But will SAVOR desert Washington in 2013 for the Big Apple?
Last week, the Colorado-based Brewers Association, which puts on the annual beer-and-food showcase, announced that its board of directors “has directed staff to investigate the possibility of other potential locations for 2013. These investigations are very preliminary, and nothing has been finalized regarding the location of SAVOR in 2013.”
Asked where the festival might be heading, Barbara Fusco, sales and marketing director for the Brewers Association, said the organization is in “the very preliminary stages of investigating New York City for 2013.”
Fusco stated that there was no dissatisfaction with Washington, which has been home to the festival since its beginning in 2008 and has demonstrated an ability to snap up 3,400 tickets at over $100 a pop in a single afternoon.
“Washington provides us with a platform for national exposure since it is such a major media capital,” she noted. But she added that “we want to provide a platform for craft beer everywhere,” and “New York City offers a potential opportunity for additional mainstream media coverage.”
No other cities are currently under consideration, Fusco stated, nor are there plans to have SAVOR move from city to city like the annual Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo Trade Show (which, incidentally, is set to take place in the District on March 26-29, 2013).
Bill Butcher, owner of Port City Brewing Co. in Alexandria, said it was his understanding that the Brewers Association considered it too much of a logjam to stage the Craft Brewers Conference and SAVOR in the city within about 10 weeks of one another. Since the Craft Brewers Conference is set for Denver in 2014, there should be no obstacle to SAVOR returning to Washington in 2014, he speculated.
Fusco didn’t mention plans for 2014, but said the Brewers Association was not seeking a permanent home outside Washington. “We periodically review different venue options and cities,” she noted.
Meanwhile, the city’s other big-ticket beer event, the annual Brewer’s Ball, is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, once more at the Stars and Stripes Club at Nationals Park. The formal event, a benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, will feature 19 beermakers as opposed to 75 for SAVOR. But it has a strong local flavor (DC Brau, Chocolate City, Port City and Lost Rhino are all listed as participants) and it’s a rare opportunity to catch brewers in evening wear instead of their usual T-shirts and rubber boots. Tickets cost $115 ($5 less than SAVOR this year). Check out the Web site for more information.