Bakersfield Bacon and Craft Festival
By Alberto Muro
It was a weekend of bacon and beer in Bakersfield.
The second annual Bacon and Craft Festival returned on Nov. 12. at Riverwalk Park. Up to about 30 local restaurants supported the festival along with 50 craft brewers serving drinks. One restaurant called “Don Pepes Mariscos” served bacon wrapped shrimp and jalapenos, they also poured patrons specialty spicy beverages. The employees working in the booths performed at an extraordinary pace so the lines were almost non-existent.
Lengthwise brewery has participated in local craft festivals over the years. Their reputation derives through their creativity such as brewing locally known beverages and ecstatic pub food. Lengthwise offered patrons some samples of pulled pork sliders, macaroni and cheese with bacon bits, and a choice of spicy or barbecue sauce. Those that were thirsty were treated with Lengthwise’s assortment of beverages.
Another local brewery called “Dionysus” made their presence known at the festival. During the summer the people of Dionysus opened their doors and have since been on the move to provide monthly flavors to satisfy local needs. The employees of Dionysus greeted festival goers with samples and provided information about their brewing techniques. Although they did not have bacon samples, Dionysus did provide a welcoming environment.
Last fall, Bakersfield witnessed the opening of its new local brewery called Temblor. Local restaurants and gas stations have taken notice of Temblor by selling their beverages. Lengthwise and Dionysus are also known locations to serve Temblor drinks. This is the second year that Temblor has participated in the Bacon and Craft Festival. Although they too did not serve bacon products, fans of the brewery lined up for their specialty drinks. One of the favorite beverages called “Under a blood orange sky” was described to have a smooth citrus taste. The beverage itself was dubbed as “refreshing” by the locals waiting in line.
Bacon and craft drinks were not the only highlight of the event. Under the 75-degree weather, festival goers saw themselves participating in over-sized activities. Connect 4 players tried stacking their Frisbee-sized black or red markers in either a straight line or diagonal pattern. CornHole players consisted of two teams with the objective of throwing sacks into an elevated ramp with a hole; often players would stack their sacks on the surface of the board to score more points.
Tensions grew as games often got intense. Thankfully the games echoed with the groans of people painfully congratulating another skilled player followed by a handshake.
One popular destination at the festival was the bacon bar. One could imagine that such a spot would consist of bacon flavored beverages filling the cups of thirsty patrons. Unfortunately the bacon bar did not have the flavored beverage, but they did hand out substantial amounts of bacon strips. If it’s one lesson that the bacon bar has taught anyone it’s that society takes bacon for granted and often we cry at breakfast whenever bacon strips shrink. Sadness was eradicated by the sight of bacon and the Bakersfield Bacon and Craft Festival has brought a community together for the love of bacon.