Star Wars is more than a film franchise. To millions, it's a living universe with its own worlds, languages, and cultures. Johnathan Wakefield agrees that Star Wars is greater than a series of movies. "It speaks of the era I grew up in," the owner of J. Wakefield Brewing says.
While most people show their love with memorabilia in their office or a poster on the wall, Wakefield's Wynwood brewery is filled with Star Wars murals. He says there are more to come. "We're actually redesigning the taproom. It's going to get a touch more Star Wars." The brewer says the epic franchise is a fundamental part of the brewery. "Pop culture and Star Wars and comic books are all pretty much who we are as people at the brewery."
This Saturday, May 4, Wakefield will celebrate Star Wars Day with a series of limited-edition beers that honor the world of Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca. This year, the brewery founder says, the day will be bigger and better. "May the Fourth falls on a Saturday, so it's going to be a huge celebration."
Beginning at noon, the brewery will pour nine Star Wars-themed beers. Each brew is a limited edition, with only one or two kegs made. The tappings will be timed throughout the day, so there's no rush.
Of the nine beers, there are a few to look out for, Wakefield says. "To be honest, we haven't made Let the Wookie Win in a year, and that beer flies!" It's a Russian Imperial stout containing ghost pepper, vanilla bean, and coffee. Another favorite is the BB-8 Tang. "It's a juicy IPA with Tang in it. It's always a popular beer."
A new imperial stout to try is If You Will Not Be Turned, You Will Be Destroyed, according to Wakefield. "And, of course, you have the sours. We always have a league of sours."
In addition to the Star Wars-inspired beers on tap, there will be two can releases. Beginning at noon, beer fans can purchase Haterade, a 6 percent ABV fruit punch-inspired Florida Weisse; and Troll So Hard, a 6 percent ABV lemon and key lime Florida Weisse. Both are sold in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. Each four-pack costs $20 and is limited to three four-packs of each brand per person. Wakefield says get to the brewery early if you want a four-pack. "We sold out in 45 minutes last year."
In addition to pouring plenty of beer, Star Wars Day will feature food trucks, raffles, and a lightsaber battle at 7:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite member of the Star Wars galaxy. Wakefield might be found inside a Wookiee costume or a Jedi robe. "I will be dressed. I'm going to try to fit that into my day. It's been a while."
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Here's the list of Star Wars-themed beers to be poured:
- BB8 Tang (4.5 percent ABV), session Northeast IPA
- Chewbacca’s Morning Coffee (6.8 percent ABV), brown ale with coffee
- Dagobah Swamp Juice (6 percent ABV), lemon and key lime sour ale
- Ewok Grog (6 percent ABV), blue raspberry and key lime sour ale
- I Love You, I Know (6 percent ABV), cherry, guava, and passionfruit sour ale
- If You Will Not Be Turned, You Will Be Destroyed (12 percent). Russian imperial stout
- Let the Wookie Win (12 percent ABV), Russian imperial stout with coffee, vanilla bean, and ghost pepper
- R2D2’s Beep Boop Boop (6 percent ABV), berry blend sour ale
- Tatooine Sunrise (6 percent ABV), fruit punch sour ale
All Star Wars-themed beers are limited and subject to availability. Flights and growler and/or crowler fills will not be available.
Star Wars Day at J. Wakefield Brewing. Noon Saturday, May 4, at 120 NW 24th St., Miami; 786-254-7779; jwakefieldbrewing.com. Admission is free.