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Jester King and Franklin BBQ team up for smoked fig beer

Arianna Auber

Beer and barbecue are two of Austin’s favorite things, so local breweries and barbecue joints have collaborated before on making smoked beers. But perhaps no collaboration will draw quite as many crowds as the upcoming smoked fig beer produced by Jester King brewers and Franklin Barbecue’s Aaron Franklin. Figlet will be available starting Friday at 4 p.m. when the Jester King taproom opens.

The idea for Figlet — the bottle label for which features the face and limbs of Franklin within a fig — originated through the filming of an upcoming episode of KLRU’s instructional web series “BBQ With Franklin,” when Franklin decided to explore the use of smoke during the brewing process, a Jester King blog entry explained. (The episode will go into more detail about the creation of Figlet specifically.)

“We wanted to branch out beyond the traditional use of smoked malt and opted to take a local ingredient that was in season — Texas figs — and use it as a medium to impart characteristics from Franklin’s barbecue pits into the beer,” the blog post said.

Franklin’s role in making Figlet was in caramelizing local figs and cold smoking them at his restaurant. He also “charred a portion of the figs, which imparted a subtle burnt, almost leathery, character to the beer,” according to the blog post.

Figlet, a farmhouse ale, clocks in at 6.2 percent ABV, and it’ll most likely only be available at the brewery. Fortunately, Jester King has brewed more this beer than a few of their more recent ones and is offering Figlet both on draft and in 750 ml bottles — 2 per customer per day — for $12.

In the past, Jester King has also collaborated with Salt Lick on a smoked beer.