One South Florida brewery has a $100,000 plan to help the Florida Keys recover from the hurricane.
Oakland Park’s Funky Buddha Brewery has brewed a beer called Florida Rebuilds, a blonde ale made with Key limes, and will donate all sales, not just profits, to the national non-profit Children of Restaurant Employees. The 13-year-old charity aids the families and children of food and beverage employees facing a “life-altering circumstance.” The beer goes on sale at its brewery Oct. 13 will start showing up around the state next week, a spokesman said.
Hurricane Irma hit the middle Keys especially hard last month, and the tourism the region relies on — including restaurants and bars and their employees — was at a standstill for weeks. Damage from the storm will set back the Florida spiny lobster fishing industry for months after traps were trashed or lost at sea, and the fishing industy, the second-largest economic driver for the Keys behind tourism, was paralyzed for nearly a month.
“We want these folks to be able to pay their bills and feed their families,” Funky Buddha Brand Manager John Linn said. “Our goal is to hit that six-figure mark.”
CORE and Funky Buddh are encouraging food and beverage service workers to apply for aid, which can include a $1,000 gift card to help with expenses, Linn said.
Funky Buddha’s distributor, West Palm Beach’s Brown Distributing, will also donate all of its sales of Florida Rebuilds to CORE. And Constellation Brands, which purchased Funky Buddha in August, has pledged to match up to $50,000 in fundraising, Linn said. The brewery will post the names of the restaurants and bars selling Florida Rebuilds blonde ale on its website, FunkyBuddhaBrewery.com., and hopes they will donate part of their sales to CORE, as well, Linn said.
“This spoke to us as a great thing we could do to help,” Linn said. “There’s a great connection for us to work with this charity.”
Funky Buddha Brewery
1201 NE 38th St, Oakland Park