Jester King's Petit Prince Farm House Ale: Finally, a Real Session Beer

The Common Table Jester King Petite Prince.jpg
My first encounter with a session beer involved power tools.

I was working on a kitchen project, and a both a reciprocating and circular saw were strewn about my front yard. The sun was beating down on me and my tools, and a friend dropped by with a case of Tetley's English Ale. I looked at the yellow power tools, the pile of lumber and PVC pipe and the case of beer, and I smiled wide. This was going to be a good day.

Petite Prince.png
This is one weird label
No limbs were lost that day. Tetley's clocks in at 3.6 percent ABV and we drank half the case without incident. The beer had a light malt flavor, and a thick creamy head. I asked my friend if we should finish the case and he agreed. "That's the point," he said.

Session beers are meant for long sessions. You can drink them for hours without losing your wallet or accidentally hitting on your boss' wife. They're mild in flavor and don't punch you in palate or lay in your stomach like a loaf of bread. These low-booze beers got started in Europe, and like many things they've started gaining popularity on this side of the pond. It's a great trend, but there's a problem: We're kinda fucking up the beer.

As the hop-heads continue to drive high-alcohol, super-bitter American IPAs, drinkers are more accustomed to swilling beer with serious punch. The trend for high-alcohol beers has become so pervasive that beers with 4, 5 and close to 6 percent alcohol are being marketed as "sessionable." If I had had eight beers with 6 percent ABV while wielding that circular saw, I'd likely be typing this blog post with a few less digits.

Now, I've found the Jester King Brewery, which has spent a good bit of time developing beers that are smooth enough to drink into infinity and low enough in alcohol to allow for day-long sessions. I talked to Ron Extract, a co-owner of the Austin-based brewery, to find out why they're breaking the big booze trend.

Extract told me he once played with power tools too. They were brewing beer as they were building out the historic farmhouse that shelters the brewery, and wanted to have some beer on hand that wouldn't ruin the whole day. They called their first batch Commercial Suicide because the English dark ale was too passive to appeal to high-octane beer geeks, but too dark and rich to appeal to the Miller Lite crowd. "We thought we were brewing a beer that has no commercial audience," Extract told me. He was wrong.

Le Petit Prince Farm House Ale, a beer developed after the brewery opened, clocks in at a ridiculously low 2.9-percent ABV. You could put this stuff in your baby's bottle. The beer has some hops, but they're subtle, refined and floral instead of brash and in your face. This is a beer that's worthy of an epic drinking session, and there are a few places in Dallas you can now order the beer on tap.

If you do, you should put in a real session. Have a few and get to know a single beer intimately, instead of jumping around the taps like a beer hussy. Drink it at The Common Table while you watch an entire Rangers game and revel in your relative sobriety when the game is done. Spend an afternoon at the Meddlesome Moth, soaking up the sun on the patio and knowing that you'll still be able to hang out with friends that evening. Or hit up your favorite beer store and take up a few hundred bottles to take home to enjoy any way you choose. But maybe leave the power tools in your garage. That was probably a bad idea.

Location Info

Meddlesome Moth

1621 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

The Common Table

2917 Fairmount St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

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10 comments
Rick
Rick

You can get all the Jester King Beers at Lone Star Beverages in Carrollton!!

guest
guest

Jester King is a great brewery but they have a hard time supplying the DFW area... I've only seen their Witchmaker on tap at Katy Trail Icehouse for a little bit and the Black Metal at Specs...

Mervis
Mervis

Jester King is one of the leaders in the sessionable beer but do remember that half of their beers clock in at or around 9%. At least they are providing both kinds. Props to them. They are a fine brewery.

Hops add no alcohol to beer. The super hoppy double IPAs are higher in alcohol as they add more malt to balance the beer. To my taste it doesn't work very well because most of them become such syrupy messes on the backend and all of the best parts of the hops (said bitterness) are lost. It's an interesting style because they may advertise a beer as 100 IBU but it may be less bitter on your palate than say a 50-60 IBU beer with less malt/alcohol.

I would much rather have a regular IPA in the 5.0-6.5% range. My opinion. Just sticking up for the regular AIPA. I would say the Imperial stouts and barleywines are just as responsible for the high ABV boom. Just look at Jester Kings line up.

elbueno
elbueno

what's the price point? My only complaint would be spending more money cause I can't get a buzz until I hit beer number 3...

I'll take one heady Velvet Hammer over 3 of these session beers, anyday.

Carl
Carl

Scott, if you think Le Petit Prince is a weird label you should go to their website and look at their other labels. Makes me want to try some of each.

http://jesterkingbrewery.com/b...

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Reitzy brought his "A" game on this one........very Jesse Hugheyesque.

By "Miller Lite Crowd", you mean denizens that hail from south of San Antonio?  Or that guy I saw at Lake Lewisville Saturday, that was driving the white cargo van, cut off jeans, no shirt, tat's, smoking Marby Red's, cooking hot dogs on a pile of sticks, cackling like a black bird, powerdrinking ML, waving his arms, Lynyrd Skynyrd, classic rock, air guitar, long grey haired, fruit?  

I wish I could only throw away my nervous, crazy inhibitions, and be like that-just for one day. 

Brian Brown
Brian Brown

I especially like the phrase "session beers are meant for long sessions".

dallas_paul
dallas_paul

Commercial Suicide and Petit[e] Prince are two entirely different beers.

And check your spelling, Mr. Not-Hughey.

Mervis
Mervis

Retail - maybe $8-12 for a 750 ML.Bar -    maybe $12-18 for 750 ML

Mervis
Mervis

Yes, their labels are awesome. Thrash Metal is my favorite.

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