Love him or hate him, John Wakefield has been shaking up the craft beer industry the second he started a crowdfunded campaign in order to open his brewery. He is widely regarded as one of the best brewers in the world with several of his rare beers going for $1,000+ on the secondary market and his dedication to perfecting the pastry stout has many people with and without neckbeards lining up several hours before they would generally be awake.

While stouts are often the focus of J. Wakefield and its fans, Dreamsicle is the beer I’m reviewing today, a Berliner weisse sour ale that is brewed with oranges and vanilla. It clocks in at 6 percent ABV and comes in 16-ounce cans. The original release, from 2016, was packaged in 22-ounce bottles.

The switch to cans caused a bit of a stir, because along with changing packaging, Wakefield was planning a label change as well. The new label garnered a lot of backlash and the brewery quickly reverted back to the original artwork done for the beer.

A hazy orange liquid greets my glass as I pour Dreamsicle out of the silver can. There is a good amount of fluffy white head that hangs over the top of the beer and then slowly cascades back into itself. My nose is greeted with the smell of fresh squeezed orange juice, sweet tarts, light vanilla and wheat. The aroma is very inviting as everything melds together very well.

The first sip lends big orange flavor, some mild breakfast cereal in there as well, think Frosted Mini Wheats. It has some creaminess, and the whole experience is rounded out well with the vanilla undertones. There is the sour/lactic component as well, which does a great job of toning down the sweetness of the orange and vanilla.

J. Wakefield Dreamsicle (2018)
BREWERY: J. Wakefield Brewing
LOCATION: Miami, Fla.
STYLE: Berliner Weisse
ABV: 6 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $5
RELEASE DATE: 2016 (Canned January 2018)
AVAILABLE IN: 16-ounce cans
BEERS POURED: Two
All in all, I really like this beer. It is well executed all the way around, is extremely refreshing and is a beer that works well in a lot of different situations. I have no problem designating this beer as “crushable,” it is extremely easy drinking, especially at a respectable 6 percent. The balance in the flavors is what makes this possible, it’s sour, but not too sour, it’s sweet, but not too sweet. Everything that it advertises is there, but there isn’t anything dominant, it all just flows and works together as one, singular, well done beer. Well done, J. Wakefield, I will certainly seek out a few more for the impending hot Texas summer.
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