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Beer and bacon fans find dream menu

March 15, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

With more than 85 varieties of craft beer from 25 breweries and bacon in many different forms and varieties, it was a win-win for fans of both.

The second Beer and Bacon Festival at the Lee Civic Center on Saturday brought in a few thousand people to try some of the best and most exotic beers area brewers had to offer, as well as bacon, which was used as the key ingredient in anything from barbecue sundaes to cupcakes.

Patrick Green, who brought the event here after it because such a hit in Sarasota, said he expected even more people this year as the word has spread.

Article Photos

Keith Insolia and Janine Martin, at the Beer and Bacon Festival Saturday at the Lee Civic Center.


"It's a great crowd. Overwhelming, really. We were expected about 2,000 and we expect to hit that today," Green said. "We have craft brewers all over the place and a lot of great bacon products.

For $35, beer aficionados had the opportunity to try as many three ounce samples as their bladders can muster. Not a bad deal for people who enjoy beer.

Breweries came from all over the area. Bury Me Brewing, out of Fort Myers, came to the event in a hearse they parked inside the civic center, which also served as a tap for its six different beers.

Ben Sisk, a distributor, was there to promote MIA Beer from Doral, near Miami., and its four varieties; Miami Vice, a German-style beer, Domino Pilsner, Megamix, a citrus ale, and Tourist Trap, a Belgium triple.

"They went statewide about six months ago and expanded recently into Ohio to get the Miami, Ohio crowd," Sisk said. "It's moving along better than I dreamed. I mean, what's not to love about beer and bacon?"

Chris Day, of Cape Coral, said beer is the best, followed by bacon because you have to eat something after. He tried the Belgium Quad from Bury Me, a dark beer that Day doesn't usually go for, but said he enjoyed it.

"It had kind of a cola hint to it and more sweetness and it was really good. Other dark beers make me throw up, but not this one," Day said, who plays for a local band called Shore Patrol.

For those who didn't go for craft beer, there was the traditional Coors and Bud for sale.

In the back were many of the bacon vendors, who sold everything bacon from traditional BBQ to the unusual. There were also a few vendors, such as Tornado Potato, that didn't sell bacon, rather French-fried potatoes on a stick that resembled a tornado.

Sheila Double, owner of My Cupcake Insanity of Cape Coral, had maple bacon cupcakes with bacon bits on top, among other things.

"Business has been good. We were here last year and it spreads the word. We do Taste of Lee and a few of these type events every year to get the name out," Double said.

Yizenia Hernandez, who co-owns King's Kitchen with her husband, was making a BBQ sundae and pork-belly tacos. The sundaes included mashed potatoes, coleslaw and BBQ pulled pork with candied bacon on top.

"Everything thinks it's an actual sundae. We've just recently opened downtown and hitting every event we can to get the word out," Hernandez said. "I'm more a bacon person anyway. I don't like beer."

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



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