Beer, BBQ, Bacon. What’s Not to Like?

The Beer BBQ Bacon Showdown in Stanhope on Nov 7 will feature unlimited tastings and a VIP menu by chef Tim Schafer, an authority on cooking with beer.

November 7th’s Beer BBQ Bacon Showdown, being held at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, will bring Tim “The Brew Chef” Schafer back to New Jersey as the VIP Chef of the Day.

Chef Tim Schafer

Chef Tim Schafer

Schafer, who owned and operated Tim Schafer’s Cuisine in Morristown for nearly 15 years before semi-retiring to North Carolina, is an expert at cooking with beer. He will provide a tasting menu between noon and 1 pm for those purchasing $85 VIP tickets (which include admission to the overall beer tasting).

The event, benefiting the nearby Newton Fire Museum, will feature up to 20 New Jersey breweries. Each will present four different styles of beer, with one variety being either a rare brew or one crafted specifically for the BBB Showdown.

The $55 general admission includes unlimited beer sampling (1-5 pm) from your own (included) Mason jar, two live bands and a host of chefs, food trucks and vendors selling all kinds of BBQ and bacon creations.

Breweries will include:

  • Angry Erik – Lafayette Township
  • Beach Haus – Belmar
  • Bolero Snort – Ridgefield Park
  • Carton – Atlantic Highlands
  • Cricket Hill – Fairfield
  • Flying Fish – Somerdale
  • Magnify – Fairfield
  • Ramstein  – Butler
  • Tuckahoe – Oceanview
  • Gaslight Brewery Restaurant – South Orange
  • 902 Brewing – Hoboken
  • River Horse – Lambertville
  • Climax – Roselle Park
  • Forgotten Boardwalk – Cherry Hill
  • Demented – Middlesex
  • Cypress – Edison

Food vendors will include:

  • Hot Rod’s BBQ – Wharton
  • Kimchi Smoke Barbecue – Hackensack
  • NJ Bar and Grill – Mine Hills
  • Smokin’ Chicks Got Wood BBQ – Bridgewater
  • Oink and Moo BBQ – Florham Park
  • Miller’s Ale House – Paramus, Woodbridge
  • Texas Smoke BBQ – Jefferson
  • The Guac Spot – Little Falls

As for Schafer, he has been sharing his cooking-with-beer knowledge for 25 years. “When I first started cooking, buddies of mine would say, ‘Beer…really?’” Undeterred, he predicted the huge growth in craft beer that has come to pass.

“Most brewers are like chefs,” he says. “They’re innovative, they experiment. The business has really gone wild.”

Schafer’s tip, when marrying the bitterness of beer to bacon’s smoky salt, is to add something sweet. It could come from another ingredient, or you could start with a sweeter, less hoppy beer.

For example, his bacon-wrapped pineapple, strawberry and melon will be cooked with a beer-infused balsamic glaze. He will serve his beef, bacon and blue cheese sliders with sweet and tangy blueberry-bacon ketchup.

Other VIP dishes will include garlic-thyme bacon; smoked corn and roasted pepper chowder; and Schafer’s signature Jam “Beer” laya, a take on classic Cajun jambalaya.

His dessert will be a bread pudding made with maple-cured bacon, roasted pumpkin and pecans, served with cinnamon-bacon-vanilla sauce spiked with pumpkin ale.

“Cooking with beer can be tricky,” he says, “and when you introduce bacon it can be double tricky. You really have to take into consideration all the flavor profiles involved.”

Along with a team of judges, he will evaluate the other vendors to select the Best Dish and the Best Beer of the day. Ticket holders can vote for the People’s Choice Award.

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