Pros: A friendly staff and the chance to chat with brewers and chefs made this a thoroughly enjoyable event. Not to mention the bacon. And beer. Enough said.
Cons: The event needs to be longer. This year, it was open from 2-5pm, but with a line around the building, many didn’t get in for a bit, cutting down on their tasting time. With so much food and drink in one room, there was a lot of pressure to eat fast and furiously.
This past weekend, the EXDO event center became the most delicious place to be in Denver as the 2nd Annual Bacon and Beer Festival took over the halls. With table after table of brews for sipping and bacon-studded bites to eat, this event was a glutton’s dream.
As one wise note scrawled in Sharpie on Avery’s table noted: “Savory Herb Bacon + Fondue Cheese + Avery Out of Bounds Stout = Stretchy Pants Yum.” Indeed, and this equation could be shorted to just “Bacon + Beer = I’m so damn full.” To offset the sinfulness, proceeds from the day benefited Project Angel Heart and Metro CareRing.
With Uber car service on hand to help attendees get home safely, everyone was free to indulge as much as they could handle- and Denver can handle a lot of bacon and beer. From crowd favorite Dry Dock and their Apricot Blonde to my first taste of Elevation Beer Co.’s First Cast IPA, the brews were plentiful and I heard no complaints about the variety available.
The only criticism I have about the food is that there was no way I could possibly try it all. Upon arriving I veered for the sweet treats like bacon chocolate cupcakes and Little Man’s maple bacon ice cream (complete with tiny cone). But soon I was sampling bite after bite of savory creations like Kachina’s Bacon + Quail, a tender piece of sautéed quail with the salty star of the day as well as pearl onions, pork demi-glace, chipotle aioli and organic mushrooms from Kiowa’s Fiber life Farms.
The complete list of participating breweries/restaurants can be found here.
Though the event was held at a bigger venue this year, it still sold out early so check in with Denver Off the Wagon frequently to stay on top of tickets for next year’s festival. With so many beer events going on in Colorado, it can be tough to know which ones are worth the ticket price. But with a totally relaxed atmosphere and the partnership between chefs and brewers on full display, this was a stand-out beer festival that everyone should attend at least once.
Check out all of the photos from this event here
All photos by Jackie Collins