A beer-tasting fundraiser at a Colorado middle school that sparked plenty of controversy last week turned out to be a big success that raised at least $12,000 for badly needed upgrades to the school’s library.

Carol Bennis, a PTO volunteer at the Lincoln Middle School in Fort Collins, who helped organize the event, said she was aware of the “strong feelings both ways,’’ on touting a fundraiser as a beer-tasting event. But she said that from the get-go, it was designed to raise money and help parents connect. In addition to the beer-tasting, it included a silent auction, “buy-it now’’ items, a live band and snacks.

The event was called “For the Love of Lincoln,’’ and one of the biggest money-makers was a buy-a-heart offer, in which parents could buy a paper heart for either $5 or $10 and write a message to their child on it. The PTO posted the hearts around the school over the weekend.

Asked if the school would do another beer-tasting event, Bennis said, “Yes, we would do it again. Would we spend time with the beer reporter? Probably not.’’

The controversy began when the local paper’s beer reporter wrote a story about the event with a focus on the beer-tasting element, Bennis said. She noted the region is known as the Napa Valley of beer because it has so many microbreweries as well as a strong Anheuser-Busch presence.

Like many PTOs, the Lincoln group was searching for a way to do something different and jazz up its fundraising. “We wanted to create something off the beaten path,’’ Bennis said.

She also said the PTO understood it needed to make sure the event went smoothly. “We take alcohol seriously, ‘’ Bennis said. “We are parents. IDs were checked at the door.’’

Each attendee was given four tasting tickets. Pourers were instructed to fill tiny glasses with 3 ounces of beer, so each individual would get no more than 12 ounces of beer for the night. In fact, part of the tasting was designed to give attendees a chance to talk to brewers about their processes and their businesses.

“It was by no stretch of the imagination a brew fest,’’ Bennis added.