Bacon and Beer Fest 2012: Probably Not Going Again

April 29, 2012 at 11:47 PM (Events, Food) (, , )

Yesterday was what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of the year – right up there with my birthday, Christmas and the first day that Oktoberfests hit the shelves – EAT’s Bacon and Beer Festival 2012. I was lucky enough to attend last year, and it had been about three hours of pure bliss, filled with bacon-inspired dishes from some of Boston’s greatest eateries and some uncommon beers from local breweries. Brittany, meet your element. This year, I wish I could hold that same enthusiasm.

While both concept and goal (benefiting local hunger relief organizations Lovin’ Spoonfuls and Community Servings) remained unchanged, two deal-breaking details did: attendance and venue. I anticipated that there would be crowds and lines. I did not anticipate so much of both that the overall experience would suffer. After 45 minutes of waiting in line to get in to House of Blues, my foodie friend and I were eager to make our way to the first station. If only we could find it: it was hard to tell with all the other attendees trying to figure out what was a line and what was just a mess of people. Earlier in the day I had entertained dreams of taking pictures of every station so I’d be able to blog about my favourites later. I now look back at that dream and have to laugh at my ignorant optimism. Half the time I was lucky when I realized what I was even waiting in line for.

While downstairs was a train wreck, upstairs was nothing short of a death wish (and at least 10 degrees hotter), with masses of people crammed along the walls trying to score some bacon, beer or fresh air. I wouldn’t describe myself as claustrophobic, but there had to be some break in fire code, if nothing else – wouldn’t that stress you out?

I was tolerant for a while until I learned of an offense even greater than fire code violation: exhaustion of provisions. Not even halfway into the event, and already at least three (that I knew of, maybe more) vendors were out of bacon. Unacceptable. There was plenty of bacon ice cream, but tough noogies if you wanted meatballs, beer-zpacho or nachos. Bacon ice cream was a cool idea the first time. Afterward, it just got annoying (especially if you didn’t realize you were waiting for it again). once I found out that food was disappearing, I didn’t stick around long afterward. I had experienced enough disillusionment for one day.

Last year had been hectic, but Royale had proven to be less of a death-trap venue-wise, and I don’t recall as many vendors packing up and leaving so early there, either. Like SXSW, the Bacon and Beer Fest may have become too popular for me to fully appreciate attending. Unless the venue changes and/or fewer people attend next year, you may be hard-pressed to find me among the masses.

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