Tag Archives: Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers

FOBAB

The 11th Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers

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Last weekend was the 11th Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers or what the cool kids call, FOBAB. This was the first year in 5 years that the Hop Cast didn’t film an episode at the event. However, we did have a chance to document the event through a few great photos taken by friend of the show, Sergio Salgado. I wish I would have posted these up earlier but I think it took me a while to recover from the festivities.

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This years FOBAB was bigger than it’s been in the years past. Last year it had moved to Bridgeport Arts Center mainly for space reasons and it’s once again busting at the seams. Last year the event mainly took place in one large room, but this year it had spilled into a second room. I almost wonder if there were some people who didn’t even know about this second room. The second room was where you’d find most of the wild / sour ales and ciders. For being a smaller room, it really never got awful in there, it was busier during the second session but still you could make your way up to the stations for the beer.

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Like previous years past the Hop Cast crew went to both sessions. It’s fun to see the different crowds at the two sessions. During the day you’ll find some of the brewers, judges and their friends; so it’s a little older of a crowd and they tend to know how to handle their beer. But as soon as the doors open for the evening session, all hell breaks loose. That crowd is there to party, they are also on a mission to try all the beers that won awards during the afternoon session. At night you’re going to find longer lines for some of the beers and they will run out quickly. During the afternoon, very few beers kick in the first 3 hours, it’s not until after the awards that you see beers getting pulled off. But you do see lines throughout the day for some of those extra special beers like Goose Backyard, Firestone Walker Parabola, Utopias and most of the Track beers from Lost Abbey.

For me it’s the awards that make the afternoon session great. Having the opportunity to see all the brewers you know taking the stage and accepting their well deserved awards is just awesome. The Chicago beer community is very close and I doubt anyone is too upset when a fellow brewer wins for what they do best.

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The amount of beers at FOBAB is a bit overwhelming and I don’t think anyone could sample them all. With that being said you get a booklet of tickets when you arrive and I know very few people who needed more. In the years past when the list of beers wasn’t so large I know they used to sell extra tickets, I don’t think that’s even an issue anymore. After a dozen or so 10% ABV barrel aged beers I personally am ready for a nap.

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This years Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers was a blast. I know getting tickets was a bit tricky this year and I don’t see next year being much different. So make sure you follow the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild for all the news as it approaches because you really don’t want to miss this event. FOBAB is the only place you can have the opportunity to try so many of these rare beers from brewers all across the country in one place.

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FOBAB 2012

2012 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer Documentary

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Mark Skala, BeerFX & Chicago Beer Geeks put together a great documentary on FoBAB. If you haven’t seen it already, check it out. You’ll see many of your favorite Chicago beer people interviewed. We’ve been lucky enough to attend FOBAB since 2008 and have recorded an episode at the event every year since 2009. It’s truly an amazing event and if you haven’t experienced it, this documentary will surely get you interested.

HopCast Episode 192

Episode 192: Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers (FOBAB 2012)

In episode 192 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at The Tenth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers. This festival is held once a year and if you’ve seen the last couple years episodes, you know how great it is. This year it was at a new location in Bridgeport and it was a blast. Its always great to see so many friends and to see all the people excited for craft beer. This year Ken and Brad again attended both the day and night sessions, clocking in over 10 hours of drinking. The two of them took a few breaks from sampling these fine beers to talk with some great people like the folks from Solemn Oath, Avery and Pipeworks. They even managed to grab a few minutes with the man behind this festival, Pete Crowley.

FOBAB continues to evolve and get better every year. Hope you enjoyed seeing the coverage from the event and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (336.0 MB).

Hop Cast – Episode 157: FOBAB 2011

In episode 157 Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at The Ninth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers. This festival is held once a year and if you’ve seen the last couple years episodes, you know how great it is. Ken and Brad had a blast this year! It was great to see so many people excited for craft beer. This years Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers featured over 170 beers from over 50 different breweries. Ken and Brad again attended both the day and night sessions, clocking in over 10 hours of drinking. The two of them took a few breaks from sampling these fine beers to talk with Hop Cast fan and craft beer lover; Mike Rybinski. As well as talking with brewer Mike Rybinski about his new project. They chatted with Steve Hamburg, the man in charge of making sure everyone has a chance to taste these rare beers and they even managed to grab a few minutes with the man behind this festival, Pete Crowley.

FOBAB continues to evolve and get better every year. Hope you enjoyed seeing the coverage from the event and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (382.9).

Hop Cast – Episode 117: FOBAB 2010

Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are at The Eighth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers in episode 117 of the Hop Cast. This festival is held once a year and if you saw last years episode, Brad and Ken had a blast and this year was just as great. The Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers features over 150 beers from 53 different breweries, representing 18 states. Brad and Ken took it up a notch this year by attending both the day and night sessions, clocking in over 10 hours of drinking. They took a few breaks from sampling these fine beers to talk with a couple Hop Cast fans; Deb Turner and Eric Hobbs. As well as talking with brewer and judge Will Turner. They also were able to chat with Matt Yohe from Upland Brewing about the possibility of seeing Upland hitting the Chicago market in the future.

Overall a great festival that continues to evolve and get better every year. Hope you enjoyed seeing the coverage from the event and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (214.6 MB).