|Funky Buddha Brewery
1201 NE 38th Street, Bay A1 | Oakland Park, FL 33334
Funky Buddha Brewery owner Ryan Sentz opened a hookah and tea bar in a strip mall in Boca Raton, Florida in 2007. The spot was known for serving up some of the best craft beers available in South Florida.
After moving to a larger spot up the road, Ryan decided to turn his love of homebrewing into a profession. In September 2010, the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery opened, serving up beers like Rum-Soaked Oak-Aged Red Ale, Orange-Creamsicle Wheat, and Ginger Lemongrass from his 40-gallon system. A few months later, he brewed the beer that would give Funky Buddha national recognition – Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, making Funky Buddha the #27 brewery on RateBeer.com.
As demand grew for Funky Buddha brews, Ryan and his brother KC decided to expand and open Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Florida, which opened in June 2013. They look to continue growing with the addition of a packaging line this fall as well as a new line of 120-barrel fermentation tanks and a barrel-aging program.
My first encounter with Funky Buddha was back in June 2013 when I visited the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery. I enjoyed a sampler of beers and a snack and enjoyed the chill atmosphere. After talking to the bartender for a while, she asked if we planned to check out the new brewery in Oakland Park. This was the first time I had heard about the new spot.
Entering the Funky Buddha Brewery the first time in June 2013 was joyous. The place was crowded, crazy, and loud, but my tunnel vision lead me directly to the bar, and my jaw dropped as I read over the impressive, and quite creative, list of beers on tap.
Needless to say, as we planned our trip to South Florida this year, Funky Buddha was at the top of my list to revisit. The brewery was just as packed as the first time I visited, but this time we were able to snag a table. Our server was super nice and checked up on us often despite the crowds. That goofy grin came across my face again as I checked out the current offerings.
Their craft ales on tap available in pints included…
- Florida Hefeweizen – 5.6% ABV unfiltered German style wheat
- Hop Gun IPA – 7.2% ABV flagship IPA with Galena, Cascade, and Nelson Sauvin hops
- Cabana Boy Wheat Ale – 5.2% ABV golden wheat ale
- Crusher Session IPA (Amarillo Hops) – 4.5% ABV poundable session IPA
- OP Porter – 6.5% ABV dark ale with flavors of coffee, chocolate, and cream
- Doc Brown Ale – 6.2% ABV smooth and nutty brown ale
As well as these limited releases in 12 ounce pours…
- Don’t Tell Reece – 8.0% ABV double brown ale with chocolate and peanutbutter
- Fuhgeddaboudit Red Ale – 5.4% ABV red ale brewed for Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza
- Pina Colada Wheat Ale – 5.6% ABV wheat ale with 100% real coconut and juicy pineapple
- Pineapple Hop Gun IPA – 7.2% ABV IPA with intense pineapple body and long dry finish
- Tripel Lindy – 8.8% ABV Belgian-style Tripel ale
- Under the Kilt Scottish Ale – 4.3% ABV sessionable Scottish-style ale
- What is That, Velvet? – 5.4% ABV dry English red ale infused with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans
I started with a flight, which included four 4 ounce pours for $9. My favorite in the flight was What is That, Velvet? The beer truly reminded me of a delicious piece of red velvet cake. Funky Buddha has found a way to masterfully turn my favorite desserts into a tasty glass of beer. I ended the night with a pint of the Crusher Session IPA, which was superb. This beer was delightfully hoppy and super easy drinking.
While we chose to chat at our table and enjoy the World Cup game, many other patrons played board games, Giant Jenga, Bean Bag Toss, or Bocce as they sipped on Funky Buddha brews.
Here’s some good news for Funky Buddha lovers. They plan to offer six packs of Floridian Hefeweizen, Hop Gun IPA, and Crusher Session IPA and four packs of special release and seasonal beers like No Crusts and Sweet Potato Casserole. There are also plans to release limited 22 ounce bottles of Last Snow and Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. While the bottles will only be available in Florida for now, we can keep our fingers crossed that eventually they’ll make their way up north.
On July 22, Funky Buddha will release Barrel-Aged Muy Bonita in bottles. This is an Imperial version of Bonita Applebum Apple Pie Brown Ale aged in Laird’s Apple Brandy barrels for three months. Brewed with real cinnamon, vanilla, and apples, this beer boasts huge apple pie flavor. Bottles will run $25 each with a two bottle limit per person.
Funky Buddha offers tours of the brewery every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm and on Thursdays at 7pm. The tour costs $5 and include a Funky Buddha pint glass and beer samples along the way. You can sign up a month in advance for the 2pm and 3pm tours at the tap room. The 4pm tour is for walk-ins only.
Frequent visitors can join the Funky Buddha Brewery Snifter Club. For $50, members receive a custom 18 ounce etched snifter, a Funky Buddha Brewery t-shirt, extended happy hour at the Brewery Tasting Room, 2 ounce larger draft beer pours, and 10% off Funky Buddha branded merchandise.
The Imperial Club is a limited membership version of the Snifter Club with additional privileges including those listed above as well as two 32 ounce Funky Buddha growlers, an Imperial Club growler tote, an etched keychain, invitation to the Imperial Club Members private party, and a special bottle release party for a beer not released to the general public. Imperial Club members also get first dibs on all special bottle releases. This club is limited to 155 members, all of which must be South Florida residents.
If you are lucky enough to spend any time in South Florida, don’t miss out on Funky Buddha Brewery, and definitely plan on hanging out for a while so you can enjoy all of the creative, and quite delicious, Funky Buddha brews.