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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Beer: More to SAVOR

By Greg Kitsock
EAP_4628_opt.jpg SAVOR 2011: To sell out in 20 minutes this year? (Photo by Eddie Arrossi Photography)

Your chances have doubled of snagging a ticket to SAVOR, D.C.'s big-ticket beer and food showcase.

Reacting to the stampede for tickets last year (the annual event sold out in 10 minutes), the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo., which stages SAVOR, has added a second session.

SAVOR 2011 will take place Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, running both evenings from 7:30 to 11 p.m. The venue will be the same as the previous two years: the Great Hall of the National Building Museum at 401 F St. NW.

Tickets will cost -- ouch! -- $110, a $15 increase over last year. If you want to attend any of the “salons” (more intimate beer tastings and educational talks), that’s $30 extra.

A total of 72 craft breweries will be pouring beer (two brands apiece), most of them chosen in a lottery that took place in December. Mad Fox Brewing Co. in Falls Church was one of the lucky winners, as were Devils Backbone Brewing Co. in Roseland, Va., DOG Brewing Co. in Westminster, Md. and The Brewer’s Art in Baltimore. Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick is one of the cosponsors and gets an automatic nod.

Less familiar to locals will be Bayou Teche Brewing Co. in Arnaudville, La., Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Ore., Funkwerks Inc. in Fort Collins, Colo., and Buckbean Brewing Co. in Reno, Nev., none of which I had heard of before reviewing the list of participants.

Federal City Caterers will once again supply the small plates to accompany the beers, says Nancy Johnson, the BA’s events director. Chef Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore's and Adam Dulye of the Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco will be working with the caterers to whip up a beer-friendly menu. The oyster bar and cheese table will return, promises Johnson. “We’re looking at adding a sushi bar,” she says.

Tickets go on sale to the public at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 3. To buy online, go to SAVOR's Web site. According to Johnson, 1,700 tickets will be made available for each session. However, dues-paying members of the Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association, as well as previous SAVOR attendees, will get first dibs and can reserve their tickets on March 1.

The BA, notes Johnson, is still planning the salons and the complete list probably won’t be posted until late February. “Maybe just a few days before the tickets go on sale,” she says. Events penciled in so far include an educational session co-hosted by Sam Calagione of the Dogfish Head Brewery and Jim Koch of Sam Adams fame, and a beer-and-barbecue sampling with owner Joe Carroll of the Spuyten Duyvil and Fette Sau in New York City.

SAVOR is one of three major events the BA stages each year. The other two are the Great American Beer Festival, held every fall in Denver, and the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo Trade Show (CBC), which takes place in the spring at a different city each year. In 2011, the CBC will unfold in San Francisco and in 2012, San Diego will be the host. However, Johnson said she was in the process of booking space in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C. for the 2013 conference.

Residents of San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Ore. and Philadelphia might be hearing footsteps behind them about now. The District of Columbia is catching up as a great beer town.

By Greg Kitsock  | February 7, 2011; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Beer  | Tags:  Greg Kitsock  
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