Baconfest Chicago The premier food fest featuring all-things-bacon! Fri, 17 Apr 2015 13:27:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 OBERTO Sponsors Baconfest Chicago 2015 Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:43:49 +0000 Oberto_logo250


Oberto All Natural Beef Jerky will be sampling their Applewood Smoked Bacon Jerky at Baconfest Chicago 2015.

Quality and innovation have been hallmarks of the Oberto Brand since their humble beginnings in Seattle, Washington in 1918. They remain committed to providing you Bacon Nation, with the highest quality, best tasting meat snacks.


High in protein
All natural
No preservatives
No artificial ingredients
Made with 100% Real Bacon
Naturally Applewood Smoked
20% less fat than pan-fried bacon

Be sure to stop by their booth at Baconfest and pick up some samples!

]]> 0
Fortune Gourmet and Big Fork Brands Sponsor Baconfest Chicago 2015 Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:19:29 +0000

Thanks FORTUNE GOURMET for bringing your wonderful, sustainable and seasonal products to Baconfest Chicago 2015!

About Fortune Gourmet

At Fortune Gourmet, we are obsessed with flavors, textures, fragrances, and the pleasures of food.  We care deeply about sourcing the best-tasting products available for our customers.  Our experience has shown us that the most delicious products often come from smaller farms and artisans.  We are commited to hand-selecting these outstanding foods and matching them with the nations leading chefs and retailers.

Fortune Gourmet on Facebook - Twitter


Baconfest Chicago is please to welcome our good friends from BIG FORK back on April 17th and 18th.  They make bacon sausage!!!  Need.  We.  Say.  More?   AWESOME!

About Big Fork Brands

Big Fork Brands, established in 2011 in Lincoln Square by husband and wife duo Lance and Ann Avery.  With an emphasis on BACON, they have launched the first ever All-Natural, Bacon Sausage, made exclusively with Niman Ranch nitrate-free applewood smoked bacon and pork. The flavors include: Hickory & Applewood, Cracked Black Pepper, Aged Cheddar, and Maple & Brown Sugar. Available in two forms:  fully cooked & ready-to-cook. Packed for retail or foodservice.  The sausage is available throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs, distributed by Fortune Gourmet

Big Fork Brands on Facebook - Twitter

]]> 0
SMERALDINA – The Official Mineral Water of Baconfest Chicago 2015 Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:08:00 +0000

Website - Facebook - Twitter

Baconfest Chicago is pleased to welcome back Smeraldina water as the official mineral water of Baconfest Chicago 2015.  Eating all of those delicious bacon dishes and sampling the many tasty cocktails will make you thirsty.  Have no fear!  Smeraldina has your hydration needs covered.  A bottle of Smeraldina is a crucial companion to have on your journey through the bacon wonderland that is Baconfest Chicago 2015.  Thank you Smeraldina!!

About Smeraldina Water

Smeraldina is not just water. It is the realization of a dream, a passion that took form after much effort and many sacrifices. It is the fruit of perseverance, desire and determination, and having always completely believed in the project without ever losing the way. It has been a long and sometimes tortuous path, but without doubt enthralling. A path made up of interminable effort, vitality and energy.

Smeraldina Natural Artesian water comes from the heart, from a great love for Sardinia, and from the pride and generosity of the island. Since 1985, harmony and balance have been its most important characteristics.

The purity of the water is a gift of a territory that is uncontaminated and removed from any source of environmental pollution. The granite rocks of Gallura through which the Smeraldina water runs enriches it with minerals, imparting the final touches to bring it to its perfection of quality.

Limpid and transparent, Acqua Smeraldina contains very low levels of dissolved minerals (TDS at 180° is 190 mg per litre). These characteristics make Acqua Smeraldina Natural Artesian water (Oligominerale).

Light and smooth, Smeraldina Natural Artesian water is extracted cold (15° C) and its mineral composition qualifies it as a chloride rich alkaline water, where the chlorides prevail over the bicarbonates and sulphates in an ideal perfect balance between sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Sardinia, an Italian island located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, with a very low population and removed from the main sources of environmental pollution of the mainland. Smeraldina starts its journey in a pristine region at almost 1000 feet under the Mountain of God, after being naturally filtered for hundreds of years by granite rocks, typical of this area.


About Baconfest Chicago:

On April 17th and 18th, 2015, 4500 ticketed guests will come together at the UIC Forum to celebrate bacon at the seventh annual Baconfest Chicago.  Over 150 celebrated chef-sponsors will provide tasting portions of creative bacon-inspired dishes.  An assortment of liquor sponsors will provide bacon-themed beverages to compliment these dishes.  Over twenty bacontrepreneurs will sample and sell bacon merchandise in the Baconfest Vendor Expo.  The event will feature the presentation of the Golden Rasher awards, the “Oscars” of bacon.  The Greater Chicago Food Depository will run a non-perishable food-drive at the event and will receive a portion of the ticket proceeds.  More information about the event and the organization can be found at

]]> 0
Amazing local distillery KOVAL joins Baconfest Chicago 2015 Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:30:02 +0000

In any community, there are a few true pioneers: visionaries who see the road ahead and arrive before anybody else on the scene.  Koval Distillery is just such a pioneer in Chicago’s food and beverage community – they started crafting micro-distilled spirits at a time when nobody could’ve anticipated the boom in artisan small-batch liquor.

That’s why Baconfest Chicago 2015 (April 17-18) is thrilled to welcome them back to our bacony proceedings.  They’ll be offering samples of their organic luxury spirits and serving up whiskey-based cocktails that pair perfectly with bacon.

Thank you KOVAL for your support of Baconfest and our Charity Partner, the Greater Chicago Food Depository!

Stop by and visit them on Ravenswood sometime!

Website - Facebook - Twitter

Koval Distillery
5121 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60640
Phone: (312) 878-7988

About KOVAL:

Established in 2008, KOVAL produces luxury, organic whiskey, liqueurs and specialty spirits in Chicago’s first distillery since the mid-1800s. Our founders, Robert and Sonat Birnecker, chose to leave their academic careers to bring the distilling traditions of Robert’s Austrian family to America. In making this decision, they vowed to make organic spirits from scratch (avoiding the common industry practice of purchasing and bottling pre-made spirits) and to change the way people understand whiskey by creating a new, signature style – using only the “heart” cut of the distillate – affording a brighter, cleaner take on whiskey.

Embracing the grain-to-bottle mentality, each step of the spirit-making process is thoughtfully monitored: beginning with contracting local farmers to grow the grain, to on-site milling and mashing, to finally distilling, bottling, and packaging. After numerous international awards and Robert at the helm of consulting for the burgeoning craft industry, KOVAL has grown to be one of America’s leading small batch, independent spirit manufacturers. The name Koval means “blacksmith,” in numerous Eastern European languages, but the word in Yiddish also refers to a “black sheep” or someone who forges ahead or does something new or out of the ordi- nary. Sonat’s great-grandfather earned Koval as his nickname when, at the ripe old age of 17, he surprised his family and emigrated from Vienna to Chicago in the early 1900s to start a business. Coincidentally, the surname of Robert’s grandfather (at whose side Robert learned the art of distilling) is Schmid – German for “smith.” Sonat and Robert chose the name Koval to honor both men – and to reflect their own extraordinary decision to leave their careers to make some of the most unique whiskey in America.

[Click here to read the latest about how Robert and Sonat are changing the way America distills
Photo by Anne Petersen.



]]> 0
The Greater Chicago Food Depository Food Drive and Raffle at Baconfest 2015 Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:50:16 +0000 Greetings Bacon Nation (and more specifically, all those with tickets to Baconfest Chicago on April 17/18),

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:  Baconfest Chicago is NOT merely a celebration of Bacon-gluttony, (though yes, that’s undeniably the huge selling point – we understand.)  For the sixth straight year, we, the Baconfest Triumvirate, along with our roster of fantastic sponsors and guest chefs are coming together to support a charity partner we deeply believe in: THE GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY (GCFD).  We are thrilled to collaborate with an organization doing such valuable and necessary work providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community.

In addition to our donation from ticket proceeds, we are also co-hosting a Food Drive and Raffle for the GCFD at the event.


On April 17/18, please bring donations of non-perishable food with you to Baconfest Chicago 2015 for our Food Drive.  Why?

  • If Karma is not reason enough, guests who bring non-perishable food for the drive will be given raffle tickets to win some truly amazing prizes.  For every 2 cans of food donated, guests will receive 1 raffle ticket.
  • Not into schlepping food?  Rest assured you can still help by purchasing raffle tickets at the event.  Tickets will cost $5 per ticket.  $20 will purchase 6 tickets (2 extra for the bulk purchase).  100% of raffle sales goes directly to the GCFD.
  • What are these raffle prizes?  See the glorious list below.

The GCFD  will be raffling FOUR mega-gift-packs per session to include items from the following Baconfest Chicago 2015 generous sponsors:


  • 93XRT: Two passes for a Studio X performance
  • ACME Hotel Company: Gift Certificate for a one night stay in a King Suite at the luxurious ACME Hotel (based upon availability – not redeemable for cash – non transferable).
  • Baconfest Chicago: Assorted Baconfest Chicago SWAG (T-shirts/hats/Aprons) AND General Admission to BFC 2016.
  • Big Fork Bacon Sausage: The Ultimate 4-Pack – Includes all 4 Flavors of Big Fork Bacon Sausage.
  • Cabot Creamery Cooperative – $25 Legacy Gift Boxes featuring an assortment of delicious Cabot products
  • Candid Wines: Solar Powered Prosecco from Tenuta Santome and Award winning organically grown wines from Girasole Vineyards.
  • Four Eyes Handmade:  20$ Gift certificate for all products
  • Goose Island Brewery: An assortment of six-packs of Goose Island seasonal ales.
  • High Brew Coffee – Cases of their delicious coffee along with hip T-shirts and SWAG
  • Koval Distilleries: A private tour and tasting passes for up to 20 people of the Koval Distillery in Ravenswood Chicago.
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company: A gift bag including beer mugs, hats, magnets and other assorted Lagunitas branded SWAG.
  • Lookingglass Theater Company: Tickets to MOBY DICK and TREASURE ISLAND
  • Marshfield Metal: Unique hand-crafted artisan scrap-metal Pig Sculptures.
  • North American Breweries: A Labatt Warrior Hockey Jersey (value: $75).
  • Nosh This: A box of our 3 Little Pigs,  signature butter-toffee with bacon and almonds dipped in dark chocolate, along with Bacon Salted Caramels and Bourbon Bacon Rocky Road.
  • Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats: “Hungry Monkey” Books,  Nueske’s 12-Pack Cooler Bags, Nueske’s Bamboo Utensil Sets, Nueske’s Hats, Packages of Landjeager (1 lb. each)
  • Oberto Brands: Packs of award-winning bacon jerky, and assorted t-shirts, jackets and SWAG
  • Ol’ Smoky Moonshine: Bottles of their award winning libations and assorted SWAG
  • Old Style & Pabst Blue Ribbon: PBR T-Shirt, PBR Limited edition Lunch Box, and PBR Coozie, Old Style zip up hoodie, Old Style t-shirt, Old Style coozie
  • Revolution Brewing Company: A sixer, hat and koozie combo
  • Smeraldina: Cases of Italian Sparkling Lemonade (24 bottles x case)
  • Templeton Rye:  Bottles of their amazing libation
  • The Chicago Theatre: Two tickets to see Nick Offerman & Megan Mulally, Summer of 69: No Apostrophe Tour, Thursday, May 7 at the Chicago Theatre
  • Whole Foods Market:  Gift Baskets from Whole Foods Market including an assortment of wholesome merchandise.

Got tix for BFC?  Toss a few cans of food in a bag and bring them down to the Food Drive for some raffle tickets!  Best, most Bacony raffle in town, guaranteed!

Thanks Bacon Nation.  See you soon!!

Andre, Michael and Seth

GCFD Logo NEW 2014

]]> 0
Texas’ own Tito’s Handmade Vodka joins Baconfest Chicago 2015 Mon, 13 Apr 2015 10:34:25 +0000

Bacon and Vodka – always a great match.  Baconfest Chicago is pleased to welcome back Tito’s Handmade Vodka as a Sponsor.  They will be sampling their tasty vodka in an assortment of cocktails to the Bacon loving masses on April 17/18.  Tito’s is terrific!

Website - Facebook - Twitter

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is the personal recipe of founder and master distiller, Bert “Tito” Beveridge. Tito is a 40 something Geophysicist who after several jobs in and out of his field wanted to do something different with his life. That change of gears 15 years ago led to the goal of producing a world class vodka that consumers could enjoy at a reasonable price. “I am proud that there is still opportunity in America for those that follow their dreams and are willing to work very hard to achieve them,” says Tito, who’d seen microbreweries and boutique wineries starting up, and figured that the next logical step was a microdistillery.

He obtained the first permit to distill in Texas history. He worked day and night in his one-­man one-­room distillery, cooking vodka, catching some sleep here and there on the cot near the still. Without investors or much of a budget, he rolled the dice on his dream, running up as many credit cards as they would give him (19 total in the end). He slowly built a small team, some of whom cared so much that they worked for free in the beginning. Eventually things started to fall into place, despite the trials of being a one-­man one-­brand vodka in a business dominated by corporate giants.

The modest label is a testament to the pride and confidence Tito has in his product. We’ve spared the public the spokes-­models and flashy ad campaigns; leaving them to discover the difference for themselves, without all the hype. Six times distilled, Tito’s is arguably the purest vodka around. In fact, the brand’s successful growth was kick-­started by one such admirer; well-­known Las Vegas Mixologist, Tony Abu Ganim, one of Tito’s first true fans. He championed it, entering it into the 2001 Worlds Spirit Competition where, in a stunning upset, it earned the Unanimous Judges Decision Double Gold Medal, beating the large imports and other super-­premium contenders.

Since then, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has gone on to win the Chairman’s Trophy in the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge, the 2008 and 2009 Impact Hot Brands awards, among many others, and continues to receive critical acclaim for its impeccably pure taste, affordability, and brand growth.

Tito has turned his handmade vodka into one of the fastest growing spirit brands in the country through the power of word of mouth and an army of loyal followers. Available in all 50 states now, people love to tell their friends about the underdog distiller named Tito who makes an exceptionally smooth vodka and sells it at a fair price. It’s truly an American Dream success story and consumers take pride in celebrating with friends over a Tito’s cocktail.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is made of 100% corn and distilled a minimum of 6 times in old fashioned pot stills. Tito removes the heads and tails each time, leaving behind the purest part of the distillate, or the “nectar” as he likes to call it. He still makes his vodka by hand on the same land where he started it all in Austin, Texas. Though the operation has grown, Tito still works most days at the distillery; sampling every batch himself, making sure his friends have the finest vodka at the fairest price.

For more information, visit or contact the marketing office at (512) 389-­9011.

]]> 0
PBR & OLD STYLE hanging at Baconfest Chicago 2015 Sun, 12 Apr 2015 14:19:49 +0000

Bacon Nation,

Loyalty and seniority must be rewarded, and we at Baconfest Chicago are so thrilled to welcome Pabst Blue Ribbon back for their SIXTH straight year at Baconfest.  They’ve been with us since back in the days of the Stan Mansion, when we were just starting out.  We appreciate their support and WE LOVE their beer.  It’s the perfect crisp companion to the robust flavors of many a bacon-dish.  PBR & Old Style will once again flow freely at Baconfest Chicago 2015 – and we say huzzah and viva la Pabst!

Website Twitter

American Style Premium Lager
Pabst Blue Ribbon is a premium lager brew crafted with a hefty infusion of 6-row barley in its ingredient package, a carefully balanced carbohydrate profile from corn syrup, and a unique combination of Pacific domestic hops blended with an imported Yugoslavian variety.  Fermented with a pure culture of yeast and aged at high gravity, PBR is cellared and finished to the smooth, robust likeness of a fine Pilsner.

Old Style Beer

Website Facebook

Baconfest is proud to welcome aboard Old Style for their third year with us!

Old Style- ABV 4.6%
Old Style is built into the fabric of Chicago. This iconic Chicago beer revives the crisp, rich freshness of a classic pilsner with a light color and body, medium aroma and bitterness, and a full flavor with a delicate aftertaste. Old Style won a Silver Medal at the 2011 GABF (Great American Beer Festival)

Old Style Light- ABV 4.12%
Old Style Light provides the light beer drinker with a refreshing full lager flavor. Old Style Light enhances its flavor with a blend of natural hop varieties and specialized hop extract over its base ingredients of malted barley and corn. Fermented fully like a lager but finished carefully to a slim version of its parent, Old Style Light presents maximum flavor at minimum impact.


]]> 0
From Cali to Chitown – Lagunitas Beer Pairs with BACONFEST! Sat, 11 Apr 2015 14:22:46 +0000

Website - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube

Baconfest Chicago is proud to welcome back our friends from sunny California (and now the South West Side), Lagunitas Brewing Company.

They’ll be with us on April 17th and 18th pouring a variety of seasonal flavors for you thirsty bacon-chomping masses.

To all you beer drinkers out there, “you’re welcome!”

About Lagunitas Brewing Company:

From points distant and beyond we all converged on Petaluma in 1993 and ’94 with an unenunciated desire to be more than we were before. The core of Lagunitas came from Chicago, St Louis, Memphis, Walker Creek, and the highlands of Quincy.

The Chicago contingent initiated the brewing and the gravitational effect of its suchness did the rest. We all loved the beer but the mission was larger than the ordinary joy of a hoppy-sweet quaff. It was driven unseen by an urge to communicate with people, to find our diasporidic tribe, and to connect with other souls adrift on a culture that had lost its center and spun its inhabitants to the four winds to wander lost and bereft with a longing to re-enter the light. Beer, we have learned, has always been a good lubricant for social intercourse!

The Lagunitas Brewing Co. was not so much an act of ordinary ‘foundling’ as it was willed into being by the unspoken desire of supportive beer-lovers in Northern California after which they continued to nurture their creation and urged us forward to fulfill the unifying needs of that same beer-loving diaspora from coast to coast and beyond. It is good to have friends!

Learn more about the beers here:

About Baconfest Chicago:

On April 17th and 18th, 2015, 4500 ticketed guests will come together at the UIC Forum to celebrate bacon at the seventh annual Baconfest Chicago.  Over 150 celebrated chef-sponsors will provide tasting portions of creative bacon-inspired dishes.  An assortment of liquor sponsors will provide bacon-themed beverages to compliment these dishes.  Over twenty bacontrepreneurs will sample and sell bacon merchandise in the Baconfest Vendor Expo.  The event will feature the presentation of the Golden Rasher awards, the “Oscars” of bacon.  The Greater Chicago Food Depository will run a non-perishable food-drive at the event and will receive a portion of the ticket proceeds.  More information about the event and the organization can be found at

]]> 0
OLE SMOKY TENNESSEE MOONSHINE and BACON? Yeehaaaa!!! Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:34:33 +0000 OSDistillery_logo250


Yeeehaaaaa! Guess who’s coming to Baconfest Chicago 2015.  That’s right, we’ll have some good ol’ Tennessee Moonshine to wash down those bacon delights.  Our new friends from Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine will be serving:

1. Electric Lemonade – Ole Smoky White Lightnin’ and Lemonade (100 proof)
2. Hunch Punch Cooler – Ole Smoky Hunch Punch and Lemon Lime Soda (80 proof)
3. Blackberry Blast – Ole Smoky Blackberry and Lemonade or Sprite (40 proof)

Add an Ole Smoky Moonshine Cherry to any cocktail.  You can’t go wrong.  Welcome to Baconfest Chicago 2015!

903 Parkway Ole Smoky
Moonshine Holler
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Phone: 865-436-6995


Tennessee’s first legal moonshine distillery is NOW open in Gatlinburg, offering free tours, complimentary tastings, and products for sale.

Distillery hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 10pm
Sundays Open 10AM – 10PM (moonshine sales on Sundays from 12pm – 7pm)


“We have an incredibly rich history with making liquor. It’s an important part of who we are.” Joe Baker, co-founder of Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine

We’re Appalachian born and bred. The Ole Smoky families are among the first to step foot in the Smoky Mountains. Like other families, we have honed the art of whiskey making in order to survive during tough economic times. We’re among friends here, neighbors with folks who have moonshine stories and traditions of their own. We are proud to share some of ours.

When Tennessee state law changed to allow the distillation of spirits, we saw an opportunity to showcase the art of superior mountain-made moonshine. Ole Smoky is the first federally licensed distillery in the history of East Tennessee.

Like other moonshiners and bootleggers, we know it’s considered risky to tell stories of moonshine glory. The consequences of talking back in the day made it something you just didn’t do. But those days are gone, and it’s hard not to brag when you’re makin’ & sellin’ Ole’ Smoky Tennessee Moonshine.

Choose from samples of our Original Unaged Corn Whiskey, White Lightnin’, Moonshine Cherries, Blackberry, Our World famous “Apple Pie”, Strawberry, Peach and Lemon drop. We also offer seasonal and special flavors that aren’t available in package stores. You’ll be able to buy plenty of moonshine and Ole Smoky merchandise to take home with you.

The Distillery

The Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, “The Holler”, is America’s most visited distillery and produces all of our signature flavors.

A visit to Ole Smoky Distillery is the true moonshine experience. As you approach the entrance, the distinct smell of cooking and fermenting grains takes over your senses. Here, you’ll see authentic-working moonshine stills and take in the entire process – from beginning to end. Our distillers like to visit with folks. They’ll be glad to answer your questions about the history and lore of moonshining in East Tennessee.

After you see, smell and hear about the process, treat yourself to a free taste of our homegrown shine!

Choose from samples of our Original Unaged Corn Whiskey, White Lightnin’, Moonshine Cherries, Blackberry, Our World famous “Apple Pie”, Strawberry, Peach and Lemon drop. We also offer seasonal and special flavors that aren’t available in package stores. You’ll be able to buy plenty of moonshine and Ole Smoky merchandise to take home with you.

smoke 2

smoke 3

smoke 4

]]> 0
The Wirtz Craft Beer & Spirits Megabar is Back! Mon, 06 Apr 2015 14:33:08 +0000 Wirtz_2015_250x150wirtzcraft-lightbackground-250

Bacon Nation,

If you live in Chicago, you know the Wirtz name.   This pre-eminent family has done amazing things for our city.  In 2010 and again in 2013, they brought the Stanley Cup home with their flagship sports franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks.

This year for Baconfest, they’re sending the boozy geniuses from their Wirtz Craft Beer & Spirits team for the second year in a row to serve you an array of delicious cocktails and craft beers from the Wirtz Craft megabar at all three sessions.

They’ve partnered with the following brands to give Baconfest ticket holders more choices than ever before for beverages at the event. We’re very grateful to Wirtz and all their partners for helping us to make 2015 the booziest Baconfest ever!

TempletonNew250 oldforester250 Glenfarclas250 DeathsDoor250 Sieteleguas250 deschutes250 BallastPoint250 ]]> 0