Inspiration, Paris, and Bagbyfest

We went to Paris last week. About a month before we left, at a rather standard and otherwise banal meeting centered around planning our upcoming Bagbyfest, a unique and rare combination of possibility and spontaneity embraced us. We needed to see and experience a few things for ourselves, to be properly reignited and recharged by one of our great passions: culture, especially the rich, longstanding, and deeply rooted culture of old Europe. We went looking for the kind of inspiration that never fades, and boy did we find it.

If you have been to either or both of our previous our Bagbyfest events, what we hope you took with you (besides a full belly) was a sense of connection: connection to a place, connection between things, connection to us, connection to each other. This remains our goal today. How we express this, though, has changed over the years:

We started Bagbyfest in 2015 to share – for the first time – who we are. We hoped that by sharing what we love in this way we’d be announcing loudly, proudly: “Here we are! Get to know us!” We hoped the community would get to know our real selves by being sampled on an array of handpicked and much beloved foods and beverages. This approach suited us just fine: we hoped our year-one attendees would be drenched in the knowledge that there’s so much more than meets the eye here at Bagby, that both our passion and our roots are deep, and intermingled.

As much as the first year’s Fest was a showcase, and exposé of sorts, a coming-out party for our BMW-dealership-turned-brewpub, year two was more about stretching into different regions around the world, to find the best ways to highlight how these wonderful places and their people have so greatly inspired much of what we do every day here at Bagby. Through traditional flavors from authentic ingredients, we wanted to subtly transport each guest to these other places, so maybe they, too, would be on their way to loving them like we do.

Then it came time to plan number three. Numéro trois.

Claire, Justin, and Jeff enjoying chocolate at the Marche d’hiver in Reims, France, in the shadow of the Reims Cathedral

Claire, Justin, and Jeff enjoying chocolate at the Marche d’hiver in Reims, France, in the shadow of the Reims Cathedral

So, we went to Paris. We took with us our two most dedicated and hard-working people, Claire Barnett and Justin Evelyn, in part a heartfelt gesture of our appreciation for their enormous and tireless efforts since before day one, but also to share in this experience. We needed and wanted their perspective, to see and experience with us the community tradition that is the Marché d'Hiver (or Marché de Noël). The Winter Market is an annual pastime in nearly every city, town and village throughout much of Europe and each is the perfect mix of regionally-influenced cuisine, locally-sourced products, like cheese, chocolate and fresh bread, and of course all manner of delicious beverages like beer, wine, champagne, and the ubiquitous Vin Chaud, a satisfyingly warm mulled wine that is spiced with everything from star anise, to cinnamon and clove, and of course sings with the addition of citrus. C’est bon! Starting in early December and running as late as mid-January, these markets are a genuine celebration of history and tradition, and are a communal space to connect to both. When we wandered into our first Marché, we were instantly transformed. Boy are we excited to share all of this with you.

For Bagbyfest 3, we’re going to create our own Marche d’Hiver – a balance of these long-standing enriching European traditions, with a little of our own saveur de Bagby. Right here in Oceanside. Bienvenue au troisième Bagbyfest.

January 19th, 5PM. Come Bagbyfest with us.