Presented by the Brewers Association, the ninth annual SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience provided an opportunity for 4,000 attendees to discover craft beers produced by 76 emerging and known small and independent breweries from right in their backyards to those across the country.
Most of the craft beer movement is made up of newer breweries that do not distribute outside of their state of origin. More than 96 percent of today’s 4,400-plus breweries make less than 15,000 bbls of beer a year. SAVOR provides a national platform for regional and smaller local breweries to broaden their exposure to an audience they may not otherwise reach. Of the craft breweries pouring, 70 percent were not at the event in 2015 and half had never participated in SAVOR before.
“Once again, SAVOR was top of class and provided an experience like no other in terms of access to craft brewers, education and pairings,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director, Brewers Association. “The evening allowed beer lovers to not only connect directly with the personalities behind their favorite small and independent producers, but to sample and add lesser known breweries to their roster of favorites.”
The experience also provided an occasion to elevate the discussion of the relationship between craft beer and food via a pairing menu strategically designed by an expert tasting panel led by Chef Adam Dulye, executive chef at the Brewers Association, along with Chef Kyle Mendenhall, BA chef consultant. SAVOR also offered a number of purveyor stations including an artisan cheese table presented by the American Cheese Society, charcuterie station presented by Red Apron Butcher and oyster bar hosted by Choptank Oyster Company.
“SAVOR is about defining where craft beer and food pairing is at and where it will go next,” added Chef Dulye. “Our team worked diligently through tastings and discussions to design truly cutting-edge pairings that create that ‘aha’ moment. In planning the menu we incorporate trends from all geographic ranges, while accounting for the unique flavor profile of each craft beer served.”
As in past years at SAVOR, the Brewers Association collaborated with like-minded small and independent farms, ranches and fish mongers to incorporate local and seasonal ingredients in as many menu items as possible.
For more information, head on over to the SAVOR website.