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Brew Dude: Dec. 1, 2018

December 2, 2018

Bourbon, Bacon and Beer Festival is coming back for another year with a new twist. The Hoppy Pig’s Tom Spellman is taking the fest to Northfield Square mall from 3 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8.

Tickets cost $5 for entry, and individual drink tickets are 75 cents after that. The $5 entry fee will allow you to sample some free beverage options. The 75-cent drink tickets are good for 3-ounce samples of beer or one-quarter-ounce samples of bourbons and whiskeys.

Most of the options will be between one and three drink tickets, and some of the more rare, small-batch and limited-release options can be more than three tickets. B3 fest looks to have more than 250 different bourbons, whiskeys, ryes and other spirits and 20 different breweries represented at the fest.

Other than the beer and whiskey samples there is plenty else for fest goers to look forward to, such as a pop-up cocktail bar, restaurant gift cards and a chance to win rare bottles of bourbon. The 20 different breweries include local favorites such as Brickstone Brewery & Restaurant, One Trick Pony Brewing, Haymarket Brewing, Revolution Brewing and plenty of others.

This will be the coming-out party for our local Steam Hollow Brewing of Manteno.

Blane White has made some massive progress in getting Steam Hollow up and running, but he still is a little ways off. Most of the big, shiny things are inside the doors of Steam Hollow on Spruce Street in Manteno but still need to be assembled.

Steam Hollow Brewing was able to brew some beers for this event at Hailstorm Brewing in Tinley Park to have something ready for local fest-goers. I can’t wait to sample some beers from Blane in preparation for Steam Hollow to be fully operational.

The other component of the fest I haven’t even mentioned is the bacon. B3 Fest looks to have two bacon-eating competitions, as well as bacon-inspired food and snacks. All food products require cash, as the tickets are only for drinks.

I’m not an expert on spirits whatsoever, but I’m often in the places where beer and bourbon are being poured and have sampled my fair share of fancy bourbon. From the list of vendors available on B3’s website, bourbonbaconbeerfest.com, I recognized vendors such as Buffalo Trace, High West and Woodford Reserve.

I often see names on beer labels of bourbon-barrel aged imperial stouts, especially at this time of year. I can’t wait to try some of the bourbons brewers are drawn to when they choose what to age their imperial stouts in.

White told me Steam Hollow Brewing will be bringing out two — possibly three — beers for B3 Fest this year:

• Steam Hollow Pale Ale: Single-hopped with Cascade hops. Simple, balanced, citrusy

• 2nd Breakfast Russian Imperial Stout: Barrel-aged coffee, Ghirardelli chocolate and bourbon-aged maple syrup.

“Natalie and I are super excited that Tom from Hoppy Pig asked us to serve at B3,” said White, who is also the head brewer. “It will be our first beer fest as Steam Hollow Brewing Co. We can’t wait for Dec. 8 to get here.”

Blane also told me Steam Hollow Pale Ale is going to be their flagship Pale Ale when the brewery opens. This beer has a historic column throwback to the first column I wrote about White when he was going by Doublejack Homebrewing out of his garage in Manteno.

When I interviewed him for that column, he asked what I was going to be doing when the beer would be ready to keg. I said I would be at the hospital with my wife, Sam, who would be giving birth to our daughter, Penelope. So, for that brew session, Blane said he would call it Penelope’s Pale Ale, and the name stuck and so did our friendship.

Blane now is going to be brewing a fantastic Pale Ale for B3 Fest, and I am excited to taste a full scale version of this special beer.

I am excited to see what The Hoppy Pig is able to deliver for this year’s edition of B3 Fest, Kankakee’s premier craft beer and spirits festival.

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