Cape bids farewell to summer with annual beer festival
By MCKENZIE CASSIDY
Nine South Cape Coral bars and restaurants hosted the city’s annual International Beer Tasting festival on Saturday night.
Each year the Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency organizes the event for local businesses who offer drink and food specials, as well as live music.
CRA spokesperson Helen Ramey said the festival “was going extremely well” on Saturday evening, yet the event featured some differences from previous years. The old passport system was ditched in order to provide participants with more time to enjoy the festival.
The free trolley service also ran until midnight, even though the event was from 5 to 10 p.m. Students from Cape Coral High’s Key Club volunteered as ambassadors to the event and handed out fliers aboard the CRA trolleys.
Mary Ann Evans, owner of Leapin’ Lizard Bar and Grill on Cape Coral Parkway, said the bar has been open for four-years and has participated in a majority of CRA-hosted events. For the tasting festival it offered Warsteiner Dark and Warsteiner Oktoberfest in a chilled mug for $3.
The Leapin’ Lizard also prepared grilled bratwurst, krauterschnitzel and other traditional German food. Evans said the bar will continue offering the food and drink specials through the month of October.
“We have had a pretty good dinner crowd,” she said. “We’ve been jammed, but we are always jammed on Saturdays.”
Food was so popular that the restaurant ran out of its sauteed bone-in veal and mushrooms by 7 p.m. because so many ordered the dish. Evans added that last year’s ticket system made it easier for restaurants to stock-up on food for the festival because restaurants had an idea of how many people would attend.
“A lot of people are ordering the German food,” she said.
The Twisted Conch, another festival participant on S.E. 47th Terrace, offered $2 drafts of El Presidente, a beer from the Dominican Republic, and a $4.99 dish of Conch Fritters.
Karen Scarbrough, co-owner of the Twisted Conch, said the bar was the only one to hand out free samples of beer. It has also been participating in the “Summer Nights” campaign where local restaurants offer specials.
“We are the only ones giving out free samples tonight,” she said. “This is our first time, we are the new owners.”
Scarbrough and her husband Bob recently purchased the Twisted Conch in December and the International Beer Festival was the first major event they’ve participated in.
Other participating businesses included:
* Back Street Sports Bar with $2 Peroni Beers and $0.99 pizza slices.
* Rack’Em Billiards with $3.50 New Castles and $1 hotdogs.
* Mardi Gras with $5 Imperial Beers and Empanada.
* Pearl Lounge with $10 Corona and Jalapeno Poppers and $10 Kirin Ichiban and Sushi Sampler.
* Paradise Tiki Hut with $3 Caribbean beers and $6.95 slow-roasted pork.
* Monkey Bar and Steakhouse with $3 Dos Equis and Taquitos and Sushiyaki with $5 Kirin Ichiban and a Mexican Roll Sampler.