Good News from the ICBG: FoBAB 2021 is a Go

In Press Release by Karl

FoBAB 2021


19th Annual Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB) Returns to Chicago Nov. 12-13

FoBAB 2021 features limited in-person festival, full competition and FoBAB To Go

CHICAGO, Ill., October 1, 2021 – The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild today announced the return of the Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB), North America’s largest and most prestigious barrel-aged beer festival and competition.

Now in its 19th year, FoBAB is nationally recognized for its rare and unique wood- and barrel-aged creations. After going virtual in 2020, FoBAB returns to Chicago with a limited-capacity, in-person festival, a full competition and a to-go option. More than 125 breweries are expected to submit nearly 200 wood- and barrel-aged beer, cider, and mead for judging and tasting – in person or at home.

“We’re thrilled to be back in-person for the biggest annual celebration of wood- and barrel-aged beer,” said Katie Carrier, associate director for the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. “Whether virtual or in-person, FoBAB continues to be a can’t-miss event each year. Thanks to our participating breweries, judges, and volunteers, we’re able to host an in-person festival safely, while also creating an opportunity for craft beer fans to take FoBAB home with them. It’s a win-win.”

In-Person Festival

FoBAB’s in-person festival features two tasting sessions, Friday November 12th (6:00 – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday November 13th (1:00 – 5:00 p.m.) at the UIC Pavilion/Credit Union 1 Arena (525 S. Racine Ave., Chicago, IL 60607). Limited attendance and a higher capacity venue will enable greater social distancing and a more intimate festival experience. Brewers will be staged throughout the main floor, around the concourse and outdoors. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the festival will be required upon entry for all staff, volunteers, and attendees.

General admission tickets are $85 plus processing and go on sale Friday October 8 at 10:00 a.m.



The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild is pleased to once again offer a FoBAB To Go option for attendees who want to bring the best of FoBAB’s award-winning beers home with them, as well as those who are more comfortable staying home right now.

Assorted six-packs of exclusive FoBAB competition beers will be available for purchase on a limited basis. FoBAB To Go six-packs span all 14 style categories and are constructed and sold at random, allowing fans to enjoy the tastes of FoBAB once the festival has wrapped.

FoBAB To Go six-packs are $60 and come in a FoBAB-branded tote bag. Six-packs will be available for pick-up at the UIC Pavilion November 12-14. Additional details and ticketing information will be shared at a later date.

FoBAB Competition

This year, approximately 125 craft breweries from across the country will submit nearly 200 of their best wood and barrel-aged beer, cider, mead and perry for judging. A panel of expert judges and stewards will evaluate FoBAB entries, awarding gold, silver, and bronze medals as well as ‘Best in Show’ honors across 14 style categories. The award ceremony will be hosted during Session 2 as well as livestreamed.

Competition Categories

  1. Strong Porter Stout
  2. Specialty Strong/ Porter Stout
  3. Barleywine/Wheatwine
  4. Classic Styles
  5. Other Pale Beer
  6. Other Strong Beer
  7. Fruit Beer
  8. Specialty/Experimental
  9. Wild Beer/Brett
  10. Wild Beer/Brett w/ Fruit
  11. Wild Beer-Mixed Culture (Acidic)
  12. Wild Beer-Mixed Culture with Fruit (Acidic)
  13. Cider/Perry
  14. Mead

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit For real-time updates,  follow FoBAB on Facebook (@FoBABOfficial), Twitter (@FoBABOfficial) and Instagram (@fobab).


WHENFriday Nov. 12 | 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.Saturday Nov. 13 | 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. 
WHEREUIC Pavilion/Credit Union 1 Arena525 S. Racine Ave.Chicago, IL 60607 
TICKETSGeneral Admission: $85 plus processing – on sale October 8, 2021

About the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild (ICBG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the development and expansion of the craft beer industry in Illinois. Founded in 1997, ICBG focuses its efforts on member and consumer education, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and the promotion of its member craft breweries. Learn more at and follow along on Facebook (Illinois Craft Brewers Guild), Twitter (@IllinoisBeer), and Instagram (ILCraftBeer).

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About the Author



Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago, AskMen and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, is now available via Amazon and other booksellers.If you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.

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