Disclaimer: This was originally posted on the Independent Philly website as coverage for the Bacon Beer Classic.
Booze, bacon, and brotherly love. The Bacon and Beer Classic had it all. Occupying the Piazza, the festival transformed the space into a bacon lover’s paradise with all manner of meaty and boozy options available to food connoisseurs. At $45-55 (with a $9.95) per ticket, the price was perfect for any beer drinker or bacon enthusiast as it included a variety of beer from the standard Sam Adams lager to the more crafty Harpoon Camp Wannamango Pale Ale and creative spins on the classic bacon strip.
The event itself curated vendors from all over the Philadelphia area and gave them a chance to share their love of meaty goodness and liquid bread. Upon entering the event, security was a bit concerning at times, not due to the lack of personnel on location, but rather the inconsistent checks at the door for credentials for media and press. When visitors were not drinking beer or eating bacon, the venue offered samples of Glenlevit scotch and Vitamin Water for attendees. Scattered around the venue were yard games typical of beer gardens as well as sections of avant garde style chairs that probably did not help with vertigo as they were fashioned like a top, while fun as a concept, probably not the best moment to try your hand in spinning in one of those. Bacon and beer vendors were scattered around the venue, with an entire side dedicated to sponsors, Black Label Bacon.
Sponsored by Black Label Bacon, Lyft, Glenlevit, and many other companies they did not miss a beat with their bacon variety. For the bacon enthusiast, this is a veritable heaven and should be treated as such. Not only did they have the standard bacon strip, but they also had several vendors peddling more deconstructed versions, including a bacon covered churro straight out of your wildest dreams. By far one of the most popular tents of the evening was Passanante’s Home Delivery Service, who served up a filet mignon and a chicken sandwich, both of which were stellar options for anyone who was willing to wait 20 minutes for a bite. Black Label Bacon also had a host of delicious options including the crowd favorites, the Pecanwood and jalapeno bacon. For those who are more interested with the liquid options, they were not disappointed.
Festivalgoers had the chance to bob for bacon or compete in the bacon eating contest. The bacon eating contest was a hit, six contestants put their eating abilities to the test, consuming heaps of bacon in a race against the clock and each other. Lindsay from Harleysville was the winner of the competition, winning a year’s supply of bacon. One of her favorite flavors of bacon that was available that evening was the brown sugar bacon, a deliciously salty and sweet treat. When asked about her favorite beer, the triumphant victor listed the Saranac Brewery Cold Brew Coffee Lager, a festival hit amber lager with a hint of coffee flavor. Many other visitors had also cited this lager as a crowd favorite of the evening, tying with the Camp Wannamango. Grace, Megan, Bryan, and Paige, from Penn State, considered the best beer of the evening to be a tie between the Evil Genius Beer Company’s Stacy’s Mom IPA and the I Love Lamp Hefeweizer, both of which were citrusy similar to the Blue Moon Pale Ale. Jeff and Rod of Philly stated similar sentiments, however, their main criticism is that the range of beers offered did not reflect what they considered to be the best of brews offered by several of the companies in attendance. The event was well worth the price point and the time as it represented the best of the Philadelphia area, as well as, some nationally recognized companies. In the future, the Bacon and Beer Classic Philadelphia is definitely an event to look out for as it gives lovers of booze and bacon the chance to expand their knowledge of local brews and styles of bacon. Overall, I look forward to seeing what the event has to offer in future years as it continues to grow.