Bacon, beer and Justin Brunson: Porky photos from Denver's kick-ass Bacon and Beer Festival

Lori Midson
Porchetta po-boys with bacon jam; bacon and cashew caramel corn; bacon macaroni and cheese; bacon fat potato chips; bacon chocolate chip cookies; bacon and pork belly Reuben; bacon and ramen; bacon and oyster chowder; bacon fat duck sliders; bacon-strangled flying pig belly; candied bacon; bacon, goat cheese and kale tarts; bacon strips; bacon boardgames; bacon onesies for babies; bacon costumes; bacon gyrating -- and a pig necklace -- from Mark DeNittis; bacon deviled eggs; and Justin Brunson's bacon.

See also:
- Denver Beer and Bacon Festival slideshow
- Justin Brunson will open Old Major -- a swine, wine and seafood restaurant -- in Highland
- Do bacon and beer really go together? Find out at the Denver Bacon and Beer Fest
- Top five reasons why bacon will never be over

Last night, nearly 900 bacon barons and baronesses get slabbed...with swine at Denver's first Bacon and Beer Festival, a blow-out bash, organized by Eat Boston, Denver off the Wagon and Forkly, that sizzled at Mile High Station. The porkorific bonanza, which also included craft beers from some of the state best breweries -- Crooked Stave, Strange, Ska, Avery, Prost, Hogshead Brewery, Wynkoop/Breckenridge, Oksar Blues and several others -- pimped bacon in every guise imaginable, not to mention elaborate bacon-centric table displays, some of which would make a pig snort rainbows and unicorns.

Some of the culinary highlights: Uncle's Chinese bacon ramen, tucked into take-out containers and served with chopsticks and plastic baggies of spice powder; Blackbelly Catering's bacon and pork belly Reuben; Oskar Blues Brewery's caramel bacon studded with pralines; Euclid Hall's smoke confit pork belly with bacon-infused whiskey and eggnog whip; the bacon and goat cheese tart from the Corner House, slated to open before the end of the year; and the fantastic dry-cured, thick-cut bacon strips from Denver Bacon Company, the new company that Justin Brunson, owner-chef of Masterpiece Deli and the forthcoming Old Major, recently launched after nearly two years of pig dreaming.

Brunson, who formed the company with his business partner and friend Eric Clayman, is currently pimping his bacon at Masterpiece, and, he told me, King Soopers is also interested in carrying it -- and it's easy to see why: This isn't just bacon; it's Godly bacon, sweet, smoked with peachwood and effervescently porky.

I was part of the swine-centric crowd last night, stuffing bacon down my gullet like a heathen, and, of course, took a pig's pen worth of photos, which you can view on the following pages. In addition, we've also got a bacon-and-beer slide show up to rub your snout in the revelry.

Bring on the bacon!

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Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen, it can fix any dish. 

Unfortunately it has become the crutch of many chefs who will use bacon to hide the flaws in a dish. 

I never thought I would say this, but bacon has officially become the most played out ingredient in the culinary world.  From the bacon explosion pages on the internet to chefs with bacon tattoos, bacon has finally jumped the shark. It's time to put it to rest for a while and start using some other ingredients.

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