Today is the first day of September, if you can believe it, and the middle of the fall seasonal beer release calendar.
Starting at noon today Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park will be selling the perennial autumn beer, Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale. This 7.9% ABV brew is a sweet and malty beer that aims to satisfy those that need a darker vanilla and spiced beverage for the coming change of seasons.
It's made the rounds in the past few years, and has always turned people's perceptions on their heads. A sweet potato flavored beer? Surely you must be joking. But alas, there is no joking, and please don't call us Shirley.
Aromas of mild spices like cinnamon and nutmeg mix with hints of brown sugar, while toasted marshmallow, those same spices, and a body of sweet potato arrive on the flavor. Creative, highly drinkable, and one of those beers that, if others do correctly, could overtake pumpkin as a major fall seasonal flavor.
This isn't just some trick of flavoring agents either: there's a lot of potatoes inside. "We used over 18,000 lbs of sweet potatoes in making our sweet potato casserole beer," Funky Buddha Brewery owner and brewer Ryan Sentz told us.
Packages will run $11.99 per four-pack, seeing full state distribution through Brown Distributing. Expect Sweet Potato Casserole to arrive in all major retailers including Total Wine, Whole Foods Market, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, The Fresh Market, Trader Joe's, and select Publix locations.
The anticipated releases soak through to next Tuesday with the
super-whale special release of Heaven Hill barrel-aged Morning Wood on September 8, the brewery's Imperial Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. Think of this like the distilled concentrated essence of all that is good about MBCP... but aged for eight months in bourbon whiskey barrels.
These limited run bottles will be released at the brewery tap room only (no distribution is planned) for $25 a 22 ounce bottle. Pricey, but as the brewery states, "these are the most expensive beers we've ever made: Robust Imperial Porters with super high grain bills and ABV, using all natural ingredients like coffee, coconut, maple syrup, etc. and then barrel aged for nearly a year. Expensive, certainly - but we are putting a lot into them and then some. We hope you'll try and enjoy (they will be on draft for release days too, so you can try them without the need to purchase a bottle if you like). Cheers!"
So Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale, out today. Barrel-Aged Morning Wood, out September 8. Now if only the weather would start getting cooler...
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.