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Celebrate beer and bacon at civic center

By Staff | May 13, 2016

Who doesn’t love bacon and beer? That’s why there’s an event dedicated to both.

The first Fort Myers Beer and Bacon Festival will take place at the Lee Civic Center this Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m., and will feature more than 80 crafts beers from the local area and elsewhere, and some of the most amazing bacon recipes you can taste from a dozen eateries.

Patrick Green, event organizer, said he has put on this event for a few years, with the primary one held in Sarasota, for the simple reason being that he loves bacon and beer and that the two go great together.

“The craft beer movement is huge and bacon has enjoyed growth over the last 10 to 20 years. I enjoy every aspect of it, it utilizes every strength I have. It was a perfect match and has taken off,” Green said. “Bacon is a dynamic ingredient and can be paired with everything.”

Among the bacon delights will be bacon dipped in chocolate, bacon chocolate chip cookies, candied bacon, strawberry bacon, which is baked into the bacon and caramelized, and bacon jam, Green said.

“Bacon is very versatile. We even have a brewery that is crafting a bacon-infused brown ale. I was skeptical at first, but when I tried it I was impressed. You could taste the bacon and the saltiness,” Green said.

As far as beer, Green said there isn’t a single festival around that can beat this one coming up. Nearly all the craft brews are made in Florida, including local brews from Fort Myers Brewing, Old Soul, Palm City and Bury Me.

Beer tasters will get a 3 oz. cup and get to sample as many beers as they want.

The other events have been well-attended, Green said. The Sarasota event brought in thousands of people. So far, the interest in this event has been overwhelming.

“This tops what I saw in Sarasota. We have about 8,200 people who said they are interested in going on out Facebook page. If we do a fraction of that, especially since this is our first year, would be amazing,” Green said. “The first year is always tough as you establish yourself.”

A portion of the proceeds go to benefit PADLS; Persons w/Autism or Disabilities Learn to Swim.

Parking is $5. Tickets for the beer sampling are $30 in advance on the event website, ftmyersbeerandbacon.com, or $35 at the door. It includes unlimited purchases of 3 oz. samples of craft beers, with food available for purchase.

The food tasting/designated driver admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door, which is a general admission price. The event is for adults 21 and over.

For more information, go to ftmyersbeerandbacon.com.