He popularized a style of Florida beer. Now he wants to do the same with a festival

J. Wakefield's tart Dragon Fruit Passion Fruit Florida Weiss helped define a local beer style. Now the brewery is hosting a beer festival highlighting those varied styles. Instagram

Call this the craft beer festival for people who say they don’t like craft beer — by one of Miami’s own.

Johnathan Wakefield, a Miami-born former accountant who turned his passion for cooking and home brewing into the world-renowned Wynwood brewery J. Wakefield Brewing, basically invented the Florida Weiss beer style. He took the crisp, tart, refreshing German-style weisse beers and used Florida ingredients such as passion fruit to create beers South Floridians in stifling heat can embrace. (See: His bright-red Dragon Fruit Passion Fruit Berliner weisse which scored a perfect 100 among users at the international website RateBeer.com.)

Johnathan Wakefield (center) and his J. Wakefield Brewing team at last year’s first anniversary event for the brewery.Handout

Now he’s hosting a beer event to cater to those same palates.

Wakefest, on Feb. 18, is part 2-year anniversary, part annual celebration for the brewery, where J. Wakefield will be highlighting more than 95 different breweries from around the world, including some Wakefield himself has collaborated with to produce unique beers. J. Wakefield will have at least 30 of its own beers on draft at the five-hour event at Mana Wywnood. That kind of variety means there will be something for everyone.

“That’s what we’re all about. We’re bringing in such a wide range of beers,” Wakefield said. “For people who aren’t into craft beer, this is a great way to sample what it’s all about.”

That’s five hours of drinking from a selection of more than 200 beers for $50 general admission. Have your Lyft and Uber apps ready.

Wakefest 2017

When: Feb. 18, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Mana Wynwood, 2217 NW 5th Ave., Miami

Tickets: Available online.

More info.: Available online here. The event is only for those 21 and over.

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