Hot Dish

Big Blue Brewing Is Not Just a Brewery

But it’s also not your typical restaurant. See for yourself through photos and our inside scoop on the Cape Coral newbie.

BY November 16, 2016

It has long bars inside and out. It has a spacious interior and wraparound veranda. It has high-tops, low-tops, communal tables, you name it. And yet not one square inch of the brand new Big Blue Brewing, which opened Oct. 1, was empty on a recent Friday night.

It’s a brewery with, paradoxically, only five of its own beers on tap as of now, but 16 others from far and near—including Bonita’s Momentum Brewhouse, which suds aficionados say has risen to the top locally. But it’s also got a menu that floats toward gastropub territory. Chef Brandon DeMarco, a Johnson & Wales culinary school grad, is whipping up beer cheese, burgers, flatbreads, and even an entrée or two.

With people flocking to get a taste, it seems like it’s just what the Cape needed.

And it makes sense knowing the mastermind behind it all is JoAnn Elardo, who founded the award-winning Wicked Dolphin rum distillery also in the Cape. 

Like with the distillery, the brewery is offering tours of its facility to guests as well (see the website for info). If you can’t swing one, there is a swath of windows when you enter right before the bar for a peek at the action.

Otherwise, grab a table under the glass-bottle chandeliers (nice touch) in front of the band, and order a flight of beer (the four currently are golden ale, amber ale, an IPA and honey brown ale). Then dive into nibbles like a Mediterranean flatbread made creamy from melted goat cheese and dill-yogurt sauce, or a pulled pork sandwich on a pretzel bun with jicama-apple slaw.

Brunch is shaping up to be enticing as well, with “bottomless bubbles” for $18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, including mimosas, bellinis and beermosas (substitute champagne for beer and voilà—bet you just learned something new).

To plan a visit:

Big Blue Brewing, Cape Coral

(239) 471-2777,




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