August 21, 2013 |

A Conversation with Jason Bajalieh, Slice Pizza & Brew — SliceFest 2013

By Pizza Today

A Conversation with Jason Bajalieh, Slice Pizza & Brew — SliceFest 2013Originally begun to celebrate our one year anniversary, SliceFest has taken on a life of its own in the past two years. We bring in live bands for an all-day festival, where we debut unique pizzas paired with local craft beer. This year, we had a sell-out crowd of over 2,000 attendees and donated $3,000 to our partner charities, Suki Foundation and Alabama Forever.

Birmingham and Alabama are quickly becoming known for their local craft beer scene. For a donation of $5 to SliceFest charities, our festival-goers get to experience an incredible feat of culinary genius — five samplings of local, craft beer expertly paired with five tastings of gourmet pizza, featuring local ingredients. Some of the pizzas make their debut at the Beer Experience during SliceFest and end up being such crowd favorites that they stay on the menu throughout the season.

Since opening in 2011, we wanted a way to give back to the community that had so willingly welcomed and supported us. We would not be the restaurant we are if it was not for the amazing neighborhood and customers we see on a regular basis. Slice prides itself on being local, from the owners to our fresh ingredients that go into our unique pies. We rely heavily on community involvement and word of mouth to spread the word about Slice. SliceFest is an example of how we use our resources to create an atmosphere where people can have a great time, eat delicious food, yet support local non-profit organizations and do something good for other people, while bringing the whole neighborhood together.

Rasta Pie (a Jamaican jerk chicken pie), Lobster Mac and Cheese, Chilton Pork and Peaches Pie, and Oysters Rockefeller pie are all pizzas that have made their debuts at SliceFest in 2012 and 2013. Our chef, Terrill Brazelton, creates these recipes from scratch. These new pies demonstrate that although traditional pizza is served at our establishment, we also emphasize culinary creativity and expertise. We love serving pizza fans of all shapes and sizes, from the beer and pizza guy to the foodie or gourmand. Very often, these pies will stay on the menu for months at a time based on popularity and ingredients in season.

SliceFest is becoming known throughout the Southeast as a premiere annual food, drink, and music festival based in the Lakeview area of Birmingham, an area that has seen tremendous growth in popularity over the past few years. Though we are looking to expand the event to include more activities for families, there is something to be said for an intimate, exclusive event. SliceFest has a tremendous reputation to live up to each year, and we hope to do just that for many more years to come.

Started by brothers Jason, Chris and Jeff Bajalieh, Slice Pizza & Brew created SliceFest in 2012. This year, more than 2,000 people attended the sold out SliceFest, resulting in 500 pizzas and 1,500 slices sold. Slice raised $3,000 for area charities.