The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild Presents:

The 11th Annual

Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer


The National Wood Aged Beer Competition

Skyline Loft – Bridgeport Art Center
1200 West 35th Street
Chicago, IL 60609

Saturday, November 16th, 2013, Chicago will be celebrating The Festival of Wood & Barrel Aged Beers (FoBAB) at the beautiful Skyline Loft – Bridgeport Art Center.

2013 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer Winners:

Classic Porter/Stout

  • gold: Bourbon Barrel Stout- Central Waters
  • silver: Perrin Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout – Perrin
  • bronze: Jack Stout – Wild Onion

Strong Porter / Stout

  • gold: Cthulhu – Goose Island Pubs
  • silver: Barrel Aged Blot Out The Sun – Three Floyds
  • bronze: Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co

Barleywine / Wheatwine

  • gold: Cockeyed Cooper – Uinta
  • silver: 1100 Wheatwine – Fitger’s
  • bronze: Erik – Atlas

Classic Styles

  • gold: Afternoon Delight - Sun King Brewery
  • silver: Scurried – Off Color
  • bronze: Old Mouldy Toad - Rock Bottom Chicago

Strong/Double/Imperial Pale

  • gold: Grand Cru - Rock Bottom Chicago
  • silver: Downward Spiral - Widmer
  • bronze: Tequila Barrel-Aged Gubna Imperial IPA – Oskar Blues

Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer

  • gold: Working Mom – Revolution Brewing
  • silver: Gravedigger Billy – Revolution Brewing
  • bronze: The Lost Abbey Track #13 – Lost Abbey

Fruit Beer

  • gold: Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co
  • silver: Cherry Trouble – Off Color
  • bronze: Clare’s Thirsty Ale – Haymarket Pub & Brewery


  • gold: Barrel-Aged Abraxas – Perennial
  • silver: Ross’s's’s Melange – Avery
  • bronze: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Aztec – Breakside Brewing


  • gold: Le Bretteur – Bells
  • silver: Sour Wheat – Goose Island Pubs
  • bronze: Misanthrope - Surly


  • gold: Fuzzy – Side Project
  • silver: Le Terroir Dry-Hopped Sour Ale – New Belgium
  • bronze: The Dark Side – Upland Collab – New Belgium


  • gold: The Mitten – Virtue Cider
  • silver: Hard Knocks – Apple Knocker Hard Cider
  • bronze: Cyser VanDoom – Vandermill


As usual, FoBAB will be split into two sessions:

First Session: 1:00 – 5:00PM (ImBIBE Members gain early access at 12:00PM)

Second Session: 6:00 – 10:00PM

This is the country’s largest celebration of wood and barrel aged beer, highlighting styles of beer that have been aged in a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. Enjoy a sampling from our selection of beers, which may or may not be available commercially from breweries across the country.

Attendees will be treated to a vast array of exotic flavors from some of the rarest craft beers. Craft beers aged in new or used wine, whiskey or Bourbon barrels take on many of the characteristics of that libation. Brewers of traditional or not-so-traditional Belgian-inspired beers often prefer used barrels so different resident micro organisms will impart a refreshing tart and acidic character. Fruit, spices, coffee and syrup may also compliment the already complex character of wood-aged beers.

Long before the advent of stainless steel, the use of wooden barrels imparted many unique characteristics to beer. In many ways, the U. S. craft brewer has come full circle, returning to the roots of brewing while demonstrating creativity unmatched anywhere in the world.


2013 National Wood-Aged Beer Competition (Style Categories):

1. Classic Porter/Stout

2. Strong Porter/Stout

3. Barleywine/Wheatwine

4. Classic Styles

5. Strong/Double/Imperial Pale Beer

6. Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer

7. Fruit Beer

8. Experimental Beer

9. Wild Beer/Brett

10. Wild Beer/Acidic

11. Cider/Perry/Mead


ImBIBE Program

ImBIBE Members — Once again, you will receive the benefit of early FoBAB access in 2013! You must purchase a ticket for the 1PM session in order to receive the benefit of early access. Upon arrival, we will ask you for your ticket to the 1PM session, along with a valid state ID and your email address. If you are missing any of the previous information on November 16th, you will not gain early entry.


1. 1pm session ticket

2. A valid state ID

3. Registered ImBIBE email (you can print out your Paypal receipt and bring it with you, that works!)


What’s new in 2013?


  • Cider/Perry/Mead is the newest competition category added to the style category.
  • Discounted hotel lodging for FoBAB attendees will be available for the weekend. Please check back here for more details.
  • A barrel-aged blending station will be featured at this year’s event. Illinois brewers will collaborate their blends; this is the ONLY festival in Illinois that this method will be featured for the public.
  • Taxi transportation and a bus shuttle will be available for the public. Please check back here for more details.



 Tickets go on sale HERE for both sessions at 12:00PM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013.




Hello Brewers!
FoBAB entry will open at 12:00pm (noon) Central Standard time on Monday, August 12th.  
Please log in to after noon on 8/12. You will need to create an account for your brewery, and then add each beer you are entering.  Please try to give as much information as possible.  Please let me know if you have any questions about the entry process.

As a reminder, categories are:
Style Categories
1.      Classic Porter/Stout
         Brown, Robust, Dry, Oatmeal, Sweet, American
2.      Strong Porter/Stout
         Foreign, Imperial, Belgian, American (> 7% abv.)
3.      Barleywine/Wheatwine
         English, American, Belgian
4.      Classic Styles
         Other styles not higher than 7% abv.
5.      Strong/Double/Imperial Pale Beer
         IPA, American Strong, Amber, Red, Etc. (> 7% abv.)
6.      Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer
         Brown, Scottish, Old Ale, Belgian Dark, Etc. (> 7% abv.)
7.      Fruit Beer
         Any beer produced with fruit.  (Wild beers with fruit may be better suited to categories 9 or 10.)
8.      Experimental Beer
          Any beer that employs unusual ingredients and/or techniques, i.e. spices, a blend of different beer styles, etc.
9.      Wild Beer/Brett
          Horsey, goaty, leathery, phenolic and light to moderate fruity acidic character evolved from Brettanomyces microorganisms are evident, but may be in balance with other characteristics. Acidity may also be contributed to by bacteria, but should not dominate.
10.     Wild Beer/Acidic
           Lactic, acetic and other organic acids developed by the use of various microorganisms are evident, but may be in balance with other characteristics.
11.     Cider/Mead/Perry
The I.C.B.G. reserves the right to collapse categories at its discretion if it is determined there are insufficient entries.
This year, FoBAB will be held at:
Skyline Loft – Bridgeport Art Center
1200 West 35th Street Chicago, IL 60609
Saturday, November 16th, 2013
1:00-5:00 & 6:00-10:00 P. M.
Entry forms and fees are due by Monday, October 1st. Beers will be judged by a panel of experienced industry professionals the morning of the event.  Awards will be given in eleven style categories as well as an overall best of show winner. Breweries must send 2-1/6 bbls or 1-1/2 bbl or 4 cases of beer per entry.  You may enter up to 3 beers/ciders/perry/meads.  All beer must be served at the event; we do not accept judge-only beers. If you do not send enough beer, or it does not arrive before the deadline, it will not be judged.  Entries may be shut down before October 1st based on response.  Breweries with multiple locations may enter up to 2 beers per location. Keg Craft will ship kegs to your brewery to use for your beers. Please let us know if you will require Keg Craft kegs, or will provide your own.
Sponsored in part by Brewers Supply Group, Goose Island Beer Company, and Keg Craft Keg Management Services









About Author

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 dedicated to promote the development and expansion of the craft beer industry in Illinois. Follow them at @illinoisbeer on twitter.

(17) Readers Comments

  1. Pingback: November Beer Events | Craft Beer Connect

  2. Checking to see if any tickets may have become available for this event on Nov 17th?

    Thank you,


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  15. Your entire blog post, “Festival of Wood and Barrel
    Aged Beer | Illinois Craft Brewers Guild” was in fact worthy of writing a comment
    down here in the comment section! Basically wanted to state u
    really did a wonderful job. Thanks ,Noel

  16. Are the dates set for FOBAB 2013 & if not, when will they be determined? Is it always the 3rd weekend in Nov? I live down South & would like to make it up there but need to plan a trip way in advance. (Down south as in Alabama, not Joliet, IL!)

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