Bacon. It’s unquestionably the singularly best food to be discovered. Ever. You can add it to everything from salads to Bloody Marys to desserts, eat it all by itself, and even put it on top of other meat (think bacon cheeseburger). And if you’ve got guests coming but the dinner you cooked turns out to be a disaster, just throw a pound of bacon in a frying pan, cut it into pretty bacon confetti, and sprinkle that heavenly greasiness on whatever you made that sucked. Guaranteed fix. I promise.
We have the ancient Chinese to thank for creating the first prototypes of bacon, but the Romans had their version, too. The bacon moniker was dubbed in the 1700s, and now the word rolls off the tongue so easily, just saying it is practically an aphrodisiac. It’s such a wonderful thing, in fact, that a whole 24 hours every year are dedicated to it, and that happens to be tomorrow (December 30).
So, gentle reader, before you proceed, make an appointment with your cardiologist, do twenty sit-ups, and eat a few salads. It’s time to get your bacon on.
Luckily for all of us, brewers have combined the loveliness of bacon and beer. Because who wants to live in a world where nobody’s thought to do that? These beers have been brewed to have notes of bacon in them, even though none of them has actual bacon in it.
Firestone Walker Wookey Jack (Paso Robles, California): Our blind tasting panel loved this black rye IPA, giving it a high-rated 93, and said it’s “roasty with a hint of smoked meat, almost bacon-like, but balanced with a sweet citrus and pine hops character.” It’s big and roasty, with peppery rye, and lots of smoked earthiness.
Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter (Oakland Park, Florida): This was a gold medal−winning beer at the 2016 World Beer Cup, and it’s basically breakfast in a glass. You get your maple syrup, your coffee, some salted chocolate, and lots of rich smokiness. It even has some rich stickiness on the finish! It’s one of Funky Buddha’s small-batch releases.