This past Saturday, September 28th, the Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery saw their epic third anniversary party, complete with waffles, Peruvian dishes, and a host of amazing beer releases. The crowd was full of founders and supporters, beer nerds and beer newbies.
Below is the experiences of this humbled writer, finished off with an interview with the Lounge's head brewer Morgan Pierce.
It's a journal of beers, of only one of the hundreds of possibilities of combinations to be had. The permutations were seemingly endless. This is ours.
See also: Ten Best South Florida Craft Beers
I arrive to the Lounge a couple of minutes after 4 p.m., when the first of the long list of beers was to be tapped. An impressive line up awaits me and the dozens upon dozens of beer enthusiasts who made the trek to the white stucco'd plaza on US-1 in Boca Raton.
I begin the night light, hoping to build my way through a series of beers that would allow Funky Buddha to be showcased in a way that highlighted their ability to put together some of the most unique combinations in the area. Thusly, the afternoon begins with a snifter full of the bright pink and sour-nosed Raspberry Berliner. It is a fitting start, with the heat of the day winding down, and this beer acting as an aperitif to whip my palate into submission. The sharp sour tones of this wheat-based beer were mellowed by a mild sweetness from the fruity, yet tart, addition of raspberries.
Next, there is a sampling of the Sex Panther Black IPA, a beer that makes itself known through the flavors of a hop-laden porter -- with a slashed claw of bitterness that gives way to a mild purr of roasted malt, coffee and floral hop flavors. The body might have been on the medium-low side, but the bitter and roast character make this quite sexy indeed.
As the clock approaches 5 p.m., the crowd begins to swell, anticipating the first of the major timed releases. For now, I take a run at the Sweet Potato Casserole, a 9.5% reddish-orange vegetable beer that would be at home at any Thanksgiving dinner. Mild spices like cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with hints of brown sugar greet the nose, while toasted marshmallow, those same spices, and a body of sweet potato arrive on the flavor. Creative, highly drinkable, and one of those beers that, if others do correctly, could overtake pumpkin as a major fall seasonal flavor.
Next up is the Stupid Sexy Flanders Red, the Lounge's take on a Flanders red ale; that Belgian-styled slightly sour and casked beer, most known through labels like Duchesse De Bourgogne or Rodenbach Grand Cru. Buddha's Stupid Sexy Flanders Red brings a hint of the sour, but not overpowering, a mild woodiness and cider-like sweetness.