prick up my tongue and make me demand to know who was responsible for this fucking drunk Prussian doing a 4/4, followed by a quick triple time dance in my mouth.

So, maybe -- and I'm just blueskying here -- Jester King should have just pulled the plug on the whole experiment before I shivved three muggles.

ABV: 3.7%
Acquired: Spec's
Musical Paring: Kings of Convenience | Declaration of Dependence (2009)


Eighth Wonder of the World said...

I had no idea Jester King had such a serious following. It sure doesn't seem that way up here in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Maurice said...

The dumbassery of the Beer Advocate boards really opened my eyes to it. Didn't have any idea either, apart from the general awesomeness everyone feels when attending a tap room Saturday or special event at JK.