I’ve been neglectful of the blog–I’m finding my initial enthusiasm for it has waned a bit. But I did promise I would write about the Bacon and Beer Festival, and so I shall! It happened last Saturday, and I’m still sad it’s over. Denver and I had a good time and discovered that the extra money we paid for VIP tickets was well worth it.
We arrived an hour before doors opened, thinking there would be a line. There wasn’t. The staff there looked at us funny, so we picked up our tickets from will-call and headed back to wait in the truck. After 20 minutes or so, we couldn’t stand it anymore, so we went in anyway. Thankfully, by then some other folks had showed up too. It wasn’t real clear where the line started, so we kind of wandered upstairs and found that we weren’t supposed to be there yet. We didn’t get yelled at, but we could tell that the lines were forming more downstairs. We can take a hint, so we waited with the crowd. We were still up close to the front of the line, but of course we picked the line that had the broken scanner. I was super anxious and annoyed, I was practically jumping up and down. It was ridiculous, really. But we made it in, and the crowds had gathered at the first booths, which didn’t have beer. Since they didn’t have beer, we saw no need to stop, and made a beeline for the first real booth–Schell’s.
The entrance to the Festival.
I won’t lie, I’m not about to remember all the beer samples we tried, and I don’t remember what our first pours were. But it became obvious that we needed to pace ourselves, as 3 oz per sample is actually quite a lot of beer. We quickly left Schell’s to find the Summit booth, because they were supposed to have a cask tapping right away. We were the only ones really going around like that, so we got lots of individual attention. Unfortunately, Summit didn’t bring their cask. But they still had beer, and we drank it! We did more wandering, trying a few more beers, until I could tell I was on my way to drunk and insisted we stop and eat some bacon. Surprisingly, Denver didn’t object. I failed to get pictures of our first bacon samples, but one was a blue cheese pork and cured bacon sandwich (without the bun) and the other was a bacon caramel corn. While eating the caramel corn, I got to meet the authors of “Fifty Shades of Bacon”, and bought an autographed copy of the book. The recipes look great, and the headings are just hilarious: “Foreplay”, “Afternoon Delight”, “The Morning Wood”, and “Bondage.”
We then realized we were late to our next cask tapping opportunity, so we headed down to Third Street Brewery, where they tapped a version of their Lost Trout Brown. It was really good, definitely one to try. After that, we made our way around to more bacon. Check out this deliciousness:
Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate and Peanut Butter covered Bacon, made by Sickies. We decided the white chocolate wasn’t bad. The other two chocolates just overpowered the bacon.
Bacon Pizza by Marcos Pizza. I loved it, Denver thought it was OK, but he doesn’t do pizza.
This was a thick bacon, cured for 48 hours before being smoked for 12 hours before the festival, topped with a sweet slaw, I think from The Beefsteak Club. It was quite impressive.
And my personal favorite, Bacon Macaroni and Cheese, created by Monte’s.
We did indulge in more beer, and some was really good, some wasn’t so good. There was only one that I felt the need to take a picture of and mention: Sierra Nevada’s Ovila Abbey Quad. It’s rich, fruity/caramelly, with a light hop to it. Sorry, just not good at the beer descriptions yet. I should take a class. Anyway, this is what it looks like. And you should go out and find some for yourself.
Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Quad, inspired by Monks and their wonderful figs, dates, and raisins.
During all this, we rarely had to stand in line. Hardly a crowd. It was heaven. And then they opened the doors to the General Admission folks, unleashing hell. We took refuge for a while in the VIP Lounge, until some of our friends arrived. We found them and tagged along for a while, but we were pretty much done after the second line. It was wall to wall people. Lines for miles, running into each other so you didn’t know where you were actually going to end up. We decided to give our Bacon Tickets away and beat feet for the door. But along the way, I did stop to admire the Bacon Art:
Overall, the event was great. We had a great time, and will continue purchasing VIP tickets in the future. Hopefully they will learn from this first attempt at the most amazing combination of things ever and book a larger venue so everyone will fit comfortably. And with it’s success, hopefully more vendors will come out to play too. If you have a chance to attend such an event, you really must.
As the inscription on my book reads “May your bacon be crispy, and your love life sizzling.”
Beer, Bacon, and me. What a great combination!