Beer, Bourbon & Barbecue Festival Conquers New York

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Pork-a-geddon came to Manhattan yesterday for its 3rd Annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival. The event was a finger-lickin’ good time for everyone there. It was held at La Venue in Manhattan on 28th and 11th Avenue. The space was incredible and the spirit even more so. A live bluegrass band, Great Dog Almighty was buzzing amid stall after stall of famous barbecue, bourbon and beer tastings. I can’t imagine something more fun to do in 20-degree weather in Manhattan on a grey day.

Tickets to the festival included all-you-care-to-taste samples of nearly 60 different beers, 40 bourbons and about 20 barbecue restaurants serving up their own take on heart-attack inducing down-home cooking favorites like pulled pork, brisket, mac-n-cheese, biscuits, bacon, and more! Upon entering, guests received a souvenir sampling glass, many even purchased a necklace so they could have free hands to easier access the fabulous food being served. And let me tell you, this place was a carnivore’s dream!

The day was split into two sessions, the first was the Bacon Bash and the second was called, the Whole Hog Pickin’ Session. We picked the former and the maple bacon cupcakes from Mr. Cupcakes made me sure that I had chosen wisely. There wasn’t as much bacon as I imagined there would be though, most of the restaurants served up Southern-inspired briskets, pulled pork, etc. The day was, however, appropriately, capped off with a bacon-eating contest! Someone ate over 3 pounds of cooked bacon in under a few minutes.

Although the event was packed, I didn’t find that I really had to wait more than a minute or so to get anything that I wanted–and perhaps now with the hangover I had today, perhaps I wish there had been! I loved tasting the craft beers like Innis and Gunn, Third Shift, House of Shandy, Bronx Brewery and Ommegang. They even had a hard ginger beer called Crabbies that was to die for! And don’t even get me started on the Bourbon! First, I had to try Evan Williams, and I opted for the Cinnamon Reserve, because well, rather unpoetically, Cinnamon sounded good. (Thanks for the tip, Traveling Savage!). They had dozens of different whiskeys from Larceny to Angel’s Envy to Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka! If a girl wasn’t careful there, she might just leave with her mind erased! Luckily, I kept a good balance of beer, bourbon and BBQ so I was in the clear.

Amongst my favorite samplings were Kloby’s Smokehouse’s Georgia Peach Brisket sandwiches and candied bacon! Apartment 138 served up Blue Cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon that were to die for. Mighty Quinn’s Open Face Brisket Slider was heavenly, as was Dinosaur BBQ and Southern Hospitality’s Pulled Pork (first time I ever tried it! YUM!) A group favorite were the Rattlesnake bites by Cowgirl, a jalepeno stuffed with shrimp, cheese and wrapped in bacon. 20130127-211551.jpg

I wasn’t a huge fan of Baconery’s Bacon Treats like peanut butter and bacon chocolate chip cookies though the rest of my group loved them.  Hill Country’s Brisket was pretty tough and a little fatty for my liking. Rodeo Bar’s Mac & Cheese was terrible. Yuck! Won’t be heading there. I really got schooled in all things barbecue yesterday! 20130127-211540.jpg

This was a fabulous event, we came, we saw, we pillaged, stuffed our faces and will happily do this again next year! I’d like to say I conquered but I’m afraid this year it’s BBBQ 1, Katie 0.

I heard a few gripes about the long wait to get inside and some long lines for a few of the BBQ stalls, but overall we were just chatting and enjoying the day even if we had to wait a minute here and there. It gave us time to sip our bourbon or chug sip our beer.20130127-211624.jpg

We hope our winner of the giveaway had as great of a time as we did. Don’t forget to follow Travelingpanties to keep up with awesome giveaways! For more information about Beer Bourbon BBQ keep up with them on Twitter @BeerBourbonBBQ

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Noah from Somewhere or Bust eating probably the only vegetable of the day.

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It ain’t a party without a stick-on mustache.

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Maple Bacon Mini Cupcakes

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