Hanging Out With: Farmhouse Fest Organizers

Last Sunday evening, we sat down over Farmhouse beers with Farmhouse Fest Organizers Matt Kump, Jonny Evans, and Dave Shea to chat all things Farmhouse Fest.

From left to right: Dave, Jonny, and Matt.

The Wet Hop: Can you all tell us a bit about yourselves?

Matt: I’m Matt. None of us are in the beer industry, so that’s interesting. I’m a beer enthusiast; I like drinking good beer and like going to beer festivals.

TWH: You don’t need to specifically stick to beer; anything about yourself is great.

Dave: But that’s the most interesting stuff.

Matt: I design software, uh, that’s not very interesting.

TWH: Wow, someone else start.

Jonny: Let’s drink more. I’m Jon, most people know me as Jonny in some form or another. I take pictures, it’s my day job and I met these guys through social media and we came up with the idea to form a festival together. That branched off some of the other event work that I’ve done. I shoot events, but I’ve never really planned one before other than some tweetups. It’s pretty cool how it’s shaped up. None of us work in the beer industry, but we all fell into our individual roles, which has worked really well this year. @JonnyBeers is my twitter handle that everyone knows me by.

Matt: So follow that account.

Dave: I’m Dave. Pretty much the same story. I lead a design team at a software company, so again, not super interesting for this crowd.

Matt: We’re all boring.

Dave: Yeah. I guess I’m the only one who has done events in the past. I planned a conference about ten years ago. Maybe the only other interesting thing is I like balancing the beer with bikes. It’s a good one two punch. I like going for a long ride and have some nice refreshing beer at the end.

TWH: Nice. Jonny sort of got into answering my next question, which was how did you all meet, and it was social media.

Jonny: I think I met Dave at Legacy Liquor Store when I was talking about beers on untappd and Dave came up to me and started talking to me.

Dave: That’s literally how we met.

Jonny: And Matt, I can’t remember how we met. Probably at a beer event or a party or something.

Dave: But we probably knew who each other was before we met up. That’s what the internet does.

Matt: Dave and I met at XOXO in Portland, which is a technology festival.

Dave: That was the first one I think. 2012.

Matt: First one, yeah, and then we went to Cascade! Hence this festival now exists.

TWH: So, Farmhouse Fest started out as an idea. What happened after that?

Dave: We all got together at the Alibi Room and decided that this was an idea that we wanted to make happen. Backing up, it was Jonny who was the instigator. He wanted to do a wild ales festival and as soon as he said that, I put my hand up and said that I was in. A bunch of us got together and sat down and talked about what it might look like and it got to a point where we decided that this was feasible.

Jonny: Originally there were six of us and no one really knew what the plan was. We thought about having a small festival with 250 people and that first year, we quickly found out that wouldn’t work because you need a certain amount of people to have a certain amount of beer. So it ended up being 750. Funny enough, initially someone suggested that we throw some picnic tables at the back of The Cobalt or something.

Dave: So, they threw out the worst possible idea and we built on that.

Jonny: I think the farm idea came a few weeks later when we were looking around and grew from there.

TWH: After that first event, was it what you expected?

Jonny: Probably more.

Dave: I remember pretty distinctly, everything leading up to actually opening the gates and letting people in was like: “we can’t possibly do a beer festival. BC liquor laws being what they are… there’s no way we can get away with this. There’s going to be a liquor inspector showing up and shutting us down immediately.” But when we opened the gates, and people came in, and maybe a half hour after processing people in the line, I turned around and people were standing with glasses in their hands, drinking, and having a good time and I was like, oh, shit… we managed to do it.

Jonny: We got totally lucky with the weather that first year.

TWH: It was hot.

Jonny: It was hot, but I think that the whole farm vibe really came through. We sort of knew what it was going to be like, but it wasn’t evident until everyone was inside. Once everyone was in, with glasses of beer, the hay and tables were full, it was like, wow this actually worked and nothing’s on fire yet.

Dave: Yeah, we really didn’t know what to expect. We were all thinking “okay, we have all the pieces of this puzzle put together, and we think we have a festival”, then the day of it turned out way better than we could have imagined.

Jonny: It definitely helped that all of the breweries were on board. They had all done festivals before for the most part, they knew what to do with their own booth. But it was a new challenge for us.

Dave: During the first year, we still had some difficulty expressing what we were trying to do. We had conversations with people attending that said, it would be really nice to have some lagers or some pale ales to break it up a little bit, and I just said that’s not this festival. But it wasn’t just the crowd, some of the breweries didn’t quite understand that this was a different kind of festival. BC hadn’t really seen one that was specifically focused on styles before, and a narrow range of styles at that. So it’s not like we’re taking anything and everything, including your flagships…. we’ve got editorial control, and we want very specific things, and that was an adjustment. The first year, some people got that immediately and some didn’t. Second year, there was more understanding, and this year I don’t think there’s any question.

Jonny: I think they get the idea that it’s a curated event. So, they understand that we’re going to choose stuff not because the beer is good or bad, but because we want the beer to be style focused. This year we haven’t really fluctuated off that at all. Third year doing it, everyone gets it, that this is not for everyone…we’re not trying to be for everyone and I think the breweries know that and have really stepped up this year. Almost every beer is on style.

Dave: What’s really cool is the first year we had to let a lot of brett IPAs, sour stouts, and lagers fly under the radar. We were stretching the definition of what farmhouse was… you’re saying you soured something, or you threw brett in, okay we’ll let that go, but we didn’t even need to this year. A lot of breweries just submitted stuff that was barrel-aged and had specific house character or mixed culture fermentation happening. We don’t have have to stretch definitions.

Jonny: There may be one or two brett IPAs, but that would be about it.

Dave: Goses and Berliner Weisse exist in a weird place where, it’s not true Farmhouse style, but we still get them submitted by everyone. So we have to be the ones that say that’s not really Farmhouse and the reps or breweries say well, it’s sour, so it kind of fits.

TWH: What made you decide to curate a festival for these particular styles?

Jonny: For me, when I first posed that question to do a Farmhouse festival, it was because I had only been to the one in Portland and enjoyed it so much. It’s probably my favourite style, so I figured if I’m going to do something, it might as well be with these styles.

Dave: If you’re picking Portland as a reference, there are festivals for just about everything. There’s a kriek festival, a peach beer festival…

Matt: A double IPA festival.

Jonny: Exactly, but we didn’t have anything, so it felt like if we’re going to do something, it should be different. I think with that style it lends itself to breweries experimenting a lot. Like, with a saison, what’s a saison now? It’s not as defined as it used to be, so people can play around with it. Or sours… with barrels, there’s so much you can do with it. The breweries like it because it’s not like they’re doing test batches, but they get to have a little fun because a lot of it is really small batch, this year especially. It’s been a lot of fun for them and a lot of fun for us to see the list and see what people have come up with.

Matt: When you look at some of the best and most interesting breweries in the world, they’re usually Farmhouse focused in some way, whether that’s through saisons, sours, or anything like that. Like, traditional stuff in Belgium with lambics, or coming into the states and looking at breweries like Hill Farmstead, Holy Mountain, Side Project, Jester King… world class breweries that make this stuff really well because it takes so much care.

Jonny: There’s definitely a traditional element to it. These aren’t styles that are ever going to go away, it’s not a fad or hype. People have been making it for hundreds of years.

Matt: It’s a style that we really wanted to push in BC.

Dave: Yeah, that’s it for me. Whatever we had prior to the festival included a couple of highlights here and there, but I wouldn’t say that the BC was saturated with amazing wild ales, brett this, or sour that. It was a lot more hit or miss. So we figured we’d focus on something where there’s plenty of room to grow and give people a place to come and play. If there’s a festival that’s dedicated to this, then a brewer who is really passionate about making beers of that style can go back to their boss, the person that controls the cheque book and say hey, we need to brew some stuff for this festival if we want to be considered, so it encourages more of that experimentation, and makes the business case for brewing that style of beer. I think we’ve seen a lot more expansion with this since we started, and I’m not going to take all the credit for it, but I think having a place where that’s allowed and giving them the business reason to do it has been a really big win for us and for the local breweries.

TWH: What are you looking forward to the most this year?

Dave: Amazing weather.

Jonny: Not rain.

TWH: But it was still nice last year, despite the rain… we all huddled under the tents.

Matt: Everyone I’ve talked to has still been like actually, it’s kind of nice.

Jonny: What I’m looking forward to is all of the visiting breweries. We’ve got close to twenty this year actually coming to the festival from outside BC. Last year I think we had like ten, tops. We’ve added 12 booths from last year, so there will be a lot more variety and a lot more people visiting and I hope like last year, more collabs happening. That was pretty cool to see those beers happen.

Dave: We have about nine or ten collabs with breweries all attending the festival, and the collabs just happened independently. For example, we have Stillwater pouring a beer that was a collab with Almanac, and they’re both coming.

Matt: And Holy Mountain did a Freigeist collab.

Jonny: I’m pretty excited about Holy Mountain specifically, because originally they couldn’t come attend since they were going to the Wicked Weed festival. And that blew up in Wicked Weed’s face.

Dave: Yeah, it’s funny what happens when you sell to AB InBev…

Jonny: But hey! It benefits us. They’re coming to us for a reason instead of them.

Matt: Grass roots, baby.

Jonny: They obviously see that we’re small and independant.

Matt: I’m excited for the amount of ciders we have this year. They all sound incredible.

Jonny: So many ciders and so many beers…there’s like 185.

TWH: You’re mentioning grass roots, and you’re saying small and independant, which you are, but do you envision FHF getting any larger than what it’s going to be this year?

Jonny: Probably not on the actual festival date. Maybe some smaller dinners or side events, but for the actual main event, this is the max it can be and still be comfortable.

Matt: I think there’s more that we can do with the beer festival experience overall, not just the singular festival, but I feel like we’ve encapsulated something really good that we can spread to other styles or events. It doesn’t have to just be making this festival bigger.

Dave: The question is, do we take this and do it over multiple days and make it a long weekend or do we focus our energy on doing some other kind of thing in the 6 months of the year where we’re not planning the festival.

TWH: I was going to ask if you were planning on any separate events, tap takeovers or something.

Jonny: There are going to be a few, but we’ve left it up to the importers to do it themselves. We are hosting a welcome event, which will be announced probably this week. There are going to be a few side events like last year, where there was the Modern Times launch. More low key, not ticketed. With all of the visiting breweries coming, they kind of want to do a little bit more. One day seems like a good fit for a festival as it’s hard for breweries to commit a lot of time and they want to have fun themselves and not work for the entire weekend.

Dave: One of the things that happened last year is Modern Times came up and did some collab brews with local breweries, so if we’re keeping them busy the entire time that they’re here, there’s no opportunity for that to happen. Two of the collabs that they did last year will be pouring at FHF this year. There’s some basic self interest reasons to give them the opportunity to go and play.

Jonny: What comes up when we tell people that we’ve expanded is they’re worried it’s going to be crowded with big line ups, but last year we had 28 booths and this year we have 40, which is more than a 25% increase. So, there’s actually more beers per person this year. Lineup wise, there will be super popular beers, but there’s going to be so much variety that you really won’t be able to pick a top 10.

Dave: The smart strategy is to look at where the line up is, then go to all of the other stuff during that time.

Jonny: There’ll be a lot of surprises and hidden gems. You can’t go wrong with any booth.

Dave: There’s going to be a lot of stuff that’s under people’s radars. We’ve tasted enough of the stuff that’s coming up to the festival this year… there will be a lot of sleeper hits. If the line ups get crazy, you’re not going to go wrong going to another booth.

TWH: Make friends with someone in the lineup and go elsewhere. With what you’ve learnt with this festival, are you planning on organizing any other style focused events?

Jonny: We’ve talked about it, but nothing concrete yet. Maybe a winter event of some sort.

Matt: Yeah, winter beer… IPA, Double IPA, all of the different times of the year kind of thing. A lot of people have requested a stronger beer festival.

Jonny: Everyone wants an Imperial Stout and Barleywine festival, but that’s pretty hard to pick even ten in BC. I don’t know why a lot of breweries here don’t make them, because you go across the border and there’s hundreds of them.

TWH: You have to push people to brew that style.

Dave: We start planning for this festival in November and it’s happening in July. It’s doable to think about another one in the downtime between the festival and when we ramp up. Is that something we want to take on? We’ll see.

Jonny: Maybe a smaller scale.

Dave: Find a venue, maybe that can house 300 people, supply the food with beer… I can’t see why we couldn’t take on something like that. I’ve tried and didn’t get anywhere with it, but we’ll see.

Matt: It’s not a super easy thing to just do.

Dave: Yeah, just go to a licensed establishment and take over their entire operation for an evening.

Jonny: I host this crazy Christmas bottle share, and a lot of it is people picking up beer whenever they’re travelling. To mimic something like that would be impossible. A lot of local breweries don’t make strong ales or package them, so it’s tough to have the same kind of thing.

Dave: There’s no way to make that legal in BC.

Matt: Unless they have a corkage fee.

Jonny: Something like it being more of a party with a photobooth and music. A little bit different than what the summer event would be.

TWH: I’d love to see more with food.

Jonny: That’s something we proposed to importers to do while they’re here. There might be a cider event.

Dave: I’m a food guy, and I would love our food options to be more than just food trucks at the actual festival. But the problem with that is you have to start dealing with Coastal Health. Food trucks aren’t exempt, but they have a much easier route. You’d have to deal with extra requirements.

Jonny: It’s almost like planning an event within an event. It’s a lot more involved when you basically have to build a restaurant.

Dave: And I don’t think we have the numbers to really justify a restaurant to send a crew and do food prep. Lets be honest, if they’re going to do an offsite tent, it’s going to be greasy fast food. You’re not getting the full restaurant experience, you’re getting the deep fried quick version.

Jonny: There’s potential.

TWH: I would love to see hunks of various cheeses.

Dave: Us too!

Jonny: A cheese booth might be doable.

Matt: We tried to get a cheese truck!

Jonny: We tried. We contacted multiple vendors and they said no. It’s one of those things… wine people and beer people have very different mindsets to what pairs well. I’m hoping this year we have more exposure for people to see how much fun it is to be there, so maybe restaurants or cheese vendors will approach us. Or, when we reach out to them, they might know who we are beforehand.

Matt: There’s potential for us to do more food related things, like what we were talking about before with side events or pre events. A more casual gathering of Farmhouse ales and cheeses… that could be curated somewhere that’s not on the farm, a lot more easily accessible that works for every party. Or beer pairing dinners. I think the main thing stopping a lot of restaurants from doing them is they don’t think of it and they don’t want to have to figure out what the beers are or where to get them. Which is something that we could do.

Jonny: Yeah, we could have five to ten beers that could be paired with a lunch or a brunch or something.

Matt: Now we’re planning an event.

Jonny: We’re halfway there!

TWH: The day after FHF, another event.

Jonny: Yeah, brunch would be good.

TWH: I think I would just want McDonalds.

Matt: Brunch at 3:00pm.

TWH: To anyone still thinking about buying a ticket, and hasn’t yet, what would you like to say to them?

Dave: Don’t wait.

Matt: Fool!

Jonny: Don’t wait long. The beer list will be posted by the time this article is out. Last year we sold out pretty quick after that.

TWH: Since you mentioned this will be posted after the beer list is out, if you could pick what you want to drink almost immediately when you get to the festival, I know you said it’s impossible to pick a top ten.

Jonny: All of the visiting breweries, but that would require drinking 80 beers. Bellwoods is exciting. I think it’s nice to have more Canadian content this year… Dieu Du Ciel, Trou Du Diable, Dunham, Le Castor, Burdock. We’re going to have some gluten free beer from Glutenberg. It’s huge Canadian content this year, which wasn’t there the first year.

Dave: This year we have three provinces represented: BC, Quebec, and Ontario.

Matt: I can definitely see Alberta coming up.

Dave: I have at least one Alberta brewery in mind.

Jonny: There’s some crazy good beers from Modern Times.

Matt: Holy Mountain!

Jonny: Holy Mountain is exciting and they’re close. I’m quite excited about Engine No. 9. They just won mid-sized brewery of the year in Washington and three gold medals. Their stuff is going to be great. I think they don’t get as much attention because they’re in Tacoma and it’s hard to get to, but they have a really good local scene. I stopped in there two weeks ago and picked up a few beers; I love what they’re doing.

Matt: Same with Atwood.

Jonny: Yeah! Atwood is in Blaine.

Matt: It’s like, right there when you cross the border.

TWH: And you’re going to pick up your mail anyway.

Dave: I want to talk about the local guys!

Jonny: We’re all really excited about the imports, but the locals have stepped up.

Dave: Boombox is bringing three barrel aged beers. Dageraad has a couple of interesting things on the way.

Matt: Steel & Oak always steps up.

Dave: Steel & Oak has been so cool for this, because the first year, Steel & Oak was all German, German, German, and we went to them and said hey we’re doing this thing, we don’t know if it really fits and Jorden and Pete (the brewer at the time) were just like, yeah we’re going to step up and do something, and they did for the first year. The second year they went way further, and this year they have some really cool stuff. The fact that Steel & Oak is now doing IPAs and expanding outside that core German focus is really kind of exciting. I really love the enthusiasm we get from that brewery.

Matt: Can we talk about our beer?

Jonny: We made a festival beer with Four Winds, I don’t think that’s a secret because their logo is in all of the photos I’ve been posting. We brewed a beer specifically for the festival. It’s mixed fermentation.

Dave: We actually approached Four Winds last year, we talked to Brent and Kylo to potentially do a beer for year two, but based on their schedule it didn’t work out. This year we got in touch with them a lot sooner. We started the conversation in December, and the first week of February we had a brew day. We kicked around some ideas, they threw out the idea of doing something along the lines of Witbier, and we were like that’s not really on style unless we do foudres and brett and everything. The ingredient I was super stoked on was Sakura blossoms, or cherry blossoms. I mentioned that I’ve had a couple of beers with Sakura blossoms and they’ve been really interesting. They don’t have a cherry flavour per se, it’s kind of like a slightly floral thing and then cinnamon, which is the same as a kriek with cherry pits, it has a bit of a cinnamon character. So cherry blossoms carry that a little bit. I threw that out there, we talked about suppliers or harvesting locally, and in the end…

Jonny: …they harvested it across the street.

Matt: Grass roots!

Jonny: You get that Delta, Fraser River.

Matt: Terroir

TWH: So that’s where the Cinnamon Toast Crunch comes from that you alluded to.

Dave: That’s where it comes from.

Jonny: It’s kind of like toasted bark that is cinnamony, but not something you think about right away.

Dave: It’s kind of more woody than cinnamon, but when I say cinnamon when you’re tasting it, it’s like…

Jonny: It’ll be interesting. It’s still bottle conditioning.

TWH: And Four Winds will be pouring it?

Jonny: They’ll be pouring, and the bottles will also be for sale on site.

TWH: And you have a more extensive bottle shop this year?

Jonny: We do! Almost all of the visiting breweries have bottles of some sort and some for the first time, and maybe the only time, in Canada. I don’t know if they’ll be coming back or not. Holy Mountain, Engine No. 9, Burdock, Atwood, Bellwoods, will have bottles as well as anyone who has already imported here. There’s going to be close to 75 bottles in the shop, most of them pouring at the fest, so you’ll have an opportunity to try the beer, quickly, before it sells out. Some of them it will only be a case or less of each, so they will be limited one per person.

TWH: I’m super thankful for early entry.

Jonny: We’ll probably limit it so half will be allotted to both early entry and general admission.

Matt: That’s new this year too: early entry.

Dave: It’s an experiment.

Matt: It’s something we’re trying.

TWH: How quick did early entry sell out?

Matt: They sold out fast.

Jonny: Presale sold out in a couple of days.

TWH: How many tickets were available?

Jonny: 300 total, half were presale.

Dave: Presale sold out almost immediately.

Matt: Beer nerds.

Jonny: Right now, there are about 125* tickets left. When you publish this, it’ll be even less, but we’ll update you.

TWH: I think i’m ready to turn this off and drink some more. So, are their any final words?

Jonny: For locals, I think we should mention the breweries new to this year. Every year we try to rotate through breweries a little bit, not to kick people out, but we have 20 spaces available to local breweries and we always like to give new people a chance.

Dave: We’re still trying to figure out a good way to explain it to people.

Jonny: It’s tough when you’re trying to curate a list, but also get new people. We have a fixed limit each year. We don’t want to tell a brewery that they have to come back, it’s kind of a two way thing.

Dave: And we have examples of that.

Jonny: Persephone couldn’t come last year, but they’re back this year.

Dave: And we have other breweries that have had two years and we thought we should move on and allow someone else to share the space. The messaging is something we’re still working on. If there’s one thing that breweries take away from this (if they’re reading this article) I would just say it’s not about them, it’s nothing personal going on. It’s simply that we now have over 120 breweries in the province and we have 20 spaces at FHF, so it’s just a numbers game.

Jonny: Some of the breweries might make one really good Saison, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s like well, if you want to have a booth, you need to have three or four beers. It’s not fair to the breweries that are doing more Farmhouse based portfolio. We have five new breweries this year.

Dave: I’m stoked about Luppolo. They’re coming out of the gates swinging and only opened in October. They started out with good stuff and it’s only gotten better over the last 8 months. I’ve gotten to the point of really looking forward to their beer releases, and I know whatever they’re bringing is going to be awesome.

Jonny: Bomber is new this year.

Dave: R & B is a sleeper.

Matt: They’ve stepped it back up.

Dave: They’ve been around for 20 years and they’ve gone through the ups and the downs. They were down for a long time and a lot of people discounted them, but then Howe Sound took over, they have a new brewer in there who is just as much as a beer nerd as we are, and he’s trying a bunch of stuff. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the quality overall has gone way up. Since their tasting room opened, I’ve been there 8 times. Everytime I go in, I’m consistently impressed by the core lineup and the experimental stuff. I recently spent an evening there chatting and trying stuff, they have an anniversary beer coming up for their 20th, and I’m going to try and get as many bottles of that as I can.

Jonny: You can’t go wrong with any booth because you might find that sleeper hit that, after the fest, everyone is talking about it.

Matt: We’ve had those almost every year.

Jonny: Most beers there are only 20L, so you obviously can’t try everything with 1200 people being there. With the import stuff, most of it has been around or out for a while in the US, but never in Canada, so it’s new to us. Whereas the local BC stuff is a lot of one offs, so you might never be able to try it again because it’s the one and only time they make it.

Matt: This one beer always comes back to my mind. Obnoxious Lil Persona, which wasn’t called that in year one. Strange Fellows Strawberry Peppercorn Berliner. Sooo good and it came out of nowhere.

Dave: It literally came out of nowhere. Iain just showed up with that keg, it wasn’t even on the list.

Matt: Really, really, really phenomenal.

Dave: That one was the talk of the festival during that first year.

Jonny: There are a few beers that we’re keeping secret until the day of, but for the most part, everything is on the list. Stillwater, some of them i’ve never heard of or tried, same with Almanac, they have a couple of new beers.

TWH: Any pressing final thoughts?

Matt: One thing that we didn’t really get into is why this festival is so good and how that happened. Because festivals have been happening here for a bit, but why is ours good?

Jonny: There’s tons!

Dave: That’s a really fucking good question. Why?!

Matt: I think ours is good because we’ve all gone to a shit ton of festivals everywhere in the world.

Jonny: Yeah, we kind of bring it back from other places.

Matt: That’s both current and former organizing partners.

Jonny: You always hear the thing about people planning festivals because they want to go to them, but most of the time people planning can’t go to them because they’re busy running it. So, you have to think of it from an attendee and beer geek perspective, what are they going to want? Like we’ve said, this is definitely not a festival for everybody. I think everyone coming will have an awesome time, but we’re not marketing towards people that don’t know anything about these beers, it’s more targeted towards might probably know what every beer on the list is. They’re the ones that are going to plan and make a list of the 50 beers they want to try.

Matt: Or at least are interested in trying those kind of beers.

Jonny: It’s a specialized festival, but it’s also a specialized attendee, for the most part, a lot of them are more knowledgeable and enthusiastic. But even if you have no idea what you’re getting into, if you come to the fest, you’re going to have your mind blown probably.

Dave: I think there’s something to be said for “what we’re getting out of it” as a reason why it’s turned out the way it has. We’re not necessarily doing this for the profit. We’re not running this festival because we want to make a shit ton of money and retire early. A) you can’t.

All: It’s not possible.

Jonny: This year, we spent $10,000 more on beer than we had planned to.

Matt: Fun fact

Dave: Well that’s basically every year.

Matt: This is available?! Damn.

Dave: We’re not looking to cash out on this thing.

Jonny: There’s no sponsors.

Dave: And that helps the experience. When something isn’t right, we look at it and say we’ll spend the money next year and just do it better. The first year we didn’t have enough shade, the second year we got these gigantic-ass tents, and turned out that was a good thing because of the rain we got that year. If it costs a little bit more, no big deal because at the end of the day we look at the budget and go, well we can afford this, so we just should if it’s going to make for a better festival. I don’t think a lot of events are set up like that, I think a lot of it is let’s make this thing happen and you get as many pieces in place as you can and it just runs, but I feel like we’ve been introspective about it and think about what did and didn’t work, and what we can do better.  I’m sure other festivals do that too, but I think removing the money element definitely helps us because we can just spend more and make things better.

TWH: So you’re putting yourselves as the target audience.

Matt: Yeah, this festival is what we would want to go to.

Jonny: That’s important. None of us work in the beer industry, we go to events, so it really is what we would enjoy.

Matt: And we’re pretty particular.

Jonny: We’re friends with a lot of breweries and work with them throughout the year and attend some of their events, but at the end of the day, it really is what we want to see and what all of our friends that we have bottle shares with, those kind of people. We take ideas from them. A lot of it is because of stuff like that.

Jonny: Let’s finalize this by talking about the venue, because it really is the perfect place to do this. I don’t think it would have been as successful if we would have just done it in a hall or a park. The farm just makes everything so much better. It’s a unique experience, a destination.

*Please note, at the time of this article, there were 120 tickets left to Farmhouse Fest and 4 Designated Driver tickets left. After the beer list was posted on Monday, and this article posted today, the event is now sold out. If you haven’t purchased your ticket, keep your eyes peeled for anyone selling on the Facebook page or act quickly next year.



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