We love smoky flavors, whether in our bacon or in our distilled spirits.  Over the last few years, along with the rest of Chicago’s foodie community, we’ve become entranced by that most smoky of spirits – mezcal.  Crafted by artisan mezcaleros in rural Mexico from the agave plant, mezcal is a uniquely fascinating beverage, each bottle reflecting the terroir of its native soil, each expression reflecting the craft and inherited heirloom knowledge of generations of master distillers.

That’s why we are so excited to welcome our friend Lou Bank, founder of the organization S.A.C.R.E.D. to Baconfest’s Saturday sessions, where he’ll be talking about the work his organization does and sharing some very special mezcals from his private stockpile with attendees on Saturday April 6.

VIP ticket-holders at both Saturday sessions will get to enjoy a vertical tasting of three spirits made by maestro mezcalero Victor Ramos in Miahuatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico. All three were made by cooking tobala agave in a stone-lined earthen oven; milling that agave using an oxen-pulled stone wheel; fermenting it in open-air wooden barrels, and distilling it in wood-fired copper-pot stills. Lou will be sharing expressions made in 2015, 2017, and 2018.

General Admission ticket holders on Saturday will get a mezcal experience, too! He’ll be sharing tastes of an espadin expression that was distilled through Dark Matter Coffee by maestro mezcalero Eduardo Angeles in Santa Catarina Minas, Oaxaca.

None of these mezcals are available for purchase anywhere in the USA – Baconfest’s Saturday sessions are the only place that Chicagoans can go to sample them.

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S.A.C.R.E.D. stands for Saving Agave for Culture, Recreation, Education, and Development.  This not-for-profit organization uses heirloom agave spirits to improve the quality of life in the rural Mexican communities where those spirits are made. They help build libraries and greenhouses, replant agave, and underwrite earthquake relief. Founder Lou Bank won the Golden Spirit Award for his presentation at the 2018 Tales of the Cocktail.

If you want to meet Lou, try these mezcals, and learn about S.A.C.R.E.D., the only way is to buy tickets for Baconfest Chicago’s Saturday Sessions on April 6.

Lou Bank - credit Shelby Parnes

Lou Bank – Photo By Shelby Parnes

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Roasted Agave, photo courtesy Lou Bank

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In the Green House, photo courtesy Lou Bank

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Mezcal Stills, photo courtesy Lou Bank

  • February 20, 2019