Lots of folks dread the winter, spending the colder months on the calendar biding their time and pining for the days when they can once again venture out of doors without layer-upon-layer of clothing to protect them from the lower temperatures and occasional inclement elements. Poor souls. Even though that doesn’t describe me, as I prefer colder weather, there is something I have in common with many of those with a more delicate constitution even during the short days and longer nights of January – an appreciation for the heartier fare in food and drink both more available in and more apropos to wintertime.
So it is that if it’s January, it must be time for the annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival to take its roadshow to Manhattan, where it will be happening once again at The Tunnel, 608 West 28 Street, on Saturday, January 24. For the more peripatetic among us, it’s worth noting that there are other cities and dates where Beer, Bourbon & BBQ will take place in 2015: on February 14 in Tampa, FL; February 28 in Atlanta, GA; March 13 & 14 at Timonium, MD; May 9 in Charlotte, NC; May 30 in Richmond, VA; June 19 & 20 in National Harbor, MD; July 31 & August 1 in Cary, NC; and September 19 in Tysons, VA. (Log on to http://www.beerandbourbon.com/new-york/show-info for more details; the presenters, Trigger Agency, hosts a number of other gustatory bacchanals throughout the US, and information about them can be found online here: http://www.drinkeatrelax.com.)
There are several tasting sessions on the 24th among which to choose: The Bacon Bash Tasting Session ($109, from Noon to 4:00 PM), the Whole Hog Pig Pickin’ Session ($99,from 5:30-9:30 PM), and the Grand Poobah Chicken N’ Biscuits Session ($109,from Noon to 9:30 PM). The Bacon Session includes food fare from a variety of fine restaurants, including Alewife NYC, Cucina Lugo, Daisy May’s BBQ USA, TresCarnes Texas Smoked Mexican Fare, Tri Tip Grill, Bourbon Street Bar & Grill, Route 66 Smoke House, Sigmund’s Pretzels, Butcher Bar, Duke’s New York, Calvin’s Royal Rib House, Blacksauce Curbside Kitchen, Kloby’s Smokehouse, and Handsome Devil. The Whole Hog Session includes fare from Blacksauce, Kloby’s and Handsome Devil, and the special feature: The Shrine of Swine – whole hogs from the purveyors that you need to try to believe. Grand Poobah’s will have access to each of the first two sessions, plus a Master Tasting Class from 4:00-5:30 PM which will feature 6 of the Best Fried Chicken and 3 of the Best Biscuits in New York City and the country.
Of course, attendees will be able to wash down all the wonderful creations of the pit masters and chefs with a dizzying array of artisanal spirits throughout the day. Bourbon has always been a truly great American product, and lately has benefited from multiples of inspired producers entering the arena. At the time of writing the bourbons scheduled to be served included Filibuster Bourbon, Filibuster Rye, Garrison Brothers Straight Texas Bourbon Whiskey, Garrison Brothers Barrel #6, Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon, Garrison Brothers Hye Rye, Bernheim, Defiant, Evan Williams Black Label, Evan Williams 1783, Evan Williams Single Barrel, Evan Williams Honey Reserve, Elijah Craig 12-year, Angel’s Envy, Cabin Fever, William Wolf Whiskey, and George Dickel – with more selections promised to be added to these.
The beers include Pabst Blue Ribbon, Ballantine India Pale Ale, Lancaster Brewing Co Hop Hog IPA, Lancaster Brewing Co., Double Chocolate Milk Stout, Down East Cider House Original Blend, Down East Cider House Winter Blend, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Heavy Seas Cross Bones, Abita Wrought Iron IPA, Abita Strawberry Harvest, Blue Point, Ommegang 3 Philosophers, Ommegang Adoration, Full Sail Session Lager, Full Sail Session IPA, Original Sin Apple, Original Sin Cherry Cider, Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Old Chub Nitro, Otter Creek Kind Ryed IPA, Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter, Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, Sixpoint Beast Mode, Sixpoint Righteous Ale, Bronx Brewery IPA, Bronx Brewery Belgian Pale Ale, Crabbies Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Crabbies Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Crispin Cider Steel Town, Crispin The Saint, Thomas Hooker, Long Trail, Lucky Buddah, Left Coast, Smuttynose Baltic Porter, Smuttynose Durty, Victory Anniversary Ale, Victory, Golden Monkey, Breckenridge, Green Flash Soul Style IPA, Green Flash Double Stout, Narragansett Lager, Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout, Southern Tier Helles Lager, Southern Tier 2XIPA, Goose Island IPA, Goose Island Bourbon, County Stout, Goose Island Lolita, Kuka Beer Co., Bad Ass Hard Cider, Cervesa Hatuay, Sapporo, Warsteiner and Belfast Bay. Plus there may be some additional surprises with the brew selection as well. And yes, there’s wine too, from Hazlitt. Please consult the website, aforementioned, for any changes regarding the menus and libations on offer.