We're Funk'd: A Celebration of Sour and Wild Beer Festival

Thursday, July 13, 2017

An event for We're Funk'd: A Celebration of Sour and Wild Beer popped up on my Facebook page one day. I appreciate sour beer. It's my favorite style of beer right now, so Facebook must have been snooping on my interests. 

The event took place over two days. The first day, which we didn't get to attend, was a bar crawl in Cambridge and Sommerville. Breweries and bars offered sour and wild pours from local and visiting breweries. 

We bought tickets to the second day, the We're Funk'd Festival, which took place at Boylston Schul-Verein in Walpole, MA from 12:30 to 4:30. It was put on by Springdale Barrel Room and Night Shift Brewing

I will start of by saying, this is one of the best beer festivals I have ever been to. We were amazed to find out the whole festival was organized in just 60 days. 

Let's start with the venue. The Boylston Schul-Verein was the perfect location for this event. It's an American-German social cultural club located in a lovely wooded area in Walpole. They had plenty of parking, with parking attendants who were organized. The breweries wrapped around a large pavilion that was filled with German style cafeteria tables. Derek and I felt like we were transported back to the beer halls in Munich. Most of the breweries were facing out of the pavilion to ensure there wasn't clutter inside of the pavilion. Surrounding the pavilion was lawn space for people to lay out their blankets and unfold their lawn chairs. Beyond that was woods, where people could catch some shade. A couple breweries were on the lawn with the Mass Brew Bus. Breweries also took up residence in the on site food and drink stands. The lines for beer were short, except for a couple rare beers (and those lines moved quickly). It was the BEST setup I have ever seen at a beer festival. 

I paid $40 for my ticket, which got me a tasting glass with unlimited beer samples for 4 hours. Derek purchased the $10 ticket which got him 3 tastings and a food ticket. 

There were a couple food vendors at the event. The food was delicious. I ordered a Burnt Ends Sandwich from Moody's Delicatessen and Provisions. It had aioli, coleslaw and pickles on it and was served on a ciabatta. It was accompanied by homemade truffle chips. It was amazing. We sat on the lawn with our lunch and listened to the live band playing at the pavilion. 

We were also able to catch up with our friend Don from Mass Brew Bus. They were providing transportation to and from Norwood Central Train Station that day. We met up with Maine Brew bus last year at the Bearded Brew Fest in Portland, Maine. We instantly clicked, and we have been following the company for a while. We were excited to hear about the success of the Mass Brew Bus. They offer multiple different tours in the Boston area. We can't wait to get on one of the tours. 

Okay, now lets talk beer. The selection of beers was amazing. There were so many, including a few IPAs and other style beers for those non sour lovers. There were so many unique flavors. I tend to go for the fruit tasting beers, but I tried a bunch of different ones at this event. I didn't have many beers that I didn't like. 

We started at The Lost Abbey table from California. There was a huge line for the highly sought after Duck Duck Gooze. The line moved very quickly. I obviously went for the Duck Duck Gooze. It just tasted like a high quality beer, unlike other sours I have had. I rated it as a 4 on Untappd and noted that it had a nice oaky taste. 

Finback Brewery from New York was one of my favorites at the event. I tried the So Cute, which is a sour ale with lemon, blackberry and raspberry. I gave this beer a 4 on Untappd. I noted that it was tangy and not overly sour. Later in the day I tried The Sun is Too Bright which is a black gose aged in red wine barrels. I liked it, but not as much as So Cute and gave it a 3.5

Cascade Breweing Company from Oregon had a few good ones. I started with the Blackberry Ale which I reated as a 3.25. The Blueberry Ale stole the show at that table though, which I rated as a 4, noting that it was well balanced. 

J. Wakefield Brewing from Florida had a Cherry Vanilla Stush. I rated it a 4, noting that the vanilla leveled out the pucker of this beer. This would be a great beer for those that can't handle the overly sour taste of sour and wild beers. 

Jack's Abby from Massachusetts,  a brewery that we have been to often, had an amazing Blood Orange Sour Time. I rated it a 4.25. I noted that it was very juicy, tasting like a blood orange had been freshly squeezed into my beer. 

Hermit Thrush Brewery from Vermont offered a Flemish Sour Brown. I rated it a 3.75, noting that this beer was extremely sour and not for the faint of heart. 

I tried the Prickly Pear Gose from Kent Falls Breweing Company of Connecticut. I rated the beer a 4.25, one of my favorites at the event. It has a real forward pear taste that wasn't artificial or overpowering. 

The Saison Rosé from Oxbow Brewing Company of Maine was my favorite of the day. I rated it a 4.75 on Untappd. My note was "OMG". It tasted like wine and beer at the same time, I can't explain it as well as it tastes. It had that nice light crisp Rosé taste. It was a very drinkable summer beer. 

The Tequila Barrel Aged Space Gose from Barreled Souls of Maine was a tough competitor, also coming in at a 4.75. This beer tasted like a beer and a Margarita at the same time. It even had that nice salty taste to it. 

Avery Brewing Company of Colorado had a Raspberry Sour that I rated as a 3.5. This one was very sour. 

Plan Bee Farm Brewery of New York had a very different beer called Pepper. I thought it was going to be peppercorn and was surprised by the over-powering hot peppers. It was very spicy.  It was good, and I rated it a 3.75. I liked it for sipping, but don't know if I could have a full glass. 

The Pineapple Solarium and Blue Raz beers from Transient Artisan Ales of Michigan were amazing. I rated the Pineapple as a 4.75 and the Blue Raz as a 4.25.  They were nice and crisp. The Pineapple was perfect for summer. It was light and crisp and fruity. The Blue Raz was more of a sipping beer, and provided something a little different than the other beers. 

Sexy Motherpucker from Weyerbacher Brewing Company of Pennsylvanian got a 4. This beer was like an Arnold Palmer. It was a very easy to drink beer, something that I can imagine bringing to a summer BBQ, and perfect for the sunny festival. 

We tried out a mead from Nectar Creek Mead of Oregon called Triple Brett Sour. Wow, it was amazing. We gave it a 4.75. I loved how it tasted like fruit and honey. It wasn't syruppy like I normally find mead to be. 

I ended the day with Desert Diamonds by Graft Cider in New York. It was the only cider I had for the day. I gave it a 3.5 noting that it had a lot of pucker. 

As I said, this was one of the best beer festivals we have been to. We, and the friends we went with, had an amazing time. The great location, good food, and amazing selection of beer made this event a complete success. There is no way that I would have known that it was it's first event had someone not told me. Employees were organized, the breweries were well stocked, and the atmosphere was out of this world. I hope that have this festival every year, because I want to attend every year. 

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