It's been said before, but it bears repeating: South Florida might have been late to the craft beer game, but it's making up for lost time, and in a significant way. Witness the upcoming South Florida Beer Week, which kicks off on Saturday with dozens of different events offered throughout the region.
"Craft beer is finally getting the respect it deserves," said Ryan Sentz of Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery. The popular Boca Raton spot is benefiting from the growth of the South Florida craft beer market and are set to open a new brewing facility in Oakland Park this spring. In the meantime, they'll be active in South Florida Beer Week with a few special events and limited-run brews that are sure to nab the attention of hardcore beer nerds.
On Saturday, they're participating in the SoFla Beer Bus which begins and ends at Funky Buddha. The tour of Florida breweries is a hot ticket item that quickly sold out, Sentz said. Because of the popular demand, the brewery will open at noon (they typically open at 5 p.m.) to the general public so that people who couldn't snag a seat on the bus can join in the fun.
On tap Saturday at Funky Buddha will be Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, Pina Colada, Cilantro Lime Pale Ale, Crusts (an Imperial No Crusts), Scotch Ale, Muy Bonita Apple Pie Brown, and Dark Truffle Gose.
On Tuesday, January 22, the bar is highlighting Florida brews with a few special one-offs on the taps. The lineup for the evening -- which rages from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. -- is Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, Last Snow, Pineapple Berliner, Crusts (an Imperial No Crusts), Scotch Ale, Ginger Pineapple Pale Ale, Dread Pirate Roberts (imperial stout with coconut, raspberries, and chocolate), Don't Tell Reece (a chocolate peanut butter imperial brown), and Nib Smuggler.
The brewery also will represent at the seventh annual Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday, January 26, at Roger Dean Stadium. There they'll be sharing some of their more popular brews, like Hop Gun (IPA) and Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, as well as the newer specialty beers like Don't Tell Reece and Pina Colada.
Sentz is particularly excited to share Don't Tell Reece with local beer fans.
"We've really worked on it and we're really happy with it," Sentz said.
Ground broke in November 2012 for Funky Buddha's new Oakland Park location. Though construction has started and things are "still on progress," Sentz said the projected opening date has been pushed back a bit.
"We're hoping for an April opening," Sentz said. "It's never as quick as you'd like...there are lots of moving parts."
With so many Funky Buddha fans eagerly awaiting the completion of the project, it seems a safe bet that they'll be ready to celebrate the debut whether it happens on time or a few weeks behind schedule.
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