Walking towards the warehouse where the second annual Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival was supposed to be I followed my nose. Three blocks away the smell of sweet cigars and smoky BBQ was everywhere. I have to say, the combination was divine. This particular Saturday happened to be rainy and dull. The mountains of snow made traveling difficult and puddles had turned colors unimaginable. But once the gigantic warehouse was in view I knew this was going to be a good day. The inside of the building was toasty warm, and at times overheated.
Upon entering, everyone received a sample size beer glass with a line for the bourbon tastings. The place was huge and I didnâ€™t know where to start first. My goal was to get some food in my stomach before boozing. Coat check was necessary and the girl at the table told me to pay now because when I would be leaving I would be â€œso drunk I wouldnâ€™t know where my money was.â€ The quest for food was easy, after a short line I had an entire plate of jalapeÃ±o and bourbon bacon. After that I tried a Blue Moon ale because it was familiar.
Now it was time for adventure! The music was loud and all the booths were enticing. Amidst the booths of bacon popcorn, pork meatballs and Wild Turkey samples was a man selling jewelry he cut out of beer bottles. I tried a Smutty Nose brew that was too dark for my taste and washed it down with grits and a homemade pear cider. The area was full of opportunities to get beer, bourbon, ciders, cigars and food. One vender rolled cigars to order. I must have tried three different kinds of pulled pork before the day was over.
Barrels of pork rinds graced the floor and patrons weaved around in Viking hats and pig snouts. One thing that was very noticeable was the large, black clad security guards roaming the area. As the day went on it was very apparent why they were there. People got drunk, and I mean drunk. At times I was accidentally pushed, not so accidentally pulled and grinned at. When the session was over, everyone spilled out into the Manhattan streets and I was grateful for the long walk we all had to the train. I would recommend going and am already planning on going next year. This event is far more fun with a person or two in tow. Alone it is difficult to discuss the different brews and you might need a body guard of your own. Aside from that, it was a very welcome event during a brutal day of snow.