Winning Brews at Chicago's Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers

Winning Brews at Chicago's Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers
The original FoBAB logo.

Another November, another Festival of Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beers has come and gone. The 10th annual edition in fact. Tickets for this event sold out back in August, although the canny and connected could usually score a ticket from a friend or listserv member.

For 2012, FoBAB moved to the Bridgeport Arts Center, 1200 W. 35th St. an industrial building rehabbed into a arts space and event center. As with previous locations, long lines waited for the start of both the afternoon and evening session, for the chance to sample 173 beers from 60 breweries. Each beer was unique, but all shared one characteristic: they were aged in barrels, some reused liquor or wine barrels, some in new toasty oak or other woods.

Many long-time favorite brewers were present, as well as Spiteful Brewing, a brand new nanobrewery in the Ravenswood neighborhood.

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, hosts for the event, held a judging for beers entered in FoBAB. Goose Island took “Best of Show” for its Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout. We are told it will be on hand for the Clybourn Pub’s “Black Friday” event – but that’s sold out, too. Goose’s Fulton Street brewery won 4 more medals, while the Clybourn brewpub took one and the Wrigleyville site won one as well (Disclosure: I pick up extra cash on weekends by sampling out Goose Island beers at grocery and liquor stores).

Other local medalists included Haymarket (2), Atlas Brewing (1), Solemn Oath (2), Flossmoor Station (2), Three Floyds (1) and Shoreline Brewery (1). Additionally, former Flossmoor Station Brewmaster Matt van Wyck brought a gold medal home to his current employer, Oakshire Brewing of Oregon. Maybe some day, Matt, we can get your bottles on our shelves?

The success of FoBAB, coming just one week after the newer Beer Hoptacular festival, suggests that the craft beer segment remains vibrant in Chicago.

Category One: Classic Porter/Stout (12 entries)
Gold: Bourbon Stout, Oakshire Brewing (Eugene, OR)
Silver: Pretty Brown Eyes, Goose Island Clybourn (Chicago, IL)
Bronze: Rye Barrel Aged Fuel Coffee Stout, Lakefront Brewery (Milwaukee, WI)

Category Two: Strong Porter/Stout (21 entries)
Gold: Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose Island (Chicago, IL)
Silver: Indignant, Haymarket Pub & Brewery (Chicago, IL)
Bronze: Acrimonious, Haymarket Pub & Brewery (Chicago, IL)

Category Three: Barleywine/Wheatwine (16 entries)
Gold: Fertile Crescent, Goose Island Wrigleyville (Chicago, IL)
Silver: King Henry, Goose Island (Chicago, IL)
Bronze: Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, Central Waters Brewing (Amherst, WI)

Category Four: Classic Styles no higher than 7 percent alcohol (11 entries)
Gold: Afternoon Delight, Sun King Brewing (Indianapolis, IN)
Silver: Barrel-Aged Grand Saison, Grand Teton Brewing (Victor, ID)
Bronze: Oak-Aged Monadnock Rye Ale, Atlas Brewing (Chicago, IL)

Category Five: Strong/Double/Imperial Pale Beer (21 entries)
Gold: Humidor IPA, Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, FL)
Silver: Ultramegahighfrequency, Solemn Oath Brewery (Naperville, IL)
Bronze: Rillo Rye P.A., Shoreline Brewery (Michigan City, IN)

Category Six: Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer (24 entries)
Gold: Imperial Schwartz, Flossmoor Station (Flossmoor, IL)
Silver: Pappy Fog, Sun King Brewing (Indianapolis, IN)
Bronze: Charkoota Rye, New Holland Brewing (Holland, MI)

Category Seven: Fruit Beer (14 entries)
Gold: Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose Island (Chicago, IL)
Silver: Ronaldo, Three Floyds Brewing (Munster, IN)
Bronze: Radth, Solemn Oath Brewery (Naperville, IL)

Category Eight: Experimental Beer (18  entries)
Gold: Track #8, the Lost Abbey (San Marcos, CA)
Silver: Barrel Aged Abraxas, Perennial Artisan Ales (Saint Louis, MO)
Bronze: Track #10, the Lost Abbey (San Marcos, CA)

Category Nine: Wild Beer (9 entries)
Gold: .357 Brett, Flossmoor Station (Flossmoor, IL)
Silver: Biere de Peach Barrel, New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO)
Bronze: Madame Rose, Goose Island (Chicago, IL)

Category Ten: Wild Acidic Beer (27 entries)
Gold: Track #9, the Lost Abbey (San Marcos, CA)
Silver: Cuvee de Bubba, Bear Republic Brewing (Cloverdale, CA)
Bronze: Eric’s Ale, New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO)

Best in Show:
Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose Island (Chicago, IL)

Best in Show, Runner-Up:
Track #8, the Lost Abbey (San Marcos, CA)

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Filed under: Beer Competition, Beer Festivals

Tags: FoBAB

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