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    Hundreds line up for ‘Big Hapi’ David Ortiz beer

    A mock-up of a bottle for the new “Big Hapi” limited release beer.
    Boston Beer Co.
    A mock-up of a bottle for the new “Big Hapi” limited release beer.

    Polling stations throughout Boston weren’t the only places with exceedingly long lines of eager people this week.

    More than 300 beer enthusiasts (or perhaps baseball diehards) showed up to the Samuel Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain Friday for a chance to buy beer from a limited edition batch created in honor of retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

    The large crowd that gathered to snag some of the mango-infused “Big Hapi” brew — the name is a play on both Ortiz’s nickname, Big Papi, and the hops used to create the beverage — stretched from the building’s doors and around the block.


    People started lining up for a chance to purchase the exclusive 24-ounce bottles around noon. Boston Beer Co., which makes Samuel Adams beer, made only 541 bottles of “Big Hapi,” a number that reflects the amount of home runs Ortiz hit before his retirement this year.

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    Sales of the beer began around 4 p.m. Each person in line was given a green ticket ensuring that they would get their hands on a single bottle. Proceeds from sales will go to Ortiz’s charity.

    Boston Beer Co. chief executive Jim Koch was on hand and spoke to the crowd at the event.

    “Cheers to a great Bostonian who reminded us that this is our friggin’ city!,” he said, recalling Ortiz’s famous profanity-laced speech following the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.

    Billie MacDonald, a substitute teacher, said she left school around 3 p.m. and headed straight for the brewery. She said despite the swelling crowd, she was able to get a green ticket, promising her a bottle.


    MacDonald doesn’t drink, but she comes from a family of lifelong Red Sox fans. She was picking up the bottle for her sister, who is in the Foreign Service.

    “I thought it’d be a nice present for her,” MacDonald said.

    By 4:15 p.m., the line started moving as thirsty customers picked up their precious bounty from the brewery.

    “The line seems to be moving,” said MacDonald. “And there’s cheering.”

    Steve Annear can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.