The premiere craft beer festival of the season in DC did not disappoint! Both the beer and food was fantastic again at SAVOR 2018. I tried all 60 of the beers with an Untappd score of 4 or more and 53 earned a rating 4+ from me.
Of the 190 unique beers by 80 different brewers, I was able to try 76 fantastic beers. During the Saturday session, I went back and retried my favorites from the previous night, one style at a time. Here are the beers that really stood out (in alphabetical order):
4 Hands Brewing Co. (MO) – Madagascar (4.75 stars)
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout with whole vanilla beans – This was one of my favorite beers at the 2017 SAVOR and it was the first beer I had this years. The deep and rich flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon just melt over the tongue in a delicate fashion.
Bearwaters Brewing Co. (NC) – Café Lumiere (4.25 stars)
Coffee Blonde Ale – This was one of the more unique beers I tried. The nose on this beer was so alluring. Great coffees notes, but not overpowering.
Bosque Brewing Co. (NM) – Scale Tipper (4.25 stars)
American IPA – Excellent tropic IPA with Mosaic, El Dorado, Citra and Simcoe combining for a great nose and a refreshing drink. I believe I tried this beer four times, because I enjoyed it so much.
Brewery Silvaticus Brewery & Taproom (MA) – Baron Von Smoke (4.25)
Rauchbier – If you like German smoked beers, this is beer for you. I love smoked beers from German brewery Schlenkerla, and of my smoked beer loving friends, we all agreed this was the best American smoked beer any of us can remember having.
CloudBurst Brewing (WA) – Shame Spiral (4.25)
DIPA – Excellent aromatic DIPA with 522, Citra and Galaxy hops. If you like IPAs, be sure to head to cool downtown brewery next time you’re in Seattle.
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project (CO) – Origins (4.25) & Sour Rose (4)
Sours – A few years ago I visited the Crooked Stave brewery in Denver and it was some of the best sours I’ve ever had (especially fruited sours). As expected, Crooked Stave brought two good sours to Savor. The Origins is very indicative of the quality of their bottled sours. While the Sour Rose is a new canned sour that is very crushable and ideal for summer days.
Fremont Brewing (WA) – The Rusty Nail (4.5)
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Licorice and Cinnamon Bark – The licorice really sets this BBA stout apart from the rest of the field and the touch of cinnamon really rounds it out.
RAR Brewing (MD) – The Hyde with Galaxy (4.25) & Slip-ons (4.25)
IPA & Pale – The Hyde is definitely a beer you want to drink fresh. I’d had before, but it was a couple of weeks old. It was still very good, but it didn’t that hop punch. Slip-ons is one of the best stand pale ales I have had in a while. People who weren’t familiar with RAR, were buzzing about both their beers at SAVOR.
Reuben’s Brews (WA) – Triple Crush (4.5)
Triple IPA – Unfortunately this beer was mislabeled on the SAVOR website as Reuben’s regular Crush IPA and not this rare juicy-west cost-hop-bomb. It was the best IPA at last year’s SAVOR and it was one of the again this year.
The Bruery (CA) – Yount (4.25)
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout blended and fermented on the skins and must of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon grapes – Ever wondered what would happen if an excellent BBA imperial stout was mixed with some good Cabernet Sauvignon? A delicious, rich and smooth 15.2% beer is created.
The Bruery Terreux (CA) – Sour in the Rye with Peaches (4.25)
Sour – The name pretty much says it all. It’s a sour with rye and peaches. However, it’s pretty done to perfection.
The Lost Abbey (CA) – Veritas (4.5)
American Wild Ale – this blonde sour was aged in French Oak barrel for over a year before raspberries were added. Plus it was bottled 15 months ago. Absolutely delicious!!
Track 7 Brewing Co. (CA) – Oh Yeaahh V.2 (Watermelon) (4.25)
Berliner Weisse – I love beer and watermelon. This beer combines them in an amazing and refreshing beer. I adore this beer and want more for hot and muggy DC summer days.
West Sixth Brewing (KY) – Snake Cakes (4.75) & Sixfold: Flanders Red (4.25)
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout & Flanders Red Ale – Snake Cakes is a sledgehammer of rich and decadent flavors. One of my favorite beers of 2018 SAVOR. I’m not usually a huge fan of Flanders Reds, but Sixfold is a really good beer.
Woods Boss Brewing Co. (CO) – From and Function (4.5) & Saison Paradiso – Chardonnay Barrel Aged (4.5)
Belgian Quad & Specialty Saison – The Form and Function is the best American quad made in a Belgian style I can recall having. The chardonnay BA saison was incredible unique and one of the best saisons I’ve had. Can’t wait to visit this brewery next time I’m in Denver.