Well yesterday was a blast. Heavy Seas runs a few special events every year, but their best one is always their bacon and beer bash.
Heavy Seas never disappoints because their Firkin guy (Firkin aka .25 barrels aka .5 kegs…1 barrel equals 2 kegs) always brings out fun new beers just for this event. Cask ales are an homage to “real ale” from England which essentially means the beer is conditioned to ferment in the cask using the CO2 created during the fermentation process. Most keg beer has either CO2 or a mixture of Nitrogen pumped in the create carbonation. Beer purists will try to convince you that this is the way that beer SHOULD be enjoyed. It is all different honestly. Some beers taste better on cask, some better on draft, some beers you would never bother to drink on cask. I always recommend trying something on cask because many casks are rare and hard to find. Heavy Seas uses their cask to further hop their beers or to add fruit or other spices to enhance the flavor to create a unique drinking experience. With that out-of-the-way….
To start a beer event, always take a survey of the area. It’s never good to jump in a line to start just in case you realize there were shorter lines for bigger and better things if you only bothered to look. Personally, I always locate the cask table and try to find out the times for tapping certain casks.
To start the day they tapped a bunch of casks including a version of their Great Pumpkin (or Imperial Pumpkin) conditioned with vanilla bean, bourbon wood chips, lemon peel and also a long list of other subtle ingredients that I was too long to remember. It was light and flavorful. The vanilla played well with the malt. The bourbon and orange peel were really nice and this beer really spiced itself well to remind me of a pie. They also had 2 other loose cannon casks including a red white and birch oaked version using (among other things) birch and white oak for conditioning. Great woody notes.
The other thing that they do for these events (especially the bacon ones) is that they will actually throw bacon into the casks. There were two this year including a bacon fig Marzen. I know it might sound a little high brow, but bacon wrapped figs with blue cheese inside are one of the greatest foods on this earth. This was a liquid form of the dish sans the blue cheese. Fantastic and sweet from the malt and figs with enough savory flavors from the bacon to cut the sweet. The crown jewel of the day was a peg leg stout made with bacon, smoked fish, extra cocoa nibs and another long list of ingredients that I can’t even begin to remember. Smooth cocoa flavor, smokey bacon and the fish really just add to that bacon savory flavor. You can, in fact, put bacon in beer.
Lets see, on this plate you see a BLT, bacon chili, bacon brownie, and bacon wrapped pork in spicy sauce. All delicious. There were 2 different kinds of bacon crusted bbq wings and lets not forget the regular bacon. My favorite tent to always visit belongs to this guy…
Mick T. Pirate of Whiskey Island always shows up to these events with crazy funky interesting foods. His crawfish bacon pasta dish was the one thing I took from this event and I just have to say you should come out to see his stuff. He is intense about his food which can only be a good thing. That’s the guy whose food you want to eat.
Oh and they also just had a station handing out several varieties of cooked bacon because that is what you should do for a beer and bacon event. If you didn’t like the 6+ cask choices they also have all of their seasonal and yearly beers for you to try. This event just overwhelms you with good food and good beer. The attention to detail and planning that they put into these events should be more than enough reason for you to attend. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review and look forward to more posts this week including more football picks.