Two Casks, a Pig and an Oompah Band

Well it’s that time of year again. Break out those lederhosens & dirndls and get set to party like it’s 19th Century Bavaria because the 2nd Annual Calgary Oktoberfest is almost here! This year there’s a particular attraction that has caught some attention from the local beer geeks. It has been dubbed the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.  I would like to delve into what this is all about.

calgary oktoberfest

The Calgary Oktoberfest will be at the BMO Centre September 26th and 27th.

What the…

Let me explain this further for those of you who have not heard anything about Kevin Bacon or the six degrees that have been attributed to him.

The Kevin in question is not the one who battled gigantic human-hunting earthworms or introduced rock n’ roll to a small town in the Bible Belt. This Kevin is a much poorer dancer; his cloven hooves might make that a little difficult. No, he would much rather wallow in the mud or hunt for truffles. If you need more clarification on what Kevin Bacon represents please see below.

4K Farm & Butchery

Here’s Stephen Lowden having some fun playing in the mud at 4K Farms.

Trust me, all of this is going to make a lot more sense in a minute once I outline the idea behind this.

The boys over at Tool Shed and Last Best wanted to collaborate together to brew some cask ales for the upcoming Oktoberfest. This discussion took place between Graham (the enthusiastic ginger that you see at all of the beer events) and Phil (the chemist/ninja brewmaster behind all of the Last Best beers) during a BBQ at Graham’s house. Basically they decided that they would like to brew something where pork was featured in the beer.

Since pork would be involved they realized that they needed to bring in the Pig & Duke for reinforcements.  Stephen Lowden (one of the owners at the Pig & Duke) figured that the best way to do this would be to go whole hog and showcase the different aspects of an entire pig.

Once the name “Kevin” came up as a suggestion for the name of this project, the number six became the amount of different creations that they needed to come up with.

That was how the idea for the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon came to be.

4K Farms

Stephen also had the idea to use 4K Farms Butchery as the pork supplier. The crew took a trip out to the farm located about an hour outside of Calgary in Swalwell. While visiting, they were able to meet the people working at the farm and found out just how passionate these guys are about what they do.  Check out this video clip from Good Old Fridge to see just how wild it can get down on the farm.

Last Best Brewing & Distilling, Tool Shed Brewing Company, Pig & Duke Neighbourhood Pub

The collaborators all lined up at the 4K Farm.

4K Farms believes in raising their Berkshire pigs free range. They aren’t confined to a little box at all. In fact, they are often in the woods by the farm or taking a roll in the man-made mud puddles. Similar to free range cattle or chicken this freedom results in a much happier and healthier animal and a better product for us consumers to…. well, consume.

All 6 Degrees

The first two degrees of Kevin Bacon will be in the form of cask ale. These farm to pint beers (as Graham likes to put it) will be Tool Shed & Last Best’s contributions. And they sound pretty fantastic if I may say so myself.

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Brew Day

The guys brewed their beer using Tool Shed’s Blichmann system on the Last Best patio.

One of these degrees will be Tool Shed‘s Red Rage with some candied maple pork belly added. I can see the rich and sweet flavours from the maple pork belly playing nicely with the coffee, chocolate & roasted flavours that come from the red ale’s diverse malt profile.

Oh and There Will Be Porter, you can count on that. This English porter from Last Best will be paired with smoky rye whiskey bacon. A touch of smoke will really compliment the roasted flavours from the malts and the slight spiciness from the rye whiskey will add another layer to the hints of toffee, coffee and cocoa that I pick up.

The remaining four degrees will be coming from the team of pub food champs over at The Pig & Duke. This pork tasting extravaganza  will be a pulled pork slider featuring slow cooked pork shoulder with some cured peppered bacon and a little bacon fat chipotle aioli. On top of all of this there is going to be a skewer of double smoked candied bacon. Damn, I think that I’m going to really make a pig of myself eating this!

Ein Prosit der Köchin!

I have been looking forward to Oktoberfest for a while because I really had a good time last year. This whole Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing has only made me even more eager to get my Bavarian drinking pants on and polka the night away.

Hopefully I will see you there so that we can raise a cheers to local craft beer, good food & to all of the Kevins out there!

2 thoughts on “Two Casks, a Pig and an Oompah Band

  1. Pingback: Prost! to a bit of Germany at Calgary Oktoberfest | News

  2. Pingback: Prost! to a bit of Germany at Calgary Oktoberfest | Calgary Herald

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