Five years ago, a brewing renaissance was born in a little tea and hookah bar in Boca Raton. Ryan Sentz, along with brother KC Sentz, moved their years old college-age-oriented lounge down the street a few blocks to formally begin the Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery.
“I still go back there and I’ll still help them brew on certain days,” Ryan tells me during an afternoon at their current 40,000 square foot Oakland Park production brewery. “I’m not fully removed from it, but it’s definitely weird to think that there are days here where we’ll brew the same amount that we brew all year there. If we’re lucky, we’ll hit 200 barrels there, but we’ll do 180 barrels in a day here…it’s… mind boggling.”
In 2010, Sentz and his brother opened up in that small Boca Raton location with a 55 gallon homebrew-like system. Back then his staff was small and his customers were just getting into craft beer. The explosive growth that we see today was just in its infancy in South Florida, and generally only the bigger craft beer brands were readily available in the marketplace.