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8th Annual Beer in the Bushes to celebrate sense of community

By Staff | Mar 19, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Langhorne Slim and the Law

Tickets are on sale for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s annual friend-raiser.

The 8th Annual Beer in the Bushes will take place on April 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. on the grounds of SCCF’s Nature Center. Designed to raise funds and awareness for the non-profit’s work, the event will feature tastings from 10 local breweries, six delectable food trucks and a live concert with two acts.

“Beer in the Bushes was imagined as a way to raise friends and bring the future of SCCF into the organization,” Jeff Siwicke, who organizes the festival with his wife, Jenny Evans, said.

SCCF manages over 1,800 acres of property on the islands. The event proceeds go to its mission of conserving coastal habitats and aquatic resources on the islands and in the surrounding watershed.

“Every year we do have a variation on the theme,” he said, noting that this year’s had an organic development through new sponsors. “We are celebrating a night of positivity, community and music.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Dave, John and Jimmy Jensen, Jeff Siwicke, and Todd and Leanne Marcum.

The “Food Truck Alley” sponsor is Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, and the “Band” sponsors are Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort and Marina and – for the first time – the Marcums. Siwicke explained the Marcums became sponsors after he and they began talking at another concert to benefit the SCCF.

“When they understood that we had a need for funding to maintain the high level of musicianship that we have become known for, we made another new friend,” he said.

In addition, the presenting sponsor – another first – stemmed from a love for community.

“Mark Wimmer, of Wimmer Communities in Milwaukee, enjoyed the event with his family so much that he offered to get involved,” Siwicke said. “He told me, ‘Our family has a history with Sanibel that dates back to the 1960s, but my reason for sponsoring Beer in the Bushes is quite simple: my family, immediate and extended, has much love for Sanibel.'”

“The theme of community kept coming up in getting it planned,” he added.

This year’s headline performer is Langhorne Slim and the Law.

“Langhorne Slim is sort of folksy Americana, as far as genre goes – he’s a real fun and smart songwriter and singer,” Siwicke said. “It’s a real treat to get somebody of this caliber on the island.”

He noted, however, that the opening act is not one to be missed.

“I’m very excited about our supporting act this year,” Siwicke said, adding that it has been a couple of years since the festival showcased two performing acts.

Tameca Jones will kick off the evening on stage.

“This is more soulful – a woman with a voice,” he said. “She can sing.”

As for brews, this year’s event will spotlight Big Blue Brewing, Bury Me Brewing, Coastal Dayz Brewery, Fort Myers Brewing Co., Millennial Brewing Company, Momentum Brewhouse, Naples Beach Brewery, Palm City Brewing, Point Ybel Brewing Company and South Cypress Brewing.

“We get surprises, we get special releases,” Siwicke said of what can be expected. “The breweries get to show off to the other breweries, and they put their best stuff forward.”

Local restaurant the Great White Grill will also be taking part.

“He’s not a craft brewer, but he’s a fan of craft beer,” he said of owner John Nader.

Siwicke explained that the Great White Grill will supply anything not being covered or lacking from what the breweries plan to present, such as a hard cider or an alternative or lighter beer selection.

“And all of these businesses do donate all of these products,” he said.

“It just blows me away each year the amount of support we get,” Siwicke added. “It couldn’t be a moneymaker without these guys doing it for us.”

Advance tickets are $70 and come with $10 in TruxBux, redeemable at the food trucks.

“We have a diverse lineup,” he said. “I always try to bring some new trucks in.”

This year they will include Cajun Gringos, Gator John’s BBQ, Rollin’ Raw Bar, Sizzle Truck, Taco Tummy and Wicked Streatery. All the available items will be priced at $5 or $10 in TruxBux.

If the event does not sell out, $80 same-day tickets may be available.

“Also, in a show of community spirit, I’m asking all attendees to dress in white attire,” Siwicke said. “Kind of like we’re all in this together.”

The public is urged to pick up tickets and to do so soon.

“We fully expect to sell out, so do not wait,” he said. “We’ve sold out for the past few years.”

Siwicke added that it is an all-inclusive evening.

“You get dinner, you get drinks, a show and then some,” he said, hinting that there will be surprises. “Come hungry, thirsty and ready to dance and share in the things that bring us all together.”

The fundraiser is only open to ages 21 and older.

It is a smoke-free, rain-or-shine event.

Parking is limited, so biking and carpooling is encouraged.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.beerinthebushes.com.

To learn more about event sponsorship opportunities, contact Jeff Siwicke at 239-357-0457 or jsiwicke@sccf.org or Cheryl Giattini at 239-395-2768 or cgiattini@sccf.org.

The SCCF Nature Center is at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel.