Funky Buddha announces a kitchen addition

Funky Buddha kitchenFunky Buddha Brewery has always integrated culinary influences into its beer recipes. Heck, it was their Maple Bacon Coffee Porter that first turned the eyes of the beer world on what was then a tiny brewery/coffeehouse in Boca Raton.

Funky Buddha logoNow two years after expanding into its relatively massive production facility/taphouse in Oakland Park, Funky Buddha announces that it has come full circle and will open a locally driven kitchen in the space to help satiate the hunger of its customers.

Of course, Funky Buddha always has welcomed local food trucks to serve its customers, and a comment in the thread of a Facebook post announcing the news said, “We will certainly find ways to incorporate our favorite trucks, but we’re not exactly sure in what capacity yet. Stay tuned!”

We will!

By the way, the brewery is celebrating its second anniversary this Saturday with a massive street party. Details here.

Here’s the complete news release:

FUNKY BUDDHA BRINGS FOOD TO THE TAP ROOM: “CRAFT FOOD COUNTER & KITCHEN” COMING IN SEPTEMBER

OAKLAND PARK, FL – Funky Buddha is brewing up something special yet again – this time, in the kitchen. The brewery announces today its plans to build Craft Food Counter & Kitchen inside its Oakland Park tap room. This next step in Funky Buddha Brewery’s evolution will be a locally driven kitchen, combining gourmet-caliber plates with a fast-casual “counter” method of service that will fit right in to the tap room’s communal atmosphere.

“Funky Buddha has always been known for its culinary approach to beer, and now we’ll finally have a kitchen to match,” says KC Sentz, co-owner of Funky Buddha Brewery. “The ability to incorporate quality food and beer together will just complete the tap room experience for our customers.”

Craft Food Counter & Kitchen (CFC) will be helmed by Jeff Vincent, a South Carolina native and veteran head chef who most recently brought acclaim to the fantastic Beauty & the Feast inside the Atlantic Hotel on Fort Lauderdale beach. Vincent joined the Funky Buddha family in early April to produce the menu and oversee build out plans. His eclectic style draws on his low country roots, combining European technique learned from his early days apprenticing in the Iberian Peninsula with world-class kitchen experience at resorts such as Callaway Gardens and Highland Country Club in LaGrange, Georgia.

“Funky Buddha’s unique beers are an amazing source of inspiration,” says Vincent. “Getting to create dishes that will interact with these beers has got me anxious to fire up that kitchen and get cooking.”

Vincent’s menu will combine farm-to-table ethos with upscale street food. Everything will be made in house, utilizing local ingredients as well as the beers themselves. Pickled vegetables will be made using only fresh, seasonal produce. Sauces, soups, and even Bavarian-style soft pretzels will be made in house daily. The latter – a signature item at CFC – will utilize ingredients from every step in the brewing process: spent grains in the dough, real brewer’s yeast as a leavening agent, and finished beer in a variety of house-made dipping sauces including Doc Brown whole grain mustard, sriracha buttermilk dressing, and red ale cheese dip.

Traditional pub fare will all receive a twist courtesy of Vincent. The Mighty Tatanka burger will feature a blend of lean bison livened with bacon, smoked buffalo mozzarella, charred plum tomatoes, and sweet onion compote. Deviled eggs — a true Southern staple — will be set off with pancetta lardons and house-pickled okra. Sharable plates perfect for splitting over a few beers will also be a central focus. Dishes include wok-blistered shishito peppers with smoked peanuts and lime pearls, and beer-battered chicken and biscuit sliders with sawmill gravy. CFC at Funky Buddha Brewery will serve lunch, happy hour, and dinner daily.

The addition of Craft Food Counter & Kitchen will also allow the brewery to conduct beer dinners on site, pairing its brews with custom dishes turned out by Vincent. A full-service private room that seats 125 is being built concurrently and will host corporate events, receptions, and private functions with a full catering menu to match.

Construction on CFC is set to begin immediately with an estimated completion in September. This news comes as the brewery is set to host its Second Annual Anniversary Festival & Block Party on May 30th, which promises to be the largest craft beer event to date held in South Florida. For more details on the festival visit anniversary.funkybuddhabrewery.com.

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Craft beer can frenzy keeps growing in Florida

Blank_Aluminum_CansIn 2012, Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville became the first Florida craft brewery to put its product into cans. Tampa Bay Brewing Company, which had been in a friendly race with Intuition to be the first, placed second just a few days later with the release of its flagship Old Elephant Foot IPA in 16 oz. cans.

Cigar City Brewing came in third not long after.

Three years later, liquor stores with good access to the state’s breweries are creating entire end caps and store displays featuring dozens of different styles of craft beer canned in the Sunshine State.

Cans make sense for our outdoor-oriented culture because they are lighter to carry than bottles and allowed in many places that outlaw glass containers, not to mention being well-suited for preventing light from affecting the taste, and better for the environment by being more easily recycled.

The state’s canning revolution has cranked into full gear. Three of the state’s breweries have announced just in the past couple of days that they are putting their product into the aluminum containers.

VETERANS UNITED CRAFT BREWERY

Veterans United Craft Brewery in Jacksonville has put its Raging Blonde and Hop Banshee in cans, now available in local retail outlets.

Veterans United Craft Brewery in Jacksonville has put its Raging Blonde and Hop Banshee in cans, now available in local retail outlets.

STILT HOUSE BREWERY

Stilt House Brewery in Palm Harbor has a limited amount of cans available for sale in its tasting room. Styles are Citrus Pale Ale, Bohemian Pilsner, Cream Ale, and American Amber.

Stilt House Brewery in Palm Harbor has a limited amount of cans available for sale in its tasting room. Styles are Citrus Pale Ale, Bohemian Pilsner, Cream Ale, and American Amber.

MOTORWORKS BREWERY

Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton has just finished the first run of printed cans for its V Twin Bohemian Lager and Indy IPA. Six-packs should be on the shelf in early June.

Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton has just finished the first run of printed cans for its V Twin Vienna Lager and Indy IPA. Six-packs should be on the shelf in early June.

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Upward and onward: Florida brewery numbers continue to grow

Florida was fifth in new brewery opening in 2014, according to the Brewers Association. (Photo by Rodney Sedillo)

Florida was fifth in new brewery opening in 2014, according to the Brewers Association. (Photo by Rodney Sedillo)

The Brewers Association announced during the recent Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, Oregon, that Florida came in fifth in the number of new breweries opened in a state during 2014, with 42 (Washington state led the pack with 83).

According to the latest update of the Florida Brewery Map and List page on this site, this trend should continue through 2015 and beyond. The current number of breweries and brewpubs that make beer on premise in Florida stands at 139, up from the 124 listed on the last update in January.

Another 27 28 have announced addresses and have taken solid steps toward opening. This doesn’t count another handful or so that have not yet landed a physical address, but might well be on the next update in a few months.

Only one, Sawgrass Brewing Company in Coral Springs, has closed since the last update.

We should easily hit 150 operating breweries and brewpubs by the end of the year, if not much sooner. A tally of 200 or more when 2016 rolls in is not out of the question.

Here are the criteria I use for a brewery to be included on the map:

  • The brewery or brewpub must produce beer on its premises. This means you will not find companies such as The Abbey Brewing Co. in Miami Beach or Fantasy Brewmasters in Fort Myers that contract their beer at other breweries.
  • It does include breweries such as Grayton Beer Company in Santa Rosa Beach, which recently opened a new brewery and no longer contract brews, and Holy Mackerel Beers, which still contracts the bulk of its production, but opened The Mack House – Holy Mackerel Nano Brewery in Fort Lauderdale in 2013.
  • It includes two brewpubs – Karibrew in Fernandina Beach and Marco Island Brewery – whose brewing process is completed on site but started elsewhere.
  • It does not include BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse locations. The chain is one of the brewing partners at BrewHub, the operation in Lakeland that offers brewing and marketing services for other breweries, and contracts at some out-of-state breweries as well. (BrewHub is on the map.)
  • To be included, a brewery or brewpub must have a physical address – it would be hard to map it otherwise – and if not yet open, it needs to have made solid steps such as ordering or installing equipment, or starting the regulatory process.

Other maps and lists out there are based on different criteria.  The Florida Brewers Guild lists those breweries and brewpubs that are members. Others list breweries that haven’t made any steps toward opening other than filing as a business entity, sometimes years ago, with no progress since.

I’d like to offer a shoutout and gratitude to the page’s latest sponsors: Tampa Bay Brewing Co. and Tampa Bay Brews Cruise.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can drop a line to gerard@beerinflorida.com, and I’ll send the details.

This is a labor of love for me. I feel it is the most accurate listing of its type out there, but it has become a lot of work. If you feel it is of value to you, I would not object if you were to drop a little change to help using the “Donate” button on the right column of this page.

As always, I appreciate any feedback if I missed a brewery, have one listed as opened that has closed, or made any other errors. Send me an email or leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Gerard

FLORIDA BREWERY MAP AND LIST

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Enjoy some great craft beer, win prizes, help some good folks

Craft breweries make good partners for charitable groups.

For the most part, the craft beer community is a smart and generous bunch, and any time good brews are in the mix, a fundraiser becomes a party. Nearly every beer festival encompasses a charitable aspect, and breweries and craft beer bars regularly hold their own events.

Though it can be fun, the ultimate goal remains helping those who truly need it.

Shaven and shorn

Shaven and shorn

The recent Cut for the Cure Beard Shave-off at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa saw gents (and one lady) from three local breweries shear their beards and/or flowing locks to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The atmosphere was electric, and not just from the clippers wielded by the volunteer stylists from fundraising partner Sport Clips Haircuts. People were genuinely excited.

A personal example: I had already volunteered to sacrifice my beard, my first time clean-shaven in about 20 years.

Feeling Mohawkish.

Feeling Mohawkish.

Once I got in the chair, I challenged the enthusiastic crowd: If they chipped in another $200, I’d let them cut my hair into a Mohawk. Two minutes later, it was done. (Including, I’m proud to say, $20 from my 11-year-old daughter’s own pocket). The Foundation brought in more than $20,000 that night.

By the way, it’s not too late to donate. Please find out how by clicking here.

There are two more fundraisers coming up that I’d like to highlight, and they are to help individual members of Florida’s brewing community.

HOMEBREW & BBQ

Homebrew-and-BBQNearly six years ago, Jeannie Lesage was diagnosed with end stage renal disease (translation: her kidneys didn’t work anymore). She eventually had to undergo daily dialysis for nine hours a day, and she was put on a transplant list. The situation soon drained her family’s resources, but they continued to support each other. Her son, Eric Lesage, had two healthy kidneys, but could not donate one to his mom because their blood types were incompatible.

So they signed up with UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) in hopes of getting a kidney for Jeannie through its Kidney Paired Donation program. It happened on March 4, with Eric donating one of his kidneys to a woman in New Jersey, and a woman in Tennessee donating one of hers to Jeannie.

All surgeries were deemed successful, though the recuperation period continues, especially for Jeannie. She will need to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life, which can cost up to $24,000 per year. Her insurance will cover that cost for only the next three years.

This fundraiser in Inverness will help raise money to offset past and future medical bills, and ensure that Jeannie will be able to be a part of her grandchildren’s life for years to come.

The tickets cost includes unlimited samples from local homebrew clubs – Eric has been a valuable and well-liked member of that community for years – and breweries from both in and out of Florida. In addition, some really awesome items have been donated by the breweries and local businesses for a raffle. Scroll through the event’s Facebook page to see what they are.

Anyone wishing to donate beer, other items or money can go to the fundraising page or email Eric at Umass2804@yahoo.com.

BBQ, BREWS, + BRUNCH

  • Where: Darwin Brewing Company, 803 17th Ave. W., Bradenton
  • When: Saturday, May 9, noon to 5 p.m.
  • Tickets: Requested $10 donation at door.

Mike rogers fundraiserMike Rogers is a brewer for Darwin Brewing Company, and this fundraiser will help pay for his medical bills.

Mike has throat cancer; he started treatment in December 2014 with a minor surgery followed with the removal of his tonsils in mid-January 2015. After recovery, he started a run of radiation and chemo sessions. He recently finished his first series and will hopefully receive a clean bill of health in about two to three months when he gets a PET scan.

He’s had to use a feeding tube because of the treatment, but is scheduled to have it removed on May 6. Mike has been on leave at Darwin, but he hopes that once he regains some muscle and strength, he can return to brewing and start making some incredible beer.

But that’s far from the end. Next year alone, Mike will have to get a minimum of three PET Scans (an out-of-pocket cost of about $3,500) not to mention all of the additional costs associated with treatments, medications, and loss of income from not being able to work as much.

That’s why Mike’s girlfriend (Terri Parson, from Coppertail Brewing Co. in Tampa) and best friend (Josh Biskup, homebrewer) are joining forces to host this fundraiser in hopes to wipe Mike’s medical debt clean.

The fundraiser will feature Peruvian barbecue prepared by Chef Darwin, a cornhole tournament, and a silent auction featuring items from various supporting breweries. All of the money earned during this event will go to benefit Mike.

If you are unable to attend but want to help, you can visit the Mike Rogers: Kicking Cancer’s Ass Event page and donate.

More information here.

A signed copy of my book, Florida Breweries, will be contributed to each of the fundraisers.

 

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