A few weeks ago I reviewed The Funky Buddha in Boca Raton and since that time their popularity has continued to grow at an incredibly fast rate. I was able to catch up with Ryan Sentz, the owner and one of the brewers at the Funky Buddha, and ask him a few quick questions about the popularity and the future of the Funky Buddha.
1. When was the idea for the Funky Buddha thought up?
I purchased what was called R&R Tea Bar and The Funky Buddha lounge about 5 years ago. It was a hookah and tea bar. I was always into craft beer so the first thing I did was bring in a small draft system and create the beer menu.
2. When did you decide you wanted to start brewing beer at the Buddha?
About two years back we decided we had outgrown the old location. When looking at one of our prospective new locations, we saw a small spot in the place that looked perfect for brewing. That got the wheels spinning.
3. What was your first batch of beer like?
My first homebrew batch was about 12 years ago. I did a pumpkin spiced ale. I remembered thinking it was pretty decent and at least better than most of the big macros out there. It probably wasn’t.
4. How many different Buddha beers are there?
At this point I’m not even sure. We do so many treatments and we get bored so often that we are always brewing something new. I’m sure we’ve done 20+ in the last 5 months.
5. What’s the story behind the infamous Maple Bacon Coffee Porter?
Just another example of one of our treated beers. In this case the piiti porter. We try to work with a lot of flavor profiles. Not all of them work but this did.
6. Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine creating a beer that has produced such a buzz in the craft beer community?
Absolutely not. I never even really allowed myself to think like that. It’s been crazy.
7. What beers can we expect from the Buddha in the future?
We have quite a few unique ones that I don’t even want to talk about. Partially because I like the element of surprise but mainly because so many of them are just “ideas.” I don’t like making different beers just for the sake of being different. First and foremost they have to pass our taste test and we are our biggest critics.
8. Of all the beer festivals and events that the Buddha has attended which one has been the most memorable?
No question, the Jupiter craft beer fest. We had done several other festivals but this was our first connoisseur type festival. The crowd was frantic and even broke out into a “bacon!” chant.
9. Any big plans for the Buddha in the future?
Lots of exciting plans. We are opening a home brew supply store, planning several collaboration brews with other breweries and entertaining thoughts of opening an off site production brewery.
10. Any parting words?
Support local breweries! In years past Florida was seen as a beer wasteland. However now not only are we bringing in great craft beers from all over the country but there are several new breweries in south Florida and several more in the works.