LOWBAB: A Barrel-Aged Beer Festival With Friends

LOWBAB: A Barrel-Aged Beer Festival With Friends


We had our own private FOBAB party, but we called it LOBAB, after our friends, The Lowmillers, who acknowledged that paying $80 a ticket for Chicago’s annual FOBAB fest was entirely too much, especially for two people anymore.


For those that don’t know, FOBAB stands for Festival of Barrel-Aged Beer. Every year in Chicago, for the last 17 years, folks gather to drink the best wood and barrel-aged beers in the country, maybe even the world? This year, we decided to build our own lineup, and host a private party.


The rules were simple, pick 3-4 bottles that were aged in some sort of barrel, and bring them to the party. This could be sours, stouts, whatever you want, just as long as the beer spent some time in a barrel. Everyone sent in their bottle details beforehand, so we could have an official list like you see up top.

While guests were arriving we had a pre-party and opened a few bottles that didn’t make the LOWBAB list.


Solemn Oath’s Full Mallow Jacket, an Imperial Marshmallow Stout with an ABV of 10%, from 2018, was firing on all cylinders, and this wasn’t even the S’mores version. It was a beautiful beer, aged to perfection, for around two years. Tons of marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate pudding oozed from the snifter. Dangerous, as you could barely taste the booze, it was so well balanced, I think it stole the show.


From the proper list my other favorites included:

Untiitled Art & Mikerphone “Hazlenut Imperial” Barrel-Aged Stout 11%, 2019
The Bruery “Black Friday” Barrel-Aged Stout 19.2%, 2012
On Tour “Hubbard Street” Barrel-Aged English Brown 7%, 2019
North Coast Brewing “Old Rasputin” Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout 11.3%, XVIII
Solemn Oath “Beverage of Champions” Caramel Coffee Stout 8.2%, 2018

Beer means many different things to many different people, so I won’t go back and forth about why those were my favorites.

LOBAB was a great idea. To save a little money, and to drink some of our most sought after barrel-aged beers, with people who share the same love and passion for beer. This will now be an annual event. Cheers!


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