“We met those guys a couple of years ago,” says Bruno. “They had a little bar up in Boca. They were making some cool beer.”
Bruno inquired about the possibility of producing a custom brew for his growing pizza chain. But “they really weren’t big enough and we were growing so fast, so it really wasn’t meant to be.”
Now, however, with Funky Buddha firmly established in its 19,000-square-foot Oakland Park production facility and tap room, Bruno’s custom brew is a reality. And starting Friday, Feb. 14, Anthony’s is serving its Funky Buddha-brewed Fuhgeddaboudit Red Ale in all 17 of its South Florida restaurants.
“Beer has really become like wine,” says Bruno. “It’s amazing. I never drank a lot of beer before. Now I find myself drinking all of these beers because they’re interesting. I don’t like every one of them.”
John Linn of Funky Buddha says they’ve been working with the Anthony’s team since last fall and discovered that Bruno was a big fan of red ales.
“We all felt that would be a great flavor profile to serve alongside some crisp, coal-fired pizza,” Linn wrote in an email. “It’s also a bit more crafty than just doing a blonde or something light and ‘safe.’ So we worked with him over a few test batches and finally settled on a recipe we all liked.”
Linn says it was a perfect partnership for the brewery’s first custom beer because Funky Buddha and Anthony’s share a “commitment to quality, natural ingredients and putting out a great product.”
“It was a natural that we hook up and do it together,” says Bruno of brothers KC and Ryan Sentz who own the brewery. “When you see guys do what they’ve done, I’m in awe of them. It’s great to watch them grow.”
Fuhgeddaboudit Red Ale is $6 per pint.