Bob Pease, CEO/president of the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, looks at how beer can elevate food

In the States, beer with food is highly advanced, with 88% of people enjoying beer with their meal at least sometimes, and 63% saying they select beer based on the meal they’re about to eat.

It’s a growing trend, too — nearly half of all craft beer drinkers say they drink craft beer with food now more than a couple of years ago (Nielsen). In America, you’ll find unique events specifically designed to explore and elevate the world of craft beer and food, with the most iconic being SAVOR. An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, in Washington DC, on May 15.

Presented by the Brewers Association, SAVOR marries flavour-forward, independent craft beer with sublime small-bite pairings to create an unforgettable culinary experience for beer lovers and foodies alike. One hundred and eighteen craft breweries from across North America are expected to participate, where they will be matched to a one-of-a-kind menu creating over 200 unique pairings crafted by Brewers Association executive chef, Adam Dulye, in collaboration with a host of noted chefs, cicerones and purveyors. Dulye is a decorated chef who quite literally wrote the book about beer and food pairing (it’s called The Beer Pantry).

As festivals go, SAVOR is a small and intimate gathering. However, the task of creating more than 200 pairings is more than any single chef can tackle on his own, so Dulye assembles a team of talented peers to help him create the menu. The list is a veritable Who’s Who of American’s culinary movers and shakers!

The 118 small and independent craft breweries range in size from fewer than 1,000 barrels to more than 1,000,000, with a beer list that’s juicy, hazy, sour, dark, wild, and, well, glorious!

Savor beer

All breweries participating in SAVOR are small and independent American craft breweries. Many use the independent craft brewer seal to easily identify and support craft breweries and their beers. This year, 25% of the breweries pouring at SAVOR produce under 1,000 barrels. For context, this means that the cumulative annual production of these 29 breweries wouldn’t fill an Olympic swimming pool!

Now in its 13th year, SAVOR will take place in a new $60 million music venue, The Anthem, in DC. Guests have the chance to meet the luminaries of the craft beer world. Few events offer the opportunity for a one-on-one conversation with the rock stars of the craft beer world. Further updates and tickets are at

If you can’t make it to SAVOR this year, many of the breweries pouring and pairing there are available in the UK, such as Boulevard Brewing Co, Fifty Fifty Brewing Co, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, Port City Brewing Co, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Ska Brewing Co and The Bruery.

If you’re keen on beer and food pairing, the Brewers Association publishes free resources, such as The Beer & Food Course, which is perfect for training staff or educating yourself, and can be downloaded free of charge at

The UK is an important trading partner for American craft brewers and represents the second largest export market (after Canada), with 16.6% of all exports. American craft beer is available on tap in pubs, bars, and clubs, and from major supermarkets, independent retailers, bottle shops, and online retailers such as Beers of Europe.

Savor canapes

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.

The BA represents 4,000-plus US breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers.

The BA organises events including the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week.

The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine, and Brewers Publications is the largest publisher of brewing literature in the US.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru mobile app.

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