Think only Comic Con can attract hundreds of hard core fans? There was a different kind of nerding out that happened in the East Coast over the weekend. Turns out, that when you put bacon and beer in one big space, hundreds of die hard geeks will unite to celebrate the magic of such a combo. Citi Field Stadium was flocked with baconeers and beer-geeks for the Bacon and Beer Classic. The event, hosted by Cannonball Productions encouraged guests to revel in America's most beloved past times: baseball, drinking a nice cold beer and enjoying food items with bacon in them. A handful of local breweries and restaurants took part in the meat lover mayhem.
VIP ticket holders were given early entry (an hour head start) and also had access to the impressive VIP lounge located in the field. The VIP area featured a few beers that were not available anywhere else in the event such as Flying Dog's Double Dog, an Imperial IPA that is loaded with hops and contains 11.5 ABV and Brooklyn Brewery's Silver Anniversary lager which contained 9% ABV. I found myself making several return trips to the Flying Dog table. Guests were not only treated to amazing food and beer but there were also fun activities like the bungee run, giant jenga, speed pitch).
I wasn't able to try all of the dishes but there were a couple that I really enjoyed:
Certé presented Bacon Wrapped Bacon Skewers While that may sound simple, let me assure you that this was more more complex than mere bacon on a stick. The skewer rested wonderfully on a warm bed of grits. If this instagram comment is any indication; we should see some version of this dish in their August sandwich.
Kim Chi Smoke delighted attendees with Bacon with Smoked Kimchi. These delectable dish was presented in tiny cups. You could either finagle with a toothpick or slurp it like a shot glass. I recommend the shot glass method in order to get all the flavors at once.
Landhaus came prepared with their interpretation of bacon on a stick with Maple Bacon on a Stick. This was a simple dish in concept but works amazing in implementation. They were well stocked and attendees could easily grab a few on their way to the next beer table.
Sweet Dreams brought the sweetness with Bourbon Bacon Mini Donuts. These little wonders may be small in stature but they were big on flavor.
Onto the beer side of this Bacon and Beer event:
I wasn't too thrilled with the ceramic tasting cups inspired by the red solo cups traditionally found in house parties. I prefer clear glass because it allows me the opportunity to admire the color and clarity of the beer. Here is a selection of some of the beers that stood out the most
Flying Dog's Double Dog-I cant stop praising this beer. It comes in heavy with the hops and the high alcohol content is just a wonderful bonus. The high hop flavor paired well with the sweetness that was found in most bacon dishes.
Flying Dog's Single Hop Citra-YES! they get mentioned twice! This was one of the non-VIP offers from Flying Dog. Again, the hops are strong with this one. The sole use of citra hops leaves the beer with a sweet mellow citrus after taste. Notes detected: Pineapple and grapefruit.
Flying Dog's Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale- Okay, last time! Seriously though, Flying Dog is fast becoming one of my favorite breweries. In short, this beer is amazing. I never heard of Old Bay Spice before, I think it involves crab. All I know is that is goes amazingly well with beer.
Gun Hill Brewing Company’s Void of Light-This beer actually won BEST BEER STYLE. I may not think it was the ‘best’ but it’s a straight contender. First of all, it was great seeing a stout. It seems like they get less frequent in the warm seasons. This stout was a smooth drink and tasted a bit like mocha espresso. I may need to try a few more pints, but I think I have a new favorite stout.
Green Flash Brewing Co.’s West Coast IPA-Let’s set the scene. I just finished drinking Gun Hill’s Void of Light, It was great, thick and rich like a good little stout should be, but I need help washing it down. Enter the line for Green Flash. Poor lonely beer serving lady is sad because everyone is getting Green Flash’s other offering. From the back of the line I glimpse the words “Double IPA” and dash through the line. The rest is history. I need to try more from this brewery. If they continue this level of success, then Flying Dog may be in trouble.
I didn’t get to try Brooklyn Brew Shops Bacon Dubbel because it and the food demo were only present for the brunch session. The kind folks over at BBS did tell me that the recipe is available in their beer cookbook titled Make Some Beer: Small-Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamberg.
Overall, I would say the event was a huge success. The venue provided ample space for walking and standing. There were many available seats. The inclusion of fun activities such as the Bungee Run and the batting cages offered a whole new level of excitement and helped separate this event from the plethora of Summer beer fests. I am eagerly anticipating their 2015 offerings.
For a complete list of winners click HERE.
For a video of me spazzing out during the Bungee Run, click HERE