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Hog Heaven: Southwest Bacon Fest set for April 15

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Get high on the hog during the Southwest Bacon Fest.

This pork lovers’ dream, which will be held on April 15 at Balloon Fiesta Park, will feature about 50 food trucks and chefs cooking, brewing and whipping up bacon-inspired goodies.

“What is really exciting about this event is the chefs. They’re so inspired, honestly, because bacon is just an incredible ingredient to anything,” said event co-founder Dean Strober of Blue River Productions. “Whether they’re making bacon tacos, bacon burgers, bacon cookies or candy, it’s pretty amazing. All these restaurants, whether it’s Zacatecas (Tacos + Tequila) or a food truck or Chama River (Brewing Co.), they all create things that are totally off-menu. You won’t find these dishes at their restaurants, so it’s certainly exciting.”

Food vendors include Blazin’ Cajun, Curbside Pies, Elixir Boutique Chocolates, Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ, Mike’s Jerky, Pig Donut Co., Street Food Blvd, The Cornivore, The Lunch Box Food Truck and others.

Strober said he works hard to not have duplicate vendors selling the same edibles.

“You’re not going to see five different bacon tacos or bacon pizza places, because it’s really important for them to make money and be unique and different,” he said. “It’s really important for the attendees to get as much of a variety as possible, so we just try to work closely with those who are interested to curate a really wide selection of different types of vendors who are all going to bring out different types of bacon dishes.”

Wash down the bacon-influenced food and confections with craft beer from 13 New Mexico breweries including Bosque Brewing Co., Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Chama River Brewing Co., Kaktus Brewing Co., Marble Brewery, Quarter Celtic Brewpub, Santa Fe Brewing Co., Tractor Brewing Co. and others. Some local wineries and distilleries also will be part of the event. Most will offer bacon-infused beers and incorporate bacon into their cocktails.

Three blues bands – the Blues Guild of Albuquerque, Bosque Blues and Joanie Cere and Her A+ Blues Band – will perform.

“When you’re eating something rich and hearty like bacon and you’re washing it down with some great beer, it just seems like blues has that same rich, soulful feel to it that the bacon and the beer do,” Strober said.

Experience the festival and save some money with the Bacon & Beer Premier Pass for $35. The pass includes eight Bacon Bite tokens that can be exchanged at any vendor for a bacon dish. Tokens also can be used for 6-ounce beers from any brewery.

“You’ll get our commemorative glass, and you can go around and get a bacon dish or beer from any eight vendors,” Strober said. “If you look at the fact that a lot of the bacon dishes will sell for $4 to $5, it’s a really good deal. I mean, you can really get full.”

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