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Mar 1, 2011 10:25 AM

SAVOR 2011

I just got my tickets for Savor 2011. Right now is the pre-sale for American Homebrewers Association members and past participants. I have been out of town for all previous years. Has anyone been before? It is a very steep price, I think. however, many of the breweries do not distribute to DC so it is a fun time to try new beers. The only problem with these events is that since the beers are so "big" and heavy, several tastings are plenty. I also got tickets for a Sierra Nevade tasting "salon." All the salons sold out within a few minutes. I hope some seats are reopened for the public onsale. I would like to go to the Cigar City/The Bruery collaboration event. Any other opinions?

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  1. I went the first year it was held. So i am not sure how applicable my experience still is. I think the tickets were around 60 that year. They are crazy expensive now, plus you have to pay extra for any salon you want to go to. We didn't make it to any of the salons.

    It was incredibly crowded, and hard to get up to a lot of the tables. And i think that some ran out of food or beer. At tables that ran out of food, at some point they just started throwing whatever food was still around onto those tables. So much for pairings. Some pairing listed in the booklet were not available at the tables. At that time, i felt that some of the companies didn't bring their best beers. I know they hold it at a different location now. And clearly it is big enough to warrant 2 days.

    I had fun, but it got to be frustrating trying to get up to the tables. Especially when the extreme dorks stand right in front of everything peppering with minutiae questions. It is rude to park yourself in front of the table! Hopefully the layout is better now.

    A lot of the salons sounded really interesting to me. The one you mentioned, as well as the KC one, and the one about Bourbon barrel conditioned beers (esp porters and stouts). I LOVE me some bourbon barrel beers, especially Dry Dock's done in Stranahan's barrels. YUM!

    1. I went the first two years. The first year was magical because there had never been anything like it and you walk in and there handing you beer is Garrett Oliver and Sam Caligione and Jim Koch!! Almost passed out. But the second year (and third year Im told) has been a mad crush of young wanna be beer geeks getting in the same lines 14 times and yelling at each other. How they can afford the price tag is beyond me but I guess this is Washington. It also had more of a business convention feel then a beer appreciation feel to it which is understandable I guess since the brewers are looking for business connections and business relationships at this kind of event. So between being squeezed out by the frat crowd and being overlooked for the business deals I felt, as a simple old school beer afficianado, like I didnt really belong there. And its hard for me to justify dropping almost $250 for a couple tickets to this thing (not even including the salons) when thats the environment I get. Sure you get some of the best beer out there (including, yes, new beer releases like DFH's Bitches Brew last year and they are planning on releasing the Robert Johnson beer at this years show) but they tend to disappear fast and be favorites of the loud/extreme/aggressive crowd.

      What I have learned is when all these great brewers, writers, beer industry folks come into town at once they tend to show up at other events through out the week. So have a look at dcbeer to see who is doing what where. RFD often has several events planned which sometimes include the biggest names from the SAVOR headliners handing out and talking about their beer in a much better atmosphere. Their Lupin Slam is infamous among the beer heads but Im not sure if they are doing it this year. Two years ago they had an event at the late Brickskeller featuring Tomme Arthur (Lost Abbey), Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Adam Avery (Avery Brewing), Rob Todd (Allagash) and Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head). It was like $35 a head and they had beers there that you couldnt get at SAVOR and you got to sit and hear some great stories from those characters. And last year they did the same with Calagione, Todd, Greg Koch (Stone), Kim Jordan (New Belgium) and Bill Madden (MadFox). So look for those events too if you just enjoy the beer and the chance to hear the brewers!

      1523 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20037

      7 Replies
      1. re: Insidious Rex

        Now that IR mentioned it, he is completely right about that convention feel. that was there the first year also. Since they are expanding this thing anyway, it seems like they could have an industry only time frame to help weed that out.

        The frat boy crowd has also become a real problem at the GABF in Denver. And as described by IR, a bunch of the brewers often do other events around town around the GABF. Stone, Victory and Dogfish did a beer together, Saison du Buff, and they all did an event together around the GABF. Unfortunately it was the night i was attending the GABF. It is interesting to know they are doing some stuff like that around here too. Denver's beer culture is far bigger and more advanced that here. Although at least this town is finally coming around.

        1. re: lalajane

          I am definitely watching for the events this year. If i can snag tickets to a couple of the events during the week, I will sell my Savor tickets. The crowds and the people at the events is the blessing and the curseof the expansion of the craft beer movement. Although sometimes annoying, everyone is passionate about the beer for different reasons and I think that is ok. I have helped Rustico with their Oktobeerfest block party since the beginning. The crowds have grown and definitely become more boisterous but they are also keeping the event afloat. however, as I said before, I will skip it if I have other opportunities to enjoy it in a smaller venue. As for Denver, that is nice to say and the beer culture is more advanced. That area is not without its big, know-it-crowds either. Try going to the New Belgium liquid center on most any evening or on the weekend. Free beer at happy hour!

          827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314

          1. re: daves_32

            Well I wish I would have been awake a couple weeks ago when those tickets went on sale, I've been looking forward to Savor for months! I've never been before and it seems like I'm going to have to sell an arm and a leg to get in there this year. Next year I'm going to have to mark my calendar and keep a close on on that one. Shoot! If you know of anyone selling tickets, or if you decide to, could ya let me know?? You'd be helping me and my brother out big time!

            1. re: sean_09

              Perhaps if daves_32 does sell his, you can get your hands on his.

              i get early notice b/c i am a member of the homebrewers association. I bought that membership last year so we could attend the members only session at the GABF. So you can get tickets early for GABF, and for Savor (and other events, i would imagine). So if you are really bent on going to Savor next year (and this year doesn't work out), you should maybe think about getting a membership.

              1. re: sean_09

                Sean_09, it does turn out I will not be in town for the event. I will sell you the tickets for face + fees for $300. That includes the pair of general admission tickets on Friday and (2) tickets to the Sierra Nevada Ovila tasting salon.

              2. re: daves_32

                NB has changed everything about their liquid center and the tours. i guess they have had to do so. And they give "chits" for only a certain number of beers person (basically the way Coors does).

                On the other hand, there are now many other breweries to hit in Ft. Fun. The Ft Collins Brewery moved a bit on down the same road as its old location, but i think they only do Saturday tours. in their old location is the new Funkwerks brewery. And of course, the new most coveted and hard-to-get-outside-CO beer, Odells. All of these are along the same street (Lincoln), with NB just around the corner from Odells.

                aaaaaand, over by the university(essentially in Old Town FtC), there is now Equinox Brewing and Pateros Creek Brewing.

                I do not count the Budweiser facility out along the interstate. SHAME on you if you go to a big brewery in CO and it isn't Coors. i love how larger swaths of Golden smell like hops!

                Funny about the beer snobs. About 5 years ago we went to NB again, with some people from this area who had never been to CO and never had NB beer. The guide assigned to us was a 22 year old CSU student from Wisconsin. I made the comment the Fat Tire was now like Coors was back in theday. He gave me an extremely dirty look and nastily said, "NO". I wanted to deck him. I should have told him off. He definitely needed to learn a little history about Colorado and its beer. I have heard numerous stories about the lengths people would go to to get Coors "back in the day". The made a movie about it, for Pete's sake! LOL!

                1. re: lalajane

                  You're right, lalajane there was that same mystique around Coors back then. I agree you should have decked his punk ass.