Everyone has that go-to friend who is always down to grab a beer. Mine happens to keep kosher, so when I asked him to join me at the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Festival, put on each year by Funky Buddha Brewing, he was rightfully hesitant. Funky Buddha is very secretive about the ingredients they use, especially given this particular beer’s popularity. While I assured him that there would be plenty of non-bacon-flavored drinks present at this celebration of breakfast beer, I just couldn’t close the deal.
It’s a shame to miss the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Festival. It takes place in January, one of the few months where you can be outside in South Florida without shvitzing through a shirt or two. It celerates Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, the beer that put Funky Buddha on the map and embodies so much about their brewery. The brewery is all about making beers in a culinary style, often with ingredients that do not seem like they belong in a beer at first. When they first brewed MBCP in 2011, they were one of the first to make a beer based on bacon.
While Funky Buddha is notoriously secretive about the adjuncts they use—I’m sure there is a message board on reddit posting conspiracy theories about whether or not there is actually bacon in Maple Bacon Coffee Porter—they swear by only using natural flavors. Other culinary-inspired offerings include a peanut butter and jelly brown ale, a Mexican coffee-based stout and a saison brewed with fresh oysters.
“What separates our brewery from the rest is that we get bold flavors out of natural ingredients,” said John Linn, brand director at Funky Buddha. “Our beers are more than the sum of their parts. Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is like drinking a roadside breakfast in a glass. This is one of those beers that bring up nostalgia, memories that transport you to another place.”