The Bacon and Beer Classic
Booze, bacon, and Brotherly Love: The Bacon and Beer Classic had it all. Occupying the Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons, the festival transformed the space into a bacon and beer lover’s paradise with all manner of meaty and boozy options available to food and beverage connoisseurs on Saturday, June 10. With tickets priced at $45-55 each for both the 12 pm and 4 pm events, 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 also several creative spins on the classic bacon strip. Pork and pints, strips and suds, bacon and beer, call the dreamy combo whatever you like, it was a delicious day for chowing down and knocking them back.
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. When visitors were not drinking beer or eating bacon, the venue offered samples of Glenlivet Scotch and Vitamin Water for attendees. Scattered around the venue were yard games you typically find at beer gardens as well as sections of avant garde style chairs that probably did not help with drinking-induced vertigo as they were fashioned like tops. While fun as a concept, they probably weren’t the best choice for beer filled patrons trying to avoid the spins. Bacon and beer vendors were scattered around the venue, with an entire side dedicated to the sponsors, Black Label Bacon.
Sponsored by several companies including Black Label Bacon, Lyft, and Glenlivet, the Bacon and Beer Classic did not miss a beat with the bacon variety. For the bacon enthusiast, this was a veritable pork laden heaven. 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 at the event 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 favorite: pecanwood and jalapeno bacon. For those who are more interested with the options for suds, 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 also cited this lager as a crowd favorite, 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 I Love Lamp Hefeweizer. Jeff and Rod from Philly stated similar sentiments, however, their main criticism was that the range of beers offered did not reflect what they considered to be the best brews produced 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 in 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, and at the end of the day, who doesn’t like getting a little day drunk and getting porked?