Young and Hungry

Some Local Beers You Won’t Be Able to ‘SAVOR’


SAVOR, an annual beer-and-food-pairing event sponsored by the Brewers Association, will return to DC on June 5. It will be at the National Building Museum. Tickets are $95 and will go on sale next month.

Now in its third year, SAVOR is nothing less than a beer nirvana, a chance to try brews from all over the country, each paired with a tasty morsel or two. But omissions on this year's roster of participating breweries leaves us scratching our heads. Luckily mid-Atlantic breweries Clipper City, Stoudt's, Troegs, and Weyerbacher are slated to participate, but as Drew Long at DCFoodies pointed out to us, Flying Dog, Hook & Ladder, and Starr Hill–regional breweries included in last year's event–are not on the list. And if that doesn't bother you (and it should... show some love for the home team!), then how about the conspicuous absence of Russian River? Their heavenly concoction Pliny the Elder was a big hit last year.

But... before we start to panic in earnest, maybe some of these breweries are just late to register? One can hope. Meantime, here's our list of favorite beers from last year's event.

Photo by craigemorsels used under a Creative Commons license

  • Thomas Cizauskas

    When a brewery registers to be part of SAVOR, it's actually registering for a lottery to determine if it will indeed be part of the expo. Thus, unfortunately, local breweries such as Flying Dog, Starr Hill, and the others may have registered but didn't win in the selection lottery. Ironic for a festival that's celebrating the marriage of fresh food and beer, and more so for the exclusion of the Mid-Size Brewery of the Year. I would propose that the large, mid, and small breweries of the year at the GABF should have automatic invitations to the following year's SAVOR.

  • Drew

    I agree with Thomas on the automatic invite. But what also struck me about the absence of Flying Dog, Hook & Ladder, and Starr Hill was the fact that I couldn't figure out which breweries replaced them. As I understand it, the lottery is regional. So if Flying Dog, Hook & Ladder, and Starr Hill applied (and I know Flying Dog did), but didn't make it, who got their spots? If Legend, AleWerks and Baltimore-Washington Beer Works were all making first-time appearences (they're not), then the math is simple. However, it appears three of our local breweries won't be at Savor this year and aren't being replaced by any other local breweries. And then when you consider, for example, that Foothills Brewing (which I'm a big fan of) is making its third appearance, despite the fact that there are many other breweries in North Carolina. It's all kind of curious.

  • Tammy Tuck and Bruce Falconer

    Excellent points and a matter worth looking into. In the meantime, are hoping that the "list subject to change" disclaimer holds true and that this year's brewery selections become a little less curious.

  • Thomas Cizauskas

    The lottery is NOT local: all US breweries are invited to apply.

    Just as the Great American Beer Festival, although held every year in Denver, is a national festival, SAVOR (run by the same folk), although held in Washington, D.C., is a national exposition.

  • Drew

    I met Thomas at the first Savor when he was working the Clipper City booth, but I'm still not sure he's right. BA says that Savor is a national event with breweries representing eight regions across the country. So unless BA would go ahead with Savor without breweries from a particular region because none were picked in the national lottery, there has to be some regional consideration to the selection process. And if that's the case, which breweries will represent the Mid-Atlantic region besides Dogfish Head and Clipper City? Or will the Mid-Atlantic region has fewer breweries this year, while another region, or regions, have more breweries at the event?

  • JT Smith

    Yes, it is quite curious that Brewer's Association would not seek to include breweries local to the event, or any event that they produce. Especially those that happen to be the reigning Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year via GABF, another large-scale event put on and awarded by Brewer's Association.

    I agree with Tom that there should be an automatic bid and therefore being exempt from the "lottery," however, since Savor is a "Craft-Beer event," I don't believe the Large Brewing Company of the Year would receive automatic bid. It is worth noting that Flying Dog has expresses this point of view, not for inclusion for this year's coming Savor, but to start with GABF 2010.

    Brewers Association said that 85 breweries entered the lottery and 60 were selected. Tough math for the local brew.

    For those who may not know I am emploted by Flying Dog Brewery, while that does impact my level of knowledge on the issue, I try however for it not to create bias.

    How are we dealing with the issue... Well, the week leading up to Savor 2009 was a great DC Beer Week, where we throw over a dozen events and we look forward to blowing the doors off of our home-city this year leading right up to the moment of, Savor.

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