Florida is in the mid-tier of beer state destinations in the U.S. It’s not in the beer mecca states of Oregon, Washington, Colorado, California or Vermont, nor a wasteland like Alabama, Utah, the Dakotas or Mississippi.
The big draw in the state is Cigar City in Tampa Bay. Funky Buddha has a cult-status for it’s unusual concoctions and off-kilter flavors. This isn’t a place for people who like beer to taste like transitional beer.
With popular seasonal brews like Blueberry Cobbler, Sweet Potato Casserole and French Toast Brown Ale, you know this is a place for the adventurous beer fan.
Located among the vacation destinations of Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Hollywood in the Oakland Park suburb, Funky Buddah is housed in a large shopping area. Don’t be distracted by the Pimanti Bros. sandwich shop of Pittsburgh you might pass getting there.
On the Saturday night I was at Funky Buddah, the parking lot was so crowded I ended parking in the opposite strip mall in front of a Staples. You can’t miss the outside of the place because glows like a theme park attraction.
Inside, it does have a theme park cleanliness like a Chuck E. Cheese. Hovering over the whole tap room is a huge billboard of the beers sort of like the Family Feud board.
Your flight of four beers is served on a wooden paddle in the shape of a buddha and with a side of oyster crackers. Don’t ask me why. It might have been that they were out of pretzels.
There was so much to choose from, so I had to go with the flavors I like:
- No Crusts Brown Ale (brewed with peanuts, raspberries and strawberries)
- Fire in the Hole (Raspberry Habanero Red Ale)
- Chocolate Covered Cherry Porter
- Fuhgeddaboudit Red Ale
- Blueberry Cobbler
I was hooked, and I’ve been seeking them out every since when they send the rare kegs up north. Thus, stock up on some bottled to go in the gift shop. Their maple bacon coffee porter is insanity in a glass. Then there’s the peanut butter cup beer and guava, pineapple, apple and lychee fruit beer. All friggin awesome.