Live Oak Brewing Co. & Jester King Brewery

Dear You People,

I’d like to start this post off with a song to express my feelings:

“And it’s been awhile
Since I could hold my head up high
And it’s been awhile
Since I first saw you

And it’s been awhile
Since I could stand
On my own two feet again
And it’s been awhile
Since I could call you”…a LOSER DUMP FACE.

Who could forget such a beautifully poetic song by the late, great Coldplay featuring Guns N’ Roses? It’s probably one of the most memorable collaborations of all time. UNTIL NOW!

Recently, two very prominent Austin breweries, Live Oak Brewing Co. and Jester King Brewery, came together to create Kollaborationsbiermittschechischemhopfenundwilderbakterienhefekombination, a collaborative farmhouse ale that tickles the taste buds as much as it does the brain bumps that are associated with curiosity and dirty thoughts. This beer, referred to as “Kollaborationsbier” for short, comes from a broken home, and, much like a real orphan, can only find true solitude in your gut.

Wh879at sets Kollaborationsbier apart from any other farmhouse ale, and really any beer at all, is that the wort was brewed at Live Oak but fermented by Jester King. A strange arrangement, indeed, and executed by an odd pair, but it worked out well. This beer is the best of each brewers’ worlds, getting its simple, steadfast beginnings and its prominent jawline from Live Oak, with its wildly tart abundance of body hair from Jester King. In the end, Kollaborationsbier is politely light in every way – light in body, color, mouth feel, and heart. While easily and unknowingly drinking the entire bomber of this 4.2% ABV brew, you may notice a slight hop flavor, or maybe a tinge of sourness, but overall this beer that has a mouthful-of-a name packs a surprisingly small and very pleasant punch. It’s the type of punch that you’d want a dwarf-sized masseuse to use all up and down your back and shoulders until you drift to sleep in a humble slumber of beery dreams.

What surprises me most about Kollaborationsbier is the combination of the collaborative artists. Given all of the brewers in Austin (and it seems there are more with each passing day), I probably wouldn’t have pegged a collaboration between Live Oak and Jester King. Live Oak has been around since the beginning of the Austin craft beer boom, brewing fairly traditional recipes, and  paving the way for many others to follow in their footsteps. Jester King, on the other hand, is relatively new, and is known for their (literally) wild creations. If these two breweries were people, I would imagine Live Oak to be the stern-but-fair father figure, and Jester King would be a rebellious teenager with black eyeliner and leather pants who claims he listens to The Cure or Nine Inch Nails, but secretly enjoys Mumford and Sons. And yet, despite their opposite personalities, they worked together with presumably little bickering to produce a beer that is cohesive and praise-worthy.

This accomplishment, my friends, is rare. To have two entities from opposite sides of the spectrum collaborate to yield something that’s flawlessly unified, is rare. I’m not sure you fully understand the magnitude of this, so in order to help you appreciate the beauty of the beer that is before you, I am choosing to parrot with the worst collaboration of all time: Sports Stars and Anything.

I am in no way a sports authority, but I do know one thing: When an athlete collaborates with any group that’s not affiliated with sports, the results tend to be hilariously awful. Here are some examples to prove my point:

Athletes + Music = “Super Bowl Shuffle.” Maybe one of the longest songs ever to be so terrible and off key the entire time. Actually, now that I think of it, “Super Bowl Shuffle” is more like spoken word, and when you think of it that way, it’s kind of inspiring. (Click the pic to listen).

Super Bowl Shuffle


This “parody” of “Super Bowl Shuffle” from the Goldie Hawn movie, Wildcats, is only marginally more acceptable:


Athletes + Film = One Godawful Cinematic Experience. I know there are movies with athletes that aren’t terrible, but what kind of blog would this be if I recommended beer pairings with decent films? A crappy one, that’s what. So, suck it up and  look at what I’m talking about:

Space Jam, where Michael Jordan saves the world from a cartoon alien space invasion by using the power of basketball, and Bill Murray saves the movie from being a complete failure by using the power of being Bill Murray.


Kazaam, where Shaq plays a genie that I guess can DJ…


Steel, where Shaq plays a superhero that I guess can’t DJ…



Athletes + Video Games = Surprisingly Boring. Shaq just couldn’t quit while he wasn’t ahead, and so he collaborated with gaming gurus to create Shaq Fu, a poor and lonely man’s Street Fighter, but with Shaq instead of anyone that would have made sense. This is pretty much the whole game:


SPOILER: A Shaq Fu re-do is underway!


Charles Barkley + Food = Why? I’m pretty sure Barkley was the only athlete to ever partner with Taco Bell and Weight Watchers practically simultaneously. I think he looked the same during both campaigns, which means one of the companies wasn’t doing their job right.



Can we all just agree that the only successful sports collaboration is Shaq + Cats = Life?

shaq cat

Well, there you have it. Not all collaborative efforts turn out as well as Kollaborationsbier, so consider yourself lucky if you can enjoy its harmonious hopervescence instead of the disjointed disaster that is sports mixed with non-sport things.

You should also consider yourself lucky that I waited so long to post this pairing that Jester King will actually be releasing a new collaborative beer today: Figlet! Jester King brewed it in July using smoked Texas figs provided by Aaron Franklin of world-famous Franklin Barbecue. It’s been undergoing a lengthy farmhouse-style fermentation, so by now this Frankie is super stanky! Bombers go on sale at the brewery today (11/21/14) starting at 4:00 pm. Cost is $12, limit is 2 per person per day, so don’t be a greedy a-hole and think you can just drink all the beerbecue that ever was! See you there *wink*.