Ohio Breweries Strike Gold at FoBAB

As I was scrolling through my social media accounts this morning I saw that Wolf’s Ridge Brewing scored a gold medal at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers (FoBAB) yesterday in Chicago.  My first instinct was to tweet to Chris Davison congratulating him and everyone else at Wolf’s Ridge, but when I scrolled through the official results and saw that Ohio won gold in four of the ten beer categories I realized that a full blown post was in order.

For those that don’t know, FoBAB is a beer festival held every year in Chicago devoted exclusively to beers aged in barrels [1].  This year’s version attracted on the order of 200 breweries from around the country, including a lot of big names—Deschutes, Firestone Walker, 3 Floyds, Bells, Avery, Cascade, Wicked Weed, Jester King, The Bruery, Mikkeller, Goose Island, and more.  Last year Listermann/Triple Digit Brewing in Cincinnati took home Best in Show honors for Chickow!, but other than Chickow!, which also won a silver in 2015, Ohio breweries have had few appearances on the medal stand.

Allagash barrels

Without further ado here are the Ohio breweries that medaled at FoBAB 2017:

  • Gold: Zaftig Brewing – Wee Heavy (Other Dark Beer category)
  • Gold: Warped Wing – Chardonnay Barn Gang (Other Pale Beer category)
  • Gold: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing – Terre du Sauvage Green (Wild Beer/Brett non Acidic category)
  • Gold: Listermann/Triple Digit Brewing – Chickow! Brandy Barrel (Specialty/ Experimental category)
  • Silver: Rhinegeist Brewing – Double Oaked Mastodon (Other Dark Beer category)
  • Bronze: Rivertown Brewing – Ville de Rivere Gueze (Wild Beer (Acidic) Sours category)

Chickow! was selected as runner up for the Best in Show award, which when coupled with its triumph last year (and a silver medal the year before) makes for one hell of a resume.  Top honors this year went to More Brewing Company in Villa Park, IL for their BA Karma.  The full list of awards can be found on the FoBAB website.

Congratulations to all of the winners, particularly my friends at Zaftig and Wolf’s Ridge!  I can still remember being impressed with Zaftig’s Wee Heavy the first time I visited their tap room, back when they were only open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  The strong showing by Wolf’s Ridge is particularly impressive, given the fact that their sour beer program is less than a year old.

Barrel Aged Black Perle
A photo of Zaftig’s early forays into barrel aging from when I visited the brewery back in 2013.

[1] There is a cider/perry/mead category as well.

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