Happy New Year! Now get your wallet ready for the first massive beer festival of 2014. Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park will celebrate the release of its first (kind of) public bottle release of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, a 6.4 percent abv superflavorful and correct-in-the-name culinary beer that has garnered praise around the country and still holds a perfect score on Ratebeer. But wait, why "kind of"? Because some pill-bottle-style growlers of the elixir made their way into the wild in 2011.
"Maple Bacon Coffee Porter was the first beer that really earned us attention outside of our taproom," Funky Buddha's founder and head brewer, Ryan Sentz, said in a recent news release. "I remember thinking how crazy it was that this little brew pub in Boca Raton was being noticed nationally, and our success is definitely owed in part to that."
Nowadays, it's a little easier to find the brew on tap during the year, though being able to take the beer home or trade it has remained problematic, until now. Saturday, January 11, will see this first bottle release at the brewery in Oakland Park, starting all the way at 11 a.m. and finishing (if they aren't all sold first) at 7 p.m. -- but don't worry, the taproom and festival will run till midnight. So think of that: 13 hours of MBCP madness!
For these soon-to-be highly coveted bottles, there is a little red tape, though fairly standard at releases of this nature. According to the brewery:
- Bottles cost $15, limit 2 per person.
- You must be 21 or over to purchase a bottle
- Bottle sales start promptly at 11am and will run until all bottles are gone.
- Bottle sales are CASH ONLY. An ATM is located near the bottle sales tent.
- You will receive a wristband for each bottle purchased. This acts as your receipt, and is required to pick up your bottle.
- Do not remove your wristbands! Wristbands that have been removed will not be accepted.
- Bottle pickup will begin at 3pm IN THE SAME SPOT and run until all bottles are handed out/sold.
Will a festival accompany every new Buddha beer? Unlikely, since John Linn, brand director for the Funky Buddha Brewery, told us that they "hope to release bottles much more regularly, perhaps on a monthly basis." Now that I think about it, that wouldn't be too bad at all.
As of this writing, the Buddha has released this list of the draft beer scheduled to be available on the festival day. Remember when I said to prepare your wallet? There are some good beers to be had:
- Maple Bacon Coffee Porter
- No Crusts
- Funky Buddha/Tequesta Brewing Co. 2011 Brown Barleywine
- Funky Buddha/Tequesta Brewing Co. Imperial Pils
- Bonita Applebum
- Pina Colada Wheat Ale
- Rice Crispy Treat
- Fire in the Hole
- Starfruit Floridian
- Fruited Berlinerweiss
- French Oak Hop Gun
- Pineapple Jalapeno Hop Gun
- Brooooooown Double Brown Ale
- Double Dragon Belgian Dubbel
- Don't Tell Reese
- Randy's Old Fashioned
- Last Snow
- Snow Day (Imperial Last Snow)
- Whiskey Barrel-Aged Snow Day
And some guest drafts, which gives South Floridians a great opportunity to sample beers from other parts of the Sunshine State that aren't normally available in our area:
- 7eventh Sun Galactic Pale Ale
- 7eventh Sun Red D'or
- 7eventh Sun Guilty Pleasure
- Engine 15 Jasmine Saison
- Dogfish Head 2012 Chateau Jiahu
In addition to the bottle release and draft beers available on site, the brewery is allowing festival-goers to bring in their own bottles of beer to participate in a long-standing craft beer ritual of bottle sharing. This will only be allowed outside, but is something that many people might be familiar with from a friend's house, local bars, or even events like Hunahpu's Day. In fact, with such a parallel to the annual festival, can we call it Maple Bacon Coffee Day? BuddhaFest? Nothing at all? Whatever the case, if you're heading down to the event, I'd love to meet you, so look for the weird guy taking notes and hail me down.
For the most up-to-date information, including food trucks and parking, check out Funky Buddha's event listing.
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