Named one of the top ten beer festivals in the United States earlier this year by Men's Journal, WakeFest Invitational is set to celebrate its fifth year at Mana Wynwood from noon to 5 p.m. February 15, 2020.
More than 120 independently owned craft breweries from across the nation and around the world — including roughly a third of the top 100 craft brewers in the world from RateBeer’s annual list — are expected to pour at the event. The fest's host, J. Wakefield Brewing, has selected and invited all of the participating breweries. Most of them are from out of state or out of the country, though several local breweries will be on hand.
“We’re thrilled at how much WakeFest has grown over the past four years, and we are looking forward to making the fifth one even bigger and better," founder Jonathan Wakefield says. "It’s really the only opportunity for craft beer enthusiasts in South Florida to sample the incredible beer that is being made by independent brewers across the country and in Europe. We are so proud to be able to bring it here to our own backyard.”
During WakeFest, Wakefield and his team plan to make several collaboration beers with festival participants. These beers will be available at next year's festival. So far, the breweries Trillium, Cerebral, and Bottle Logic have confirmed they will collaborate with Wakefield on beers. Four other breweries have yet to be confirmed. Those four breweries along, with the full list of available breweries at the festival, will be released by the end of November.
In the past few years, the South Florida beer scene has continued to grow, though Wakefield thinks the city may have seen the industry reach its apex. "I feel that there will be slower growth. I feel like that we've come to the point where the days of max growth are done. The breweries that are here in Miami, and in Florida as well, have carved out their own niche and continue to do so, but the new breweries that plan to open in the future are going to have a harder time getting into the market."
Tickets to WakeFest will go on sale at noon this Wednesday, November 6. General admission, which costs $60 until January 1, includes unlimited samples of beer at the festival from noon to 5 p.m. and a collectible five-ounce acrylic sample glass. A VIP package costs $375 and includes early entrance at 11 a.m., a VIP tasting glass, food, unlimited beer, a VIP area pouring specialty beers, and six special-release bottles: a 750ml bottle of Fifth Anniversary (brewed for the event), Iwaad, V1 barrel-aged Bottle Logic Collab, barrel-aged Otagoffa, barrel-aged Miami Rainbows, and barrel-aged Eton Mess Brush.
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One hundred of the VIP bottle package tickets will be made available to locals in the taproom on Monday, November 4, at 10 a.m. The remaining VIP tickets will go on sale, online, on Tuesday, November 5, at noon. Tickets will be limited to two per person. Last year, VIP tickets sold out in under ten minutes.
Everyone can purchase special-release bottles online when they buy tickets to the festival. The list of bottles available are BA Desperado, Cheese, Eggs, Welch’s Grape (grape brandy Big Poppa), Apple Brandy Big Poppa, Vanilla Bourbon Big Poppa, Let My Tape Rock, Rum BA I Believe in a Thing Called Stout, Bourbon BA I Believe in a Thing Called Stout, BA Eton Mess Brush, V1 BA Bottle Logic Collab, V2 BA Bottle Logic Collab, BA Miami Rainbows, BA Otagoffa, BA Making Whoopie, BA Bout It Bout It, 5th Anniversary Beer, V1 BA Boss Tycoon, and V2 BA Boss Tycoon
All bottles purchased with WakeFest tickets will be available for pickup the week before the festival date across the street from the brewery, at 119 NW 24th St., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
WakeFest. Noon to 5 p.m. February 15, 2020, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St, Miami; 305-573-0371; jwakefieldbrewing.com. Tickets cost $60 to $375.