If you are looking for hard data about the health of the South Florida economy, look no further than the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park. And, remember, math goes better with beer.
Just one year into its existence, the brewery is gearing up for a $3 million expansion, doubling its size to more than 40,000 square feet of space that by midsummer will house five new beer tanks, allowing it to more than triple its first-year production goal of 5,000 barrels a year.
A custom-designed bottling line, imported from Italy, is going in, and in August will begin producing 100 bottles per minute to be shipped statewide. The beer is already found on draft in more than 400 bars and restaurants in Broward, Dade, Palm Beach, Monroe and Martin counties.
Apparently, we can’t get enough of the Funky Buddha sorcerers’ Maple Bacon Coffee Porter and No Crusts Peanut Butter and Jelly Brown Ale.
“We built the brewery with growth in mind, but [Year 1] was something far beyond our expectations,” says John Linn, the Funky Buddha’s brand director.
Linn says the response is about more than beer.
“The craft beer scene in South Florida has grown into this great community, and whether that’s the brewers or the people that are drinking it, it feels really organic and tight-knit and just keeps growing and growing,” says Linn, who credits other breweries for reaching out when the Funky Buddha was getting on its feet.
Linn expects the brewery to keep the ball rolling in different ways going forward.
“By this time next year, we’ll be in bottles, and we’ve talked about some other special events. … We want to do a music festival down here, maybe we’ll start being a little more music focused,” he says. “Bringing more liveliness and fun to the community is something we really want to do in Year 2.”
As a thank you for Year 1, from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, the brewery will throw its first anniversary party, with food trucks, live art and live music from the likes of Ketchy Shuby, the Heavy Pets’ funk project Lather Up, and the bluegrassy Short Straw Pickers. Admission is free.
The day also will offer at least 55 special beers, some making their debuts, Linn says. For example?
“We have some new ones that we’re trying out for the first time. We have a beer called Snap in the Face, which is a lemongrass, cilantro and chili blonde ale. We’ve got a braggot that we’re debuting, which is actually half beer, half mead, which is a honey wine, so it’s high alcohol made with Florida honey, and we’ve got the Baklava Braggot, that has cinnamon, rosewater and walnuts,” he says.
“One of the beers that has kind of taken us by surprise is called Fire in the Hole, which is a raspberry-habanero red ale. People really love it,” Linn says, warning that the Funky Buddha could not leave it at that. “We made an imperial version for the anniversary, called Fire in Your Hole, that has raspberry and scorpion chilies, which were formerly the hottest chilies in the world.”
The Funky Buddha Brewery is at 1201 NE 38th St., in Oakland Park. Info: 954-440-0046, FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com.
LOOPING YOU IN
The charity tavern tour known as the Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop is back on Friday from 6 to 11 p.m., with stops including America's Backyard, Quarterdeck, Sweet Nectar, Soprano's Dueling Piano Bar, Lulu's Bait Shack, Tarpon Bend, Lucky's Tavern and Off the Hookah. Cost is $35, which gets you a drink at each stop and the knowledge you’re helping a half-dozen local charities: Jessica June Children's Cancer Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, Covenant House Florida, Broward County Gator Club and Jack & Jill Children's Center. Check-in is at Lucky's Tavern (214 SW Second St.) and Beach Place (17 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.). Info: 954-574-6000, BusLoop.org.
Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys join forces with Los Angeles sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, also known as propulsive post-punkers Bleached, for a free ArtsPark Live show on the stage at Hollywood’s ArtsPark on Saturday. DJ Skidmark opens at 8 p.m., followed by Jacuzzi Boys at 9 p.m. and Bleached at 10 p.m. The latter will be showcasing music from their album “Ride Your Heart,” a heady mix of garage twang and melodic yearning. Info: 954-921-3500, HollywoodFL.org.
Paul Mecurio is a former Wall Street lawyer. He’s also pals with South Florida radio gods Paul Castronovo and Young Ron Brewer. If either of these things seems likely to send him straight to hell, Mecurio seems unconcerned. The standup comic, “Daily Show” writer and host of the topical “Paul Mecurio Show” podcast will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday at the Palm Beach Improv (550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach). $17. 561-833-1812 or PalmBeach.Improv.com.
ART WALK, DON'T RUN
The monthly FAT Village Art Walk seems to be ripening in that organic way that feels just right. Special this Saturday is the involvement of the retro metal-shapers from Rusted Jalopy at C&I Studios (541 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale), which also will host a 10 p.m. performance by South Florida troubadour Phil Barnes, debuting the single “Way That You Dream,” at Next Door. C&I will feature DJs Tonx, Dan Carraway, Beki Powell and Brock Lambert. Good stuff. Info: C-IStudios.com.
WHEN YOU'RE A JET
You can check out the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale’s new youth movement known as the Jets (yes, the NSU Sharks have a gang called the Jets) at a 6-8 p.m. Saturday Put the Art in Earth get-together with the landscape architecture firm Cadence, which includes earth-friendly talk and a build-your-own terrarium party. Free for Jets members, $10 nonmembers, which includes museum admission. Afterward, take a free Shark Shuttle to the FAT Village Art Walk from 8 to 10 p.m., with a special tour of the Cadence space. Info: MOAFL.org, email email@example.com or call 954-262-0227. More info: Cadence-Living.com.
WHEN YOU'RE A SHARK
“Soul Surfer” is the free family-oriented movie screening in the ArtsPark at Hollywood’s Young Circle on Friday at 8 p.m. Based on the true story of teen surfing champion Bethany Hamilton’s recovery from a shark attack, is a life-affirming experience with a generous dose of faith-based conviction. The shark-attack scene comes with enough time to shield young eyes. Info: 954-921-3500, VisitHollywoodFL.org.
LAND OF THE 'LOST'
You may recall this story about “Lost Sunset,” the first full-length album to capture the kaleidoscope of kitschy cool known as The Gold Dust Lounge, and the Kickstarter effort of the Miami band’s founder, Russell Mofsky. Well, the logn-awaited album is done, and Mofsky will host a listening party on June 21 at Will Call (700 NE Second Ave., Miami), joined by Shark Valley Sisters and the all-star "Rat Opera" band. More info: Facebook.com/RussellMofsky.
South Florida legend Juanita Dixon performs with two younger interpreters of the blues, Rita Wilburn and Kat Riggins, on Tuesday at Boston’s on the Beach (40 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach). Tickets: $7. Info: 561-278-3364, BostonsOnTheBeach.com.
YOU'VE BEEN WARNED
Question to comic Moshe Kasher: “When your friend Chris Hardwick was here, he told a story of losing his virginity behind a bowling alley. You must have a more interesting story than that.” Kasher: “The story of losing my virginity is not more interesting than that, because it won’t happen until I get to the Fort Lauderdale Improv at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. I’m looking forward to it.” Kasher performs Friday-Sunday. Tickets: $17, $20. Info: 954-981-5653, FTL.Improv.com.
Sure, Saturday’s inaugural X Run obstacle 5K at Virginia Key Beach Park would be much more, uh, interesting with a sprinkling of rain, but don’t get your hopes up. The Sun Sentinel’s resident sky king, Ken Kaye, says the chance of rain is right up there with the chance of Lance and LeBron sharing a bottle of Sprite’s 6Mix. The run is $65 and involves running. Spectator admission is $25 and involves watching. Take your pick. Along with Ash Armand of Showtime’s “Gigolos” and Playboy TV sexologist Dr. Jess (Jessica O’Reilly), there appearances scheduled by porn actors Evan Stone, Misty Stone and Luna Star; Holli Pockets, model and host of Playboy TV’s “Swing”; the Men of Adonis male revue; and local burlesque star Morgan LaRue’s Shimmy Shake Revue. The event is 21 and older. A portion of the proceeds will go to Clitoraid.org, supporting campaigns against female genital mutilation. Info: TheXRun.com.
GOING, GOING, GHANA
Your friends at SouthFlorida.com want you to hang out with us and watch World Cup soccer. As obviously enticing as that offer is on its face, we’ll sweeten the deal by getting you $2 American craft beers if you wear a soccer jersey to the U.S. vs. Ghana watch party, 5:30 p.m. June 16 at the Riverside Market (608 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale). RSVP here: bit.ly/1kLTw2B.