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Mussels to host Festival of Beers

By Staff | Jan 23, 2020

Wish you could try Southwest Florida’s breweries’ best creations at one venue?

This weekend, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels will host the 15th annual Ballpark Festival of Beers, bringing two of America’s greatest pastimes together at Hammond Stadium: baseball and brews.

“The Ballpark Festival of Beers has become a popular tradition in Southwest Florida,” said Marshall Kelner, broadcaster and spokesperon for the Mighty Mussels. “It’s a great opportunity for beer lovers to enjoy unlimited sampling of over 100 craft beers on a single night at a great venue here at Hammond Stadium. People come with their friends and family. They love kicking back and relaxing during this great event. It brings together the whole community.”

The festival takes place Saturday, from 2 to 6 p.m., where attendees will be able to sample unique selections from 25 local breweries — including Cape beer sommeliers Big Storm Brewing Co. and Scotty’s Bierworks.

It would be hard pressed to find a better venue to host an event of this magnitude, as Hammond Stadium is consistently at the top of the Florida State League best stadium rankings. And baseball and beer together is a no-brainer.

“Baseball and beer go very well together and Hammond Stadium is one of the premier Spring Training and Minor League Baseball venues around,” Kelner said. “It gets fans excited for the baseball season to come.”

Beer enthusiasts will be able to sample a range of selections, from ales, to largers, to pilsners to stouts.

You can even meet the newly rebranded Might Mussels mascot, Mussel Man.

“The Festival of Beers is a celebration of beer, baseball, food and friendship, and this year’s lineup of participating breweries is the best we’ve ever had,” said Judd Loveland, general manager of the Mighty Mussels, in a statement. “It will also be many fans’ first opportunity to take a selfie with our new team mascot, Mussel Man, and the team store will be open and selling new Mighty Mussels merchandise like T-shirts, hats and the limited-edition Mighty Mussels Comic Book.”

Kelner agreed that this year would be a step above the rest, as each year brings new and exciting beers for the public to taste.

“Fans may find a new favorite before the night is done,” Kelner said. “The breweries have really stepped up their games for 2020.”

Kelner also said that the local breweries love being involved in the event, bringing the brewmaking community of Southwest Florida together. It’s also an opportunity to test out different batches and techniques.

This is also the first year activities for children will be included in the event.

There will be live music and games, such as cornhole.

“We wanted to allow fans to bring their entire families and enjoy a great night at the ballpark,” Kelner.

Tickets for the event are $35 in advance and $40 at the door.

Proper identification is necessary. Tickets are $10 each from those 20 or younger, as well as designated drivers.

Tickets, more information as well as a list of participating breweries and some featured selections can be found at www.MightyMussels.com or by calling 239-768-4210.

Hammond Stadium is at 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj