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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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April 14, 2010     Hays Free Press
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April 14, 2010
 

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HaysFreePress.com CLASSIFIEDS * PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY April 14, 2010 Page 1D .:o,_ BIUNDO  alrN jen@haysfreepress.com ".. Jeff Stuffings used to be a wyer. Co-owner Michael Steffing fled a job as a banking analyst. And Stuffings' college roommate, Joe Madia, started a career in medicine but decided he'd rather brew beer. Together, the trio have opted out of the corporate world to develop Jester King, a craft mi- crobrewery under construction in Hays County near Dripping Springs Off Fitzhugh Road. Focusing on local ingredients and unique brews, they hope to . sbare their love of handcrafted -ie tia Central Texas. "We really want to take beer in our own creative direction," said Stuffings, ]ester King's master brewer. Stuffings, 30, was introduced to hobby homebrewing during his law school days at Boston College. It was love at first taste. "I really fell in love with it and developed a passion for brewing," Stuffings said. When he and his wife Amber moved to the Austin area, he found a job in a large law firm. But dissatisfied with the daily grind, Stuffings decided to take a leap into the unknown. Last summer, he quit his job as an attorney and began writing a business plan and raising funds to build the brewery. "I decided to really make this dream of mine a reality," Stuff- ings said. "I had to follow my passion." Stuffings' brother Michael (who changed his name to the old country spelling of Steffing after researching family geneal- ogy) jumped on board to help oversee construction of the 65,000 square foot brewery on four acres in rural Hays County. With a 30-barrel brewing system and four fermentation tanks, Iester King will have the capacity to produce 25,000 bar- rels of beer per year. They plan to spend the summer building the facility, and hope to start brewing in The JesteKing will start with f0'ur brews: Das Wunderkind - An American wheat ale, heavily hoppy but with a bright citrus and floral charac- ter. About five percent alcohol. Danse Macabre - A heavy black Russian imperial stout, perfect for sipping around the fire, with a bit- ter but flavorful note of espresso and dark chocolate. About 11 percent alcohol. Hill Country Ale - A classic blonde ale enlivened by a puree of fresh central Texas peaches. Five percent alcohol. Farmhouse Ale - This is made in the style of a Belgian Saison, a light, highly carbonated beer traditionally brewed for farmwork- ers to drink in the late summer. Farmhouse ale will be brewed in oak barrels with wild yeast, yield- ing a rustic and slightly spicy but still very delicate beer. Less than four percent alcohol. August. Initially, Jester King will produce keg beer for distribu- tion at bars and restaurants through the greater Austin area. Once the operation is streamlined toward the end of the year, they'll start packaging beer for distribution in stores. Some specialty brews will be sold in glass champagne bottles, a method used for upscale brews such as Linde- man's Lambic. But most ]ester King beers will come in cans, a method that Stuffings says is both better for preserving the quality of the beer and easier on the environment. When he's not drinking his own beer, Stuffings said he's a frequent patron of local micro- breweries, such as the Austin based Independence Brewing Co., (512) Brewing Company and Live Oak Brewery, and the Real Ale Brewing Company based out of Blanco, Texas. He wants to bring that em- phasis on local ingredients into Hill COuntw Ale, will be brewed with ...... fresh central Texas peaches. "I think it's important for people to know that the big beers use rice and corn to make a cheaper product, where- as the small brew- ers actu- ally go out and find the ingredi- ents that are about making the quality of the product better," Stuffings said. According to the Brewers Association, a professional organization for craft brewers, 2009 saw growth of more than 10 percent in the microbrew- cry business, despite the fact that overall beer sales in the U.S. dropped 2.2 percent. Microbreweries make up just 4.3 percent of the total beer industry in America but their numbers are steadily rising. In a recession era, micro- brewed beer is an afford- able luxury, Stuffings said. And like the emerging food movement supporting farmer's markets and fresh, local and organic produce and meat, small brewer- ies tie into the educated consumer's desire for sus- tainable and well-crafted products. "I think it's people embracing something that's local and made by hand, instead of these giant processing machines," Stuffings said. "They're em- bracing flavor and creativity." PHOTOS BY CYNDY SLOVAK-BARTON Jester King master brewer Jeff Stuff- ings welcomes visitors to the 65,000 square foot brewery under construction on Fitzhugh Road outside of Drip- ping Springs. Sac N Pac remodeled and ready for business Store owner, business community members and local officials cut the ribbon on the remodeled Sac N Pac store in Kyle on IH-35 and FM 150 on March 30. The first Sac N Pac opened in San Marcos in 1966, and has grown to a chain of 45 stores in numerous counties. C0ORTBY PHOT0 Local sales tax receipts are creeping back in the black STAFF REPORTS Hays County's ten incorpo- rated cities finally crept into the black this month, showing a slight sales tax increase de- spite the fact that Texas cities as a whole continue to register $100 million in revenues be/ow last year's April totals. Kyle and San Marcos regis- tered increases of 5.9 percent and 4.4 percent respectively while the other larger towns showed losses ranging as high as 15 percent for Buda. In total receipts for the month, San Matzos eas' e the way with almost $1.3 mil- lion, followed by Buda with nearly $199,000 and Kyle with almost $175,000. Dripping Springs' total receipts were al- most $50,000, with Wimberley lagging at almost $31,000. Among the smaller towns the April receipts include Uhland, $2,082; Woodcreek, $2,012; Niederwald, $1,396; Hays, $1,035; and Mountain city, $300. In Hays County San Marcos still leads in sales tax receipts for the year with $6.2 mil- lion, followed by Buda with a little more than $989,000, and Kyle not too far behind with $897,000. Trailing among the five largest towns were Drip- ping Springs, $47,000 and Wimberley, $31,000. Among the Central Texas L-a:mres snowing "mcreaseo city sales taxes for the month were Travis, Blanco, Caldwell, Coma] and Guadalupe. Larger counties didn't fare quite so well, since Bexar, Har- ris, Tarrant and Dallas all regis- tered decreases.