The annual Air Capital Bacon, Bourbon & Brews Festival is back at Hartman Arena on July 15. Did we have you at bacon? Or was it the bourbon or beer?

Fortunately, you don’t have to choose at this flavor fest that is a Wichita foodie favorite! Doors open at 4 p.m. at Hartman Arena for this 21 and older event that features local chefs serving up delicious bacon treats, a bacon eating contest, craft beer, live music, lawn games plus options to add a bourbon tasting and a BLT bar.

Here’s what awaits at this lively festival in the Heart of the Country.

Men compete in the bacon-eating contest at the Air Capital Bacon, Bourbon and Brews Festival


Expect to see (and smell) as many as 18,000 bacon samples prepared by more than a dozen local restaurants and chefs. Artichoke Sandwichbar and Culinary Catering are among the vendors who will serve bacon creations as they compete for the title of Best Bacon Dish. Also expected to participate: Avivo Brick Oven Pizzeria (2022 Best Bacon Dish winner), Bakers Haus, Chef Roberto Simmons, Jimmy’s Egg, Lost in the Sauce, Masters of Barbeque, Red Robin and Rib Crib.

Watch Hartman Arena’s Facebook page in the coming weeks for a chance to participate in the Hormel bacon eating contest. The winner earns one year of free bacon!

Attendees at the Air Capital Bacon, Bourbon and Brews Festival line up for samples of bacon, bourbon and beer

Brews and Bourbon

Expect more than 75 beer varieties between the brewskies provided by House of Schwan and those from local craft breweries. Hopping Gnome Brewing Company is back to defend its Best Beer crown from last year’s festival, and other regional breweries include River City Brewing Co., Third Place Brewing, Walnut River Brewing Company, Three Rings Brewery, KC Bier Co., Tallgrass Brewing Co. and Sandhills Brewing.

A punch card for tasting up to six premium bourbons is included with a VIP ticket or available as an add-on to the general admission ticket.


Local four-piece alternative acoustic rock band Sunshine the Bunny will perform on the CrossWinds Casino Stage. Chicken N Pickle will have cornhole and giant Jenga lawn games throughout the event, and attendees can also record their memory-making in a photo booth.

Three men pose for a photo in front of a banner at the Air Capital Bacon, Bourbon and Brews Festival

Regular and VIP tickets

Three types of tickets are available: designated driver ($20), general admission ($35) and a limited number of VIP ($68). All attendees receive a commemorative pint glass.

VIP tickets include early entry 60 minutes before GA, a private BLT bar, a private bloody mary bar, bourbon tasting and a commemorative gift in addition to the pint glass.

GA tickets can upgrade to include bourbon tasting for $5 in advance or $10 on the day of the event.

Plan to arrive when the doors open - 3 p.m. for VIP ticket-holders and 4 p.m. with a GA ticket. Bacon samples are while-supplies-last and last call for drinks is 6 p.m. That’s when organizers tally the votes and crown the day’s beer and bacon winners.

Put this annual event on your calendar and plan to get a taste of Wichita’s best bacon, bourbon and brews.