Beer & Wine

J. Wakefield Brewing to Release First Official Cans July 2

Bottle-release parties at J. Wakefield Brewing (JWB) are always huge events. Now the brewery is set to release new bottles and its first cans on July 2. Get ready, JWB brand manager Alex Gutierrez says, because it's "going to be a big-ass day." 

There will be two varieties coming in 12-ounce six packs for $20: Tha Green Monsta, a Northeast-style IPA; and Let's Kick it, a graf that's the product of a collaboration between JWB and Slim Pickens Cider and Mead from Helsingborg, Sweden. A graf is a hybrid of a cider and beer.

For the collaboration batch, Gutierrez says more than 500 pounds of apples were used, as well as some cassia bark (Chinese cinnamon). The resulting brew has a distinct apple-cinnamon in a cider-sour beer infusion. 

It's the second time JWB is releasing Tha Green Monsta to the public and the first time in Florida. "The feedback we got back from the public the first time was ridiculous," he says.

In addition to the cans, JWB will release three different bottles. First is Big Poppa, a three-way collaboration between San Diego's Mostra CoffeeAbnormal Brewing Company, and JWB.  The Big Poppa is the brewery's "biggest" beer to date at 15.2 percent alcohol by volume and made with vanilla, coffee, and coconut. It was first released at the BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational earlier in June. 

The two other bottle releases are Everybody Dance Now, a bourbon barrel-aged stout made with coffee and cassia, and Brunch on This, a Russian imperial stout aged in Woodford Reserve whiskey barrels that previously aged maple syrup, brewed with kopi luwak — the famed civet coffee regarded as the most expensive in the world. Gutierrez describes it as a "true breakfast coffee beer." Each bottle is 750 milliliters and sells for $25 apiece. It's limited to only one bottle per customer. 

If last month's Orange Dreamsicle Berliner Weisse bottle release — all of which sold out on the same day — is an indicator, expect another sold-out day. 

J. Wakefield Brewing managed to squeeze in a few more collaborations. This month, the brewery will be doing a collaboration with Massachusetts-based Trillium Brewing Company, and another one with Long Island City Beer Project to make a sour saison is also coming down the pipeline. 

The brewery also released Miss Behavior, a sour braggot collaboration with New Hampshire's Moonlight Meadery brewed with 600 pounds of lychee honey and Georgia nectarines. 

Other than beer collaborations, It's a Frita is collaborating with Palomilla Grill to make breakfast starting at 9 a.m. Starting at lunchtime, Divino Ceviche will be available well into the evening. 

Besides the multitude of collaborations, Gutierrez also talked about JWB's expansion. Soon the brewery will add two more fermentation tanks to its arsenal, and it's "aggressively" seeking out a larger facility, he says. "[Owner and brewmaster] Johnathan [Wakefield]'s busy running around all over the place," Gutierrez says. "His brain is always ticking. He has to make sure that his beer is top quality."

The bottle release runs from noon to 11 p.m. For more information, follow the brewery's new Twitter account, @jwakefieldbeer
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David Minsky is a U.S. Navy veteran and Tulane graduate who has experience reporting on stories from California, South Florida, and the Deep South. He has also won some journalism awards. Email or tweet David with story tips and ideas.
Contact: David Minsky