ST. PETERSBURG — The Manaphin was long believed to be extinct until its sudden reappearance last April Fool’s Day — as a clever marketing hoax perpetrated by Pinellas tourism officials.
The imaginary half-dolphin, half-manatee Manaphin has its own website and "manafan" T-shirt. Now it has its own craft beer, too.
St. Pete’s Green Bench Brewing Co. created the limited edition Manaphin Chocolate Stout to celebrate today’s one-year anniversary of the Manaphin hoax. Six months in the making, the new brew was made with bourbon barrel-aged imperial oatmeal sweet stout aged on chocolate and vanilla.
The public was invited to taste the new Manaphin Chocolate Stout on Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Green Bench Brewing, 1133 Baum Ave N. There will also be music, food trucks and Manaphin T-shirts.
The Manaphin gag was concocted by the county’s tourism agency, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. In February, the April Fool’s Day marketing ploy was honored by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s Adrian Awards in New York City.