The FoBAB 2018 Unofficial Strategy Guide
ABV Chicago’s Unofficial Strategy Guide to the 2018 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers.
The Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers is about to turn 16, so you know it’s going to be a Super Sweet party (and not just because of all the adjuncts). Though a few favorites and crowd-pleasers are not returning this year (we’re turning our bashful sad faces in your direction, WeldWerks and pFriem), the new additions to the FoBAB roster and other returning favorites are more than enough to get beer lovers excited.
As of this posting, tickets are still available on the FoBAB site. Yes, the cost is steep, but as we say every year, few fests can match the quality of beers poured every year at FoBAB. This is not a collection of disposable or replaceable hazy IPAs with some attempt at a novel combination of the same six hops wrapped up in a cute pop culture-referencing pun. These are beers that have been lovingly aged in a variety of barrels, carefully tasted over time until meeting their target characters, and meticulously blended to achieve perfection. And then some of them have a shit-ton of adjuncts thrown on top of them to make them outrageously flavorful, but hey, that’s cool too.
For this year’s strategy guide, we kept it to two pages – 27 breweries. We took a complete shot in the dark when it comes to possible beers, but we tried to list some of the notable barrel-aged offerings to seek from each brewery in the case that they might bring them. And yes, we left off a ridiculous number of other great breweries and beers that you’ve already heard of, so feel free to get all mad about it. We won’t judge.
Check out our FoBABlin’ 3 episode for more festival talk, a much longer list of brewery picks, and some FoBAB history trivia.
Download the strategy guide below. Keep scrolling for an abbreviated list of our top 27 breweries to try.
FoBAB 2018 Strategy Guide (PDF)
27 Breweries To Seek At FoBAB 2018
📍= New to the fest or returning after a year or more’s absence.
🎤 = We’ve talked to these folks before or featured their barrel-aged beers – click the mic for the episode.
🏆 = This brewery has won top FoBAB awards in the last four years. Bask in their glory.