The Craft Brewers Conference will be in town from April 10th to 13th. After that, you've got about eight weeks to rest your livers--maybe pregame during American Craft Beer Week in May?--because SAVOR returns to the National Building Museum on June 2nd and 3rd, and we have it on good authority that there will be a few changes.
(If you've never heard of SAVOR before, read this, then come back. I'll wait.)
First up, the number of breweries coming to SAVOR is increasing to eighty-four. Have a gander at the list.
Second, as a result of adding ten more breweries, some will be moved upstairs, along with the specialty food items, like oysters, cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie. Recall that last year FATE knocked it out of the park on the second level with a Kolsch-style ale and a hoppy red, paired with cured and smoked meats. Good times. This will cut down on some of the crowding on the main level, and encourage a bit more exploration, while hopefully reducing the wait times for foodstuffs.
Now, the not-so-fun stuff.
What's missing from that beer list? Whalezbro. There now exists a class of breweries that don't bother entering the SAVOR lottery--and they don't need to. Treehouse, Trillium, The Alchemist, and Aslin, among others, are so in demand and brew such small amounts of beer that SAVOR would be more hassle than its worth. Lest you think this is just about hazy IPAs that look and taste like orange juice, the same is true of Hill Farmstead. Last year SAVOR was well-attended, but it probably didn't sell out, and with the springtime competition for your beer dollars from the Craft Brewers Conference and the associated hoopla that will happen at local bars (watch this space!), we don't see demand for tickets increasing. It might be time for the Brewers Association to consider something like "scholarships" or have people vote on a few breweries to see if that increases demand. And yeah, it seems kind of odd to keep SAVOR in DC with the CBC in town, though we understand why. A previous attempt to take it on the road was a decidedly mixed bag.
But hey, two premier beer events is better than one, and DCBeer will be here to cover them both. Cheers.