This post is going to be a bit more image heavy than what you may be used to from me, but that’s because I got me an exclusive tour of the brand spankin’ new bottling line at Oakland Park’s Funky Buddha Brewery!
It’s been pretty big news around here recently that Funky Buddha will be bottling and distributing in the South Florida market (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, & Monroe) starting on December 10th. By the end of 2015 they will be expanding state-wide.
As seen above, the first bottles to roll off the line will be their well-loved Hop Gun (India Pale Ale, 7.0% ABV, 80 IBU) and flagship Floridian (Hefeweizen, 5.2% ABV, 12 IBU). These will be joined in January by Zen (Session India Pale Ale, 4.3% ABV, 35 IBU), their newly re-christened Crusher single-hop IPA.
Enough details; let’s see some pictures!
I was lucky enough to find Funky Buddha co-founder and brewmaster Ryan Sentz around while I was there.
It’s a bunch of shiny new toys and equipment, and you can definitely get the sense they are gearing up for a massive rollout of product.
After all, it won’t be just Floridian, Hop Gun, and Zen rolling off the line. Sure, those will be available year round, but Funky Buddha will also be releasing limited-edition 4-packs of beers such as Sweet Potato Casserole and Last Snow (the latter of which will be the first limited edition release, coming out in January).
But why should the tour stop there? Interestingly enough, the new bottling production floor is actually significantly larger than the original brewery floor/tap room. Case in point: walk-in coolers. Many of you have taken Funky Buddha’s tour and gone through the cooler they have behind their fermentation tanks. Well, check out their new one:
Can you imagine how this will look when it’s stocked with beer? It’s so beautiful. And cold, too.
I want to talk about all of the gorgeous barrels they had, but first I’d like to pause for a second and talk about Adrian. Many of you that have taken Funky Buddha’s tour had Adrian as your tour guide. That is good. Adrian is awesome. He was incredibly personable the few times we met, and he was a wealth of knowledge for us as we went through our tour. He’s also the perfect example of why the craft beer movement is exploding; passionate people. You can tell by talking to him that he truly cares about beer and the beers he is making with Funky Buddha. It’s a great time being able to talk beer with people like him.
I would also like all of you to know that the barrel he is standing next to is full of coquito, a Puerto Rican drink served during the holidays that is basically
liquid cocaine similar to a kicked-up eggnog. When this gets tapped, I want to be the first in line.
Funky Buddha has quite the barrel collection going on. I still have a bottle of their apple brandy-aged Muy Bonita in my beer fridge. The brewery is growing in barrel variety, including cabernet barrels they used to age their incredibly strong Nikolai Vorlauf Imperial Stout (more on that at a later date).
So, on December 10th, You will be able to go to Total Wine and More, ABC, Fresh Market, and more in South Florida to pick up a Funky Buddha 6-pack. And now you know where that bottle full of awesome came from.
Special thank you to John, Alex, Ryan, and Adrian for all of the beer love.
Drink Florida Craft,