Bacon, pepper jack cheese, and an egg over easy make the tailgate.

Here we stand at the close of another season. While this one has had its rough patches, I’m going to remember the early season wins and “fighting ever, fighting or a Wildcat Victory” close calls against the Big 12’s best, the Pride of Wildcatland celebrating their Sudler Trophy win, the last minute win over Iowa State and the blistering we just put on KU. But now it’s time to close it out and go bowling. It’s time to bring home the bacon.

For you BLT purists out there, this post probably isn’t for you. That’s not to say that I have anything against a good traditional BLT. But I do know that bacon can and should do better.

Think about it – the BLT is the ultimate tailgate sandwich. But to do it right, it should include ingredients beyond the L and the T, neither of which are tailgate friendly.

Of course you start with the basics – good bread and crispy bacon. Beyond that, this sandwich is an open palette, just waiting for some creativity. Bring your tailgate sandwich game with the addition of a few simple ingredient combinations:
• Sliced green apple, blue cheese and raspberry jam
• Peanut butter, sharp cheddar cheese and jalapenos
• Egg over easy, pepper jack cheese and a shingle of hash browns

Elevate the game further with the addition of sriracha, chipotle mayo, avocado, fried green tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, banana peppers, and your other favorite sandwich ingredients.

Fruity, hoppy and wholly wonderful.

Fruity, hoppy and wholly wonderful.

Whatever you can, prepare in advance and bring a cooler, ready to re-heat on the grill or a camp stove. Heat the bread until it’s toasty, melting the cheese into your bacon and then stack on your favorite ingredients.

Given the variety of ingredients that could be included, there are a lot of different beers that I could recommend. As a rule, I’d say the darker your bread and other ingredients in general, the darker your beer should be. I’ll offer a couple of options though.

A Boulevard original everyone will enjoy.

A Boulevard original everyone will enjoy.

My new favorite is Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point in San Diego – it’s a recent find here in Kansas and Missouri, but definitely worth the search. Fruity, bitter and completely refreshing, it’s a great addition to beer cases across the Midwest and more importantly, my tailgate cooler.

An option that might be more broadly enjoyable by tailgaters and passersby alike, the Boulevard Brewing KC Pils. Clean, mildly hoppy and malty, and great for enjoying before the game.

Paired with a sunny afternoon and the final football game of the season on the schedule, it’s time to bring home the bacon. See you on the lot.

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