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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of The Simpsons. And if you watch, you will know that family patriarch Homer Simpsons drinks the fictional Duff Beer exclusively.
Well, a few years ago, Universal Studios Florida opened The Simpsons Ride, just a small part of a massive Springfield USA expansion. As part of that expansion, Homer’s favorite bar Moe’s Tavern was opened. (The exposition is almost over. I promise.)
Naturally, since all of these places were getting built, what about the food? More importantly, the beer?
It would have been pretty easy for Universal to tap a keg of Bud Light and call it Duff. However, Universal went to Melbourne, FL-based Florida Beer Company to brew three styles exclusively for the park.
Herein lies the caveat: these are only available at Moe’s Tavern and the Duff Beer Garden, both of which are in that small section of the park. It’s not being sold anywhere else at the park, much less the rest of the resort. The exclusivity is kinda awesome, but it’s one hell of a cover charge if you’re only going for the beer.
Of the three, I really didn’t have much interest in the Duff Light, an American adjunct light ale. Plus they don’t offer samplers. So I went for the other two.
On the left is Duff (American Pale Ale, 4.8% ABV), the standard issue Duff, an American Pale Ale. It’s light and crisp, but more hop-forward than a standard American beer. It has enough dimension that I can see standard Bud drinkers possibly getting interested in craft beer once they get enough of the story behind it.
Duff Dry (Porter, 6.1% ABV), the one my wife actually went for, is a porter, which I didn’t expect. It’s creamy with a very dark and bold roasted flavor, but a lot hoppier than I expected. It’s a great compliment to the APA Duff, but I can also see it getting lost if it were placed on a large list of craft beer taps. Universal doesn’t have that (yet, fingers crossed), so it’s a welcome change to standard theme park beer choices. It’s also not on tap; it’s only available in bottles. And Universal won’t let you keep the bottle or take a picture with it. Sad.
I do have to wonder whether its a re-labeled Gaspar’s Porter, however…
It’s nice to see Florida’s theme parks are getting into craft beers, especially Florida craft beers. Plus, I’m fairly positive that Universal Studios Florida’s new Diagon Alley area has a few more exclusive beers. I’ll need to go back.
I just need free tickets, first.
Drink Florida Craft,