Published on June 1st, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Chef Adam Dulye On SAVOR 2018, The Brewers Association & How He Pairs Food With Craft Beer
The Brewers Association is a United States-based trade group whose membership includes 7,200 brewers, breweries, suppliers, distributors, craft beer retailers, and individuals related to the promotion of craft beer and homebrewing. Simply put, the organization works to promote and protect small and independent American brewers, beers and beer-related enthusiasts. But the Brewers Association also manages to plan fun culinary events and release interesting beer-themed books.
One such event planned by The Brewers Association is SAVOR, as subtitled “An American Craft Beer & Food Experience”. For SAVOR, which takes place June 1st and 2nd in Washington D.C., Executive Chef Adam Dulye will be creating the menus and leading the food preparation for the Brewers Association. In turn, Dulye will create, prepare, cook and serve delectable food designed to complement and accentuate the flavors of the craft beer served by brewers, demonstrating the way that craft beer is perfect to pair with fine cuisine. Beyond his work with SAVOR, Dulye is a popular writer — he writes the Craft Beer With Chef Adam column for CraftBeer.com — and recently released his first cookbook.
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with the Culinary Institute Of America alumnus about SAVOR and more. More on SAVOR 2018 can be found online at www.brewersassociation.org.
How did you first get interested in craft beer? Was there a particular brand that served as a gateway?
Adam Dulye: With a culinary background, I have always had an interest in beverages. The focus on craft beer started slowly from when I lived in Portland, Oregon and really began to take off when I was in Colorado, especially from meeting the brewers in Colorado and meeting the Brewers Association. If I had to go with a gateway beer, it would be Boulevard Pale Ale. Growing up in Kansas City, that was the hometown beer and stocked in the house I grew up in.
When did you realize that craft beer was going to be a real industry?
Adam Dulye: Honestly, I never thought it wasn’t.
When were you first able to combine your passion for craft beer and food?
Adam Dulye: Every now and then in Portland, Oregon, and then coming to Vail with my first Executive Chef job — where I was able to develop and work with a larger beer list — a dedicated menu to beers, and brewmaster dinner series.
When studying with the Culinary Institute of America, was there any coursework related to beer?
Adam Dulye: Nothing formal. There was a bar across the street that had local New York State craft beer, though…It is great to see that changing now both at the CIA and hospitality programs all over the U.S.
You create the menu and lead food preparation for many of the Brewers Associations events, including SAVOR. How would you describe SAVOR to someone who has not yet attended?
Adam Dulye: In short, SAVOR is a social dinner party. Where else can you talk to over 90 brewers, try over 70 menu items and share stories with people from all over the U.S.? SAVOR is also a learning experience. You can try new flavors in both food and beer and see what you like and what you don’t. It is perhaps the best single event to get a snapshot of what is currently trending in both craft beer and American cuisine.
Are there any major differences between last year’s SAVOR event and this year’s SAVOR?
Adam Dulye: We are always making little changes to improve everything we do. The menu is a massive departure from last year’s menu with more flavors and more cuisines interpreted. We also have more pairings that are pushing the envelope of comfort for the general palate. On top of this, we more beer will be featured at SAVOR 2018 than ever before, with 181 varieties being poured by the brewers that created them.
SAVOR aside, what else is coming up for the Brewers Association?
Adam Dulye: We have the Great American Beer Festival coming up in September that has Paired as a component. We will also be taking the Paired concept on the road this year to Los Angeles with 21 chefs from across the country and 42 breweries.
When not busy with the Brewers Association, how do you like to spend your free time?
Adam Dulye: Cooking and writing. I just released my first cookbook, The Beer Pantry from Dovetail Press this March! After that, being outdoors as much as possible.
What was the last concert you attended for fun?
Adam Dulye: During our Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville I hit up a few honky tonk spots that were a blast.
Finally, Adam, any last words for the kids?
Adam Dulye: Go out and try new breweries, new beers, new restaurants and chefs and support the independent restaurants and breweries!