During the last weekend of September, we attended the Bacon and Beer Classic at the USTA National Tennis Center.
Doors opened at noon, with booths located around the perimeter of the huge space . Ticket holders got the chance to indulge in unlimited samples of bacon-infused foods from over 50 NYC restaurants. There were also unlimited craft beer samples from over 150 different breweries. I took advantage of this, and walked from booth to booth enjoying all of the food offered.
As part of the VIP experience, I gained early access to the event by entering an hour before General Admission. This allowed me time to visit all of the booths, before it became overcrowded. There was also an Arthur Ashe photo op, where I received a private tour of the stadium and sat courtside for photos. It was interesting to see the stadium completely empty, while walking around on the court. The VIP experience also included extra munchies, like pork belly and a donut wall.
I personally don’t drink, so I didn’t taste any of the beers, but I enjoyed learning about them! One highlight for me was speaking to the Collective Brewery booth. They had a beautiful setup. The entire table was filled with artsy coasters, which were free to take. I couldn’t choose just one, so I wound up grabbing all five designs! I was also impressed by the artwork on the beer cans, where I learned about their Call For Art Campaign. Every three months artists are invited to submit work, to be showcased on their limited edition beer cans. Artists from all different mediums can apply, and if chosen, they are paid for their work. I loved their concept, and how they are helping support and promote upcoming artists.
All of the food was delicious, but Marcha Cocina booth stood out for me. They served bacon covered dates, a food I have never tried before. After one bite, tI was hooked! I went back to get more because they were so addicting. I also enjoyed La Belle Torte’s Cannoli Cream with Candied Bacon. They had vanilla and chocolate flavors. Pretty much, my favorite booths were the ones that didn’t judge me when I returned fir fourths, fifths, and sixths.
I enjoyed all of the activities throughout the day. There was a best vendor competition, where attendees were able to vote for their favorite booth via the Bacon and Beer Classic app. The bacon eating contest was an exciting compement of the event, and I was shocked at how quickly the winner ate all of his bacon, I’m sure it was record-breaking! As the winner, he received a year’s worth of Black Label bacon supplied by Hormel.
The Biergarten was a separate area which offered a lot of different fun activities, like bacon bobbing, pretzel necklace making and live music.
The Bacon and Beer Classic moves around the country! It made a stop in Chicago on October 6th, and it will be going to San Francisco on November 10th. If I had the opportunity to, I would fly to San Francisco, just to attend the Bacon and Beer Classic event again, cause it was that good!
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