The goat barn at Jester King Brewery is home to around 50 goats and their guardian dog, an Anatolian Pyrenees named Sasha. Goatherd and regenerative farmer Sean "Peppy" Meyer, 33, also lived there for a year before decamping for "partial city life"—meaning a place with electricity—in 2019. But the barn and the 165 acres of Texas Hill Country surrounding it remain indisputably his.
It's where Meyer bottle feeds the baby goats, hosts farm tours, grows hemp and tends to the land in preparation for crops that will be used in beer and food production. Each evening, he guides the goats along the property for a graze, carrying a staff and quoting Temple Grandin to the young kids who ask to tag along. "This is my favorite part of life," he said.
Meyer worked in advertising before transitioning to farming but retains his knack for viral content and pithy slogans, referring to his herd as "the best goats in Texas." His career change occurred around 10 years ago, after an admittedly "woo woo" experience.
"I believe I came in contact with the mother or mother goddess," he said, switching into the present tense. "She tells me that it's time that I serve her and move to Texas and pursue renewable agriculture. I explain that I have no experience in farming. She says, 'That's the point. If you can be successful, then no one else has an excuse.'"
Meyer followed through, moving to Austin from Virginia and breaking into urban farming. Three years ago, he and his goats joined Jester King to support the brewery's farming goals. Renewable agriculture—also known as regenerative farming or permaculture—seeks to give back to the land while yielding its crops.
Jester King Brewery offers a beer garden, live music, on-site pizza, cornhole, goat sightings and farm tours. (Emma Freer)
Jester King Brewery offers a beer garden, live music, on-site pizza, cornhole, goat sightings and farm tours. (Emma Freer)
At Jester King, this starts with the goats grazing ashe juniper, a native species that has grown out of control due to the lack of bison and grassland fires to keep it in check. (It's also a cause of cedar fever.) The goats then produce natural fertilizer, which helps support healthier soil. The euphemized dung also promotes the growth of native grasses, which allow rainwater to permeate the Edwards Aquifer, an underground layer of porous limestone that stores water and feeds Barton Springs.
With Meyer at the helm, Jester King is restoring its land in the hopes of one day growing more food crops for use in its brewery and kitchen. "It's going to be a bigger, brighter stage to begin the talks of how we need to get back to systems that incorporate the strength of happy land, where it's able to take care of itself," he said. "It just takes awhile to get there."
Meyer hopes to keep at this work, which he called "the most fulfilling yet painful profession on the planet," for the next 50 years. But he knows he'll need help, both on-site to scale up production and from others who are drawn to regenerative farming as a way to combat climate change and other ravages of global capitalism. "Not to be 'apocalypse boy' …but I feel we are ruining our ecosystem, which we sorely need to take care of us," he said.
In the meantime, Meyer has developed creative ways to support this operation—and perhaps spur others to consider a similar path. On Wednesdays at 6 p.m., he leads a goat walk, where participants can learn more about renewable agriculture and hear his yodel-like call: "Vac-luna," a mash-up of his first two goats' names—Lavaca and Luna—to which the entire herd now responds.
Meyer is also growing his second crop of hemp, which is used to make Jester King Hemp Balm. Made with CBD oil, goat's milk, beeswax, duck eggs and plants, it's effective enough to soothe his own aches and pains. Both of these operations help support the goatherd and Jester King's renewable agriculture efforts, to which he has committed his life.
"I've lost the majority of my human relationships," Meyer said. "But I have to believe that this is an appropriate time of sacrifice, of which later in life there will be the gifts of rest."
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The Austin Police Department has arrested the man suspected to be behind a series of robberies that were sexual in nature.
The suspect, who was only identified by police as a 22-year-old Hispanic man, was arrested by police on Thursday with one account of aggravated robbery, but more charges are expected to be made. The suspect's identity has not been revealed by police in order to not taint any current investigations, police said in a press conference. Little details were released on how police identified the suspect, but APD told the media that the community played a large role in capturing him.
The man is believed to be behind a series of robberies in North Austin within a 30-day period.
Here's a breakdown of the cases:
1. At 7:56 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the 1600 block of Rutland Drive, a woman was walking alone and returning from her child's school when a suspect walking by inappropriately touched her. The suspect then grabbed her by the arm, threatened her with a knife and demanded "her property."
2. At 8:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 at 1700 block of Colony Creek Drive, a woman was walking to her child's school when a man approached her with a knife and then demanded her personal items. The suspect then said he would return the items in return for sex.
3. At 11:03 a.m. on Oct. 13 at the 9300 block of Northgate Boulevard, a woman was with her child in the laundry room of an apartment complex when a man walked in performing a sexual act. The suspect demanded personal items from the victim, threatening to hurt the victim and take her child.
Police are encouraging other potential victims to come forward.
Atop one of Austin's signature rolling hilltops, 1501 Ridgecrest Drive is similar to one of the plush palaces that one might find in Calabasas. For $10.9 million, the home has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and caps at 10,498 square feet.
Park in the massive, fully air-conditioned garage before walking in, where you'll have eight full spaces to park your collection of cars. If you're not a collector, the garage makes an excellent studio space.
The wide-open living spaces will draw your eyes to the two-story ceilings, glass catwalk, integrated fireplace and wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the pool.
Though the house was built in 2011, it doesn't show its age. Sleek, clean lines lead seamlessly from the formal living area to an elite open-plan kitchen. Separated by a 25-foot waterfall island that can seat at least eight people, the kitchen is fitted with only the finest Miele and Subzero appliances. The custom cabinets are just as pricey as the rest of the place, finished with custom high-gloss Aston Martin (you read that right) paint.
Upstairs in the sprawling master's suite, there are enough amenities to never have to set foot outside again. Armani tile floors, space for living and a walk-in showcase closet lead into the resort-style bathroom, where you'll find dual vanities, a walk-in shower and a lounging bathtub.
The bedroom is a quick elevator trip away from the "party" room, complete with a bar, wine room and movie theater, only the best for entertaining. If your guests are staying over, rest assured they'll be comfortable with the kitchenette, washer and dryer and spa-like bath in their suite.
Though summer has passed, you can still enjoy the grand lap pool's unobstructed Hill Country views, many private lounging areas, grill a homemade snack at the outdoor kitchen or shoot some hoops at the newly-added court.
The listing is held by Compass' Gary Dolch.
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In what could be one of their least energetic showing to date, Austin FC was outperformed by home team San Jose in a 4-0 road loss late Wednesday night.
As the first team officially out of playoff contention in a loss on Saturday, the team seemed defeated from almost the moment they hit the pitch as Quakes standouts Chris Wondolowski and Javier "Chofis" Lopez scored on the team.
A 10th-place San Jose maintained a clean sheet in the match as they inched closer to a last-minute spot in playoffs.
Just as they did in their 1-0 loss Saturday, it was Austin FC who struck first in the match. Captain Alex Ring forced a save from Quakes keeper JT Marcinkowski in just the second minute of play, while star forward Sebastian Driussi followed soon after.
A little over 10 minutes later, San Jose responded with a shot of their own as Austin keeper Brad Stuver was forced into action with a diving save. But with a failing backline and a lack of energy throughout, a frustrated Stuver wouldn't be enough to stave off the home team Quakes in their four-goal triumph.
After a slow first half, San Jose star Chofis was the first to strike after sneaking past Stuver to make it 1-0 for the home team to kick off the second half.
Just five minutes later, Quakes midfielder Benjamin Kikanovic broke free with a fast-paced drive in a play that saw two Asutin FC players hit the ground to double the lead. Stuver and other players were immediately outraged in the controversial call after an apparent handball in the box.
MLS' top all-time scorer Chris Wondolowski capitalized on the slow Austin defense next, taking a pause in the box to score the third goal unmanned in the 59th minute.
Finally, Carlos Fierro clinched the win for the home team after placing a header from six yards out off of a cross and corner kick to end the match 4-0 for San Jose.
Austin Head Coach Josh Wolff attempted to staunch the wound with a series of subs starting at the beginning of the second half, subbing in native Austinite McKinze Gaines for Moussa Djitte and Rodney Redes for Cecilio Dominguez. But no subs were enough to push back against the 'Quakes as the team lost their second match in a row.
Austin FC has four final matches to end the season, including two remaining home matches against the Houston Dynamo at 4 p.m. on Sunday and a final match at Q2 Stadium against Sporting Kansas City at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Here's a live blog of the match:
85' San Jose makes it 4-0
Austin FC once again can't plug holes in the box as San Jose scores their fourth goal of the match off a set piece and header to make it 4-0 in the 85th minute. The Quakes' Carlos Fierro scores on a header from close up after a well-placed cross from Cristian Espinoza as a frustrated Stuver is unable to block the six-yard shot.
Frustrated and sluggish, Austin FC appears to have lost their chance at a win or draw in one of their worst losses by scoring margin this season.
59' Wondolowski scores for the "Quakes
Just a minute after he hits the pitch, MLS' all-time top scorer Chris Wondolowski tacks one more onto San Jose's lead as the home team leads 3-0 in the 59th minute. A beleaguered Austin leaves Wondolowski undefended as he receives the ball in the box, pauses and scores in the bottom right corner of goal.
It's looking to be an especially bad match for Austin, who already sit at the bottom of the West. The Verde and Black continue to be outperformed in their late-season road matches.
53' Austin doubles the lead
After a rough-and-tumble drive that saw two Austin FC players take a fall, San Jose's Benjamin Kikanovic shoots past Stuver to score the second goal of the match for the home team. The play drew ire from Austin FC players including Stuver, who said there was a handball in the box. Austin's defense continues to be outperformed in the match.
47' San Jose scores first
The Earthquakes finally capitalized on a sluggish Austin FC as San Jose's Javier "Chofis" Lopez snuck one past keeper Brad Stuver and a last-ditch dive from Austin's Jhohan Romana to net the first goal of the match. The goal is Lopez' 12th on the season.
40' Romana gets yellow carded
Romaña is trying to play flag football 😂 #AustinFC— Seth Davis (@sethdavis512) October 21, 2021
Austin FC's Jhohan Romana is the first to get yellow carded in the match after grabbing a jersey in the 40th minute of play. Seconds later, Austin nearly gets an opportunity as San Jose keeper JT Marcinkowski fumbles a blocked shot, but he passes the ball off before the Verde and Black can get one in off the rebound.
The Quakes repeat the move in the 41st minute as they nearly get one past Stuver, who is able to hold it down unguarded and grab a shot from Jeremy Ebobisse.
18' Stuver keeps it clean
Just like Saturday, it was Austin who struck first with a shot by Captain Alex Ring in just the second minute of play. Star newcomer Sebastian Driussi came soon after with a shot of his own, but the ball was once again kept out of goal.
Just over 10 minutes later, Austin keeper Brad Stuver got his first big test as the Quakes' Jeremy Ebobisse shot one towards the bottom left corner. In signature fashion, Stuver was able to keep a clean sheet.
Austin's "strongest lineup yet" may not have been able to finish in Saturday's loss, but they created plenty of chances. Wolff seems to have confidence in the starting XI and hasn't changed much for tonight.
Nick Lima is in for right back in Hector Jimenez's stead, while Cecilio Dominguez, Moussa Djitte and Sebastian Driussi lead up front. Center back Matt Besler remains out on concussion protocol.