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Matzaluna to host event for SWFL Craft Beer Week

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Aug 31, 2021

An island restaurant is taking part in festivities aimed at celebrating the local area’s craft breweries.

Matzaluna The Italian Kitchen will host Bikes & Brews on Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the inaugural SWFL Craft Beer Week, which is being presented by the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. Over a dozen events are planned from Sept. 2-6 to highlight Southwest Florida’s breweries.

The week will kick off with an exclusive VIP event – Beers, Bowling & Bites – at HeadPinz in Fort Myers and will continue with specialty beer releases timed throughout the week and a variety of events like Handcrafted Night Market, Hazy Day, Drink Around the World, Cool & Crispy Fest, and more.

An outdoor celebration, Bikes & Brews will feature craft beer, cornhole and wood-fired pizza.

“We have an exciting craft beer program that we’ve been doing at Matzaluna for the past three or four years, so it was a natural fit for us,” Mark Blust, vice president of marketing and operations for The Prawnbroker Restaurant Group — which owns the Sanibel restaurant — said of SWFL Craft Beer Week.

He continued that “craft beer” is a big term and encompasses many different breweries. However, because Matzaluna has only limited space, they decided to go “hyperlocal” with their offerings.

“We feature local brewers from Fort Myers, to Sarasota and Tampa, and over to Miami,” Blust said.

From now throughout the week, the restaurant will feature the participating breweries on tap.

Taking part in SWFL Craft Beer Week are Coastal Dayz Brewery, Crazy Dingo Brewing Co., Fort Myers Brewing Company, Millennial Brewing Company, Palm City Brewing Company, Point Ybel Brewing Company and Riptide Brewing Company.

For Bikes & Brews, all but one of the participating breweries will have tents set up, featuring one or more of their craft beers. Crazy Dingo Brewing does not carry the necessary license to take part.

“The rest of them will all be represented,” he said.

Attendees can check out the selections and try their hand at some cornhole.

“We’ll have wood-fired pizzas available. We’ll have some limited food available,” Blust said, noting that there will also be child-friendly food and treats. “It’s a fun family event, so bring the kids.”

In line with its event theme, Matzaluna recommends attendees skip driving if possible.

“We are encouraging people to ride their bikes there,” he said. “To cut down on traffic.”

The community is invited to swing by.

“It’s a nice, day event. Come and go, enjoy some great beer,” Blust said. “You’re enjoying the atmosphere that Sanibel is able to provide.”

He pointed out that most of the week’s events are planned in Fort Myers.

“We just thought it was important to engage the Sanibel community to come out and have a good time,” Blust said. “So it becomes a yearly thing for the area and a much bigger event for next year.”

SWFL Craft Beer Week is being held in partnership with sponsors, which include the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, Suncoast Beverage Sales, Coca-Cola, J.J. Taylor, and Boost Creative.

For more about Bikes & Brews, call 239-472-1998 or visit https://swflcraftbeerweek.com/.

For more information about SWFL Craft Beer Week or to view the full schedule of activities planned, visit the event website or contact the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce at 239-332-2930.

Matzaluna The Italian Kitchen is at 1200 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.




Bikes & Brews


Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Matzaluna The Italian Kitchen, 1200 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel


Free and open to public