Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Bacon & Beer Festival

This past weekend, Sarah, Peter, Peter’s friend Jessica, and I went to the 2010 Bacon & Beer Festival in Southie. When I first heard about it, I was psyched. I mean, c’mon…Who doesn’t love bacon? Who doesn’t like beer? What would the two be like if paired together? What would it taste like if the two were used to make a beer? Well, we certainly found out!

Fortunately for the four of us, we got there early! When we first arrived, there were maybe 20 hardcore bacon and beer fans waiting in line. After a 15 minute walk to find an ATM, I returned to find the line in a serpentine fashion around the building. I asked one of the workers how many tickets were sold, and was astonished (or not so much) to find out that they sold almost 1500 tickets. We knew we had to make a plan of attack, so that we could get some food and beer before the place started to get packed.

This was aproximately one hour after the doors opened

The event featured close to 20 brewers, including some of our favorites- Cape Ann Brewing, Smuttynose Brewing Co., Mayflower Brewing Co, Magic Hat, Mercury Brewing Company (Ipswich), Harpoon, and several more. Some of Boston’s great restaurants were featured too, which made some truly delicious food! I know my personal favorite was from Picco Restaurant, which was a spicy, pulled pork chili. It paired very well with Cape Ann’s Fisherman’s Tea Party, which is a barley wine which uses three types of tea- the same ones which were dumped during the Boston Tea Party.

It wasn’t long before we ran into my buddy Josh, who is a fellow home brewer, and his girlfriend Brynn. I actually brewed my first batch with Josh in early 2009, and he’s helped out with some tips over the past few months since I’ve been brewing.

We have to point out that both Cape Ann Brewing and Mercury Brewing Company had the best beer delivery mechanisms- Cape Ann’s was an old converted VW Bus, and Mercury’s was a converted Chevy box truck, which both had external tap handles, drawing from their kegs located on the inside.

Ipswish Ale & Stout

Besides the awesome Fisherman’s Tea Party barleywine, the best blended beer (as we’ll call it) belonged to Harpoon Brewery. They made a special beer for the event, their Bacon Bock, which was actually very good.

It had a subtle smoky bacon flavor, but didn’t mask the body of the bock itself. I wonder if we can find it anywhere to enjoy at home? Smuttynose Brewing Co. also had a bacon beer, which was their Old Brown Dog Ale with Bacon. Maybe it was because I’ve had, and thoroughly enjoy the Old Brown Dog Ale, that I was not quite a fan of the version with beer, but I give them full marks for trying it out!

While we felt the overall beer selection was very good, as was the food that we tried, we felt that there were far too many people there. Unlike Lam Jam, which was on the smaller side and saw no lines at any stations, the Bacon and Beer Festival had many lines once everyone was inside. I’m not saying we didn’t have a good time- we certainly did; however, it could have been more enjoyable with about 500 less people. Although, I have to hand it to the dude from Mayflower Brewing Co. and the woman from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project for recognizing me from Lamb Jam.

From Lamb Jam 2010

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