I’ve said for years that the ultimate whiskey and food pairing is bourbon and barbecue. That this layup of a lip-smacking linkup is so underutilized on restaurant menus is nothing short lunacy. The shared flavor components—smoke and char—are obvious. Add in the best elements are the contrasts of salt vs. sweet and coating (fat) vs. cleansing (alcohol) and you’ve got unrivaled and explosive flavors on the palate.
Equally overdue is a festival linking these two. This year’s inaugural Bourbon & Barbecue Louisville, however, will end that silly streak. On Nov. 11-12 (Friday-Saturday), 20+ chefs and pitmasters will team up with 20+ whiskey makers to show how well these two favorites go together. American standards of long-smoked beef and pork will be plentiful along some unique global takes on slow-smoked foods. The chance to sip whiskey as you enjoy them … that’s why you come!
Sure, there’ll be live music, a TV tent where you can catch your favorite college teams in action, a VIP experience in which you can see chef demos and get special whiskey pours, and it’ll all happen on the Great Lawn in Louisville’s Waterfront Park. This new setting overlooks the historic Ohio River, where bourbon-barrel-laden flatboats once cruised southward in the 1800s to New Orleans’ famed Bourbon Street port.
And don’t forget, the official rollout of the DrinkCuriouspodcast will happen there and run through both days. Grab a pour, pull up a chair and check your feelings at the (tent) door as Pops Garrett and I interview loads of interesting whiskey and barbecue personalities.
Bourbon & Banter has negotiated a 15% discount for tickets purchased before November 1st using code BANTER15. Just click on the blue Enter a Promo Code during checkout.
1. 20+ Distillers paired with 20+ Pitmasters/Chefs for an all-inclusive Loudie (Louisville Foodie) event.
2. Pitmasters and Chefs will create a 2-3 oz taste that has a corresponding Distiller cocktail designed to be paired with the food creations.
3. BBL also includes live music, a bourbon education and podcast experience, a college football tent and a cigar lounge.
3. The event is 21+; designated driver tickets are available (also 21+) and there is no parking - safety first!
Steve Coomes is editor of BourbonBanter.com. A Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living over his 31-year journalism career. As a spirits writer, Steve's work can be found in Bourbon Plus, Bourbon Review, Bourbon & Banter, WhiskeyWash.com and other publications. In 2014, he authored the book, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and has authored other titles as a private ghostwriter.
Read Steve's full profile.