2013 Absurdly Early Absurdly Awesome Savor Preview

So, we are 6 (or 5 days) away from the Savor Craft Beer & Food Experience.  The best food and beer pairing event in the country of America which logically makes it the best food and beer pairing event in the world.  I attended the party last year and have been eagerly awaiting this year’s festival.  However, it is not in DC this year because apparently there is some issue with having the Craft Brewers Conference hosted in the same city as Savor.  So, those of us in the District will have to commute up to NYC for this years blow out.

Every year, I like to take a look at the beers brewers are taking to the event and compile a plan of attack for the event  There are over 50 breweries, and its not possible to sample every one of these fabulous pairings; so it’s important to highlight the things you want to see the most.  Last year, I literally wrote something up on every single brewery, which was fine but I realized that I couldn’t put these beers all in the same category.  How do I rank something I haven’t tried vs. something I want to have again?  How do I rank a brewery I don’t know vs. a beer from a brewery I like?  Well now I have broken the list down into 4 different categories:

1.Beers from brewers that I like – I can speak personally to these beers, and think that everyone should try them.

2. Beers from brewers that I know that I haven’t tried – These beers have a reputation that precedes them and I can’t wait to get my hands on them.

3. Breweries that I haven’t seen and want to try- Small breweries out of market that I haven’t tried.  Always good to try something new.

4. Beers that just sound cool.  Self explanatory.

I.  Beers that I have tried

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Avery Brewing Company – Table 1 – Odio Equum – Tart and funky

Brooklyn – Supporter – Black Ops – Big flavorful bourbon stout.  Be careful there are a lot of these. this year

Cigar City Brewing – Table 12 – Jose Marti – Roasted and flavorful

Denver Beer Co. – Table 8 – Oak Aged Graham Cracker Porter.  This beer was at the event last year sans the Oak aging.  I fell in love with it.  They actually put crushed up crackers in the mash and last year you could find me basically killing a glass of this and asking the brewers to fill it again.  So excited.

Epic Brewing Company – Table 10 – Sour Apple Saison – Not a jolly rancher but their fruit beers bring out some great flavors.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Table 1 – Parabola – I have read that they age this stout in pappy van winkle barrels.  Their aging program is top notch.

Heavy Seas Beer – Supporter – Holy Sheet – Brandy barrel aged uber abbey ale?  I like all of those words!

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One of the better casks I have ever had

Stone Brewing Co. – Table 3 – Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout Vintage 2013 –  I love the espresso stout.   Its a cool carbonated iced espresso.  I would drink this instead of morning coffee (but I don’t, I swear…).

The Lost Abbey – Table 1- Deliverance – I don’t think anything can deliverance me from evil but a beer blended from a bourbon aged stout and a brandy one is a great start.

II.  Brewers I love bringing new beers for me to try

Ballast Point Brewing Company – Table 10 – Habanero Sculpin IPA and Toasted Coconut Victory at Sea Imperial Porter – I love peppers in beer and until I have a bad experience, I am going to go for these beers every time.  I like coconut in beers so adding it to a smooth stout I already love can’t be bad.

Bell’s Brewery – Table 14 – Raspberry Wild One – It’s the second tart raspberry beer on this list that comes with a great reputation.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Supporter – 61- 61 just sounds like fun.  I want to see how the grape flavor plays with the IPA.

Founders Brewing Company – Table 5 – Rubaeus – Rubaeus is another big fruity raspberry beer.

Ninkasi Brewing Company – Table 9– Believer; Tricerahops – I love all of the Ninkasi beers so I am anxious to try anything from a brewery carrying the name of the goddess of brewing.

Samuel Adams –Supporter- Samuel Adams Honey Queen; Samuel Adams Tetravis – Samuel Adams has a special place in my heart and I will continue to try every new Sam beer that I can as a tribute.

The Bruery – Table 1- Bois – A special barrel aged beer from the Bruery is a must try.

Three Floyds Brewing Company – Table 10 – Zombie Dust – Ever since I first read this beer on a bucket list, I have wanted to try it.  If you put a pale ale on your bucket list, it has to be good.

III. New Breweries That I’m interested to try:  I plan on reporting back on these breweries, but I wanted to throw their names out there because they are not common to the DC area.

Crux Fermentation Project (OR) – Table 1 – Crux Imperial Stout

Empire Brewing Company – Table 6 – Golden Dragon

Front Street Brewery (NC) – Table 2 – Dram Tree Scottish Ale

Laughing Sun Brewing Company (ND) – Table 9

Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery (CA) – Table 7- Bonnie Lee’s Best Bitter

Manayunk Brewery (PA)-Table 14 – B.L. Barleywine

No-Li Brewhouse Table – Table 9- Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout

Thomas Hooker Brewing Company (CT) – Table 7

IV. New Breweries with beers I’m excited to try:  These beers have cool names.  Some sound like candies.  I would like to drink these candies.

Bull & Bush Brewery – Table 14 – Man Beer; Turnip the beets

Hops & Grain Brewing (TX) – Table 13 – Bourbon Barrel aged ALTeration

Joseph James Brewing Company (NV) –Table 12 – Red Fox Russian Imperial Stout

Kane Brewing Company (NJ) –Table 5- Bourbon Barrel Aged Solitude

Linden Street Brewery (CA) –Table 7- Burning Oak Black Lager

Santa Fe Brewing Company (NM) -Table 3- Imperial Java Stout

Spring House Brewing Co. (PA)– Table 13 – Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout; The Astounding She Monster Mango IPA

Wild Wolf Brewing Company (VA) – Table 2 -Strawberry Schwarzcake

Willimantic Brewing Company (CT)-  Table 14- Six Shooter Oatmeal Oyster Stout

Willoughby Brewing Company (OH) – Table 12- Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter

Anyway, these are my greater hits for this year’s Savor.  I hope this is helpful for those of you who will be attending.  And those who aren’t attending….I will be reporting back on the event so you can live vicariously through me.  So, sorry.

Anyway, cheers and happy drinking!

 

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