Beer & Bacon- A Match Made in Heaven

Wine and cheese? Been there, done that.

How about beer and bacon?

Beer is quickly becoming the new wine when it comes to small batch samplings, and nothing goes better with beer than bacon. It might sound like an odd combination, but believe me you will quickly change your mind after a round or two of the perfectly paired duo.

I recently attended a beer and bacon pairing at the Lincoln Park quasi-gastro pub, Paddy Long's. It is a classic pub in every sense of the word: walls covered in Irish nostalgia? Check. Wonderfully greasy but delicious food? Check. Every beer imaginable on tap? Check, check, check. We received 5 pairings as well as a short blurb about each from the proprietor of this charming establishment.

Our waitress and I post-tasting

The evening started out with the Summit Summer ale paired with local Irish Bacon. The light effervescence of the ale paired amazingly with the unsmoked canadian bacon-like sampling.

Next, we moved on to the Lagunitas IPA paired with Pepper Bacon. Although it was quite a change from the previous lighter fare, the hoppy IPA was a perfect match for the spicy peppercorn-encrusted slab of goodness.

We then dove into a Trumer Pils that was presented with local Danish Bacon. The lager was sharp and crisp- a bold contrast to the double smoked pork belly.

Ahh...Three Floyd's Alpha King. This classic American pale ale, the flagship beer for Three Floyd's, rocked the Country Smoked Jowl Bacon. Intense in it's smoky goodness, this bacon was a punch to the palate!

The last pairing of the evening was as delectable and sugary sweet as any confection. The Stone Smoked Porter with Brown Sugar Bacon made a final and lasting impression. Have you ever poured syrup on your bacon accidentally on purpose? This is ten times better, with the flavors being intensified by the smoky, dark porter. Heaven on a plate and in a glass!

We also ordered a bacon grenade appetizer- the mini version of the Bacon Bomb. Hmmm...what is a Bacon Bomb you ask? According to the menu:

The 5lb. Whole Bacon Bomb-Serves 6-8 Bacon Lovers $60.00
A spicy housemade mix of pork sausage, ground beef and cracked pepper bacon wrapped in a weave of brown sugar bacon and cooked on our pig roaster for three hours. Served with fries, pepperjack cheese, burger buns and our housemade BBQ sauce.

Photo Courtesy of Chicago's Best

All in all, an amazing evening! They do offer specials through Groupon, so keep your eyes pealed.

B & I, knocking back a pint


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