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Beer, bacon in the spotlight at civic center

March 8, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Like chocolate and peanut butter, beer and bacon are two great tastes that go great together.

And to celebrate, the second-annual Beer and Bacon Festival will be held at the Lee Civic Center on Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m.

More than 80 crafts beers from the local area and elsewhere will be featured, as will some of the most amazing bacon recipes from a dozen eateries.

Patrick Green, event organizer, said he had put on other similar events over the years, especially in Sarasota, as beer and bacon are personal favorites of his.

"I've always loved craft beer and I always loved going to Fort Myers while taking the kids on vacation," Green said. "I wanted to bring an event like this over there. The civic center is a great spot. It's indoors so you don't have to worry about the elements."

Last year's event was a great success, with more than 1,500 people attending. Green said this year will feature a lot of new vendors, with more than 30 breweries expected to come to let people try their offerings.

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Those who buy the beer sampling admission will get unlimited 3-ounce samples from 2 to 6 p.m. That does not include food and you must be at least 21.

Sonny's BBQ will have a VIP admission, which includes small-batch beers served in the VIP area, unlimited beer samplings, a commemorative pint glass, appetizers and T-shirt.

As far as the bacon goes, Green said Niko's Kitchen will bring fried bacon-wrapped donuts. There will also be bacon-wrapped meatballs and bacon and waffles for those who like breakfast for dinner.

Johnsonville will bring bacon and Cheddar bratwurst, bacon on a stick (bacon-kabobs), and a Sarasota eatery will have bacon BAO buns. There will also be flavored bacon in thin and thick cuts as well as pork belly.

A portion of the proceeds go to benefit the Florida Help Foundation, which has a sub-group called PADLS; Persons w/Autism or Disabilities Learn to Swim.

"Beer is a great pairing for bacon. It has that sweet and savory things going. We're going to have a lot of great items," Green said. "We hope for the same crowd as last year."

Tickets are $10 general admission, $30 for beer sampling and $50 for Sonny's BBQ VIP. Children 10 and under are free. Parking is $5.

For more information, go to



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