Since Jester King began brewing about a year and a half ago, they have only produced unfiltered and unpasteurized beer. All bottles, casks, and gravity kegs were naturally conditioned, but most of their kegs were force carbonated. In other words, instead of adding sugar when the beer was kegged to produce CO2 naturally, they were carbonating them by bubbling compressed CO2 into the beer from a tank. As of last month, that is no more. All Jester King beers will be 100% naturally carbonated.
Jester King says…
“…in our experience with our beer, we’re solidly convinced that natural conditioning results in better products. We’ve now done more comparisons than we can count between force carbonated and naturally conditioned versions of all of our beers, and we all consistently judge the naturally conditioned versions to be more flavorful, complex and interesting than their force carbonated counterparts.
Why had they not made this decision sooner? Naturally conditioning the beers takes about four to six weeks longer and it takes up more storage space. This means that there will be less Jester King to go around each month, but what is available will be better. Also, some draught systems cannot handle keg-conditioned beers because of the fluctuation in carbonation from keg to keg and the natural sediment that occurs in these beers. Jester King does not look back on the decision to force carbonate their beers fondly, but perhaps as the right decision for that point in time. From now on any Jester King beer you might consume will have let the yeast work its natural magic in its original vessel whether that be bottle, keg, or cask.