As we entered the building the feeling of awe continued to take over. This is a huge building with soaring ceilings and the gigantic pillars greeted us in an impressive way. The tables were set up in squares, in which, each side was a different brewery. The Savor information booklet we were given had a clearly labeled map of what we should expect to find at each table.
We also noticed some Cleveland love inside of the National Museum Building!
We were so mesmerized by the venue that we totally forgot to pick up our glasses! We were given a very nice glass with the Savor logo printed on it and clearly drawn 2oz and 4oz pour lines.
With our glasses in hand, we headed out to get our first taste of the evening. As we were walking I noticed John Lane, the owner of the Winking Lizard, talking to the Ommegang reps. It is always good to see a Clevelander when at an out of town event, so we decided to join them and sample the Ommegang BPA (Belgian Pale Ale).
We then made out way back to the first set of tables. I sampled the Cigar City Humidor IPA and paired it with the Devils on Horseback. The sweet dates were wrapped in a salty, crispy bacon and paired very well with the hoppy, and tasty IPA.
While I was standing at the Cigar City table chatting it up, my fiancée made her way over to the cheese table and quickly called me over to try the Barely Buzzed Beehive Cheese. Here is the official description: “This is a full bodied cheese with a nutty flavor and smooth texture. The cheese is hand rubbed with a Turkish grind of Colorado Legacy Coffee Company’s “Beehive Blend”. The blend consists of a mix of South American, Central American, and Indonesian beans roasted to different styles. French Superior Lavender buds are ground with the coffee and the mixture is diluted with oil to suspend the dry ingredients in the rub. The rub imparts notes of butterscotch and caramel.” This was my favorite of the 6-7 different cheeses I had the chance to sample.
Next, I tried the Wooden Nickel IPA that was paired with a Bratwurst and Potato Pancake. I really didn’t care to much for either parts of this dish. The IPA was a little too malty for me, while the sour cream in the pancake just didn’t do it for me either, plus the pancake itself was a little too doughy.
Luckily my next stop left me with a smile on my face! We decided to make our way over the Dogfish Head booth to see what Sam Calagione and company brought to the party. As you can tell from the board HellHound and Bitches Brew made me a very happy craft beer drinker. (More on Savor Flowers later on.)
Dogfish Head had the longest line in the place, around a 15 minute wait to get a sample. When we got to the front of the line we had a chance to talk with Sam for a minute and he graciously offered to take a picture with us! Sam was not the only person from Dogfish Head in the house willing to chat it up about beer. His wife and head brewer Floris Delee were also hanging around. I had a chance to talk with Floris for a few minutes about craft beer which was very fun and informative.
After our little photo session, we walked away with a HellHound in my hand and Bitches Brew in my fiancée’s hand. The HellHound was paired with a very moist and flavorful Crab Croquette while the Bitches Brew was paired with some dark chocolate bites! This was my first time tasting HellHound and I have to say I was a fan. I really do hope to score a bottle before its gone so I can give a fair and honest review! Also, I later went back for a second round so I too could have a glass of Bitches Brew, which I love!
- Each table was well represented with at least one rep.
- All of the reps were more than willing to talk about their beers with the crowd and educate the public about their product.
- The venue was well spaced, and even with a very large crowd the average wait time for a pour was short (outside of the Dogfish Head line).
- Call this a “rookie Savor attendee” mistake, but next time we would be sure to get our food sampling and pairing done earlier in the evening.
- Having seating and standing room tables was very helpful.
- We would have liked a plate that had a stemware holder similar to what I was given at the Market Under Glass event in Cleveland. This would have made it easier to do the food and drink pairings while walking around.