SAVOR has been in DC the past four years and is slated to be here again in the nation’s capital for a fifth year of craft beer and food pairing with some of the nation’s best craft breweries on June 8 and 9.

DCBeer recently learned that there is a possibility (and perhaps a strong possibility) that SAVOR will not be in DC for 2013 because the Brewers Association’s Craft Brewers Conference will be held here instead, likely in May. This year the CBC is being held in San Diego.

DCBeer reached out to Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz to find out more about the possibility of SAVOR moving:

In 2012, the Brewers Association (BA) is looking forward to the fifth consecutive year of holding SAVOR in Washington, D.C. Part of our mission as a national, not-for-profit trade association is to promote small and independent craft brewers and their craft brewed beers to audiences around the country. As such, the BA Board of Directors has directed staff to investigate the possibility of New York City as a potential location for 2013. These investigations are very preliminary, and nothing has been finalized regarding the location of SAVOR in 2013.

On a related note, the BA’s industry event, the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, will be held in D.C. in 2013.

Anonymous industry sources tell us that BA staff will check out New York later this spring when they come to the east coast to plan for SAVOR. These same sources also report that SAVOR is anticipated to return to Washington, DC in 2014 when the Craft Brewers Conference moves elsewhere.


DCBeer’s take on this is that this is ultimately a boon for the rapidly expanding craft beer scene in DC. The Craft Brewers Conference takes place over 5-6 days and also includes BrewExpo America® and the World Beer Cup. Many industry representatives, including brewery owners and brewers, will be in DC and get to see the fruit that the craft beer tree in our city has borne over the past few years.

Port City Brewing Company Founder Bill Butcher had this to say in response to the news:

From our perspective, we are extremely excited about CBC being in DC. It is a MUCH bigger event for the industry, and it puts national industry focus on DC for this event. It gives DC a chance to show off our local brewing scene to the industry in a way that SAVOR does not. This event (CBC) puts DC on the Craft Beer map much more so than SAVOR.

In terms of moving SAVOR for a year, it makes little sense for DC to host both the CBC and SAVOR within one month of each other, so we’re happy to have the BA lend NYC (or whoever winds up getting it) this event for a year.

Drawbacks include the fact that the CBC is somewhat less accessible to the non-industry public, both in terms of cost and in content. If SAVOR does wind up going to NYC, we hope that it will indeed return to Washington, DC in 2014. It would make sense for the BA to return this event to DC; it’s an important opportunity for the craft beer industry to make its presence felt in Washington and on Capitol Hill. Losing that opportunity makes little political or business sense for the BA, so we fully anticipate SAVOR coming back to our city.

In any event, this is certainly big news for the #DCBrews scene. More details as we get them, and this has no impact on SAVOR 2012, so don’t worry.

If we were you, we’d plan to be busy in the early part of May next year.

UPDATE: Thanks to Greg Kitsock who mentions in his post on this topic that CBC will be March 26-29 of 2013.