Funky Buddha Brewery// Sweet Potato Casserole Strong Ale

Flavored beers can be fun and a change of pace for someone who is constantly drinking the same thing. There’s nothing wrong with a beer that has some sort of fruit flavoring added to it, but some people will argue that it’s too “feminine” or just not good, but I couldn’t disagree more. It’s extremely difficult to get a good flavor into a beer. So when I see one that’s a bit more interesting, I usually have to try it even if it misses the mark most of the time. Fortunately, Funky Buddha from Oakland Park, FL is well-versed in the extreme flavors department. They have beers that range from lemon icebox pie to maple bacon and coffee, so clearly they know what they’re doing. I recently saw that they had a Blueberry Cobbler Ale, a base wheat beer but then has blueberries, vanilla, and cinnamon added, and I knew I had to get my hands on it. It just so happened that I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago and stopped into a local bottle shop/gas station to buy some beer. I looked in the cooler and there was a single bottle of the Blueberry Cobbler Ale and I knew it would be mine. I took it home and opened it and was blown away by the flavors and more so the idea of crafting something so mind boggling. Here are my thoughts:

I didn’t pour this one into a bottle, but from what I’ve read and seen online the beer pours a nice purple to blue-ish hue, due to the use of real blueberries, with about a half inch of off-white head that sticks around for a while. The smell was amazing and more like cobbler than I was expecting, to be honest. I got hints of the cinnamon and vanilla, but not much of the blueberries until the beer warmed a bit. It’s pretty interesting and not something I had ever experienced before. The use of vanilla and cinnamon combine to make something that really does remind you of the crust or the crumble depending on if you always had pie or cobbler. Really quite nice and very much a sensory overload.

Taste is where it lost me a little bit, but not something that really pushed me away. The flavor was mostly vanilla with hints of milky sweetness. You do pick up a little bit of the blueberries on the back end, but nothing too strong. I do wish there would have been a good bit more blueberry in the taste because, well, it’s in the name and I expected it to be almost like a mouthful of blueberries. With that being said, the beer is really easy to drink and nothing is too harsh so that you can’t enjoy it. I very much enjoyed the flavor, I just wish some things were a little different in a few places.

Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, which really drove home the flavor of the cobbler, but again the blueberries would have added a lot here. The carbonation level was light to medium, which did help the small amount of blueberry flavor. One thing I have noticed with any of Funky Buddha’s wheat beers is that they’re usually pretty heavy and I can only drink one or two before feeling like I have concrete in my stomach. Floridian, a German hefeweizen, is the same way and I really wish I could drink so much more of that beer at a time, because it’s so refreshing.

Overall, this is a decently done beer, but it just lacks in a few places where I wished it would shine. The blueberry flavor was light, but I’ve come to expect it from beers that use natural ingredients rather than artificial flavorings. I definitely applaud Funky Buddha on their continued use of real fruits and real spices in their beers, so I can always overlook a lighter fruit flavor in their products because I know it’s coming from real fruit. I’m not sure of the price point on a 4 pack of this beer, but I’m not sure I would seek it out. Although, I would definitely drink one or two if I saw it on draft somewhere. Either way, if you see it drink it and continue to support breweries who try adventurous things and that are always experimenting. Cheers!

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