Florida Craft Brewery: Funky Buddha Brewery
Established: June 1st, 2013
Location: 1201 NE 38th Street, Bay A1, Oakland Park, FL 33334
Known For: If you have heard of the Funky Buddha Brewery it’s probably because of their highly rated porters and stouts. Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (MBCP), Last Snow (coconut and coffee), Morning Wood (MBCP aged in bourbon barrels), and Snowed In (Last Snow aged in bourbon barrels) are a mainstay on the beer trading boards when they are released. One that hasn’t hit cult status yet, but is absolutely delicious is The Love Below an imperial stout with chocolate, cherries, and aged in both Cabernet and bourbon barrels. A number of their beers have a culinary twist to them such as the French Toast Double Brown Ale, Lemon Meringue Pie Blonde Ale, No Crusts (PB&J in a glass), Sticky Treats Blonde Ale (Rice Krispy Treat), Strawberry Shortcake Wheat Wine, Blueberry Cobbler Wheat Ale, and the Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale. Tasty treats indeed!
Current Beer Menu: With 23 of the available 30 taps spoken for there was no shortage of options available to me. Funky had 20 of their own beers on tap plus three guest taps which were Barrel of Monks Rumpelstiltskin, Original Sin Cherry Tree Cider, and Sierra Nevada Barrelful of Hops. In the 3 hours I was on-site I was able to taste 10 of the options. My first flight consisted of Hop Stimulator (Double IPA) aged on Maple, Hop Stimulator aged on Cedar, Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale, and their session IPA, Crusher, which was brewed with passion fruit. The Passionfruit Crusher was my favorite of the day. I can’t even tell you the last time I had an actual piece of passion fruit, but that beer just dripped fruit juice. The Hop Stimulator alone is a very good DIPA and I enjoyed it even more when aged on both the Maple and Cypress woods. I did favor the Maple over the Cypress, though. The Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale will bring you right back to the Thanksgiving Day table. Sweet potatoes and marshmallows in a glass. My second flight consisted of Lychee Hop Gun (IPA), Fire in the Hole, Millions of Peaches, and Nikolai Vorlauf Imperial Stout. The Hop Gun IPA brewed with lychee fruit was definitely fruit forward, but was just a tad sweet for my taste. Fire in the Hole is a red ale brewed with raspberries and Habanero peppers. You get the raspberries right away, but they are quickly overtaken by the peppers, which kick you in the back of your throat. Beers brewed with peppers have grown on me lately so I enjoyed Fire in the Hole. Millions of Peaches, a pale ale, was a bit of a letdown because I didn’t get a lot of peaches which you would expect from the name. Nikolai Vorlauf was a decent imperial stout with tastes of dark chocolate and coffee, but it was a bit thinner than I generally like. After the flights, I tried Tip-Ta-Tip which is a collaboration that Funky Buddha did with Shorts Brewing Co. out of Michigan. The beer is actually two beers brewed separately, aged in bourbon barrels, and then blended together. Shorts contribution was a strong ale brewed with Michigan cherries while Funky’s was a Gruit brewed with Florida oranges, yarrow, and rosemary. Gruit is an ancient beer, which used spices and botanical blends to flavor the beer before hops took their place with the onset of the Reinheitsgebot or German Purity Laws of 1516. I got a whole lot of cherries and alcohol out of it. I imagine after it ages for a bit the other flavors will come out of the shadows. Finally, the last beer I tried was the Vanilla OP Porter on Nitro. If you like vanilla coffee, then this beer is for you. Add the creaminess brought on by the Nitro and you get a very tasty beer.
Price Range: A flight of four 4oz beers was $9.00 and both barrel aged and guest beers are not available as part of the flight. A single beer will run you between $6.00 and $8.00. Growlers are also available in both 32oz and 64oz sizes. Filling a 32oz growler will run between $6.50 and $12.50, while a 64oz will be between $11.00 and $20.00. If you don’t already have the growler glass a 32oz will cost you $5.00, while a 64oz will cost you $6.00.
Wine Menu: If beer isn’t what you are looking for both white and red wines are offered by the glass ($6.00 – $8.00) and by the bottle ($23.00 – $30.00).
Food Menu: Funky Buddha added the Craft Food Counter and Kitchen in late 2015. Walk to the area behind the tap room, order, return to your seat, wait for your pager to go off and pick up your food. That is about as simple as it gets for food service. I ordered the 1201 Burger with house made kettle chips and was extremely satisfied with both. Based off of that I would certainly suggest enjoying a meal while visiting Funky Buddha. Every Tuesday between 5:00pm and 10:000pm you can order a burger and one of Funky’s flagship beers for $10.00. Every Thursday between 5:00pm and 10:00pm you can order two tacos and a flagship beer for $10.00.
Ambiance: When you walk through the front door you are greeted by a 3,000 sqft tasting room with high ceilings and a 70-foot bar. About a third of the walls are covered in reclaimed wood paneling. The taps are adorned by a 15-foot cherry wood centerpiece which helps pull all eyes to the bar area. There is a very spacious and comfortable sense that comes from having such a large tap room. You don’t feel like you are right on top of the person sitting next to you. The back area where you will find the kitchen is also the game room. Giant Jenga, cornhole, and three arcade games will keep you busy while downing your beer of choice. Next to the game area is a large room used for special events. When needed, it is also open to the general public on the weekends. The overall facility encompasses 54,000 sqft.
Bar Seating: The tap room has the capacity for 204 craft beer loving souls. The bar itself comfortably seats 24. A mixture of high and low top tables cover the rest of the seating. There are also a number of leather chairs set up for those who appreciate the finer things in life.
Staff: Manny was tending bar while I was there and was really the only FB staff that I had interaction with. He’s been in that position a little over a year. He was friendly and very easy to talk to, which is exactly what the position calls for.
Brewing System: Funky Buddha works its magic on a 30-barrel three-piece brewhouse, which was built-in North America. Close to 50,000 barrels a year is brewed using the system. All bottling is also done in-house.
Merch: Glasses in different styles will cost you between $5.00 and $8.00. Koozies and bottle openers are available for between $2.00 and $6.00. Shirts for both men and women can be found for between $20.00 and $35.00 in many different styles. A hoodie will run you $40.00 and you can even buy a pair of yoga leggings emblazoned with the Funky Buddha logo for $25.00. Funky Buddha always has bottles in the fridge ready to leave with you.
Membership offered: Two different memberships are offered. The Snifter Club has an annual fee of $50.00 and with that you will receive a custom 18oz snifter, Funky Buddha shirt, happy hour extended by an hour, 2oz larger draft beer pours, and 10% of Funky Buddha merch. The Imperial Club is the next step up from the Snifter Club. The annual fee is $150 and is capped at 250 members. Imperial members receive everything the Snifter Club does including an annual members party with open bar and food, a club key chain, member meet-ups and events exclusive to members, and presale plus one-week storage of all 22oz bottle releases.
Best days or time of year to go: Earlier in the week during the day would be the best time to visit if you don’t want to deal with a large number of people in the tasting room. American Express is not accepted at Funky Buddha, so prepare accordingly. Children are allowed between the hours of 12:00pm and 8:00pm, but they cannot go on a tour. Dogs are also allowed, but only on the patio areas.
Regular Hours: Open seven days a week: 11:30am – Midnight
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday: 3:00pm – 7:00pm. $1.00 off all beers.
-The Funky Buddha Brewery began as the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in Boca Raton and utilized a 55-gallon brewhouse. The Lounge is still open and definitely worth visiting.
-Not only did the original location sell beer, but it also offered tea, kava, and Shisha for the hookahs, which it still does today.
-When Maple Bacon Coffee Porter was bottled it was traded across the country and quickly became the #1 rated porter in the world on Beeradvocate.com. This pushed Funky Buddha to the #27 rated brewery in the U.S. according to Beeradvocate.com.
-Three of the top six rated porters on Beeradvocate.com belong to Funky Buddha. Morning Wood (#1), Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (#5), and Last Snow (#6).
Overall Rating (1-5): I’m rating Funky Buddha a 4.75. Everything including the food, staff, atmosphere, and beer was for the most part top-notch. The tap room is one that I believe will be hard to beat.
What was missing: I’m sitting here trying to come up with a complaint and the only thing I can think of is my burger being cooked a little bit more than the requested medium well, but even with that it was still delicious.
In closing, if you’re in South Florida for business or pleasure the Funky Buddha Brewery is absolutely a must stop.
Is there something else you would like to know about the Funky Buddha Brewery? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.