I’ve just awakened from my food coma to report Savor was a success. If you don’t know, Savor is the Brewers Association’s excellent craft beer and food pairing event, which happened last Friday. I’ve been to seven different Savor events over the years, and each one is an opportunity to not only stuff my face with otherworldly food and beer but meet and learn from innovators in the industry. The 2022 event lived up to the hype, because there was more hype. After a three year hiatus due to the pandemic, Savor took place for the first time since 2019 at a new venue — The Anthem — a $60 million waterfront concert hall that took the event up about three notches and accommodated 30 percent more small breweries than previous years.
This Savor attracted about 2,300 attendees and 225 different beers from 110 breweries, and while it was a new venue it still felt like the same event I remember. Craft breweries of all sizes showcased their beer. From heritage brands like Dogfish Head Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to nano breweries such as Lake Anna Brewing Co. (Reston, Va.) and local upstart Dynasty Brewing Co. (Ashburn, Va.), the beer list was excellent and expansive. My favorite of the night was Side Project Brewing‘s Oude Fermier Vintage 2019. Side Project is a great brewery out of Maplewood, Mo. Here’s a picture.
While the food was slow to come out, after about 90 minutes into the general session there was more than enough to go around. There were 65 menu items, led by Adam Dulye, executive chef at the Brewers Association. My favorite eats included the roasted lamb with crispy polenta with anchoyade, country style pate and miso cod with potato puree. Oh, miso cod. I miss you so.
Guess I’ll have to wait till Savor returns to Washington, D.C., in spring of 2023. While the National Building Museum was/is an amazing venue with great photographic opportunities, the Anthem rocks out most convincingly with great amentias, lots of space and a rock-and-roll vibe.
Some key takeaways from the event:
- The Beer List: The evening was juicy, hazy, sour, dark, and so much more. 110 independent craft breweries from 36 states plus Washington D.C. poured more than 225 beers to complement the Savor menu.
- The Venue: For the first time, Savor took place at The Anthem, a new $60 million waterfront venue that accommodated 30 percent more small breweries than previous years.
- The Menu: Beers were paired to 65 menu items plus oysters from Island Creek Oysters and Charcuterie from Red Apron Butchery.
- Award-Winning Culinary Team: Led by Adam Dulye, executive chef at the Brewers Association, the award-winning culinary team of 10 put together more than 200 craft beer and food pairings to create an elevated experience.
- The 2022 Commemorative Beer: Crafted by Two Roads Brewing, every guest at this year’s gathering received a table beer, perhaps the original beer style for beer pairing. Brewed from Connecticut-grown malt and hop, the “secret” ingredient is the unique strain of yeast. A yeast like no other — captured at their brewery property — gave this beer a distinctive peppery, tropical fruit edge. Here’s a photo…
Now, enjoy more photos from Savor 2022.
Dave Hartogs is a cofounder of Rocket Frog Brewing Co. and occasional freelancer for Craft Brewing Business.