Beer & Wine

Funky Buddha Founders Reacquire Business for Brewery's Tenth Anniversary

The brewery turns 10 with a celebration and a repurchase agreement.
Funky Buddha will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this weekend with the release of three new beers alongside the news that original owners KC and Ryan Sentz will repurchase the brand.
Funky Buddha will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this weekend with the release of three new beers alongside the news that original owners KC and Ryan Sentz will repurchase the brand. Funky Buddha Brewery photo
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Funky Buddha Brewery will soon become the experimental craft beverage playground it was conceived to be when its original owners retake possession of the business.

Earlier this month, Funky Buddha cofounders and brothers Ryan and KC Sentz announced they would retake ownership of the company they sold in 2017 to Constellation Brands. The acquisition is expected to be official later this month, just before the brothers ring in the brewery's tenth anniversary.

For the brothers, the move to require the Oakland Park-based brewery is all about timing.

“It was the right time for us back in 2017 to sell," KC tells New Times. "We learned a lot, and we feel it’s the right time to reacquire. Craft brewing was booming, with major corporations investing in independent breweries. However, there has been a recent shift in focus. Our passion now is to craft unique and exciting brews."

In 2010, husband-and-wife Ryan and Giani Sentz founded Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in Boca Raton. KC and his wife Melissa joined the business as demand for their beers grew. Tired of the standard offerings, the group took matters into their brewhouse, whipping up a flavorful lineup of unconventional beer styles.

Several years later, in 2013, the brothers expanded to open a full-scale production brewery in Oakland Park. The first of its kind in Broward County, the brewery offered an in-house kitchen and food menu alongside more than 20 taps pouring the brand's unique libations.

When the Sentz's sold Funky Buddha to Constellation, part of the deal was to stay involved in brewery operations. The brothers share that while they've remained active behind the scenes for the past six years, recently they felt compelled to return to their core passion and original mission to push their boundaries.

"We want to go beyond craft beer,” says KC, adding that distribution will be limited to Florida for now. “It’s time to enhance our consumer experiences with fresh and interesting offerings.”

"It’s an exciting time in the beverage industry, and there is a lot of innovation across beer, wine, and spirits,” adds Ryan. “We're excited to be nimble again and expand our portfolio of beer brands and extend our creativity into new categories. We plan to create entirely new drinking experiences in beer and beyond.”
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Funky Buddha founders KC (left) and Ryan Sentz celebrate the brewery's Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Day in 2016.
Funky Buddha Brewery photo
The Sentzs are one of just a handful of breweries to have sold their brand to larger corporations and later retake ownership.

Earlier this month, the owner of North Carolina-based Appalachian Mountain Brewery repurchased the brewery from Anheuser-Busch. Alongside Funky Buddha, they join Three Weavers Brewing founder Lynn Weaver, who repurchased her brand from Fireman Capital in 2021 following a 2018 sale, as well as Shaun O'Sullivan, the brewer and founder of 21st Amendment Brewery, who recently bought back a minority stake from Brooklyn Brewery, which bought into his California-based brewery in 2017.

Moving forward, fans of Funky Buddha can expect to see some things stay the same. The duo promises to continue celebrating Funky's three main festivals with their anniversary bash, Oktoberfest, and Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Festival.

"But we're also excited to continue our partnership with the Florida Panthers and will institute several changes at the brewery's Oakland Park taproom," adds Ryan.

The brothers say they're currently working with several local artists to create custom murals for the interior and exterior of the building in addition to new art installations to help breathe new life into the space, while the game room will see an upgrade with new ping pong tables, foosball, pinball, and more.

Behind the bar, guests can still find familiar Funky Buddha favorites alongside a growing number of new brands, beginning with this weekend's anniversary beer and bottle release.

To commemorate Funky Buddha's ten-year milestone, the brewery kicked off a ten-day series of events last week, a celebration that culminates with a daylong anniversary party on Saturday, June 10. During the festivities, Funky Buddha will release a massive 60-plus beer tap list featuring the brand's most beloved beers alongside a trio of new releases available on draft and in to-go packaging.

KC and Ryan say they wanted to create something special for their tenth anniversary, beginning with "Confetti Cuddles," a cake-inspired, rum barrel-aged imperial cream ale layered flavors of almond, coconut, and vanilla, packaged in a vanilla-scented waxed 22-ounce bottle.

Additional new beers include "Coconut Cream Pie," a hazy IPA with coconut, vanilla, and lactose sugar available in 12-ounce bottle four packs, and "Bob's Backyard," a mango and habanero blonde ale also available in 12-ounce bottle four packs.

Outside of beer, Ryan and KC say they are eager to expand their footprint to include spirits.

"Right now, we're exploring the addition of a distillery onto our Oakland Park facility," adds KC. "We'll also be rolling out new food, cocktail, and beer menus with seasonal offerings — even a small canning line to allow us to release small batch runs through our taproom," sums up KC. "We're excited to share with the community all the exciting changes we have been working on, from new food and cocktail menus to innovative products beyond beer."

Funky Buddha Brewery. 1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park; 954-440-0046;
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