Birthday Barleywine

Classic and eclectic flavors at a Boca Raton brewpub

Brewer Ryan Sentz goes beyond beer-and-food pairings with his Funky Buddha brews: There's the maple-bacon coffee porter and the dark-truffle gose (a tart, salty beer style).

His inventive drinks have had local beer addicts abuzz since he introduced them a little more than two years ago, but Sentz recently paired with the brewers at Tequesta Brewing Co. to brew a more traditional beer for his brewpub's anniversary.

That barrel-aged barleywine's creamy mouthfeel and caramel notes are gentle, but its tart, oaky aftertaste betrays high alcohol content. At nearly 13 percent alcohol by volume, a couple of 12-ounce glasses ($6.50 each) are enough to create a buzz.

Do not delay; the last keg of the collaboration is already on tap at the pub. There will be a chance to taste it again when the Buddha's brewery opens in Oakland Park later this spring; at that point it will become South Florida's largest brewery.

Until then, new styles are tapped at the Boca lounge on Thursdays. These can be unpredictable, but one delicious constant is the Hop Gun IPA ($5 for 16 ounces).