Mark your calendars, microbrew devotees. The Funky Buddha Brewery is officially opening its Oakland Park doors on Saturday, June 1. The best thing to happen to Florida's craft beer scene, the Funky Buddha is slated to have SoFla's largest capacity craft brewery, with the goal of ultimately housing over 30 handcrafted brews on tap.
Heralded Boca Raton brewpub head brewer and founder Ryan Sentz is upping the ante here with a full-scale production brewery and taproom based out of Oakland Park.
This is not only a huge deal for us beer lovers, but also for the city of Oakland Park itself. The 18,000-square foot Funky Buddha Brewery is set to be the anchor the city's new Culinary Arts District. Located on a stretch of Dixie Highway, between Oakland and Commercial Boulevard, the district will change the face of the city. With independent restaurants, a culinary school, European-style marketplace, a hydroponic farm with horticultural classes, it gives the city the cultural center it's been lacking.
The opening day bash of the newest Funky Buddha will thus also unveiling this new culinary hub. The festivities start at 4 p.m. and continue until midnight. Guest will have a chance to scoop out Oakland Park's new plaza, sample the bar's freshest brews in the commodious tasting room, and enjoy other activities, including a ceremony with guest speakers, bocce ball and corn hole, and love music.
"There was a fantastic synergy between Oakland Park and the Funky Buddha," explained Funky Buddha brand director, and former Broward Palm Beach New Times food editor, John Linn. The city was supportive since day one. "They really understood our concept."
The upstart beer-makers will become the cornerstone of a new part of town."We are making artisans products," Linn said. He feels that the microbrewery is going to fit in perfectly with the planned green market and other independent restaurants that will be opening up in the District.
The locale is also somewhat industrial, offering the new brewery the space it needs for the 30 barrels of beer it will brew, and the 175,000 gallons of draught beers it will dish out per year.
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Oh yeah, and apparently Oakland Park has great tasting water too. "We needed an area that had clean water, and Oakland Park's water is really nice tasting, fresh and clean." Linn points out that from a scientific standpoint, the water used in the beer making process is essential for brewing the right kind of product, with the right minerals producing the right kind of flavors. Linn reminded us, "Beer is 98-percent water, you know, so it's critically important.
About the brewery itself, don't expect any beer-pong (sorry to all you frat boys out there looking to get shitfaced). Linn says that the vibe will be laid back, with a very "brewery atmosphere," aimed at the beer connoisseur. The staff will have encyclopedic knowledge of the breweries' bevy of brews, with the ability to help clients chose between the Funky Buddha's delicious concoctions, like the Hop Gun IPA, Piiti Porter, and the Floridian Hefeweizen.
The design is industrial chic, according to Linn, with polished concrete, hanging Edison bulbs, and galvanized iron throughout. Linn says the location will effuse a "natural industrial element."
We asked if the brewery had plans to unveil any new beers for its opening. Linn says they are not. "Right now, just focusing on taking the beers from the Boca lounge and making sure we can brew them accurately in a system that is 20 times larger."
As for the Funky Buddha's planned distribution, Linn tells us his company is taking a "walk before you can run approach." It has sights set on regional distribution, within Florida. Laser Wolf, World of Beer, and the restaurants in the Culinary Arts District are amongst the places within South Florida where you can find their products. Its two flagships brews, Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweisen are marked for distribution.
As for Linn's Funky Buddha favorite, he is a Piiti Porter man.
Funky Buddha Brewery Grand Opening Celebration goes down at 4 p.m. till midnight on Saturday, June 1. The brewery is located at 1201 N.E. 38th Street in Oakland Park, Florida. Visit Facebook.
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