There’s nothing more American than baseball, beer, and bacon. Combine the three during a gorgeous, sunny August afternoon and you’ll have a stadium full of happy campers. I got to experience this trifecta first-hand during the Bacon and Beer Classic’s NYC event at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The Bacon and Beer Classic is a one-of-a-kind event hosted at ballparks across the country. As you probably inferred from the name, event goers are treated to a smorgasbord of beer and bacon tastings throughout the afternoon. I was expecting sips of local brews and plenty of crispy bacon strips, but my mind was quickly blown by the creativity of craft beer varietals and bacon-infused dishes upon entering the stadium.
We were supplied with adorable ceramic red cups for our tastings and headed straight towards the kegs. The vendors were spread across the upper level of the ballpark and spanned 360 degrees. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but there were many names that I recognized such as Flying Dog, Sam Adams, Anchor Steam, and Brooklyn Brewery in attendance. We had a blast discovering new favorite beers among the lesser known breweries from around the country. I was also pleased by the surprisingly vast cider selection at the event.
After sufficiently whetting my palate with a few microbrews, I beelined it right to the food. Similarly to the beer, I saw many familiar names on the booths next to new-found local favorites. Of course there were plenty of bacon slabs on sticks, but my personal highlights were the more inventive fusions between sweet and savory dishes. My top plates were the BLT mac n’cheese from macbar, the peanut butter and bacon burger from Whitman’s, and chocolate-covered bacon from Roni-Sue’s.
Besides overindulging in bacon and beer, the event also hosted an assortment of fun activities that kept us occupied between bites and swigs. As VIP ticket holders, we partook in an exclusive ballpark tour of the clubhouse, media room, and exercise room, and got to hang out in the dugout. There were also plenty of batting cages, wiffle ball tosses, and dunk booths for people of all ages. Another perk of VIP access was that we were allowed entry one hour ahead of regular ticket holders so we beat the lines and enjoyed a stadium to ourselves. Later in the afternoon, the venue was packed full of other bacon and beer lovers.
I had a blast at this event and it was a truly unique way to spend a summer afternoon. The event was impeccably organized and everyone, vendors and attendees alike, spent the day with a smile and a beer in hand. This is a can’t miss event and the 2015 lineup is coming soon!
For more information visit, www.BeerandBaconClassic.com. Images courtesy of Beer and Bacon Classic.