Breweries Across the U.S. Gear Up For SAVOR

By Andrew Kaczmarek

Breweries across America participating in the prestigious SAVOR:SM An American Craft Beer & Food Experience are anticipating an incredible event hosted–for the first time ever–in New York City. The craft beer lineup, breweries and pairings have been announced and are truly a testament to the American craft beer movement.

Some of the notable and exciting beers were profiled earlier this month in SAVOR Craft Beers Announced. I wanted to find out what some of the attending brewers thought about the pairings chosen for their beers, the collaborative nature of SAVOR and what they were looking forward to most about the event. Here’s what they had to say.

Chris Gallant | The Bronx Brewery | New York, NY

Andrew Kaczmarek (AK): What other breweries are you excited to see at SAVOR?

Chris Gallant (CG): SAVOR is an awesome opportunity for us to try some beers that are not distributed in New York. [I’m] definitely excited to try some Bell’s Brewery beers. But it’s also fun to see some of the upstate guys from Newburgh and Empire come down for the event.

AK: What flavors do you expect to experience from your craft beer and food pairings?

CG: Our Belgian pale ale with the goat cheese cheesecake is going to be awesome! The funky goat cheese offset by the sweetness of the cheesecake and our Belgian pale to cut through both is going to make a really special pairing.

Ron Downer | Blackberry Farm Brewery | Walland, TN

AK: Why is SAVOR such an important event for Blackberry Farm Brewery?

Ron Downer: Our program at the farm and brewery is all about good food, beer and wine. We’re situated on a 4,900 acre farm and we grow a lot of our own food, make our own cheeses and preserves, and have a resort, so this is what the Blackberry Farm Brewery is all about. We have a handful of award-winning chefs on our staff, and we love to showcase beer and food pairings here on the farm. It’s great to be part of an event like SAVOR as we get to showcase our beers next some of the best beers in the country.

James Book | Ninkasi Brewing Company | Eugene, OR

AK: Why is SAVOR such an important event for Ninkasi?

James Book (JB): Being from the tiny village of Eugene, we are very excited to go to New York City and be part of SAVOR. Any chance to get to New York City is incredible, and it is great to see craft beer’s name up in lights.

AK: What flavors do you expect to experience from your beer and food pairings?

JB: We are bringing the Tricerahops, a Northwestern-style double IPA. This full-bodied, hoppy beer will make an awesome pairing with the jumbo lump crab cake with corn, sweet pepper and citrus. We are also bringing the Believer, a complex but balanced double red ale. This beer loves lamb and that is exactly what it’s being paired with.

Adam Lamoreaux | Linden Street Brewery | Oakland, CA

AK: What is the process of working with Chef Adam Dulye like?

Adam Lamoreaux: For Linden Street, it’s awesome to work with Chef Adam again. He’s a great advocate of craft beer, and a chef that puts in a lot of time into making a pairing happen. He wants to know everything about you, the ingredients you use and your philosophy—it’s always a great process working with him. Adam cooked one of the best beer dinners I have been to, and not just because it was with Linden Street beers.

Paul Halayko| Newburgh Brewing Company | Newburgh, NY

AK: Why is SAVOR such an important event for Newburgh Brewing Company?

Paul Halayko (PH): The idea that great beer can pair with great food is incredible for craft brewers, and it’s great to be included in that great beer category. It really is a feather in our cap.

AK: Why is SAVOR important to the advancement of craft beer?

PH: SAVOR is important because craft beer festivals are entering a state of saturation. New festivals are popping up every month, and some aren’t necessarily focused on well-made beer. SAVOR is the opposite, and should be a model for enjoying craft beer as it emphasizes the culinary synergy of beer and food. Wine complements food while craft beer pairs harmoniously with food. This is an event to showcase that harmony.

AK: What role does food play at your brewery?

PH: At Newburgh we have a kitchen, so naturally we are focusing on beer and food pairings and cooking with our beer all the time. Our brewmaster Christopher was trained as a chef in Brooklyn before working at Brooklyn Brewery and eventually coming to work at Newburgh, so beer and food is in our blood.

Josh French | Wild Wolf Brewing Company | Nellysford, VA

AK: Why is SAVOR such an important event for Wild Wolf?

Josh French (JF): It is a big deal for us—a really big deal. To be at an event with some of our local favorites like Devils Backbone and Starr Hill, and to be among the greats like Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, is incredible.

AK: Why is SAVOR important to the advancement of craft beer?

JF: We still have a long way to go, but SAVOR is all about showcasing beer and food, and it is instrumental in the transformation that is already happening. It is a total beer geek event. People attend the event looking for whatever crazy beer Dogfish has brought, and then they turn around and see a new craft brewer like us and get to sample our offerings.

Wes Peterson | Odin Brewing Company | Seattle, WA

AK: Why is SAVOR important to the advancement of craft beer?

Wes Peterson: For a long time, wine has dominated the dinner table for special occasions. In the craft brewing industry, we know that a Belgian strong or a hopped-up IPA deserves to be at the dinner table, too. Unfortunately, beer has been relegated to the tailgate. We now have so many great brewers doing so many great things, but a lot of them are over shadowed by wine. SAVOR is near and dear to our hearts because it presents the opportunity to share great beer and food pairings with the public.


Andrew KaczmarekAndrew Kaczmarek, is the current Craft Beer Program Intern, hop farmer, beer writer for the CU Independent, homebrewer and student at the University of Colorado in his final semester. When not pursuing hoppiness, as a Colorado native, he spends his free time skiing, camping or biking in the Rocky Mountains.