To help raise money for his brewery, Johnathan Wakefield is offering some wild incentives to those who pledge substantial amounts. Contributors who offer more than $2,000 get the opportunity to brew in collaboration with Wakefield and Cigar City Brewing or get a lifetime, name-inscribed barstool at the tasting room. For $2,500, Wakefield is offering the chance to get the cred for brewing a collab beer with Evil Twin Brewing of Denmark.
The donor will get to conceptualize and produce a unique beer with Wakefield and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Brewing at Wakefield's facility. Consider this an opportunity for a brewer to build his or her resumé.
The amount Wakefield has raised will go toward building a tasting room, a bottling line, bar upgrades, better seating, and additional customer amenities at his brewery. With the extra money, he wants to add another fermenter and is considering a "barrel program" to acquire used barrels to age beer.
He's found a location for a brewing operation but cannot give many details until all deals are finalized. However, he indicated his brewery will mostly likely be located in the Wynwood Arts District.
Wakefield did not expect to receive such a huge response to his campaign. "I was blown away," he said. "It was shocking in such a good way to see just how much support is out there."
Since 2007, Wakefield has garnered a lot of attention on the national brewing scene with his local take on a German Berliner Weisse beers. Calling it the Florida Weisse, Wakefield has taken the concept a step further by brewing his batches heavy with fresh, local tropical fruits.
See also: Florida Weisse: Our Own Style of Beer
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One of his signature beers, the dragon fruit passionfruit Berliner (Florida) Weisse, has earned high marks on Ratebeer.com and has became a pilot series brew for Cigar City Brewing in Tampa.