Pig, Pork, Beer, Wine, and Cider. I Pigged out at Pig Island!

Look! I found bacon seeds!
Look! I found bacon seeds!

One thing I do enjoy about living in NYC are the abundance of outdoor events we can enjoy here. I do sometimes forget that we live along the water right on the Atlantic Ocean and the multiple waterfronts offer amazing views for ample public events to take place.  I happened to partake in one this weekend called Pig Island, and it was on the waterfront in Red Hook, Brooklyn. As the name implies this one was all about the pork and I did make quite a pig out of myself. Beer, cider, wine, pig and pork products. Oh my! The tickets were all inclusive and we took full advantage of it. Talk about being a total piggy! By the end of the day we rolled out of there. I ate so much pig! Drank so much beer and cider! Oink!

Funky waterfront views! Looks fun to play on when a bit tipsy!

The day started out hot and sweaty and pretty much stayed that way all afternoon. It felt like a sauna all day with little relief in sight. What happened to the nice summer weather we had all season? This week after Labor Day was that hottest it’s been all year. Good thing for the cold beers and ciders I consumed thoughout the event! I do have to say I was a bit disappointed that there were no water stations set up, and no one I saw selling bottles of water at their booths. On a hot day like this it would have made sense. Not many, including myself, was particularly rushing over to drink any of the wines offered. Not when it was a humid near 90 degree day. Just too hot for wine. Maybe something the event organizers should keep in mind for next year. Water is a must. I do have to say that the NY state beers and ciders I sampled were quality and I enjoyed every one that touched my lips. Six Point beer, Singlecut beer, Barrier Brewery beer, and assorted Hudson Valley hard ciders kept me cool and offered a refreshing buzz during the day’s festivities. One importer that had a cider booth introduced me to a German apple cider that was absolutely crisp and refreshing. I could have drank this one all afternoon! The Singlecut beer was outstanding and I really enjoyed their IPA and other brews.

Fire it up and shoot that cider right into my mouth!

Being a veteran of many outdoor food and drink events I have become accustomed to using the porta potties to take care of business. We all know to hold it in and not tap the keg for as long as possible. After downing many beers and ciders it was only a matter of time before my bladder said “no mas”! Luck would have it that festival was taking place right in front of IKEA also located on the waterfront. We asked if our media bracelets would get us back in if we left and were pleased that we had in and out privileges. So of course we were smarter than most and decided to take a bathroom and AC break over in IKEA. You can’t beat cold air conditioning, clean bathrooms, lounging out on the sofa sectionals, playing with the goofy Swedish toys and plush animals, and then scarfing down a plate of Swedish meatballs. Yeah, I know this was total gluttony considering the all you can eat pork that we were experiencing at Pig Island outside, but it was IKEA! When making the pilgrimage there eating some meatballs are a must! Heck, they were actually pretty damn tasty. Who knows, as I was a bit tipsy at this point from the booze and the heat. I think they were good. Ja!

Swedish meatballs! Ja!

When we decided to head back out to the food fest and leave the comforts of IKEA behind it was around 2pm. We had arrived a bit early at 11am which was about a half hour before opening. Being on the media list got us in early so we avoided the long line that had started to grow and had a 30 minute head start on the crowd. It was great as we had some VIP time to walk around, check out some food booths, and try out some terrific ciders. Get the lay of the land and figure out what to taste first and what to come back to. It also gave us some one on one time to speak with the vendors and learn about their products. I was impressed by the friendliness, passion, and knowledge that many we spoke to had when showing us their wares. Booth after booth we elicited moans of food ecstasy when taking bite after bite of wonderful pork and assorted pork concoctions. Pork sliders, pulled pork, BBQ, gourmet pork, pork churrascaria, pork corn bread, roasted pig, pork salad, pork spring rolls, pork belly, pork tacos, and so much more. So much pig! There were even a few desserts offered such as locally made key lime pie. Oh yeah! Get in my belly! By around 3pm we were stuffed and decided to roll out of there before the 4:30pm ending time. Was probably better off as it seemed about to rain as a storm was headed our way. We avoided that and also the inevitable mad crowd rush at the end of the event. Again, as an experienced festival goer you learn the tricks of the trade and how to get the most out of these days. Get there early, well before opening, and never stay until the end. Hit up the booths farthest from the main entrance first. Avoid porta potties if at all possible. Enjoy and have fun. Don’t take it too seriously even if people and crowds drive you crazy!

Hot hazy end of summer Saturday festivities.

Speaking of the crowd it was a bit busy but manageable in my opinion. The lines at the beer and cider booths were the longest as you can imagine on a hot day like this. At the food vendors the lines moved quickly, and it was never a long wait to put something delicious in our mouths. Many people brought blankets, lawn chairs, and umbrellas to spread out on the grass in a picnic-like atmosphere. It was an overall friendly and pleasant group here on this day, if a bit wilted and sticky from the heat. Also, I have to note that we took the free water taxi from Manhattan. It’s a quick trip from Pier 11 and is offered at no charge on weekends to take people back and forth to IKEA here on the Erie Basin Park waterfront in Red Hook. Gotta love a free ride! Only problem I noticed is that they should have arranged more boats to transport the crowds, especially from what we experienced when leaving at 3pm. The line was already long, and the boat that arrived could only take half of us. We were told there was a 45 minute wait until the next. I remembered there is a free shuttle bus from IKEA to a few main subway hubs just minutes away so we jumped off the line and grabbed the shuttle which worked out well. Again, gotta love a free ride! Hope all those that stuck around to the end took advantage of the shuttle too if they missed a boat.

My friend Kristy and I posing just before the pork onslaught we were about to embark upon!

Overall, we had a terrific day at Pig Island experiencing some delish pork plates while washing it down with some delightful NY state brews and ciders. (check out Kristy’s food porn blog at http://quinngoldie.wordpress.com/ ) It was not a huge event as there were around 25 vendors and chefs showcasing their products, but it was just the right size for this venue and location. So many good things to eat and taste here. I would definitely go back to dine at some of these restaurants in the future. Oink for sure! Following are some sights from the day to drool over. Food porn!

Pork sliders!
Pork belly! The sample portion here was like a full meal!
I really need this set up in my apartment.
Oh, yes please! I’ll take it all.
Refreshing cider on a hot day.
The Pig Guy doing his thing.
Amazing pulled pork with more of a curry base.
So much pork. So little time.
Such a cool area for an outdoor event – Erie Basin Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Eat all the corn! That cornbread in the background was like crack!
Sixpoint beers hit the spot!
These pork hot dogs in natural casing were ridiculously good!
Live music is always a plus!
I was hoping this watermelon was filled with vodka!
Guacamole goes great with everything! Including pork!
Cut me a slab please!
Eeenie, meenie, miney. mo! That German cider from Freyeisen was terrific!
Just another food porn pic. Drool.
Proper cutting tools are always a must in the kitchen!
Look! There were some green things here too! I think these are called vegetables.
Big props to all who worked so hard all afternoon in the stifling heat and humidity for our pig pleasure!
I want to put blueberry BBQ sauce on everything I eat!
There’s just so much so right with this!
Setting up. The calm before the feasting crowd.
A view of IKEA in the background. So much good pig here!
No barriers to me getting a tasty brew here!
Vendors lined up and ready to go.
The extra time we had as press was terrific. Had first shot to chat with and experience what many had to offer!
Is that tray all for me?
Plaintains and chocolate mole sauce. Oh my!


There is everything pig in this platter!


A happy day it was for my mouth and belly!
Nice crowd on hand for the day’s event.


Rock on with Singlecut beer! Delish IPA!
Of course we had to finish with dessert! Locally made key lime pie! Wonderful.


Just so much to play with at IKEA. Especially when buzzed and full of food. Just could not help myself! What a great way to spend a NYC Saturday. Oink!

44 thoughts on “Pig, Pork, Beer, Wine, and Cider. I Pigged out at Pig Island!”

    1. Hey Peggy!

      I love these outdoor food and booze fests! Especially when we have mass transit to take, and it’s free! All the food and booze we can consume and no DWI’s!

  1. Looks like so much (pig) fun! And I love that Ikea boat. While couch-surfing at my daughter’s place for a month as I waited for my UK visa, I kept taking that Ikea shuttle. Best freebie in NY. I’d go over in the morning, buy shelves for her apartment, eat lunch and head back for an afternoon of shelf installation and organizing. By week three, she was threatening to put me on the street if I brought back one more shelf…

    1. Hey Julia!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

      There were so many good hard cider choices here. On a hot day these were a perfect drink. So refreshing!

  2. Bacon seeds? Ha Ha Ha! That’s too funny… even though I don’t eat pig I’d check out the event just for the cider and desserts!

  3. Yay! You had IKEA meatballs! The cream sauce and lingonberry jam is the bribe I need to endure an hour of furniture shopping in this yellow-blue mayhem:)

    All the pork dishes also look tasty and reminds me that I have to go a buy pork liver pate later today..

  4. A comprehensive review, in words and pictures, of what clearly was an enjoyable and satisfying day. There is something rather special about eating and boozing in the open air; definitely one of life’s distinctive pleasures. However, I’m not sure how much pork I could eat in one day, although I recognize the dishes were varied – oink, oink!

    1. Hey Gary!

      Yes, it’s pure pleasure to fill one’s gullet with unlimited pork and booze in an outdoor setting. I’m surprised I did not explode!

    1. Hey Patricia!

      One of the joys of life here in NYC are that we live on the water and have many opportunities for outdoor foodie events such as this. Pure enjoyment in the concrete jungle.

    1. Hey Cary!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting! That wasn’t the only amazing thing I put in my mouth that day!

      Wait….that didn’t sound right.

  5. Holy deliciousness! I like the way you drink beer straight from the tap…or at least it looks like that’s the way you might go about drinking it…! 🙂 I love outings like this but my waistline despises them.

  6. Pig Island? How could you go wrong? Well, except for the lack of water bottles. Hope they take care of that next year.
    Looks like such a fun day. Maybe next you could venture out here for the Testicle Festival.

    1. Hey Karen!

      Yeah, they should have offered free water stations or sold cheap bottled water. No one expected the super hot day like we had so it would have helped. Even so, the cold cider and beer was a big help!

      Testicle festival? Yuck! Not my kind of thing.

  7. I would have gone to IKEA too. I can’t stand waiting in long line for porta-potties 🙂 Anything with pork is always a win in my book, looks like a fun event!

  8. Dear God I want your life! That looks like a BLAST. I would be in hog heaven if I could go to Pig Island. Did you see what I just did there? Hahahaha!!

    1. Hey Marcia!

      You want my life? Filled with food, fun, booze, and assorted adventures?

      Are you sure you could handle it? I don’t think I can handle it! 🙂

  9. Wow. I am speechless. A true pork fest, wow. Some of my fondest memories growing up was going to many pig roasts in Puerto Rico. Particularly around Christmas when there was an abundance of “pernil”…MMMMmmmmmm. Juicy, moist, tasty, salty. And the real pork rind…forget about it! Crunchy, greasy and finger licking goodness. Have I made it clear how much I love pork? Those plantains with mole, OMG! They look amazing.

    As usual, another hunger inducing post! 🙂

    1. Hey Brickhouse!

      Mmmm….pernil. I have a few friends who are great cooks amd make it themselves. So good! Plaintains. Mole. Now I am drooling. Good thing dinner is coming soon!

      Glad you liked!

  10. It is times like this when I wish I lived in a city, or much closer than I do. I really do love the festivals and how so many things are going on at all times. This looked like one heck of a fun event and I think I could have enjoyed it. Nothing like a little swine and cheese? 😀

    1. Hey PJ!

      I also love these events. Great way to sample so many things. Tasty beers and food.

      You’d like my next event – a beer and food fest at the Staten Island Yankees ballpark!

  11. Hey Phil:

    Nice review, but I must say very different view from Yelp reviews. Yelpers trashed the event. One thing in common was water, heat, stinky portable bathrooms. Reviewers talk about food and beer running out. Seem like the event planners were in over their heads with logistics.

    Obviously, you are an experience street fair, food festival goer. Never understood why people go to booth 1, then 2 and so forth. Just go to the far side as you said.

    Also a big fan of Singlecut Brewery. I usually go Thursday’s for a couple. Only 1.5 miles from home.

    I must say your pic’s delicious. Hungry now……..

    billy v.

    1. Hey Billy!

      Thanks. Glad you enjoyed my write up.

      Yes, there some logistical problems as happens with any outdoor festival such as this, but some people just can’t be satisfied no matter what.

      I did speak with a many that went and to be fair many arrived really late in the afternoon which is a no-no when attending something like this. It’s basic festival going 101. Get there before the gates open in the morning, be the first in, and leave early. You get the most out of it that way. Yes, food started to run out around 3pm but the event was ending around 4pm so again it’s expected. Get there early!

      Always hit up the booths in the back first and avoid the logjam by the entrance area. It’s common sense. You can get to more booths that way. We were stuffed by the time we left.

      As for the heat, no one could help that as it was still SUMMER! Yes, you will get 85-90 degree days out. It’s to be expected. If a person can’t handle the heat then stay home in the AC. It’s that simple. Also, the beer and cider lines did get long but that is at EVERY event like this. Especially when hot out. We certainly drank enough!

      As for the porta potties? Every outdoor event has these. There is no avoiding them. Unless you were smart like me and went to the nice clean bathrooms in IKEA right across the street! Plus, it was a nice break from the heat. Cold AC and Swedish meatballs! Too bad many festival goers weren’t smart enough to figure that out. Sucks for them.

      We had a really great time here, and know how to work a food fest. Seriously, I sometimes think some Yelpers are spoiled self righteous holier than thou brats. They need to get over themselves and learn how to have a good time.

      Singlecut is a good brew. I enjoyed the three full cups I had!

Feel free to comment! We all have opinions!