“Of course beer and bacon go together,” I thought to myself as I headed over to Paddy Long’s with my wife on Saturday night. We were going to the bar, at 1028 W Diversey in Chicago, for their beer and bacon tasting.
The Irish pub opened a few years ago boasting a solid menu and a great mix of international and craft beers. Karl and I would spend many a lazy weekday afternoon there watching Rugby and drinking Belgian beers we had never heard of and, at the time, could hardly pronounce.
Saturday night, I was there to see what magic owner and certified beer judge, Patrick Berger could work with beer and bacon.
The first offering was Metropolitan’s Krankshaft Kolsch paired with Irish Bacon.
This was a good start to the five course pairing. The bacon was thick, with a little extra layer of fat for added flavor, and incredibly salty. Mouthwatering. The kolsch was a great pair with this bacon. The bready, sweet and slightly citrus flavor of this beer helped mute the salty taste of the bacon.
Next up was Trumer Pils paired with Pepper Bacon.
This was probably the most intriguing pairing of the day. The pepper bacon had a ton of kick to it. In fact, my notes on the bacon read:
“pepper, pepper, pepper…burn…fire.”
The Trumer Pils, though, was the perfect thirst quencher for this slice of bacon. The crisp, fresh taste and hops really put out the fire.
The third offering was Ommegang’s Belgian Pale Ale paired with Imported Danish Bacon.
These two paired so well together I almost forgot to take a picture until I was near the bottom of my tasting glass and there was only one piece of bacon left. The two complimented each other almost perfectly. The saltiness and slightly sweet flavor of the bacon blended well with the hops and spices of the Belgian Pale Ale.
Next was Spaten’s Maibock paired with Hickory Smoked Bacon.
Remember how I told you, about five seconds ago, I almost forgot to take a picture of the beer and bacon pairing because it was so good? Well, this time I actually did forget. So, instead, you get a picture of a pig in a barrel. Enjoy.
As for the pairing itself. Awesome. The malty and sweet maibock from Spaten held up well to the hickory flavors of the bacon.
Last, but certainly not least, Stone Smoked Porter paired with Brown Sugar Bacon.
I don’t know which I am more excited to talk about, the beer or the bacon. Stone’s Smoked Porter is easily one of my favorite porters. And it paired so well with the brown sugar bacon. The chocolate, coffee and smoke of the porter seamlessly blended with sweet, almost syrupy bacon. I could easily have this for dessert a few nights a week, although my arteries might think otherwise.
The Saturday night tasting was packed and is definitely a home run for Paddy Long’s. They did a solid job of pairing bacon with beer that either offsets some of the flavors (Trumer Pils with pepper bacon) or compliments (Stone Smoke Porter and brown sugar bacon). In fact, this was so good I may wait a few months and go again once some of the taps and pairings have changed.
Paddy Long’s hosts the event every weekend; on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.