Beer Man

Do bacon and beer really go together? Find out at the Denver Bacon and Beer Fest

Fred and Ginger; baseball and hotdogs; sunsets and walks on the beach; Bella and Edward. Some things are meant for one another. But beer and bacon? The jury is still out on that one. Event planning company Eat Boston, along with Forkly and Denver Off the Wagon, hope to deliver a guilty verdict on December 9, though, when they host the Bacon & Beer Festival, a greasy, hoppy fiesta that will include 25 Denver/Boulder area chefs, who will make bacon-based dishes, and an equal number of breweries.

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"Beer and chips is something that people think of as going together well. And if you think about it, bacon is a really a meat chip," says Eat Boston's Aaron Cohen, whose Boston Bacon & Beer Fest sold out in five minutes last spring. "It's salty and crispy and that is part of why they do go together well, in my opinion."

The festival isn't meant to pair the two so much as it's intended to celebrate both -- at the same time. "One way to look at it is that people who like bacon usually like beer," says Patrick Crawford, co-owner of the Denver Beer Co, which will bring a five-gallon keg of its Smoked Rauschbier (which happens to taste exactly like bacon) to the festival.

"I think the saltiness of bacon could go quite nicely with a variety of beers," he adds. "A bacon cheeseburger and an IPA is a classic American pairing right there."

The Boulder-based Brewers Association has a few pairing suggestions as well, which you can see on its Craft Beer website.

And although the chefs will be working to come up with the ideal pairings, it will be up to the attendees to decide what goes well with what.

Here are a few of the creations that will be there:

Euclid Hall chef Jorel Pierce and Certified Cicerone Ryan Conklin will do a play on Egg Nog with bacon and probably a barley wine or whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout.

Colt & Gray chef/owner is bringing Bacon Cashew Caramel Corn, Cabbage & Bacon Griddle Cake and Bacon Cassoulet.

The Kitchen Denver chef Gabe Godell will make Salad Lyonnaise with frisee, bacon lardons, egg and sherry shallot vinaigrette.

Bitter Bar chef Joe Arena will make maple cured and hickory smoked bacon, coated in Captain Crunch and deep-fried, with a berry coulis and mexican chocolate.

The Denver Bacon and Beer Fest will take place Sunday, December 9, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at Mile High Station; tickets are $40, and some of the proceeds will benefit Metro CareRing and Project Angel Heart.

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