It was SAVOR, a national food-and-beer exposition, Friday and Saturday at the beautiful neo-classical Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.
The event was sold out for all three sessions. The sponsoring group was the Brewers Association, the national advocacy group for small breweries. Well done!
In the photo, it's Clipper City Brewing's Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale (an IPA or India Pale Ale), hoppy and herbal, paired with washed rind cheeses (to the rear, Italian Tallegio, and, in front, Grayson from Meadow Creek of Virginia), citrus-infused chocolates (from artisan chocolatier Christopher Elbow) and beef-stuffed empanadas with mango salsa.
Clipper City was the only brewery to pair one beer three ways. With the empanadas, the spicy and fruity character of the mango salsa paired with that same character of the melange of American hops in Loose Cannon.
The cheeses? What a delight! I had recommended Grayson to the Brewers Association and was pleased to see it included. Local food, local beer, after all. Pungent IPAs mate almost perfectly with the aromatic (okay, stinky) character of washed-rind cheeses.
And then to mate the beer with chocolate after the first two choices was a delight. Citrus-infused with the citrusy tasting Pacific Northwest hops. Again, a flavor hook.
I stayed behind the table talking the tasters through the pairings throughout most of the evening. This is something I delight in; and the pairings, while delicious, were quite illustrative of the theme of the event: beer with food.
I worked the Friday session only, with owner Hugh Sisson and other members of Clipper City's staff covering the Saturday sessions.
More from SAVOR:
- Photos from SAVOR.
- Video of SAVOR.
- Video used to promote the following year's event (2009).
- Stinky cheese, mangos, and chocolate
- American Craft Beer Week
- Where's the local at SAVOR?
- DC drives you crazy.
- Blogger William Brand of ContraCoastTimes.com has an excellent series of postings.
[Edited and re-posted.]