Last year, we wanted to see if wild ales were popular enough to hold a festival. You’ve proved to us that, yes, we are on the right track. Once again, you overwhelmingly showed us that you love not only our sour and wild ales but celebrate the entire category with the love that we do. The Midwest Sour Wild Funk Fest had a 69% increase in attendance, along with a 100% increase in breweries and variety of beers, including three breweries who are not distributed in Indiana.
We made a few changes to our layout and attendance in order to provide you a better experience. We included a VIP presentation and tasting by our brewmaster Caleb Staton. Over the past eight years, Caleb has developed our program to the point that we are now nationally and internationally recognized for our sour and wild ales. Caleb spearheaded our wild ale program and has recently taken over production of these beers full time. We are very proud that the VIP session sold out within four minutes when tickets were released.
Another addition to this year’s event was the inclusion of non-wild beers such as Farmhouse Ales and Saisons. Although these beers are not necessarily wild fermented, the flavor profile of Farmhouse and Saisons are very similar to those in the wild/sour category and many times the former are made into wild ales. We felt, too, that this would provide a broader experience for attendees. We expanded the food selection and carefully paired artisan cheeses, meats, and fruit with beer, as well.
We thank you for supporting Upland Brewing Company and all of the midwestern breweries who are exploring these styles of beers. A special thank you goes out to the breweries who helped us make this event possible:
Bloomington Brewing Company
Flat 12 Bierwerks
Sun King Brewing
World Class Beer