Skip to main content

Tips for Attending the Bacon and Beer Classic–Yes, That’s a Thing and You Should Go

Bacon is amazing. Beer is amazing. So what happens when the two are gloriously joined in something that is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, capable of uniting people from both sides of the aisle? The Bacon and Beer Classic, that’s what.

The New York stop on the tour (there are B&B’s in Denver, Philly, and Indianapolis still to come this year), was held at Citi Field (home of the New York Mets), and we dutifully worked our way through over thirty beers and close to fifty different dishes that featured bacon (not including the pieces of bacon we had between dishes.) In that time, we learned a couple of things about how best to navigate such a magnificent event. If you’re planning to go, we advise the three following tips:

Pace Yourself

A bacon and beer festival is all about pacing. A session is four hours long and you’ll want to be there the whole time getting as much bacon-y goodness in as possible. While you want to go out and stuff all the bacon in your mouth all at once, while simultaneously downing all the good craft beer, don’t. Trust us. Take it slow. Savor your sips and bites. If you don’t, you’re going to feel like an alien is getting ready to burst through your chest and dance away.

You Don’t Need to Try Every Beer

Aside from the sheer number of calories and fat you’d be consuming, think of it this way—you’ve probably already had many of the beers that are being poured. Look for the stuff that you haven’t had or that you truly love. In addition, there’s all the bacon dishes (and straight bacon). When you first get there, grab a beer and take a lap. Scope out the environment and make a mental list of what you want to try. Sure, you may forget the list after you’ve indulged, but hey, A for effort.

Don’t Be a Jerk

A golden rule for any sort of festival. You’re there to enjoy just like every other person there. You will all have to wait in lines for food, drink, and the bathroom. You don’t want someone raining on your beery and bacony parade, so don’t do it to someone else. If you’re the type to get feisty when you get a little booze in you, maybe think about taking a partner along to keep you in check.

Editors' Recommendations

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
This secret to a perfectly browned steak is almost impossible to believe
This counterintuitive method will give you a beautifully browned steak every time
Porter house steak

Every once in a while, a new piece of information goes against everything we've been taught, and it's pretty mind-blowing. It turns out, cursive is useless, Pluto isn't a planet, and we do carry around a calculator with us all the time (sorry, 1990s-era teachers). From time to time, these new truths also hit the food world, and when they do, it's pretty exciting.

For as long as we can remember, the key to a good sear on steak has been fat and fast, high heat. Anything else would create a grayish, lackluster piece of meat that was hardly appetizing. But there's a new trick in town about cooking steak — water. While cooking a steak in water sounds counterintuitive when it comes to proper searing, if done correctly, this technique can create a beautifully browned, perfectly seared, deliciously juicy piece of meat. So, how is this possibly the best way to cook steak, you ask?
Different types of browning in food
The science behind this new cooking method is pretty interesting. In cooking, there are two types of browning — caramelization and Maillard. Caramelization happens when sugars in certain foods are heated past 300 degrees Fahrenheit. When these sugars break down, we get browned, flavorful, sometimes jammy and sweet foods like caramelized onions. Maillard browning occurs when sugars and amino acids break down and reform in proteins like beef, pork, or chicken.
Why water works
Water has traditionally been the enemy of good browning because water turns to steam, which prevents pan heat from getting hot enough to create a proper sear, and that's where colorless meat comes from. If you cook your meat thoroughly this way, it will end up sear-less and gray, which is just gross, any way you slice it.

Read more
These are the best potato vodkas on the market
These potato vodkas are great for sipping or for mixing
A vodka martini with olives

Ah, vodka. The coolest and steeliest of all the spirits. Somehow magically encompassing the ability to both chill and warm simultaneously, this beautiful beverage is lovely when sipped neat, or mixed with just about anything.

While the source of the name vodka is agreed upon — a diminutive of the Russian voda (“water”), the liquor’s national origin is still under debate. Either in Poland or Russia, vodka cropped up in records as early as the 8th or 9th century. Vodka’s made from fermented grains, such as corn, rice, rye, or wheat, and even fruits like grapes and sugar beets. It's potatoes, though, that started the party.

Read more
10 tips every home chef needs to follow when buying meat
Befuddled at the butcher counter? You're not alone. These tips should help.
Butcher shop counter in Denmark.

The butcher counter can be an intimidating place. After all, not everyone who's in the market for a good steak knows exactly which cut to buy, or how exactly it should be prepared. The culinary world is a big one, with many possibilities, and the butcher counter is where it all begins.

These are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you find yourself wandering aimlessly past the pork chops, wondering how in the world to order.
Ask the butcher to do the hard work

Read more