While the pairing of bacon and beer might not get the same billing as cheese and wine, one event raising awareness of this important combo in spite of the recent processed meat slandering World Health Organization report is the Denver Bacon and Beer Festival.
Now in its fourth year, the 2015 celebration of cured pig and malted barley takes over the Glitter Dome from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8. The festival features various Denver restaurants creating bacon-based dishes along with beers from several local breweries.
“We have new restaurants and breweries participating,” said Imbibe Events organizer, Alexandra Weissner. “The dishes will be amazing! The chefs are really thinking outside the box this year. We also have several breweries bringing bacon into their beers.”
For Bacon Social House, serving up their namesake cut of pork is a chance to increase recognition nearing their grand opening. The soon-to-be Sunnyside eatery looks to open its doors in late November serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with an all-local draft lineup. Executive chef Brian Crow created a dish that could be enjoyed with several different styles of beer.
“There is an art to pairing food and beer, the key for me is to make sure that one does not overpower the other,” explained Crow.
“The dish I created has a subtle spice of poblano, which would compliment a hoppy IPA, the sweet potatoes would be a beautiful pairing with a rich malty porter and the richness of the bacon, butter and quail egg with stand up to the slight hop of a pale ale.”
Clearly, this festival gives attendees the opportunity to see the finer side of everyone’s favorite pork byproduct. In other words, don’t expect strips of bacon de-greasing on paper towels.
Instead, expect a bacon and egg budino with ale pickled mustard seeds, broccolini and puffed cheddar crisp from the Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group. Budino, of course, being a rich and creamy custard or pudding like Italian dish.
But, bacon isn’t just for eating anymore. Zach Raybun at Mockery Brewing created a chocolate coconut bacon beer that incorporates the festival’s not-so-secret ingredient. A spin-off of their chocolate coconut stout that’s currently pouring in the taproom, there’s only a firkin of this one-off beer available so beelining to Mockery might be advisable.
“We have never brewed this beer before,” related Raybun, “but were inspired by the festival to give it a try. We used 250 pounds of toasted coconut and 56 pounds of cacao nibs to the stout for the batch that will be served at the taproom. We then added two pounds of crispy bacon to the 10 gallon firkin. Should be a very interesting final product.”
In a similar vein, Fort Collins Brewery & Tavern brewed a maple bacon schwarbier. They’ll also be providing their own accompaniment to the black beer: red banshee maple bacon chicken and waffle cupcakes.
Some of the other delicacies on the menu include: Emersum oysters bacon and caviar creme fraiche from Jax Fish House – Glendale; bacon katsu-it from Rebel Restaurant; Death By Bacon from Hopdoddy Burger Bar; confit pork belly with bacon beer mustard from Stoney’s Bar and Grill; confit of pork belly with cauliflower and natural jus from Interstate Kitchen + Bar; butternut squash ravioli with pork belly, apple soy butter and crispy pork crackling from Bubu; rabbit bacon, carrot tatortot with a smoked gouda cheese sauce and carrot top garnish from Euclid Hall and bacon and ham morcilla from Lena.
This will be the first year the Glitter Dome serves as host. Normally the practice facility for the Denver Roller Dolls, the venue provides a larger space for the festival. Though don’t expect an elbow-to-elbow bacon and beer bacchanal.
“We wanted to bring the festival into a more open space than last year,” said Weissner. “The Glitter Dome is a building that we can transform to meet our needs. This year we will have the same number of attendees as last year.”
Tickets to the 2015 Denver Bacon and Beer Festival can be purchased here.