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My name is Ed Roberts and I am a beer manager from South Florida, based in Fort Lauderdale. I traveled this week to Washington, D.C. to attend SAVOR, a premier food and craft beer pairing event held each year. It is in its fifth year now. This year’s event was held June 8-9, 2012 and presented by the Brewers Association, a non for profit trade organization dedicated to small and independent breweries and their beers.

Savor is like no other beer event I have been to – it’s hosted at the stunning National Building Museum, America’s leading cultural institution devoted to the history and impact of architecture.

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Seventy four breweries attend the event, each presenting two beers they have selected. A lottery system is used to select from breweries that apply to attend and are picked based on eight geographical regions so there is an equal representation from across the country.

Food is provided by top local chefs who make an expertly selected array of small plate foods including appetizers and desserts. Each item is paired with multiple breweries’ beers around the event floor. There is also a very popular standalone artisan cheese table and oyster bar where attendees have the opportunity to create their own pairings based on their favorite selections they have tasted on the event floor.

Breweries have their owners and/or brewers staff their tables and pour their beers, unlike most other beer events where you may be interacting with local sales representatives, not the brewery principals. Savor allows for the intimate opportunity of questions and conversation.

There are also salons offered. These are an additional ticketed event within SAVOR and the sell out very quickly. Attendance is extremely limited and allow for additional learning and discussion on the breweries, their beers, and food pairings.

Visit the event website at www.savorcraftbeer.com for more information. I will be live tweeting from the event both evenings at the Total Wine and More twitter account at http://twitter.com/TWMBeer using the #SAVOR hash tag.

I will return in a few days with a recap of the event.

Ed Roberts
South Florida Beer Vendor Manager