The versatility of this style makes for some of the funkiest, most unexpected, and compelling beers the United States has ever tasted.
This year is shaping up to be the year of the farmhouse fest. Beers in this burgeoning category such as saisons and sours will get the spotlight at five upcoming events in their honor.
Portland Farmhouse and Wild Ale Festival
Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30
Host: Saraveza Bottle Shop and Pasty Tavern
Back for the second year, Portland’s farmhouse ale festival features more than thirty French and Belgian-inspired farmhouse ales from across the country. There will be many Portland breweries such as Breakside Brewery and The Commons Brewery pouring, as well as selections from Anchorage Brewing Company, The Bruery, and Jolly Pumpkin, among many others.
This is event is hosted by the beer bar and pasty tavern Saraveza (featured in the premiere issue of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine™), who on festival weekend will be serving a special bottled-only sour beer from The Ale Apothecary. “This table sour ale is a single-barrel vintage of ‘The Beer Formerly Known As La Tache’ that was aged in an Oregon Spirit dark rum barrel with thirty pounds of white peaches,” says a brewery newsletter. Only 250 bottles were produced of this beer, specifically for the festival and for sale at the tavern.
What The Funk!? CBC Denver 2014
Thursday, April 10
Host: EXDO Event Center
This invitational festival celebrating barrel-aged, wild, sour, and funky beers was such a hit during the Great American Beer Festival that it returns again for the upcoming Craft Brewers Conference, this time with a few ciders in the lineup. There are more than sixty participating breweries, including New Belgium Brewing, Grassroots Brewing (a Hill Farmstead subsidiary that brews collaboration beers), Jester King, Mikkeller, Side Project, and Yazoo.
Saison Farmhouse Rendezvous 2014
Saturday, April 19
Host: Trinity Brewing
Colorado Springs, Colorado
In Colorado Springs, Trinity Brewing’s annual celebration of saisons began as just a saison festival but has expanded to include sours, ancient beers, and farmhouse ales. It was renamed in an effort to further support the beers showing up at the event. This year, guests can expect beers from Cigar City Brewing, Great Divide, Funkwerks, Lost Abbey, and several other Colorado breweries.
This festival always takes place around Earth Day, “as saison is an earth and harvest-driven beer style,” says Trinity Owner Jason Yester.
Drink Craft Summer Fest
Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13
Host: Drink Craft Beer
The Drink Craft Beer website says, “In recent years New England has seen a proliferation of brewers making saison, each with his or her own version of this highly interpretive style. We thought it was time to celebrate these brewers, this delicious style of beer, and summer itself.”
This summer festival will pour more than seventy farmhouse-style ales from twenty-five New England breweries.
Denver’s Littlest Big Wild & Sour Fest
Saturday, July 20
Host: Hops & Pie
Hops & Pie, a mom & pop pizza joint that serves some of Denver’s best pizzas and has by far one of the city’s best tap lists, will once again host the Littlest Big Wild & Sour Fest this summer. Tappings of beers like Russian River’s Supplication and Avery’s Odio begin promptly at noon, with flights and single pours available throughout the day.
And more . . .
Stay tuned for more information about Hill Farmstead Brewery’s Festival of Farmhouse Ales, as well as the Screw City Beer Festival in Rockford, Illinois.