In the aftermath of Wicked Weed Brewing‘s acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewery’s charitable Funkatorium Invitational sour festival scheduled for July 8 – which featured 70 breweries from across the country – was scrapped after a majority of the breweries dropped out. But before the festival was axed, news broke that a “counter” festival was being developed, featuring many of the same breweries and benefiting the same charity as Wicked Weed’s event.
Today, Greenville’s Birds Fly South Ale Project announced it will host that festival on Saturday, July 8, in partnership with Charleston’s Revelry Brewing and The Community Tap.
Dubbed The Funk Collective: A Gathering of Independent Breweries, the festival will feature more than 25 breweries specializing in sour and funky beers. The main event will be held at Birds Fly South on July 8, while the night before on Friday, July 7, the brewery will host a more intimate locally focused event featuring more than 15 breweries, local artisan food and more.
Profits from the event will go to support Eblen-Kimmel Charities. The list of participating breweries will be announced this Thursday, May 25 with tickets going on sale the following day. Space will be very limited.
Birds Fly South was originally slated to attend Wicked Weed’s festival (and was the only South Carolina brewery participating) but withdrew after the Asheville brewery announced its sale to AB InBev. According to BFS owner Shawn Johnson, he had been in contact with many of the other invitees when the idea of hosting an alternative festival came up. With so many breweries planning on traveling to the region anyway, Johnson figured it would be a good opportunity to get them under one roof.
However, the event is not meant as a slight against Wicked Weed. In a statement, the brewery said, “This gathering of funky brewers isn’t a statement on the Wicked Weed decision. All of the good in the craft community should be highlighted. We founded the Funk Collective with Revelry Brewing Co. because the funk and sour community are strong and we need to continue to come together and celebrate it.”
Birds Fly South had originally planned to release the names of breweries participating in both nights of the event tonight but has pushed back the announcement by a day. In its place, BFS has offered more details on how the event will play out in future years.
The Funk Collective weekend will swap between co-sponsors Birds Fly South and Revelry Brewing each year, with Friday’s brewery showcase spotlighting either Upstate or Coastal breweries depending on the location. The ticketed VIP event on Friday will be limited to about 200 people and showcase Upstate (or Coastal) beer makers and feature rare beer of varying styles from across the country.
The invitational on Saturday will be focused on sour and wild beers from breweries in and outside of South Carolina.
Tickets are now on sale here for Saturday’s festival as well as both nights of the event. A dozen South Carolina breweries are currently listed as being on hand for Friday’s VIP event and more than 30 local and national breweries will be attending Saturday’s event.