FraggleFest isn’t a festival comprised of colorful, fuzzy-headed Jim Henson Muppets, but rather, a celebration of another beloved character – a dog rescuing, vegan, punk loving, endlessly witty beer aficionado.
Mark Martone, popularly known as Fraggle, had been a driving force in the Bay Area craft beer scene for over 20 years and was former co-owner of the craft beer bar and bottle shop, Beer Revolution, in Oakland, Calif.
On June 30, 2014, Fraggle suffered a major stroke and died on July 5, 2014.
Mike Brinkman, Linden Street employee and longtime friend of Fraggle had originally planned to host a show featuring live music and a beer emphasis inspired by his upcoming documentary, “Brewing Culture.”
During the planning stages, Brinkman heard of Fraggle’s stroke and the idea switched to a benefit show. When Fraggle died, Brinkman carried on with plans when he received an outpour of support.
“Before I knew it, the show had blown up to a huge festival,” Brinkman said.
FraggleFest took place on August 24, 2014, combining the essence of everything Fraggle-related; from the presence of Rocket Dog Rescue for on-site pet adoption, to the vegan food selection, to the five bands playing live and the 20+ breweries on tap.
More than 1,300 people attended FraggleFest, each at $10 a ticket. All ticket proceeds will go to Rocket Dog Rescue, in Fraggle’s name.
“Aside from being a die-hard vegan, he adopted as many animals as he could afford to care for and he loved them like his children or as he referred to them — fur kids,” Brinkman said.
In addition to his animal appreciation, Fraggle also loved the punk life. To represent that part of Fraggle’s interests Brinkman reached out to some of Fraggle’s favorite bands.
“I got punk bands that he grew up with and loved, this included reuniting the band Fracas,” Brinkman said.
If Fraggle was known for anything else, it was his presence in the craft beer world. About 27 breweries donated taps in honor of their friend, including, Ale Industries, Almanac Beer Co., Anchor Steam Beer, Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Berryessa Brewing Co., Bison Organic Beer, Black Diamond, Drakes Brewing, E.J. Phair Brewing Co., Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., Faction Brewing, Heretic Brewing Co., Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing, Lucky Devil Brewing Co., Mad River Brewing Co., Moonlight Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, North Coast Brewing Co., Pacific Coast Brewing Co., The Rare Barrel, Shmaltz Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada, Six Rivers Brewery, Speakeasy, Stone Brewing Co., and Triple Rock Brewery Alehouse.
Part of the food and beer profit will go to Fraggle’s family to help pay for medical and funeral expenses.
Brinkman believes his buddy Fraggle would be proud of FraggleFest 2014. “We had punks, craft beer lovers, animal lovers, old friends, new friends, strangers — all of whom had the time of their lives, Fraggle would be quite happy with the event.”