Drinking Our Way Through Funky Buddha Lounge's Third Anniversary
Waffles. What else is there to say?
Anticipation and whispers fill the crowd (yes, whispers, it seemed, even through live music), for this was when the highly coveted Cigar City Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu keg was to be tapped. Through some form of black magic, the Lounge managed to secure a keg of this highly sought after elixir from Tampa-based Cigar City.
The talk was all of 'hunahpu', with bodies crammed so close, it could be thought this beer was infused with gold flakes or held the miracle of youthfulness (not that anyone here needed it).
It felt odd to order a 'foreign' beer on this night, a night of celebration, but I should not have. Craft brewers, through each and every encounter, show their true faces of brotherhood and solidarity to one another. This was CCB's tribute to Funky Buddha, a gift from one Florida brewery to another, to dispense to their loyal fans, and show that craft beer in Florida is something to behold.
The aged Hunahpu is a masterful beer. Full of dark chocolate, boozy vanilla, and a back-end spice from the peppers, its medium body belies the powerful punch that it packs. The spices open out of it as it warms, and is a fantastic beer to have had the opportunity to imbibe.
At the same time is released Morning Wood; a rich, dark, black as night beer that is their Wide Awake It's Morning (an Imperial stout) aged in a whiskey barrel. This beer kills it. And by 'it', I should point to my expectations as to what these brewers can do with a bit of grain, hops, and yeast. On the nose, this 11.2% beer shows only slight hints of peanuts and coffee, It has a sweet and creamy body, with chocolate, maple, and syrup. The alcohol heat that might be present, is blended very well into the structure of this beer.
It's about time for a nightcap, so what could be better than an Old Fashioned in beer form. The Old Fashioned Imperial Brown is the perfect end to an amazing night, showing hints of orange liquor and cocktail-like heat that are allowed to escape.
The crowd spill outside, with only a few dropped glasses the entire night.
As to what can be expected to come out of the Funky Buddha Lounge now that the Oakland Park facility is open, head brewer Morgan Pierce is planning on keeping the future funky.
"As far as the direction of the beers at the Lounge, the ideas and standards taught to me by first being the assistant brewer here are ingrained in me." he explained. "I don't plan on changing the direction of the beers.
"I still plan on making crazy culinary-inspired beers as well as drinkable session beers, sours, and barrel aged beers. If it sounds like it'll be good, I'll make it. We like to be open minded. We get our ideas anywhere we can. We are a very collaborative establishment. I'm the head brewer, and I have the final say, but I have an assistant that helps with work and ideas. Also, we get ideas from our bartenders, managers, etc. If an idea is interesting, we'll use it.
"Often times, even mistakes end up being a great surprise, and we thrive off these experiments.
"We are excited to be able to expand on our ideas, continue to go through trial and error, and finally success, which is our focus here at the Lounge. Above all, we enjoy seeing people come in and enjoy beers that we think are delicious. We are happy to see the joy in our customers as they taste beers that blow them away with intense flavors and high quality ingredients."
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