Funky Buddha owners
EMILY HUTTO

Before Funky Buddha became the largest craft brewery in south Florida, it was a tiny brewhouse at a hookah bar and tea lounge where Boca Raton residents went to listen to live music. The brewery’s founder, Ryan Sentz (pictured at left), bought the lounge in 2007, and three years later—after establishing Funky Buddha as a destination spot for specialty craft beer—he decided to bring his own beer into the operation.

“I love craft beer, but if I was surviving on just beer when I opened, I would have gone out of business,” says Sentz, explaining that craft beer wasn’t nearly as sought after in Florida then as it is today. “But then craft beer got more and more attention,” he explains, “and we got more attention as a craft-beer bar. The homebrewer in me thought it would be fun to put in a small brewing system.”

So that’s what he did. Sentz moved to a new space and added a 55-gallon brewhouse on which he started brewing what he calls “culinary-style” beers. These experimental, ingredient-inspired creations included Rum-Soaked Oak-Aged Red Ale, Orange Creamsicle Wheat, and Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. “The small brewhouse allowed us to be experimental, to really go for it with flavors,” he says.

February 29th, 2016

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