When you have a good thing, it doesn't take long for people to show up. For Johnathan Wakefield and his upcoming brewery, it didn't take long at all.
Wakefield launched his CrowdBrewed funding campaign on Monday, and only 30 hours later, his goal of raising $55,000 to help "pimp out" the tasting room and fund a bottling line were blown out of the water. As of publishing time, he sits at $82,000 raised -- 150% of his goal reached.
"I never could have imagined it would have happened like that, not ever," owner and brewmaster Johnathan Wakefield told us. "Kinda blown away [by it]... it's very overwhelming in a good way."
"We're going to continue going with the campaign," he continued. "The bottling line is paid for, the tasting room will be done.. we might have the ability to maybe buy two more fermenters."
As for the tasting room, he explained that "pimping out" the area would mean that, "instead of just a bar with a bunch of barrels, [it'll] actually have tables, a nice bar top, nice taps... be overall more comforting, that is our plan."
A majority of the funding came in the form of registrations for the $300 pledge level "OG's" Membership Society, a VIP and bottle release club that has become standard at most breweries these days. Out of the 250 slotted spots, 187 of those were filled in that 30 hour period; just this level alone brought his numbers to $56k. It looks like the rest of the memberships are just about sold out.
Even still, a new bonus level was created. Ever thought of brewing a beer with Cigar City Brewing's Wayne Wambles? Now's your chance. For $3,500, you'll be able to brew a special collaboration beer with both CCB and JWB. From start to finish, you will be involved in the creation and execution of this beer which will be brewed at the JWB facility. It's a unique experience, and is still available as of initial publication. Surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Speaking of Cigar City, the folks over in Tampa are thrilled at Wakefield's progress as well.
"I am really excited for Johnathan and J. Wakefield Brewing," Cigar City Brewing's Justin Clark told us. "I cannot believe how fast he was able to reach his goal... I know he is going to make some great beer that will fit in perfectly in this quickly growing Florida craft beer scene."
Wakefield himself is thrilled at working in Tampa at Cigar City, which he does on the weekends. "It's been great. I've been working on their 15 barrel system, which is the same size as what I'll have in Miami. I've brewed all circles of the brewery, all the start to finish on brewing, cellaring, and packaging side. A full swing cover on all spectrums of the brewhouse... well worth it."
To really kick things up a notch, Wakefield won't be stopping anytime soon with the campaign. "We are going to keep this open are going to be adding stretch goals," he said.
If funding a local Miami-based brewery interests you, check out the CrowdBrewed page. In the mean time, we'll have to wait another four months or so, until January next year, for the brewery to open its' doors. That's when the magic starts flowing free.
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