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Bacon, Beer, and Banter

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Denver's first Bacon and Beer Festival an event co-organized by Forkly, Eat Boston, and Denver Off The Wagon unfolded yesterday at Mile High Station. Tickets were sold-out by early ast week and, yesterday, 875 people arrived eager to sample the goods from some of Denver's best chefs and brewers.

Many dishes and brews were worth the trip to Mile High Station, but a few really stood out. The Uncle Cup O Bacon made an impression. The new Momofuku-esk LoHi restaurant made Bacon-instant ramen for the event. The made-from-scratch dish featured Chinese-style bacon, cured, smoked, and dehydrated in-house, bacon broth made with Tender Belly bacon ends, and a small dust-filled packet that contained soy and hickory smoked powder, maple sugar, and a special seasoning from Savory Spice Shop. Chawan mushi and freeze-dried green onions were added to the ramen served in small to-go cups.

Other big highlights included chef Selby's bacon, goat cheese, and Tuscan kale tart with fig-lambic jam, the Bacon Reuben from Blackbelly Catering, and Euclid Hall's smoked confit pork belly with bacon-infused whiskey and barely wine egg nog whip. More than food, great brews from Hogshead, Prost, and Crooked Stave, among others, complemented the offerings. There were bacon dresses, babies wearing bacon-centric onesies, and creative table bacon displays - best one undobtedly coming from Colt & Gray.


Shannon Duffy of Tender Belly, one of the bacons showcased on many tables at the event, was lamenting the perils of being in the food industry: sampling at the Bacon and Beer Festival, followed, for him, by a multi-course dinner at Devil's Food.

Chris Cina looked almost too rested and relaxed for having had a third child less than two weeks ago. The word is the little girl is super quiet. Congrats chef!

Chef Tim Payne formerly of Terroir in Longmont, finished his second week manning the stoves at Row 14 and looked quite comfortable dishing out bacon-strangled flying pig belly with bacon-onion jam.

Justin Brunson of Masterpiece Deli and the soon-to-open Old Major wondered out loud why bartenders are so high maintenance. Brunson is in the process of hiring staff for Old Major. "I am probably the least high maintenance person you can get," the chef said. "I am looking for someone that is cool and just a good normal person. I am not convinced they exist," he added.

Hosea Rosenberg is keeping busy catering and farming at Blackbelly. From the sound of it, next week is when everyone is hosting their holiday parties. That is, at least, the conclusion drawn from Blackbelly's catering schedule.

Mark DeNittis was raving about his Friday night Pork and Fork collaboration at Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail. DeNittis butchered a whole hog as part of a demonstration and dinner special event.

Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave was en route to pick up a Christmas tree accompanied by his wife. The couple seemed to have some differences on the merits of the real v. fake tree. Chad wants the pine scent; his lady is not excited about the invasion of pine needles.

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Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar

1441 West 46th Avenue, Denver, CO 80211 720-508-3292 Visit Website

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