Beer, Bourbon and BBQ. This event seemed focused grouped for 25-45 year old middle class males like me. And I’m not mad.
The annual festival took place at NYC’s Tunnel this past weekend, offering ticket goers an unlimited supply of it’s namesake. Truth be told, it’s a tad overwhelming, but I had to roll through and bring my A-game, for the people! I set out on a cold Saturday morning to midtown Manhattan, looking to see if the event lived up to it’s hype. And it did. So as I wondered through the hall I decided to make my list of the best offerings at BBB. Insights below:
Best Pulled Pork – Bicol Express Pulled Pork from Jeepney Filipino Gastropub
So yeah, BBQ might be a Southern American thing, but the Pinoys got this one. Bicol Express is a chili coconut gravy pork dish native to the Philippines, and it tasted wonderful on a slider topped with nice slaw. Pulled Pork sliders are an easy thing to make, so they were a dime a dozen at the event, but these guys flipped it, and made a true standout.
Best Mac and Cheese – Mac from Rodeo Bar and Grill, NYC
Another ubiquitous dish at the event was mac and cheese. Again, it’s easy to make and easy to portion, so it was a go to side for many of the vendors. Truth be told, I had given up on my search until a cup of mac (that I didn’t ask for) ended up on my plate. I tried it and I was in heaven. Everything was on point with this dish. The right amount of spices and cream and cheese balanced in a way that caressed my palate.
Best Whiskey – North Carolina Moonshine from Unknown (Not pictured)
So I get in a long line, cause at these events, a line is a sign of something good (or overrated) is on the other side. This dude jumped behind me asking what the line was a selection of fine whiskey. However, I had to go with the stuff in the Mason jar, naturally. The dude in a cowboy had and a thick Southern accent told me that he “drove up that moonshine this morning from North Carolina.” Had to.
Best Beer – Heavy Seas Siren Noire
Baltimore’s Heavy Seas is one of my favorite breweries and the tasting session by founder Hugh Sisson was entertaining to say the least. But the highlight of the event was this Heavy Seas Siren Noire. The chocolate stout, set in aged bourbon barrels, was just tapped two weeks ago, and I drank half the bottle. Unfortunately you most likely won’t be able to find this in New York due to limited supply, but if you do, snag it. You won’t be disappointed.
Best Presentation – Whole Hog Butchering Demo by Sara Bigelow of the Meat Hook
Sorry to my vegans, Halal followers, and bougie friends. I like pork, and seeing our friend getting sliced on stage is a pig-lovers dream. Having that said, after getting over the initial euphoria, the session was actually quite informative. Most of us don’t really know what part of body our meat comes from, so the session was packed with several party conversation starters, such as the fact that a Boston butt actually comes from the shoulder. All in all, an informative discussion.