What’s better than a street party with live bands, craft beer and food trucks? Really, that’s as good as it gets and Oakland Park had plenty to celebrate this weekend with Funky Buddha Brewery’s street fest. The celebration was for the brewery’s limited bottle release of their famous Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. For weeks, we had January 10, 2015 circled on our calendars for this huge block party.
We knew what to expect ahead of time by checking Funky Buddha’s website. Those wanting to purchase bottles of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter had some decisions to make. Limited to four bottles per person at $15 a piece, bottles were to go on sale at noon but they didn’t distribute the bottles until 4pm. Lines were expected to be long and WOW they weren’t kidding. By 11 AM, we heard there were roughly 500 people already in line hoping to get their MBCP fix. We decided to pass on the bottles (and the long line) and purchase the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter in the taproom instead.
We arrived early at 11:15 AM and found plenty parking. The food trucks, tap trucks and ticket booths were still setting up and there was already hundreds in line to purchase the bottles . Two tap trucks were on the East and West side of the street with different scheduled releases.
The main tasting room had a much larger selection of their all day selections. Tickets were $5 per ticket. One ticket = one 10 ounce beer. Smart system and it kept things moving nicely. We got our six tickets in hand and decided to grab something to eat at one of the food trucks.
We started with a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich made with chicken & lemongrass from Spring In, Roll Out food truck.
$12 was a little pricey for the six-inch sandwich but the chicken was juicy and cooked well with a sweet sauce. Oddly, the best flavor wasn’t the lemongrass but the simple cilantro on top. They also had a summer roll and spring roll with beer pairings next to each. I doubt anyone really noticed the pairing notes on the menu.
Next, were tacos from Box of Chacos food truck.
We ordered their 2 for $10 special with one taco being their 5-Spice Pork Taco and the other being Chow Mai Chicken Taco. Sadly, neither taco inspired us with appearance or flavor. We ordered the chicken taco specifically to try the Korean Ranch, but there was nothing really Korean in the flavor and nothing making us want more. The 5 spice taco, well, it really needed more 5-spice.
The craft beer started flowing exactly at noon and we got our first taste of The Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. The maple flavor was the strong note of the beer with a nice coffee finish. The bacon was a subtle in the background and we were really hoping for more. Overall it’s a great craft beer and we think it holds up to all the hype. We sampled the variation of the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, called Wide Awake It’s Morning (Imperial MBCP), which had a high alcohol (10.5%) and a lot more coffee flavor than maple. Jeff enjoyed this one. Next round, was the Piña Colada Funky Buddha and the Passionfruit Crusher Session IPA, both were fruit based and quite interesting. The better of the two was the Pina Colada. Final selections were Bob’s Backyard Mango Habanero Wheat Ale, which was a nice spicy beer (but not as spicy as their Raspberry Habanero beer) and Last Snow Porter, which WAS the favorite beer of the day. The coconut flavor was really intense and the white chocolate made it so smooth. Also very unique was the Live Art T-Shirt vendor that screen printed each shirt to order. Surprising to me was you could immediately wear the shirt. No wet or smeared ink.
Hats off to Funky Buddha Brewery for having one of the smoothest, well-organized block parties around. It was really a lot of fun and its going to be a long year to wait for their next MBCP release party.