This week, J. Wakefield Brewing owner-brewer Johnathan Wakefield will celebrate the fifth-annual release of his signature beer, DFPF. Officially dubbed DFPF Day, the release begins at 10 a.m. this Saturday, March 23.
The beer has garnered a cult following since the first five-gallon batch was brewed on Cigar City's pilot system for the Tampa brewery's inaugural Hunahpu's Day in 2010; that's when Wakefield first poured samples of his fruited sour ale for thirsty fans. DFPF continues to hold the world's number one spot for a Berliner Weisse, according to Ratebeer.com. Known as a Florida Weisse-style sour ale, the brew's name is an acronym for dragon fruit/passionfruit, the two key ingredients that give the beer a pop of flavor and a purple-pink hue.
Over 1,500 pounds of fruit were used in this year’s brewing process, said Wakefield, who will be releasing 750ml bottles for $20 each.
"Each year we tweak the formula or the process to make the beer better and to compensate for variances in the fruit," Wakefield says. "Expect this year's version to have a bit more tartness to accent the fruit flavors."
This year will also mark the release of four new beers, as well as a new approach to selling the bottles to the public. While the 2018 DFPF Day saw hundreds of people line up the night before the official release time, Wakefield is now offering a new system for retail bottle sales.
Rather than have customers wait in line on release day, free wristbands are being distributed at the Wynwood taproom and entitle the holder to a full allotment — six bottles including two DFPF and one of each stout — to be paid at the time of pickup on Saturday. Wristband distribution will continue this week, while supplies last, during the brewery's operating hours.
"It's something we have discussed for a while. Our intention is to keep the excitement and sense of community of our traditional release format, but make it fairer and easier for our local, longtime fans to get their hands on the beer without having to go to the secondary market," Wakefield says. "So many people thanked us for doing it this way when they picked up their wristbands yesterday."
Several never-before-seen beers releasing alongside DFPF include four Russian imperial stouts inspired by iconic desserts, said Wakefield, who created the beers alongside head brewer Maria Cabre and several well-known breweries to experiment with new flavor pairings.
"We're always looking for ways to see how new flavors can play off of one another," said Wakefield. "I’m excited about them all, and if they are well received, we could make them again."
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One of the new beers is Otagoffa, an affogato-inspired Russian imperial stout with coffee and vanilla brewed in collaboration with Boston-based Trillium Brewing Company, a followup to the popular Affogato imperial stout released in 2017. For this release, the beer features a blend of San Diego's Mostra coffee and Boston-based Barrington coffee.
The additional three beers include Making Whoopie, a whoopie pie-inspired Russian stout with banana, chocolate, and vanilla brewed in collaboration with Maine-based Barreled Souls Brewing; Miami Rainbows, a Neapolitan-inspired Russian imperial stout with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberries brewed in collaboration with Chicago-based Phase Three Brewing Company; and Eton Mess Brush, a Russian imperial variant of Brush with moringa, coconut, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, chilies, vanilla, and Marcona almonds, again brewed in collaboration with Sweden's Omnipollo. All the stouts will sell for $25 each for a 750ml bottle.
People with wristbands can purchase their bottles from 10 a.m. to noon. Bottles may be purchased separately, and non-wristband sales will begin at noon on DFPF Day. All of the beers will be available on draught on DFPF Day, with food by Master Arepa from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
DFPF & Friends Bottle Release. 10 a.m. Saturday, March 23, at J. Wakefield Brewing, 120 NW 24th St., Miami;786-254-7779; jwakefieldbrewing.com.