The One That Started It All…Funky Buddha Brewery

It started off with a desire to try new things. Kendal heard a lot of great feedback about Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park and wanted to give their tap room a visit. From our home location in Orlando it was a long trek to make (about 3 hours give or take) and not many people were willing to journey with her that far just for beer.  Jason and RJ, however, took the risk and buckled up for the ride. And boy are they glad they did.

The history behind Funky Buddha Brewery is pretty interesting. Ryan Sentz purchased the R&R Tea Bar back in 2007. At the time it was primarily known as a tea and hookah bar that then became a place to find quality craft beer in South Florida.

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Ryan’s passion, however, was not just to sell beer, but to brew it too. His personal passion became a professional one with the incarnation of The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery. With his creative take on brewing, Ryan crafted beers like Orange Creamsicle Wheat, Ginger Lemongrass, Bob’s Backyard, and the 2016 World Beer Cup Gold Medal Winning Beer Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (Breakfast in a glass? Hell yes!).

Set to be the cornerstone of Oakland Park’s new Culinary District, the brewery opened its doors in 2013 and despite its ability to produce massive amounts of beer (about 175,000 gallons a year), the tap room still has the relaxed and communal vibe of the original Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery.

Upon entering the tap room visitors will notice its rustic and industrial interior with 30 taps behind the bar featuring their own delicious and crazy concept beers as well as a few guest and collaboration taps.  Needless to say, we were very excited to sample all that Funky Buddha had to offer.

It’s clear that the folks at Funky Buddha Brewery take care in regards to detail and making your experience with them unique. One of the ways they set themselves apart is the presentation of their beer flights. Rather than your typical single file flight paddle, their boards are in the shape of an iconic Buddha silhouette, and even better, alongside your liquid libations you receive a shot of oyster crackers. While this may seem insignificant, the service of crackers says a lot about Funky Buddha Brewery–they WANT you to enjoy their beers! This little snack allows your taste buds a chance to reset between sampling each offering of their widely varietal sweep of styles, and prevents blending of individual flavors from beer to beer.

In addition to their great brews Funky Buddha Brewery also draws you in with their awesome craft food selection. Locally-sourced whenever possible and bold with flavor, the Craft Food Counter & Kitchen is serving up “yummy grub” made with exceptional ingredients 7 days a week and even late night. We all ordered actual meals, but the only dish we had the patience enough to photograph before devouring was the shareable basket of yucca tots. A solid performer and just the carb load up we needed.

Our Recommendations

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Jason

“I liked the spice of Fire in the Hole. This red ale is made with raspberry and habanero which tickles the back of your throat with each sip. Could I drink a whole pint? Tried it and the answer is no. (I would not recommend, haha!) But as a taster, this unique beer is something different and interesting to try.

On the other end of the spectrum is Sticky Treats, a blonde ale that has a sweet finish. With a taste purposely reminiscent of a Rice Krispies Treat, this beer is perfect for those with an alcoholic sweet tooth!”

Kendal 

“It almost pains me to say it, but Jason and I have the same recommendations from this trip. Fire in the Hole was a fun surprise for me and I’m pretty sure I ended up finishing Jason’s glass for him because my flight sample was not enough. This one paired with the starchy goodness of the yucca tots, yes please!

My heart was slightly broken when I learned that we missed the seasonal release of Sweet Potato Casserole by a day, but Sticky Treats filled this void for me. Though there is no mistaking its intended flavor, I did not find this one to be overly sweet and I am still puzzled (but not complaining) about how a food profile can be captured in a beer. A fun concept indeed and it may be my new goal to try as many of Funky Buddha’s seasonal and small batch releases as possible. Keeping my eyes peeled for Last Snow next!

P.S. The Mighty Tatanka Burger was on point and melt in your mouth good. Embarrassed to say that I polished this baby off, but with a bison/pork belly blend burger you should not waste a single bite.”

RJ

“For me, the Tripel Lindy was ordered on name recognition alone. I love Belgium style beers and this Tripel was right on the money. Special mention from me is Fire in the Hole. This red ale with notes of raspberry and habanero will set you afire. I liked it in a taster, but I don’t think I could handle a full pour.”

We all three agree that we can’t wait to visit Funky Buddha Brewery again. We spent around 5 hours at this location enjoying different beers, taking the brewery tour, and just hanging out and enjoying the atmosphere. They are clearly running on all cylinders down there and their creativity is keeping us guessing and anticipating what is to come next from them.

You can follow Funky Buddha Brewery through their social media links below:

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