I attended Bacon Sports Beer on Saturday, which was a fun afternoon filled with Nerf balls, Jersey-wearing beer and bacon enthusiasts, and lots of great local brews. It was a well run event with plenty of the three key ingredients represented throughout Union Station. There were very few food or beer shortages, and the only line I stood in for any length was for the bathroom. Score.
If you came for the bacon, it was everywhere and in nearly everything. Bacon fudge? Yes! Bacon popcorn? Indeed. Bacon and beer ice cream sandwich? Gimme. The only hard part with the bacon sweets was that they often didn’t pair well with the craft brew I had in hand. Fortunately, there were many savory options as well from local chefs at Frontier, Municipal Bar, Market Bar, Florentine, Wish Bone, and others. I definitely pigged out on bacon tacos, mac-n-cheese, and grits before starting to dribble…
If you had basketball chops or confidence with bean bags, then this was your playground. Spaced throughout the venue were chances to shoot the puck, toss a ball, play on screen or flop in front of one to watch others play. I may have fired a few nerf darts at the booth guy before finally hitting the target. It happens.
Part of the proceeds benefited Chicago Cares, an organization I support, and I was happy to see them at the event with their noodle toss. My average was .250 — which I was pretty happy to get considering the other component at play…
While bigger names like Magic Hat, Goose Island and Lagunitas were present, so were a number of small, local breweries. I was pleased to discover new names and talk to the brewers about hops, local expansions plans and how they’re breaking into the Chicago scene. I plan to feature as many of these as I can on upcoming Beer and Hockey posts, but in the meantime keep an eye out for Argus Brewery, the Smylie Brothers, and Ale Syndicate. Hopothesis, 3 Sheeps, Pipeworks, and if I can find them bottles, Church Street, will also be on my list.
I love opportunities to try beers side by side, both to refine what I like and to expand my horizons. There were plentiful chances to do both here. Kudos to the organizers for bringing in such a wide range of beer producers and artisans.
Bacon, sports and beer were all achieved in one afternoon. If they come back to do it again, I highly recommend you pick up a ticket and bring your A-game to this “hat trick” of entertainment.