Baconfest Chicago The premier food fest featuring all-things-bacon! Fri, 19 Jun 2015 14:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Volunteer Day Video Fri, 19 Jun 2015 14:00:10 +0000

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Get Bacon Email, See Awesome Show Wed, 29 Apr 2015 14:42:26 +0000 We’re doing a little promotion to get new sign-ups for our Bacon Nation mailing list.  We send out very infrequent emails to our mailing list with info on Baconfest tickets, bacon-specials and other fun bacon-opportunities.

If you subscribe using the form below before 5:00 PM on Tuesday May 5, we’ll enter you into a drawing to receive two tickets to the SOLD OUT Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally Summer of 69 (No Apostrophe) show at the Chicago Theater on May 7 at 8:00 PM.

Sign up here:

After you submit the form, you’ll get a confirmation email from “” asking you to click a link to confirm your email address.  Click it! Then you’re subscribed.

If you’re already a subscriber to our email list and would like to be entered in the drawing, email with the subject “I’M ALREADY IN THE BACON NATION” and I’ll put your name in the hopper.

PS. Yes, that Nick Offerman.  TV’s Ron Swanson.  The most famous televised bacon-lover in history.ron swanson


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2015 Recap – The Seventh Baconfest! Mon, 20 Apr 2015 22:34:44 +0000 Well, my friends.  We did it.  For the seventh time, Baconfest Chicago happened on Friday April 17 and Saturday April 18, 2015. Our restaurant roster swelled to 170 talented and enthusiastic chefs. 4,500 ticketed bacon-lovers from Chicago and across the country streamed into the UIC Forum over three sessions. Baconfest 2015 was a spectacular success … if we do say so ourselves.

Bacon Nation came together to enjoy bacon in every imaginable form — and some that were previously unimaginable.  A cured meat sculpture of Navy Pier anybody?  The creativity and deliciousness at the event blows our minds every single year. Even more important than the food everyone enjoyed? The $75,000 check we at Baconfest Chicago were thrilled to present to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

We’ll continue to add more about Baconfest Chicago 2015 to this site in the coming days, but for now we wanted to get a brief recap out and get this year’s winners the recognition they deserve.  Here our 2015 event photos.

video by Peter Tsai

Each of the three sold out Baconfest 2015 sessions started with a Cooking Channel VIP Hour followed by a three-hour General Admission period. Most of the more than 170 participating restaurants made use of nearly four tons of bacon from Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats to make a truly astonishing array of bacon treats for the 4,500 ticketed guests.

There was braised bacon, fried bacon, roasted bacon, glazed bacon, bacon confit, sugar-cured bacon, maple-cured bacon, bourbon-cured bacon, candied bacon, bacon dust, bacon powder, bacon pasta, bacon fried rice, various bacon sauces, bacon popcorn, bacon burgers, bacon hot dogs and sausages, bacon gravy, bacon meatballs, bacon waffles, bacon French toast, bacon pastrami, bacon mousse, bacon tacos, bacon chili, bacon rangoon, bacon salami, bacon jam, bacon falafel, bacon bread, bacon tamales, bacon soup, bacon meatloaf, bacon peanut butter and bacon jelly, and much more!

Desserts were also well-represented at Baconfest 2015. Among others, there was bacon caramel, chocolate bacon, bacon cookies, bacon brownies, bacon baklava, bacon ice cream and milkshakes, bacon smoothies, bacon bread pudding, bacon donuts, bacon macaroons and bacon macarons, and bacon pop rocks in a variety of contexts.

Thanks to returning sponsor Wirtz Craft Beer & Spirits and a host of beverage sponsors, as well as some enterprising  restaurants that offered bacon drinks with their bacon dishes, liquid refreshment was available in abundance at Baconfest. Well over a dozen spirits, seven breweries, wine, and iced coffee available to attendees. And water! There were pallets and pallets of refreshing Italian spring water, thanks to our sponsor Smeraldina.

Baconfest would not be possible without the help of our 170+ volunteers and staffers who do everything from scanning tickets to managing lines to standing next to our trash separating stations to make sure that all of the plates, forks, cups and napkins used at Baconfest end up in compost bins instead of landfill.

Baconfest’s longtime commitment to the Greater Food Depository of Chicago continued this year.  We were honored to once again donate $75,000 to the GCFD this year – our second year donating at this level.  Baconfest 2015 guests brought non-perishable food donations to the event totaling 1,768 lbs of food.  The Food Bank sold raffle tickets for guests to win prizes donated by our sponsors - those purchases amounted to $9,031 in additional support.

Counted together with previous years’ cash donations, Baconfest has raised over $300,000 for the GCFD to distribute food to Chicagoans in need. Combined with the cumulative food donated over the years, the total number of meals distributed by the GCFD as a result of Baconfest’s support is 924,374.  Nearly 1,000,000 meals.

We cannot thank our generous restaurants, partners, and guests enough for making this donation possible.

Everyone who attends Baconfest is a winner but only a handful get to go home with awards. Here are this year’s winners:

Nueske’s Applewood Meats Amateur Bacon Cookoff

Five finalists vied for top amateur honors in the Nueske’s cook off.  A panel of judges tasted all five and selected Amy Wozniak’s Bacon Scallion Pancakes to receive the incredible prize: a year’s supply of Nueske’s bacon.

BaconFest Chicago 2015

photo: Peter Tsai

The other finalists also made great dishes and received special prices from Nueske’s as well. They were: Rebecca Duxler (Bacano Italiano), Andrea Naseef (Double Dark Chocolate Chip Bourbon Bacon Cookies) Hipolito Sanchez (Smoked Duck and Honey Bacon Pie with Bacon Crust), and Diane Tesmer (Grand Mariner BACON Jam).

Best Bacon Poem

Out of more than a dozen non-haiku entries, our panel of literary judges had to, for the first time ever, pick two winners: Kiely Dolce read her poem Bakin’ Memories to the crowd during the Friday Dinner session.

BaconFest Chicago 2015

photo: Peter Tsai

Sean Cooper belted a rollicking rendition of Porkalujah, an homage to Leonard Cohen, to Saturday night’s attendees, many of whom couldn’t resist joining in the chorus.

BaconFest Chicago 2015

photo: Peter Tsai

video by Peter Tsai


The Restaurant Golden Rashers!

Every year, Baconfest awards prestigious Golden Rashers at each session. These Oscars™ of the Bacon World, arguably more highly sought after than Michelin stars and James Bears Awards combined, celebrate special achievement in the Bacon Arts.

Best Front of House Presentation

At each shift, a handful of design-oriented judges surreptitiously evaluate each restaurant’s presentation. Pretty plates of food are not enough to win these awards. Here are the winners for each shift of the Golden Rasher for Best Front of House Presentation

Friday Dinner

The Bad Apple

bad apple front of house

photo: Ben Collins-Sussman

bad apple foh2

photo: Ben Collins-Sussman

Saturday Lunch

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Photo: Ben Collins-Sussman

honey butter FOH

photo: Josh Kulp

Saturday Dinner

A two-way tie between Knife & Tine and Osteria Langhe

Knife & Tine

Knife & Tine

photo: Ben Collins-Sussman

Knife & Tine  Best Front of House Presentation 17214031482

photo: Peter Tsai

Osteria Langhe

Osteria Langhe

photo: Ben Collins-Sussman

front of house for Osteria Langhe 17018330428

photo: Ben Collins-Sussman


Most Creative Use of Bacon

Friday Dinner


Trenchermen – Patrick Sheerin (Chef Sheerin is a 7-year Baconfest Chicago veteran and 2010 Golden Rasher Winner)
Bacon “Fried Rice”, Bacon Fat Hoisin, Bacon XO & Peanuts – cherrywood bacon, forbidden black rice, berkshire bacon, house made bacon fat hoisin sauce, bacon XO, toasted peanuts, charred scallions, lime, ginger, garlic, chiles, LOVE, LOTS OF LOVE, cilantro, egg


photo: Ben Collins-Sussman



Trenchermen - Bacon Fried Rice (Golden Rasher Award for Most Creative Use of Bacon Friday Dinner) -  17012214540 copy

photo: Anne Petersen

BaconFest Chicago 2015

photo: Peter Tsai


Ara-on Restaurant – Trevor Hoyte
Shrimp Ravioli – pork consommé, morel mushroom, smoked bacon

Big Jones – Paul Fehribach
Bacon Praline Bread Pudding – bacon and rum bread pudding with goat milk cajeta, bacon, benne, bacon fat whipped cream

Fork – Tim Cottini
The Bacon Bomb – a medjool date stuffed with bacon sausage and wrapped in bacon, with a caramelized apple & bacon puree!

Red Door – Troy Graves
Bacon and Wild Boar Arepa

Tanta – Jesus Delgado
Chicharron Glazed Bocado

Woodhaven Bar and Kitchen – Zach Prince
The Ultimate Bacon Bison Bite – cherrywood bacon and goat cheese infused bison with pepperoni aioli and jalapeño, wrapped in smoked bacon and drizzled with a blueberry buffalo bacon dipping sauce

Saturday Lunch

Winner: Slurping Turtle – Takashi Yagihashi
Bacon Chiyawanmushi – shiitake mushrooms, gingko nuts, bacon-dashi glaze and wasabi

Slurping Turtle

photo: Ben Collins-Sussman

Slurping Turtle - Bacon Chiyawanmush (Golden Rasher Award for Most Creative Use of Bacon Saturday Lu 16577421284.jpg copy

photo: Anne Petersen

BaconFest Chicago 2015

photo: Peter Tsai


David Burke’s Primehouse – Jove Hubbard
Bacon Tarte Flambe – Vidalia-braised applewood bacon, ramp soubise, black pepper hollandaise, crispy leeks, puff pastry

Firefly Grill – Niall D. Campbell II
Cauliflower Bacon Panna Cotta – with crispy bacon fat sage

Flo & Santos – Mark Rimkus
Bacon Whiskey River Lasagna – bacon barrel-aged whiskey served with a bacon five-way lasagna (bacon pasta, bacon ricotta, bacon bits, bacon sauce and bacon)

Stout Barrel House & Galley - Michael Matthews
Bourbon Braised Bacon Biscuit Slider – Buttermilk bacon cheddar jalapeño biscuit with bourbon braised bacon, pickled onion & zucchini, with a country style bacon gravy, topped with candied bacon & cayenne pepper


Saturday Dinner

Winner: Vie, Dan Compton (Vie is a 7-year Baconfest participant and 2011 Golden Rasher Winner)
Bacon Slim Jim, Fully Loaded Potato Bacon Soup 


photo: Ben Collins-Sussman


Vie - Bacon Slim Jim & Potato Bacon Soup (Golden Rasher Award for Most Creative Use of Bacon Saturda 17014004449 copy

photo: Anne Petersen

BaconFest Chicago 2015

photo: Peter Tsai


Bang Bang Pie Shop – Patrick Cloud
Bacon Studded BLT Biscuit – bacon potato chip and red ham gravy

e+o Food and Drink – Rodelio Aglibot
Bacon and Albacore Poke – Hawaiian style bacon and albacore poke laced with inamona, avocado, ginger, chili water, sesame and shoyu

freestyle food + drink – Ariel Bagadiong
Pepper and Applewood Smoked Bacon Waffles – with Sriracha butter, chicken-fried bacon, bacon bourbon gravy, sour cream, and green onion

Osteria Langhe – Cameron Grant
Bacon Cigar

Bob Nueske Commitment to Bacon Award

Bob Nueske, a legend in the world of bacon and longtime supporter of Baconfest, passed away far too soon. Those of us who had the chance to get to know him were better for it. In his honor, we created the Bob Nueske Commitment to Bacon Award given to those chefs and restaurants who have exhibited at Baconfest for seven years.

The inaugural Commitment to Bacon awards went to:

  • Chef Patrick Sheerin
  • Chef Troy Graves
  • Chef Nathan Sears
  • The Signature Room on the 95th
  • Vie Restaurant
  • David Burke’s Primehouse
BaconFest Chicago 2015

photo: Peter Tsai

David Burke's Primehouse, Signature Room, Nathan Sears (The Radl

photo: Ben Collins-Sussman

Pat Sheerin of Trenchermen

photo: Ben Collins-Sussman

team on behalf of Troy Graves of Red Door - Bob Nueske Commitment to Bacon Award - Baconfest 16577827114

photo: Anne Petersen

In the meantime, please take to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share your recaps of the event. We LOVE reading your stories of the bacon-ocity.

Many thanks to the indefatigable Dan Zemans (@zemanation) for drafting this recap!

All photos in this post are by the official Baconfest event photographers: Anne Petersen, Peter Tsai and Ben Collins-Sussman.

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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!

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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

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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

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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.



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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

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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.

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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.


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