When Funky Buddha Brewery cofounder Ryan Sentz first began brewing his maple-, bacon-, and coffee-flavored porter in 2011, the longtime home brewer had no idea it was about to become one Florida's most infamous specialty beers.
The first batch of the brewery's now most popular beer was originally brewed at the Funky Buddha Lounge in Boca Raton, where Sentz released it as a specialty growler fill in a prescription pill-shaped bottle. The food-forward porter — created to, as he says, "taste like breakfast in a glass" — was an instant hit for its combination of smoky, salty, and sweet.
"It was traded across the country," says Funky Buddha brand manager John Linn. "And got rave reviews with beer fans as far away as New York, California — even Denmark."
And just like that, almost overnight, Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (MBCP) became the top rated porter on BeerAdvocate.com, launching Funky Buddha to the #27 brewery in the world in 2013, according to commenters on RateBeer — an impressive feat for a less than one-year-old brewpub.
The rest, as they say, is history.
On January 14, Funky Buddha’s epic Maple Bacon Coffee Porter release party will return for its fourth year running, this time with an all-new beer festival format featuring over 100 beers from Florida breweries, and beyond. The brewery, which sold over 14,000 bottles of MBCP last year, is planning to brew approximately 50 percent more than last year.
This year, Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Day has officially morphed from an open format block party to a ticketed event. And while that might sound less appealing than free access, it's actually good news: Paying attendees are now guaranteed to receive not just one bottle — but up to two cases — of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter bottles during the annual release.