Despite the effort of some members of the Florida legislature to limit the business of craft brewers around the state, the beer has continued to flow at the Funky Buddha and it may get even bigger.
“It really turned into a three-ring circus,” said Funky Buddha owner KC Sentz about the legislature’s proposed moves.
One of the bills would have required Sentz to buy his own beer back from a distributor.
“We would have to sell our beer to a distributor, buy it back, and then resell it to the consumer so just that percentage going back-and-forth, we would’ve lost,” Sentz said.
The bills failed in the state legislature and that’s opened up an opportunity for the Funky Buddha. The bar is about to double the size of its operation and increase production from 5,000 barrels a year to roughly 40,000 barrels per year.
Sentz said the move would probably not have been possible had the bills in the legislature passed and imposed more government regulations on the industry.
“We created 28 jobs in 11 months. Probably add another 10 jobs over the next 12 months,” Sentz said. “We are making money. The wholesalers are making money. Let’s continue the growth and try to see what works for everybody.”
Sentz has his wish for the next year. It’s unknown if the legislature will bring the craft beer regulations up again in next year’s regular seassion.