Bacon, bacon, bacon…and some beer too

You know how good bacon smells? Imagine spending three hours surrounded by that lovely, smoky aroma. Add some beer and nice music, and you’ve got yesterday’s 1st Annual Bucks Bacon & Beer event, co-sponsored by Bucks County Taste and Triumph Brewing Company. It was a blast. I’m still recovering.

Bucks Bacon & Beer logoSeventy plus happy guests filled the room, making their way among a half a dozen local bacon purveyors, and, quite frankly, stuffing their faces. These were serious bacon folks. “You are doing God’s work,” one said to me after I told him the event was my brainchild. They were thrilled to be at the “first” (with a commemorative pint glass to prove it) and can’t wait for next year. There was also a certain glee that they had beat out their friends to a ticket this year.

But when I asked one of the guests, which bacon he liked best, he thought for a moment, then said, “I like them all. It’s like beer. There are all different kinds, and they’re all good!”

Much thanks. Triumph did a fantastic job of hosting the event and providing Rauchbier beer, as well as local cheeses and noshes. Thanks to all the Triumph staff, chef Nick and especially Paul Foglia, General Manager and partner-in-crime with me. Thanks also to John Danaher and The Quiet Men for their perfect, soft rock n’roll as a back-drop.

And a huge thanks to all the local bacon purveyors who brought their delicious product to share with all. Bespoke Bacon, based in Lansdale, grilled up their dozen bacon flavors to the very end. My favorite was the “Cherry Bomb,” bacon smoked over cherry wood, with hints of red pepper and cinnamon. Or maybe it was the jalapeno and cilantro.

Blooming Glen Pork & Catering came with three kinds of bacon, as well as a BLT dip, bacon-wrapped pineapple bites (a recipe made just for the event) and bacon-wrapped sausage. I couldn’t pass the table without grabbing one. Thanks to Christa and Mark for all their enthusiasm and good food.

Brick Farm Market, based in Hopewell, NJ, presented not only their bacon, made by charcuterie chef Pete Burbella, but an amazing porchetta, smoked pork rillette and a bacon jam.

Although Haring Brothers Meats couldn’t be there in person (due to a previous commitment), they sent their bacon, which was a big hit. We were a little afraid we would run out. By the end of the event there were only four pieces left.

Necessity Farms & Dairy (formerly Hendricks Farm & Dairy) also sent along their smoked, no-nitrate bacon and some bacon meatballs. This Telford farm raises their own pork on pasture, and makes sausage as well. Thanks to Joe DuMond, who stepped in for owner Carol Branning, to staff the table and hand out samples (and who took some great pictures above).

Joanna Michini, from Purely Farm in Pipersville, served up no-nitrate smoked bacon, made from their farm’s pastured pork. We also got to taste several of Joanna’s amazing artisanal sausages and her lovely smoked ham hock and beans.

Did I mention how great the place smelled?

Unfortunately, PorcSalt was unable to attend at the last minute due to illness. You can, however, go to Rosemont, NJ (north of Stockton), to pick up some of chef Matt Ridgway’s superb charcuterie at his restaurant, The Pass. (Thanks to Jes and Chris, too, for stepping in to help at the table.)

The only disappointment of the event was that we couldn’t have more people there. I know there were many folks who were not happy that we sold out of tickets so fast. We promise to do it bigger next time, and make sure everyone who wants to come, can.

Until then, see you at a local butcher, farm or market!

Note: Proceeds from the Bacon & Beer raffle went to the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance. BCFA, founded in 2006, works to strengthen our farming economy and improve availability of local, healthy, sustainably grown food by connecting farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in education, government, healthcare and business in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. General meetings, open to the public, are held throughout the year at venues around the county. A 501(c)(3) public charity, BCFA is supported by donations and membership dues. BCFA also oversees the new Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local® and manages the Wrightstown Farmers Market at 2203 Second Street Pike, open every Saturday, 9 – 1, May through November.

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