The 14th Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers

FOBAB 2016, UIC Forum

FOBAB 2016, UIC Forum

Chicago’s most revered festival returned to UIC Forum for a third consecutive year.

Gone were the overhead lights that gave the space a sterile, tradeshow vibe. They were replaced with a warm, globe string light design. The 2016 edition of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild’s signature event saw Seattle Cider Company, MKE Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Free Will Brewing (Perkasie, PA) Listermann / Triple Digit Brewing all take home 2 awards each.

This year’s Best In Show Runner Up – Dosvidanya Rye from Destihl is the rye barrel aged variant of last year’s Best In Show winner.

Revolution Brewing took home their 9th career FOBAB medal with a Bronze for SmOAKED in the Classic Beer Styles Category.

For the first time in the event’s history, The Godfather, Festival Founder Pete Crowley did not emcee the awards ceremony. ICBG Executive Director Danielle D’Alessandro and Associate Director, Katie Long did the honors.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by our pal Alex Lovinggood and we then proceeded to spend the first hour of the fest in the Wild Beer, Mead, Perry Room. This is where he brought to our attention the buzzworthy offerings from Weldwerks, Wicked Weed and Trinity Brewing being served. This space was the VIP Room two years ago. In the case of Weldwerks their Peach Climacteric was a world premiere that as of Saturday hadn’t even been poured in their taproom!

Whether it was Lost Abbey’s Duck Duck Gooze or Jester King’s Spon 4, there was a noticeable appreciation from many in attendance when it came to Wild Ales at the event.

The marriage of the beer and the barrel create this unique thing that neither can achieve on its own.  The notion that American brewers have created a culture around these types of beers is astonishing. We couldn’t be more excited that the largest celebration in North America of these unique beverages is here in Chicago.


The largest barrel aged beer competition in North America and quite possibly the Galaxy

The largest barrel aged beer competition in North America and quite possibly the Galaxy

*Other notes

– Since 2013 Goose Island Clybourn has more medals (5) than Goose Island Fulton (3). This is includes a Gold for Cthullu back in ’13 over Bourbon County Stout which took Silver that year for Strong Porter/Stout.

– Best In Show Winner, Chickow took Silver last year for Experimental.

– Angry Orchard’s Head Cider Maker, Ryan Burk continued to do nothing but win since his transition to the east coast. Understood In Motion #1 is the first FOBAB medal for the New York based cidery owned by Sam Adams. For Ryan it’s a return to glory . His work on The Mitten for Virtue Cider also took Gold in 2013.

-Some of my personal faves were Half Acre’s Benthic, Trinity Brewing’s Presidents Club and Burnt City’s Coffee Double Freight Handler

-One of the first beers to kick during all three sessions was Oskar Blues’ Barrel Aged Ten Fidy.

 Here’s the complete list of 2016 medal winners.

Best In Show
Chickow! Listermann/ Triple Digit Brewing (Cincinnati, OH)

Best In Show Runner Up
Dosvidanya Rye Destihl Restaurant + Brew Works

Dosvidanya Rye Destihl Restaurant + Brew Works. Bloomington, IL

Dosvidanya Rye Destihl Restaurant + Brew Works. Bloomington, IL

Cider Mead Perry
Understood In Motion #1 Angry Orchard (Gold)
Red Wine Barrel Aged Berry Seattle Cider Company (Silver)
Wild Fermented Heirloom Seattle Cider Company (Bronze)

Wild Beer Sours with Fruit
Soursmith Kriek Arclight Brewing Company (Gold)
Framboise De Amaroso The Lost Abbey (Silver)
Foeder 2: Electric Boogaloo w apricot Transient Artisan Ales (Bronze)

Wild Beer Sours
Olly Free Will Brewing Company (Gold)
Grand Teton American Sour 2015 Grand Teton (Silver)
Phenomenomnon Two Brothers Brewing Company (Bronze)

Wild Beer Brett
Agnitio Hailstorm Brewing (Gold)
Who The Funk Is Brett Pulver Smylie Brothers Brewing (Silver)
Best Day Hopewell Brewing Company (Bronze)

Specialty Experimental
Chickow! Listermann/ Triple Digit Brewing (Gold)
Lakefront Spiced Winter Lager Lakefront Brewing (Silver)
Mint Julep Excel Brewing (Bronze)

Fruit Beer
Beautifully Broken Werk Force Brewing (Gold)
King’s Blood Alter Brewing Company (Silver)
Barrel Aged Wheatwine w Lemon Sierra Nevada (Bronze)

Strong Dark Beer
TC Jupiter Bell’s Brewing (Gold)
Orin Half Acre Brewing Co (Silver)
Ella Free Will Brewing Co (Bronze)

Strong Pale Beer
Exiled Angel Scorched Earth Brewing (Gold)
Louie’s Resurrection MKE Brewing (Silver)
Trip In The Woods Biere De Garde Sierra Nevada (Bronze)

Classic Beer Styles
Hilltop Weizenbock Palo Santo Wood Aged Horse Thief Hollow (Gold)
Bourbon Barrel Aged Jack Stout Wild Onion (Silver)
SmOAKED Revolution Brewing (brewpub) (Bronze)

2-time winner for Jack Stout '13 +'16 Michael Payson, Wild Onion Brewing in Barrington

2-time winner for Jack Stout ’13 +’16 Michael Payson, Wild Onion Brewing in Barrington

Barleywine / Wheatwine
The Murderous Pipeworks Brewing Company (Gold)
Prestige Worldwide Barleywine MKE Brewing (Silver)
Belligerent Bob Barleywine Spiteful Brewing (Bronze)

Specialty Strong Porter/ Stout
Ingo Montoya with Hazelnut 5 Rabbit Cerveceria (Gold)
Burning Love Lionstone Brewing (Silver)
Vanilla Hunter 18th Street Brewing (Bronze)

Strong Porter/ Stout
Dosviydanya Rye Destihl Restaurant + Brew Works (Gold)
Impervious Goose Island Clybourn (Silver)
Kosmonaut Lake Bluff Brewing (Bronze)

3 sessions over 2 days in University Village, Chicago

3 sessions over 2 days in University Village, Chicago


Beverage Consultant, Co-Host of the Chicago Beer Pass Podcast, The Neat Pour Podcast, Co-Founder and heartbeat of the Chicago Beer Geeks..@nkosio on twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *