This past Saturday not only marked the first official day of summer, it also marked the first official Beer, Bourbon and Bacon Festival in the Hudson Valley. What many might say is a trifecta of sorts! Not to get too serious but before I get into my festival favorites I'd like to send condolences to those affected my the fire at the Eveready Diner in Rhinebeck. Of course very sad but glad that no one was hurt and thanks to all the first responders. Ok...enough serious chatter, onto the good stuff!

But what was the good stuff...was it the beer? The bourbon? Or the Bacon? Some might say the only thing lacking was more bacon but I feel for the first of it's kind in our area it was an amazing showing. The beer by far was in no short supply. I'm almost positive that there was more beer at the festival than at TAP NY...GASP...dare I say that! TAP is certainly large, spread out a little more for sure but I can with certainty say this festival gave TAP a run for it's money in the variety category. Here are a few of my favorites...

Of course Ommegang never disappoints with their light and airy Belgian ale Fleur De Houblon (Hop Flowers). This brew is brand new for summer and is perfectly refreshing! Ommegang uses whole-cone Bravo hops that create unqiue earthy, fruity and floral tones. A must for this summer season!

(Click the beer images to find more details on the brews!)

Another winner in my book was the Shiner Ruby'll send a trend with all my picks btw...light and crisp summer style brews. Im a witt girl myself and believe wheats, wit's, hefeweizens should never go out of style. The Ruby Redbird is a perfect mix, not to light and has a kick of tart tastes that makes this brew unique.

And then my number one favorite....drum roll.....Jack's Abby Brewing's Leisure Time Lager! That's right I do enjoy a lager (yes I'm aware it's just another way to say light beer) but's not just that. This beer was certainly outside my normal german style wheat. This gem of a beer combines spices like lemongrass, coriander, orange peel and chamomile. The spices are blended to perfection along with a crisp citrusy flavor balanced with just the right kick of floral hops. Delicious!

And of course these were just three of over a hundred brews flowing through the kegs at the Dutchess County Fairground. Props to all the amazing beers that made an appearance and then there was the Bourbon and Bacon! I'll be honest...after "testing" all of the beers so I could tell you about them I failed to do my due diligence and taste all the bourbons. (Not really my thing to be honest) but from what I hear they were all amazing (cop out ). The food was also kick butt, many of the BBQ vendors sold out before the festival was even over! All I can say is the Beer, Bourbon and Bacon Festival was an amazing success and props to all the volunteers, organizers and participants. I cant wait for next year! Prost!