As always, Yazoo and Brandon Jones is a match made in heaven. For those who do not know, Brandon Jones is the head of the sour beer and wild ale division at Yazoo, and, I might add, a member of our brew club Music City Brewers. The most notable fact you need to know about Brandon Jones is his skill at hosting a good time. I have always thoroughly enjoyed myself at any party in which he had held. That is why I have given him the nickname of the modern-day Dionysus or god of revelry and…
Embrace the Funk Fest 2015 did not disappoint.
The day began with a bottle share in the parking lot. People for local home-brew clubs, breweries, and other craft beer lovers gather around the tent and share their offerings. It was like being apart of a polite feeding frenzy. So much beer was being opened all at the same time that is was nearly impossible to try them all. Though, husband, in his determination, sent me out as a scout to track down ever opened bottles.
The aftermath speaks for itself. We got to sample such beery delights as (Oaked Aged Bretta, when The Light Gose Out, Sorrento, Cherry Deux Rouges and approximately 65 other samplings)
The most creative label goes to this Cucumber Gose with a solid Silence of the Lambs reference, and all this was before the festival even began!
Unlike last years theme, shenanigans and chaos, this years theme was circus. The event itself was hosted in a tent inspired by the big top, and festival goers dress accordingly. (including the modern-day Dionysus and sour beer god himself, Brandon Jones)
Plus, there were balloon animals. Nothing says a good time like grown men and women roaming through a tent with balloon animal hats…absolutely nothing.
One of the neatest parts about Funk Fest this year was the glassware. They went to a thrift store and purchase a bunch of glasses, so everyone got to choose their own glass. It was interesting how each glass very much represented the owner.
But of course, you are not reading this post to hear about the ambiance. You want to know about the food and the booze. Prepare thyself for an onslaught of beer and cheese porn.
A variety of wild and funky cheeses were provided by the Bloomy Rind. You might recognize owner Kathleen Cotter pictured above. The Bloomy Rind is a locate artisanal cheese shop that carefully crafts the cheeses dreams are made of. If you want to learn more, check out this article I wrote (link
Now back to the beer and cheese revelry!
The sheer amount of cheese cannot be overstated. There is no telling how much money was spent to tantalize our tastebuds with tangy treats. My favorites from the day were funky cheese curds and blue cheese. The cheese curds were salty and squeaky just as they should be and the blue cheese was pungent and delightful. But wait, there’s more.
There was also charcuterie including sausage and hand carved prosciutto.
Most importantly to you, however, there were sour beers and wild ales.
While I was focused on the cheese, Husband soaked up the beer with all the joy of a kid in a candy store. Some of his favorites were Ramblings of a Madman Chapter 5, Deux Rouges Batch 2, Peach Colorambic, Oude Kriek, NBB Love Oscar, Friek, Scythe & Sickle, Hottenroth, and many others.
You would think that would be all, but you would be wrong. If you wanted to take a break from the crushing throngs of people in the tent, they had speakers lined up inside the taproom.
At these special tastings, the beer came to you while you enjoyed speakers like the representative from Lindemans that brought Cuvee Rene
and Wicked Weeds.
They also brought in scientist from Vanderbilt to speak on topics ranging from microbiology and neuroscience. It was fascinating albeit difficult to focus upon so late in the day.
A touching moment of the day is when they had Danielle Semich pour the last beer she and her husband Michael had made. He was the president of the Mid-State Brew Crew and a beloved member of the home-brew community. He passed away too soon.
We were all honored to share in his last beer.
The day was filled with such joy and fun that is was hard to see it end.
A big show of class and foresight by Yazoo was arranging delivery of 50 pizza from Two Boots. They were delicious and immediately devoured by the festival goers like zombies attacking a fresh kill. One industrious gentleman even added some of that perfect blue cheese to make it even better.
Then is was time to wait for the new Embrace the Funk release.
Just to make sure everyone had their fill, Brandon served all the waiting patrons some left over Rodenbach to maintain the festival spirit just a little longer.
Also, this good gentleman gave us some cask strength Makers Mark while we waited. Being the blending God among mortals, Brandon Jones saw it fit to blend the bourbon with the Rodenbach. Of course, it was delicious and started a trend among the line-dwelling peasants.
It took a while to get through the line, but the brews kept flowing the whole time.
Husband deftly single-handedly double fisted and Untapped at the same time. Surely, an expert level beer maneuver.
When we finally made it to the end, our patience was gloriously rewarded with the purchase of Barrel One Golden Sour.
I can hardly wait to try this new concoction which was the first barrel-aged beer brewed by Brandon Jones and Linus Hall back in 2012. He purposefully aged it three years because he thought it was perfect at that age and warned against keeping it longer than two years. Though I imagine we will not be able to wait that long.
Funkfest 2016 cannot get here soon enough. I am very excited to see what they have up their sleeves for next year. I suppose I will have to drown my sorrows in our stockpile of sours until then. Thanks goes to Brandon Jones and the Yazoo staff for making this a wonderful event. Unlike several past Hootenanny events (cough Beer, Bacon, and Burlesque), here I was called “my lady” by festival goers and treated like a queen. I look forward to next year and hope to see you guys there. Until then, Cheers!!!