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Belt’s Beer Garden: Jest What I Needed

Jester King & Celestial Beeworks teamed up to make Astral Reflections - an insanely crushable hazy IPA

If you ask any craft beer lover what the best brewery in Texas is, chances are they’ll respond very quickly with the answer of Jester King.

The Austin, Texas brewery is an authentic farmhouse brewery that began back in 2010 and initially made it big with their amazing Farmhouse and Wild Ales. They now sit on 165 acres of land, are completely solar powered, and have an awesome layout.

Today Jester King offers more than just Wild Ales and Saisons, and I will be trying my first IPA from them.

I found their Astral Reflections, which is a collaboration with Celestial Beerworks out of Dallas, Texas (who specializes in tasty IPAs).

This hazy IPA was brewed with five hops - Idaho 7, Loral Cryo, and TRI-2304CR Cryo hops initially and then triple dry-hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic, and more of the TRI-2304CR Cryo hops. The grist lineup includes flaked oats, Llano Pilsner and Denton County Wheat Malt and A38 Juice Imperial Yeast. It was released on May 25th, has an 8.5% ABV, and a four-pack cost $18.

Astral Reflections poured an incredibly murky golden orange color with just over two fingers of creamy head topping the beer. The foam fizzled down rather quickly, leaving some solid lacing as it did so.

It featured a strong aroma that was packed with tropical fruits and melon with just a hint of grist backing up the hops. Leading the way were notes of tangerine, apricot, cantaloupe and honeydew. There was a flaked oat breadiness just behind the fruit as well that balanced it all out.

My first sip began with the tiniest flash of carbonation and a soft and creamy mouthfeel that the flavors slowly began to build out from. Leading the way, as they did in the smell, were big notes of melon - mostly a sweet and juicy honeydew with the cantaloupe sitting beneath it.

The stone fruit I picked up in the scent vanished in the taste and, instead, was replaced by a much stronger citrus rind flavor that featured orange peel (which was somewhat juicy) and a little lemon and lime zest.

There was a small amount of bitterness to the beer. It was initially seen right at the beginning of the sip but washed away by the juicy flavors before returning at the very end and lingering on the palate for a few moments after everything else had vanished.

However, outside of that lighter bitter nibble, Astral Reflections finished very cleanly. It had no lingering aftertaste or stickiness...just that tiny twinge of bitterness.

The higher 8.5% ABV was hidden really well and that made it quite the crushable hazy IPA. I couldn’t believe how quickly I went through this pint...one minute I had just poured it and the next it was gone.

Astral Reflections is a very tasty, very well made beer by two powerhouse breweries from the Lone Star State. If you come across, do yourself the favor and grab a can.

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