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Beer in the Bushes to feature New Orleans band

By Staff | Apr 6, 2016

Beer in the Bushes presenting sponsors, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company Steve Greenstein and Al Hanser. This weekend’s event at Sanibel-Captiva Nature Center benefits SCCF. PHOTO PROVIDED

An event full of music, craft beer and food will be held at Sanibel-Captiva Nature Center this weekend to raise money for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation general operating fund, while further supporting its mission of conserving coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel, Captiva and surrounding areas.

“This event has brought in more money every year and more people,” SCCF’s Jeff Siwicke, creator of the Beer in the Bushes event, said. “It has kind of evolved every year. Ticket sales are strong and we are really excited.”

The 5th annual Beer in the Bushes event will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Sanibel-Captiva Nature Center, 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road. Tickets are $60 in advance, or $70 the day of the event.

“We try to encourage people to buy early, so we can make sure the food trucks have enough food and there is enough beer” he said. “It’s a very good deal. We try to keep the price down. Thanks to the generous support from many in the community, but especially our presenting sponsor the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company.”

Attendees will receive a 12-ounce tasting glass, as well as $10 TruxBux, at the event.

Beer in the Bushes sponsors and host committee members. PHOTO PROVIDED

“You are getting a full belly and unlimited samples from these eight local craft breweries,” Siwicke said.

Eight local craft breweries will bring two of their selections to the event for attendees to taste. The breweries include Point Ybel Brewing Company, Ft. Myers Brewing Company, Momentum Brewhouse, Old Soul Brewing, Naples Beach Brewery, Palm City Brewing, Bury Me Brewing and the Cape Coral Brewing Company.

“Last year we had six breweries,” Siwicke said. “We invited a couple more breweries out. We have eight breweries from Cape Coral to Naples, all small and independent craft breweries. We are excited to have them all participating this year.”

The event will include a People’s Choice Award, providing attendees with the opportunity to vote for their favorite beer. Last year Point Ybel Brewing Company was chosen as the People’s Choice.

He said they have a cool trophy that is given to the People’s Choice winner, which spends a year at the winning brewery before it is brought back the following year.

Four food trucks will be on the property providing individuals with the opportunity to taste such foods as barbecue, oysters and seafood, hamburgers, Vietnamese sandwiches and kabobs.

The most exciting portion of the event this year is the entertainment – Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers, a New Orleans jazz legend, Siwicke said.

“These guys are great,” he said. “It’s an experience you have to see for yourself. It’s one of those must do things when you are in New Orleans. Big thanks to the Jensen’s for being the band sponsor.”

The band will perform two sets, with the first one starting at 6:30 p.m. After a 90-minute performance, the band will take a short break before returning to the stage.

The event is an offspring of the Wine in the Wild event held in the fall. Siwicke said the idea began brewing that maybe they should hold a spring fundraiser for the beer drinkers as an end of the season celebration.

The grounds of the Nature Center provide the perfect atmosphere for the event.

“It’s an awesome setting for an outdoor event like this. As the sun goes down, we light up the area really neat,” he said.

In an effort to try to keep the event fresh from year to year, a few surprises will be revealed the night of the event.

Tickets can be purchased at www.sccfbeer.eventbrite.com. For more information, call (239) 472-2329.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.