For the second year in a row, the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park has put on and successfully carried out the bottle release for its most famous beer, the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. Dubbed Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Fest, the brewery's annual street festival went down this past Saturday with the ease of a freshly brewed pot of coffee.
Thousands of beer-thirsty festivalgoers descended on the brewery grounds, lining up for bottle sales as early as 6 o'clock in the morning. Was it necessary? Not particularly, as the vast majority of those who waited in line through to almost past 3 p.m. were able to receive the maximum of four allowed bottles.
Though the festival is a bottle-release-centric event, it is becoming customary for Funky Buddha to come out with guns blazing with an assortment of special releases and treated beers, including a bevy of kegs from brewery friends from across the state and country.
While the eponymous Maple Bacon Coffee Porter and its bigger imperial sibling were on tap all day, various other beers were made known at timed intervals throughout the festival, brought on with the chanting countdown bravado that has become common at this taproom.
There were beers ranging from the Key Lime Berliner weisse (with delectable sweetness and tartness that roused all of the senses into thinking this was that much-lauded curdled dessert) and Up Pip's Kriek cherry sour (screaming with candied sourness and fruity cherries) to the Fire in the Hole (a hot-but-not-too-hot raspberry and habanero red ale) and the German Chocolate Cake double brown ale.
Joining the Buddha beers were guest taps from Florida behemoths like Saint Somewhere with its dry-hopped E'te Sans Fin (grassy and hay-forward saison with that signature Tarpon Springs funk) and Swamp Head Brewery with Tropical Disturbance double IPA (superhoppy and in-your-face). There were even some out-of-state friends, with beers like Anti-Hero IPA from Revolution Brewing and PseudoSue from Toppling Goliath.
In other words, it was the place to be for beer aficionados.
With only some minor issues with double parking and... well... parking in general, the festival was very well put on. It can be a right pain in the ass to find parking at these events, and this one was no exception.
Even so, there were attendees from all over that state and country who flocked to South Florida to get a taste of what Draft magazine called one of the 25 best beers of 2014.
If you think you missed out on the festivities, know that the party hasn't stopped completely. There are still some holdover kegs, including those of MBCP itself, at the Funky Buddha taproom.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.
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