The rollout of the new “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge limited-edition Wild Daze Ale will be December 4th. The launch event starts at 4 p.m. at Fort Myers Brewing Co. in Fort Myers as part of DDWS’ 40th Anniversary Celebration. The refuge WoW (Wildlife on Wheels) mobile interactive experience will be onsite for the occasion, along with food trucks and other special goings-on.
“We have a lot to celebrate in 2021 and 2022, and Wild Daze Ale promises to add a fun spin to the celebration,” said DDWS executive director Birgie Miller. “We thank Fort Myers Brewing for this spirited collaboration, with hopes this will become an annual tradition.”
JJ Taylor Companies will distribute canned Wild Daze Ale only on Sanibel and Captiva islands this first year. The exclusive brew will be available with a limited window of around six months after its rollout.
Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill and Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel Island and ‘Tween Waters Island Resort on Captiva Island will be selling the beer, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the conservation, research, education, and land acquisition efforts at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. DDWS is planning island rollout events in partnership with Bailey’s and Doc Ford’s, dates to be announced.
The Wild Daze Committee, chaired by DDWS’ April Boehnen, commissioned native Miami Latina artist Emily Alvarez to design an exclusive label for the canned beer.
“Having originated in a bustling city where fruit grows all year ‘round, I try to incorporate the abundance of energy and life I grew up surrounded by within my work,” said artist Alvarez, who lived near the Florida Everglades growing up. “This manifests in dynamic composition, brilliant colors, and larger-than-life characters. The Wild Daze beer label will be directly inspired by my experiences with South Florida wetlands.”
“Our goal is to expand ‘Ding’ Darling’s appeal to a wider, young, multi-cultural audience in a fresh, new way,” said Miller. “Fort Myers Brewing staff share the refuge’s mission to get people outdoors, which makes for a great partnership on this limited-edition beer.”
“Community involvement has always been important at Fort Myers Brewing,” said founder Rob Whyte. “This past year has proved how important getting out in nature can be for everyone’s mental and physical health, so when the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society reached out about this collaboration, it was an easy decision. Encouraging people to get outside, conserve our wild spaces, and enjoy a nice cold beverage as they do it, is a great opportunity. We are excited about supporting the J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge in this unique and special way.”