Bacon enjoys a reputation as a fun and popular food. It’s so popular that entire festivals are held in its honor and there is even an International Bacon Day. This day to revere bacon, generally celebrated the Saturday before Labor Day, falls at the advent of Oktoberfest.
Summit County has already celebrated two Oktoberfests, in Frisco and Keystone, with another on the way in Breckenridge this weekend, and fall is only just getting started.
Fortunately, for those who want to keep the bacon celebration going while enjoying the frosty brews of fall, there are plenty of ways to get a fix for both bacon and beer here in Summit County.
“Bacon and beer go so well together,” said Justin Brunson, chef and owner of the Denver Bacon Company, as well as restaurants Masterpiece Delicatessen and Old Major. “The whole smoky, saltiness of bacon goes great with beer, especially German-style beers.”
Brunson and his bacon-business partner, Eric Clayman, made an appearance at the Keystone Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour this summer. The pair has quickly grown the bacon company and now routinely make 1,000 pounds of bacon with each batch.
For that extra bacon-y touch to any fall barbecue or Oktoberfest pre- or post-celebration, Brunson suggested bacon wrapped scallops — a combination of scallops and bacon on skewers — combining the smokiness and salt of the bacon with the sweet flavor of the scallops.
To wash it down, Brunson suggested the Sour Apple Saison from Epic Brewing Company, which is just about to open a Denver location.
Fall is also the advent of everything pumpkin, from pumpkin-flavored beer and coffee drinks to actual pumpkins. Although the two might not sound like an immediate combination, bacon and pumpkin can go quite well together, Brunson said. In fact, he’s currently planning his fall menu to include a braised bacon and pumpkin soup.
Although Oktoberfest celebrations come and go, the German beer celebration is always happening at Prost in Frisco. Named after the word for “cheers!” in German, Prost is a Bavarian-style restaurant that has brought a taste of Europe to Summit County for the past three years.
Currently, Prost is celebrating its Oktoberfest menu, which includes three different Oktoberfest beers on tap — Hofbrau Dunkel, Paulander Oktoberfest and the Ayinger Celebrator. These beers were specifically chosen because they are the official beers that will be served at the original Oktoberfest held in Munich.
“If you walk into the Hofbrauhaus tent in Munich, you’d have the same beer we’re having here,” said Prost owner Scott Pohlman. “You don’t have to travel all that way to have the same beers.”
Although they don’t have bacon, they do have the next best thing — authentic German bratwurst and sausages. The Weiss sausage, made from veal, is one traditionally served at the Munich Oktoberfest. There is also the Prost signature sausage, featuring a pork brat made with Paulaner Oktoberfest beer, which “pairs perfectly” with any three of the Oktoberfest beers on tap, Pohlman said.
Although Pohlman has visited the Munich Oktoberfest three times, he said he’s happy to be spending this year’s celebration in Summit County. He described the Munich festival as “overwhelming,” although now he’s got the hang of it.
Prost will be celebrating the same Oktoberfest dates as Munich, starting Sept. 20.
“We’re doing a big shindig that night,” he said, including music from Those Austrian Guys, who have been playing at the local Summit County Oktoberfests.
Whether the craving hits for bacon, beer, brats or all three at once, there is definitely a way to satisfy it this fall in Summit County.