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Austin's Famed Jester King Brewery to Help Seattle Homebrewers Go Pro

Fair Isle Brewery is hoping to start making farmhouse beers in Seattle by 2018

Fair Isle/FB

Two Seattle homebrewers aiming to take their skills to the big leagues have gotten a serious boost from an Austin, Texas-based business, reports the Washington Beer Blog.

Highly-regarded Austin brewery Jester King, which is actually building out a farm to complement its farmhouse-style production facility, is an equity partner in forthcoming Fair Isle Brewery. Though it doesn’t have a home yet, Fair Isle also plans to focus on farmhouse-style beers, a broad category of often-funky, predominantly Belgian styles that have their origins in 19th-century European farmhouses; saisons are the most common of these beers seen on the market today.

Fair Isle's website promises a "large range of mixed culture farmhouse and wild beers, including Saison, Grisette, Biere de Garde, ‘Farmhouse’, and American Sour beer. Many of our beers will include locally foraged items such as fireweed, elderberries, mushrooms etc and many will also be refermented on fruit. We also plan to have a coolship and produce true spontaneously fermented ‘wild’ beers." There certainly won’t be a typical line-up of porters, pales, and stouts.

The news came a week ago via Jester King's blog, which revealed that co-owner Andrew Pogue helped out Jester King's founders in their early days with everything from tasting room-buildout to brewing and video production. Pogue met Fair Isle co-founder Geoffrey Barker through the North Seattle Home Brew Club, the same group whose members spawned the likes of Reuben’s, Bainbridge Island Brewing, NW Peaks, Populuxe, Lucky Envelope, and Ravenna Brewing.

The duo are taking the long view, hoping to open in 2018 somewhere in the Ballard, Fremont, or Queen Anne area. They’re seeking 6,000 square feet of space — as the Washington Beer Blog points out, that’s a pretty ambitious plan considering the price of real estate in busy Seattle neighborhoods. Still, this is an exciting development in the ongoing evolution of the Seattle beer scene — and the first taste may come within a few months via a collaboration brew that the two breweries produced at Jester King and hope to send to Washington.