Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery quickly grew into prominence in-state, pulling away as state’s second largest brewing co. Funky Buddha grew over 40% to 27K bbls last yr and expects to grow 30% to 35K bbls in 2017, brand director John Linn told CBN. FL still makes up 99% of total sales, while tiny bit of volume heads up to NJ (thru Kohler and Shore Point) and NYC (via Manhattan Beer). But fast-paced growth “probably” means Funky Buddha will hit current 42K bbls/yr capacity by 2018. So co’s “looking at different options” for capacity expansions, working with a consulting group to figure out “layout we would need to get to a larger size.”
Funky Buddha’s also “looking” at potential mkt expansions, but “near future kind of depends on how closely we hit our plan,” said John. Other than FL to northeast connection, “next logical step” will be GA, Carolinas and Tenn, natch, where it’s in closer proximity and has relationships with some of same chain partners. NYC and NJ biz currently all goes to Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza chain that has outlets in northeast and in FL. But it becomes question of “how much actual capacity we have for other territories.” So far Funky Buddha’s “on track” to hit 2017 plan, suggesting it’s less likely to expand into new territories this yr.
Funky Buddha a Top-20 Beer Vendor in FL Foodstores; Draft Still Over Half of Total Biz; Pineapple Beach Just over 2 yrs since Funky Buddha intro’d bottles, co’s makin’ noise in local chains too. Dollar sales flew last yr, up 144% in FL IRI foodstores to $2.5 mil. That made it 18th largest total beer vendor and #11 craft vendor there, ahead of NAB’s Magic Hat and behind Dogfish Head. Lead brands, Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen, are driving growth and still make up around 3/4 of total biz, John shared. Yet new launch this Feb, Pineapple Beach Blonde Ale is “pretty quickly going to be” co’s #3 brand, providing an extra boost this yr. Gotta note, on-premise still over half of total biz. Funky Buddha brands performing “very well” amid the clutter, “especially” Hop Gun and Floridian. Remainder of Funky Buddha’s biz revolves around more “esoteric” brews via its seasonal and specialty programs. This yr co “made the decision” to put sought after Maple Bacon Porter, along with other small batch brands, into distribution for first time, previously only available on-site. And taproom sales are “growing phenomenally,” John added.