It’s a comfort food antidote to the first snowstorm of 2020: The Coeur d’Alene Mac & Cheese Festival and Beer Tasting on Saturday celebrates a childhood dish by offering creative variations by chefs who’ll be competing for the Golden Noodle Award.
Alongside voting and filling up on dairy-laden carbs, Mac & Cheese Festival attendees at the Coeur d’Alene Shops (210 E. Sheman Ave.) also can wash down the tasters with craft beer pairings and vote for another award, the People’s Choice Trophy.
As of Monday, the participating restaurants, which is subject to change by this weekend, are Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery, Beverly’s, Bier Haus, Black Diamond Catering, Calypsos Coffee Roasters, Coeur d’Alene Resort Convention Center Catering and Coeur d’Alene Taphouse Unchained.
Also: Cosmic Cowboy Grill Coeur d’Alene, Crickets Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Dockside Drummin’ Up BBQ Catering, Honey Eatery and Social Club, Iron Pizza, Mangia Catering Co., Olive’s Pastries, Paragon Brewing, Rustic, Sweet Lou’s and Westwood Brewing Co.
The Mac & Cheese Festival host sites are All Things Irish, Angel Gallery Fine Art & Antiques, Christmas at the Lake, Migliore Olive Oil, Mix It Up, T-Blue Boutique, Vault Coffee and Woops.
The following are the four ticket packages:
KIDDIE MAC (children ages 12 years and younger): $10 for four mac and cheese tasters
MAC PACK: $25 for six mac and cheese tasters
MAC & BEER (ages 21 and older): $35 for eight 4-ounce beer tastings, six mac and cheese tasters and a commemorative pint glass
VIP EXPERIENCE (ages 21 and older): $50. This includes in and out access to a VIP Lounge with unlimited tasters of exclusively made gourmet mac and cheeses, complimentary water and soda, private restrooms, tables and seating; and priority check-in at the VIP Lounge in the Coeur d’Alene Resort Convention Center.
Also: Free parking in the Coeur d’Alene Resort parking garage; six tasting tickets in the general areas; eight 4-ounce beer tastings in the VIP Lounge for premium craft beers or in the general areas; and a commemorative pint glass. VIP check-in begins at 11 a.m. at the VIP Lounge door (CDA Resort Convention Center), and the lounge opens at 11:30 a.m.
Extra mac and cheese and/or beer tickets will be available for purchase on the day of the festival and are not sold separately. Other rules: All tasters must be eaten on-site; there are no to-go boxes. Packages cannot be shared between multiple people.
Also: Attendees must be age 21 or older to purchase the Mac & Beer Package and drink alcohol. Tickets are available while supplies last, and a final reminder that a package with a wristband must be purchased to taste the varieties of mac and cheese.
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