Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival
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Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival
The first Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival of the season kicked off on Saturday, January 27 and we were there to enjoy every last drop of food a drink. Photo by Ariel Ijadoula.

Even though the winter weather is here for a little while longer, it was nice to get a taste of summer when the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival made its first stop in New York City at the Terminal in Chelsea.

The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival happens every year in cities across the country. The festival features 60 different beers, 40 different bourbons and a lot of great barbecue.

When I walked in, I was greeted by event staff and handed a glass cup to fill up with all the beer and bourbon of my choosing. Vendors lined the walls with treats ready to be devoured and drinks ready to be guzzled.

Bulleit Rye Whisky
Bulleit Rye Whisky has been around for more than 150 years and is just one of the many bourbons featured at the festival. Photo via Trigger Agency.

 

The Food

The bourbon overflowed, the beer was brewin’ and the BBQ was smokin’. Between the bourbon. beer and BBQ, I’m not sure which I had the most of. I enjoyed the Creamed Bacon on Clam Toast at Certé, American Oak Aged Whiskey at Widow Jane and cider from the Sotheby’s. Each vendor had their own twist on American favorites.

My favorite treats of the day had to be from Kloby’s Smokehouse in Laurel, Maryland and Sands Jerk Hut. I had biscuits with a bacon, bourbon brown sugar glaze from Kloby’s and Pineapple Jerk Chicken from Sands Jerk Hut, it was so juicy and tender. I also loved these dishes because they were a nice change of pace from the bacon and beef many vendors were serving.

Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival
BBQ for days. Photo c/o Trigger Agency.

The Atmosphere

As if the vendors weren’t enough, every hour roasted pigs were brought out and carved. Each hog was sponsored by different establishments at the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival. My favorite was again from Kloby’s Smokehouse, it was the juiciest roasted pork I’ve had in a really long time. They topped it with a peppery barbecue sauce giving it a great kick.

I loved how thought out the festival was. The DJ curated a playlist that was so great. I forgot that New York still looked more like a winter wonderland outside rather than a warm beach. Luckily, I ate enough barbecue to last me until the weather breaks and cookout invitations start rolling in.

If you missed out on this years NYC Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival, don’t fret, there’s always next year! And if you can’t wait until then (and I don’t blame you–the food was that good) you’re in luck! The festival will be traveling to 12 other cities across the U.S. for the rest of the year!

Good music, all of the beer and bourbon you can drink, what more can you ask for?

Let us know if you plan on attending a Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival near you. Casandra will be at Atlanta’s festival on March 3. Don’t forget to tag your photos #YumCam and #BeerBourbonBBQ so we can share them!

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Lokal Logo
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Lokal, located at 3190 Commodore Plaza, Miami, FL 33133, combines two things that we love here at Food Before Love – burgers and beer! The Hungry Crew joined me for some of the best burgers and fries Miami has to offer.

THE RESTAURANT

Lokal is a great casual spot with a laid back vibe. When I arrived, the outdoor seating was packed. Luckily, there was enough indoor seating for the Hungry Crew, tucked in the corner under their recognizable “Lokal” sign. The décor was unique and there was enough space for patrons not to feel cramped while still feeling cozy.

Lokal sign
Unmistakable Lokal Signage. Photo by Lokal.

THE FOOD

I have a taste for lighter beers, so I ordered an apple ale while other crew members ordered a Russian Imperial stout and rosé (Yes, wine! Yet another fave here at Food Before Love). Other members of the crew were all about the burgers and passed on the beer.

I wanted to order one of each burger on the menu, but I knew that was not the practical thing to do, so I asked our waitress for her top three burgers. Without hesitation, she named the “Frita by Kush,” “Juan’s Fidy-Fidy,” and “The Lokal.” The crew ordered all these and the “Miami Blues” and “My Childhood Dream.” Each of these burgers had something unique about them. The “Frita” features guava jelly (different – I know, but it’s amazing). The “Fidy-Fidy” features ground beef and ground bacon. The “Miami Blues” is loaded with crispy bacon and salty blue cheese. The showiest burger, “My Childhood Dream,” uses an artisanal donut as a bun!

The wait for our food seemed like forever. However, I tend to exaggerate because I’m always hungry. To pass the time, the Hungry Crew engaged in great conversation. The noise level was perfect – not too loud and not deathly quiet. When our food arrived, all conversation stopped. That’s the hallmark of a delicious meal. I had “The Lokal,” described as “Florida grass-fed burger with a homemade honey mustard using local honey, melted jack cheese, Florida tomatoes, sliced red onions, arugula, and Homestead avocados.” The beef was perfectly seasoned and all of the dressings were super fresh because all of their ingredients are locally sourced. Even the ketchup and honey mustard that’s served with the fries are made in-house.

Lokal burger
Lokal Burger, half french fries, half sweet potato fries, and a refreshing beer to wash it down with. Photo by Chris Molina.

BOTTOM LINE

Overall, I would give Lokal a rating of five out of five french fries. The burgers were perfectly cooked to order, the service was timely and friendly, and the ambiance matched the food – comfortable and casual. If you’d like a delicious burger in Miami, definitely go to Lokal.

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Beer tasting
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Attention all you beer lovers and newbies alike: please join us on Tuesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. for another fun-filled Food Before Love special event. This time, we are heading to Duke’s in NYC for a #WishYouWereBeer tasting! So, if you want to step up your usual after work happy hour game, round up your crew and be there for good times amongst other fellow foodies.

Your $25 ticket gets you five beer tastings including the featured beer of the evening – Bells Brewing. After that beers are just $5 for the duration of the event! As a bonus, Devil’s Backbone will offer three beers on tap as one of your options, plus, a Bell’s Brewing representative will be on deck to give us some beer education and answer any questions. By the end of the night, we will surely be a bit closer to beer connoisseur status!

Wish you were beer
Just $25 gets you some amazing craft beer and fun night out with beer lovers and newbies alike.

Of course we can satisfy our appetites and pair our hoppy drinks with delicious food from Duke’s menu or indulge in half priced tacos. If you’re feeling lucky, you can partake in a game or two of Bingo. Who knows? You may be the one to win one of the prizes!

Ok, we don’t want you to get left out of all this action! So, be sure to purchase your tickets here or below. Come hungry and ready to drink and don’t forget to use #WishYouWereBeer on when posting on social media. We look forward to you joining in and enjoying this experience with us!

Cheers!

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beer overhead
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Because it’s National Beer Lovers Day, we know you want to celebrate the right way. Now, craft beer is becoming a lot easier to find nowadays but there’s something about a place that has an atmosphere that compliments the intricate craft beer it serves. Whether it’s a relaxing patio, a lavish rooftop or sidewalk views, there is something for all occasions and we’ve picked out the best places to enjoy that Double IPA you’ve been looking for on National Beer Lovers Day. 

Covenhoven – Brooklyn

730 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

We will start in Brooklyn at Covenhoven , a relaxing oasis filled with beer lovers, board games and good times. With 16 taps on hand and a wall length fridge of bottles and cans available for on-the-go or on site consumption, they are sure to have something for everyone. Both draft list and the fridge are carefully curated each week to ensure quality regardless of season. The staff is engaging and you are sure to make new friends here.

Top Hops – LES 

94 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Heading across the Williamsburg Bridge to LES lies a true hidden gem in Top Hops. The enormous draft list towering with 18 taps including unique information handily sets it apart from the competition. While many breweries offer information on location and alcohol content, very few, if any, will tell you the last time the beer was tapped to gauge freshness, a luxury true craft beer lovers will appreciate. Toss in free delicious bar snacks, knowledgeable staff, educational events and 600+ bottle and cans from around the world and they may just never leave.

beer-bottles
Photo by Thomas Picauly

Milk & Hops 

166 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

On the quiet side of Chelsea you’ll find Milk and Hops, a craft beer bar and bottle shop. What appears to be a coffee shop from afar actually is a pretty neat location to meet up for business or for pleasure. Taps here tend to be a bit more diverse as I’ve seen beer from as far as Florida on tap. There’s somewhat sidewalk seating available and plenty of light to relax and enjoy. 

La Birreria/Sabbia – Manhattan 

200 Fifth Avenue, Roof, New York, NY 10010

A stone’s throw away you’ll find a brewery but not just any brewery, a rooftop brewery. Residing above Eataly in Flatiron, La Birreria welcomes you with energy and smiles. The selection here stretches internationally but particularly you’ll see special Dogfish Head options that you won’t find anywhere else. Heads up, may be harder to find a seat here but it’s all worth it. Arguably one of the best places to grab a beer in the City, La Birreria is a must amongst beer lovers. 

beer overhead

Singlecut – Queens

19-33 37th St, Astoria, NY 11105

Rounding out the tour we head out to Queens. Yes Queens, specifically Astoria. Grab your beer loving buddies and get away from the City for a bit. Here there are 12 taps with outstanding range of craft beers brewed just behind the main wall. This isn’t an onslaught of IPAs and Pale Ales either, there are sours and Belgian style Ales as well. The tasting room is spacious enough to stretch out a bit, again, this isn’t the City. The “trek” is worth it. 

 

Honorable Mentions: 

Five Boroughs Brewing in Sunset Park 

The Wilky in Bedford Stuyvesant 

Gun Hill Tavern – The Bronx 

This post was brought to you by Black x Crafty. Barry Greene is the founder of Black x Crafty, a movement centered around increasing attention to black owned breweries and craft beer consumers. Bridging the gap, one beer at a time. 

Wish You Were Beer Pin

If you’re looking for a way to be unapologetic about your love for beer, this is certainly the way to do it.  .

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Justice Sweets Nutella Explosion

Cupcakes & Cocktails hosted by Justice Sweets was a night of unlimited cupcakes and unlimited drinks for about three hours. Justice Sweets had an entire layout of 12 different cupcakes that I couldn’t wait to try. I started with the island love, which definitely ranked in my top 3 best tasting cupcake of the evening. The cupcake was described as a “sweet guava cupcake with a passion fruit cream cheese frosting”. The frosting was very tart but meshed perfectly with this delicious cupcake. It literally made me close my eyes in satisfaction and I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of cupcake I want to have all the time.

On to their infamous red velvet cupcake though, I felt the cupcake frosting was very thick and the cupcake itself could almost be considered heavy. It was very, very popular amongst the guests, which is commendable because not everyone can pull off a red velvet cupcake. The Pink lemonade cupcake came with a jolly rancher-like frosting. It truly reminded me of candy but I did feel the cupcake itself lacked moisture.

Justice Sweets Red velvet

Immediately after that, I fell in love. Justice Sweets made my week when I tried the Nutella Explosion cupcake. It was also a crowd favorite and falls at number one in my top 3 list. There’s something about how when something is so good, you just can’t describe it.  I almost ate this same cupcake for the rest of the night but I realized I had 6 more cupcakes to get through.

Justice Sweets Nutella Explosion

For those who know Ms. Justice Sweets personally, know that Martine is a beer girl at heart. So please excuse my high expectations for her version of a blue moon in a cupcake. The orange peel above was a great touch and the cupcake itself was true to its purpose. It’s awesome when you know a baker’s vision and they successfully translate that in what they make, and that was done!

Martine Edmond

Now I don’t know if the woman is just heavy-handed or was trying to get someone drunk, but the Honey Wasted Cupcake was strong. The cupcake itself was a vanilla cake infused with Honey jacked and topped with a light honey vanilla cream. As soon as you bite into it, the smoky air of the Jack Daniel’s floods your taste buds. It was really yummy though and a favorite amongst some guests.

I was actually expecting a similar experience with the Hennessy Cupcake, which was a Vanilla cake infused with Hennessy and topped with Hennessy and cranberry frosting. This cupcake was much lighter on the alcohol end and the sweet frosting was genius. Sticking the liquor theme here, Justice Sweets provided the Morning Glow cupcake, which was a Patron Tequila Sunrise cupcake. The colors were so cute on this one but I actually didn’t taste any patron. Maybe I had one too many cocktails?

Justice Sweets

The Mango Mojito Cupcake was your typical tasty cupcake which some may think was disappointing because I didn’t really get the flavors she aimed for but I was pleasantly enjoying this one. It was just a good cupcake and sometimes that’s all you need.

Last but certainly not least, was the Bad Boy. This is a cupcake that people wouldn’t stop coming up to me about! Ciroc Pineapple cupcake filled, I’ll say that again, filled with crushed pineapples. The frosting on this bad boy blended very well with the cake and I appreciated that it was a soft contrast to the other dominant flavors. The pineapples were very prominent in the cupcake and it was no question as to why this was a favorite.

Justice Sweets has went on and added the nutella explosion, the bad boy, hennesin, pink lemonade, and the island love cupcake to their current menu so again, please don’t hesitate to try them out.

 

Download our FREE NYC Pocket Guide

Do you often find yourself questioning where you should dine this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC pocket guide takes you to 10 Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat. It’s perfect if you’re visiting NYC and are tired of relying on yelp. Let your tastebuds have a party. .

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