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As I walked into The Tunnel, a large industrial space in Chelsea playing host the fourth annual Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival, my Southern senses were taken back down beneath the Mason Dixon Line.

The smoky aroma of wood chips burning lingered in the air, taking me back to my childhood in Tennessee, while each sip of the over 40 bourbon vendors immediately transported me to college days in the Smoky Mountains.

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Pit masters from North Carolina to Texas to New York offered samplings of their slow-cooked meats — pulled pork from whole hogs, ribs, brisket, chickens, sausages — with unlimited tastings from 60 different craft and mega breweries to wash it down. Bluegrass music from a live band filled the air, as revelers tapped into their Southern spirits.

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The festival was divided into two all-you-care-to-taste extravaganzas: The Bacon Bash and the Whole Hog Pig Pickin’.

I opted to attend the Bacon Bash, which featured a bacon buffet steaming with juicy gourmet varieties such as smoked maple and jalapeno. A true heaven for any bacon aficionado.

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Ticket holders also had the opportunity to attend tasting seminars, perfecting their palate with rare and precious bourbons from master distillers, brewmasters and pit masters whose skills were sharpened in the Deep South.

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If you missed this year’s #aporkalypse, there’s always next year, as the event always falls on a Saturday in January. Though, you might want to start your tasting training now…

– Brittny