Beer Bacon Music Festival aims for greatness with first pours

Beer Bacon Music organizer Kenneth MacFawn is treating the Frederick festival as if its entering its third year, even though its first-ever suds have yet to be consumed.

In the first year, “people don’t fully know what to expect,” MacFawn said in an interview with The Frederick News-Post. The second year is the sophomore slump, that time period for an artist in which his or her second effort out of the gate fails to measure up to the initial big splash.

By the third year “you just work out all the kinks and you’re ready for greatness,” MacFawn said.

Beer Bacon Music is set to offer greatness on a grand scale with more than 30 breweries lined up featuring more than 100 beers Saturday and Sunday at the Frederick Fairgrounds. Breweries include some relatively local offerings, including Baltimore’s DuClaw, Virginia’s Starr Hill and Pennsylvania’s Victory and Troegs. Other offerings include Brooklyn Brewery, Portland, Oregon’s Widmer Bros., St. Louis, Missouri’s Schlafly and Raleigh, North Carolina’s Lonerider.

In addition to the established brewers’ offerings, the festival includes a homebrew competition. A total of 288 brewers sent their entries for judging with a winner to be named on site. Sadly, that beer won’t get widespread consumption beyond the judges.

“Unfortunately, it’s illegal,” MacFawn said.

And then there’s the bacon. More than 2 tons of the salty, fatty goodness prepared in a variety of ways will be available via a bacon bar being arranged at the site. Additional dishes, prepared by chefs from restaurants including JB Seafood, Mistero Bar and Italian Grille and Firestone’s Culinary Tavern, to name a few, will also be available at additional cost.

Ten bands are also scheduled to play across both days, including Kwesi K and Drunk Naked Pirates, who are on tap for a Sunday set.

MacFawn is currently partial to Troegs’ Perpetual IPA, though even that “depends on the day,” he said. He looks for the unusual when considering beers. He’s particularly looking forward to tasting St. Ambroise’s Oatmeal Stout, available only to VIP ticket-holders at the festival.

Several types of tickets for attendance are available, including a one-day VIP ticket for $125. One-day passes run $45 or $65 to attend Saturday and Sunday. That pass includes a souvenir glass, though each sample costs a penny with proceeds going to Cocktails for a Cause Maryland to assist nonprofits. Designated driver entry is $25 and includes the bacon bar and root beer. Children age 8 and younger can enter for free.

MacFawn previously worked as marketing manager at Flying Dog and now handles craft beer for Wantz Distributors Inc. He said he wanted to bring greater awareness to craft beer and home brewing as well as promote tourism in Frederick, where he grew up.

Beer Bacon Music comes just as other high profile events are scheduled to begin to highlight suds from across the region in Frederick and coincides with the end of American Craft Beer Week, May 12-18. The Maryland Craft Beer Festival is set to kick off along Carroll Creek on May 31 and will highlight brews from across the state. Frederick Beer Week starts May 30 and runs until June 7 with events across the city, culminating in a festival at Mount Airy’s Stillpoint Farm.

Frederick Beer Week organizer Kevin Smith said it may take two or three years to determine if the region can support the number of events popping up around Frederick but for now, the more the merrier. While overall beer sales decreased by 2 percent last year, craft sales were up by 16 percent, he said. Beer drinkers are thirsty for craft.

There were about 1,500 craft breweries in the United States about five years ago, Smith said. That number has now more than doubled, he said.

“We’re finally at pre-prohibition numbers for the number of breweries producing beers,” Smith said.

Michelle Kershner, business development specialist for Frederick’s Department of Economic Development, said there are no real stats on how the number of beer-related events influence the local economy but anecdotally, businesses and hotels report positive results.

“I think it’s good exposure for Frederick,” Kershner said.

With his own event planned, MacFawn said he’s aiming for an “unintimidating” atmosphere “where people can have fun and learn about craft beer.

“Everyone has an opinion,” he said. “I like a lot of beers. In my line of work, you never know what somebody is going to like.”

(15) comments

thefourporkmen

here's the link to the maryland attorney general consumer protection division to file a complaint through them and ask for a refund:

https://web.oag.state.md.us/editor/customer/onlineformhelpers/formviewer.aspx?filename=MUGeneral.htm

you can also email the event organizers directly at tap@beerbaconmusic.com - but going through the attorney general will probably get more accomplished.

This was a complete scam. They took in well over $200,000 from the ticket sales - and they gave away $10,000 to charity and $7,000 in prizes. So the remaining $183,000+ went to what exactly. 4,000 pounds of bacon would cost less than $30,000. The staff was made up of volunteers. the bands were local small bands playing on a tiny make shift stage - so entertainment wasn't a big part of the budget. It seems like this event was jsut the promoters trying to line their own pockets under the guise of charity while screwing over the consumer.

emuumuumuu

Straight up scam. 90 min waits for prepurchasers, yet those paying cash at the doors got in immediately. Bacon was gone by 130, lines for a single beer sample were 20 min plus. What a joke. I'll be pursuing a charge back with my cc company.

thefourporkmen

here's the link to the maryland attorney general consumer protection division to file a complaint through them and ask for a refund:

https://web.oag.state.md.us/editor/customer/onlineformhelpers/formviewer.aspx?filename=MUGeneral.htm

you can also email the event organizers directly at tap@beerbaconmusic.com - but going through the attorney general will probably get more accomplished.

Groz

This event was a borderline scam. Showed up early, just to wait 90+ minutes to enter with my pre-purchased ticket. There was no bacon to be had at the 2-ton bacon bar. The advertised 100+ beers were maybe half that number. I hope Frederick News Post writes a follow up to this disaster.

thefourporkmen

here's the link to the maryland attorney general consumer protection division to file a complaint through them and ask for a refund:

https://web.oag.state.md.us/editor/customer/onlineformhelpers/formviewer.aspx?filename=MUGeneral.htm

you can also email the event organizers directly at tap@beerbaconmusic.com - but going through the attorney general will probably get more accomplished.

corkscrewbrews

This was extremely poorly organized. Most attendees and homebrewers who had their tickets well in advance had to wait in line sometimes over an hour to get in. Lines for beer were waaaayyyyy to long and infringed on the people who were just sitting around having a good time. Took 45 minutes to get 4 peeves of bacon at the beginning. Waited another 45 minutes to get something from a food truck.

I think the event showed a lot of promise but they need a bigger venue and better logistics. Can't wait till the third year when they get past the "sophomore slump".

Nickh

MacFawn should be embarrassed of himself and his attempt at a festival. This was a poorly designed and executed event from the start. To run out of bacon two hours into a "bacon festival" is unforgivable.

thefourporkmen

here's the link to the maryland attorney general consumer protection division to file a complaint through them and ask for a refund:

https://web.oag.state.md.us/editor/customer/onlineformhelpers/formviewer.aspx?filename=MUGeneral.htm

you can also email the event organizers directly at tap@beerbaconmusic.com - but going through the attorney general will probably get more accomplished.

DaveSM

The trend towards the VIP tickets at these events is disappointing

m21701m

Will the liquor board be there making sure no one has a good time?

Extra Ignored

Gee the Liquor Board will let them start at 6 AM on Saturday so they could have eggs and toast with their beer bacon music. Why are they starting so late?

Now Sunday that is a different story you know. You can't have beer bacon music brunch until 11 AM.

kingesquivel

$45 and no beer? [sad]

emuumuumuu

Samples are a penny each with the $45 ticket.

Extra Ignored

So are we talking a 1 ounce sample or an 8 ounce sample?

lurksaroundshadows

Since it is beer, it should be a 3 ounce sample. Wine and liquor are supposed to always be 1 ounce.

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