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Author Topic: What's up with FoBAB?  (Read 412 times)

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Offline unclejedi

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What's up with FoBAB?
« on: August 14, 2019, 11:45:19 AM »
So I was reminded while reading about this year's BCBS lineup that FoBAB is a thing.  It's actually one of the first beer festivals I think I ever read about way back even before I got on BA.  I've always been doing Oregon or something else in the past, this year it looks like its earlier in November which would work better for me I think.  Searched and there's been very little discussion here over it for a year or two.  Is it still worthy?
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Offline emerge

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 12:19:46 PM »
I'd say it's more worthy now than ever. There are 3 sessions now, spread over Friday & Saturday (2). I haven't been in the last couple years, but spoke with one of the organizers last weekend, and i'm thinking of going again too.

If you've never been, it's grown exponentially and is now held in a large exhibition hall (UIC Forum). There are several hundred beers, it's a competition, so brewers bring their A game. Entries are limited to 2 per brewery, I think. There's plenty of sour stuff, a few ciders and meads, and a fair amount of experimental stuff. At least 60% are BA stouts.
Would be great to see y'all in Chicago! :cheers:

Offline Murphadam

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 12:54:37 PM »
I'd say it's more worthy now than ever. There are 3 sessions now, spread over Friday & Saturday (2). I haven't been in the last couple years, but spoke with one of the organizers last weekend, and i'm thinking of going again too.

If you've never been, it's grown exponentially and is now held in a large exhibition hall (UIC Forum). There are several hundred beers, it's a competition, so brewers bring their A game. Entries are limited to 2 per brewery, I think. There's plenty of sour stuff, a few ciders and meads, and a fair amount of experimental stuff. At least 60% are BA stouts.
Would be great to see y'all in Chicago! :cheers:

Maybe (definitely) I'm just old and crabby :bakes: but the cost and logistics of FOBAB no longer outweigh the benefit of the crazy rare beer for us.  We used to go every year since back in the Rock Bottom/Goose Wrigley days, but we've only gone once or twice at UIC and the lines to get in, coat check, crowds in the aisles, etc have become too much.  Plus it's around $90.  I think some sessions are definitely better than the others - The Saturday Night one I think is the best for crowds and beer running out? 

Offline emerge

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 02:56:14 PM »
I'd say it's more worthy now than ever. There are 3 sessions now, spread over Friday & Saturday (2). I haven't been in the last couple years, but spoke with one of the organizers last weekend, and i'm thinking of going again too.

If you've never been, it's grown exponentially and is now held in a large exhibition hall (UIC Forum). There are several hundred beers, it's a competition, so brewers bring their A game. Entries are limited to 2 per brewery, I think. There's plenty of sour stuff, a few ciders and meads, and a fair amount of experimental stuff. At least 60% are BA stouts.
Would be great to see y'all in Chicago! :cheers:

Maybe (definitely) I'm just old and crabby :bakes: but the cost and logistics of FOBAB no longer outweigh the benefit of the crazy rare beer for us.  We used to go every year since back in the Rock Bottom/Goose Wrigley days, but we've only gone once or twice at UIC and the lines to get in, coat check, crowds in the aisles, etc have become too much.  Plus it's around $90.  I think some sessions are definitely better than the others - The Saturday Night one I think is the best for crowds and beer running out?
This is all true, i'd forgotten about the long lines to get in. It generally stretches around the block too. I've heard they improved the layout to eliminate bottlenecks like they had earlier at UIC. The last time, I made the mistake of thinking I needed an extra glass, so I bought one they gave to brewers, and got full pours with it. That's all I remember. :mellow:

Offline borrowedladder

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 04:32:52 PM »
I'd say it's more worthy now than ever. There are 3 sessions now, spread over Friday & Saturday (2). I haven't been in the last couple years, but spoke with one of the organizers last weekend, and i'm thinking of going again too.

If you've never been, it's grown exponentially and is now held in a large exhibition hall (UIC Forum). There are several hundred beers, it's a competition, so brewers bring their A game. Entries are limited to 2 per brewery, I think. There's plenty of sour stuff, a few ciders and meads, and a fair amount of experimental stuff. At least 60% are BA stouts.
Would be great to see y'all in Chicago! :cheers:

Maybe (definitely) I'm just old and crabby :bakes: but the cost and logistics of FOBAB no longer outweigh the benefit of the crazy rare beer for us.  We used to go every year since back in the Rock Bottom/Goose Wrigley days, but we've only gone once or twice at UIC and the lines to get in, coat check, crowds in the aisles, etc have become too much.  Plus it's around $90.  I think some sessions are definitely better than the others - The Saturday Night one I think is the best for crowds and beer running out?

Yeah, waiting sucks and I try not to do it anymore.  A local event sold out here and it was crowded and a lot of things ran out early.  When something becomes popular it usually sucks.

Yogi Berra was right: That place is so crowded nobody goes there anymore.

The wine events I have been to have been very nice however.

Offline flyingbison

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 05:01:36 PM »

Yeah, waiting sucks and I try not to do it anymore.  A local event sold out here and it was crowded and a lot of things ran out early.  When something becomes popular it usually sucks.

Yogi Berra was right: That place is so crowded nobody goes there anymore.


People destroy everything good.  Hopefully we will all be extinct soon.

Offline thewimperoo

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 06:05:17 PM »
I haven't been since 2016 because it just ended up being too crowded and full of fart clouds.   :bakes:
Dan

Offline emerge

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2019, 11:33:26 AM »
I'd say it's more worthy now than ever.
To clarify, worthy in the sense that there's more beer than ever before. For us cheap bastards, the price hike and crowds have deterred from attending last couple years. The ticket more than doubled ($40 to $85) and I haven't been back since.

Offline unclejedi

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2019, 12:07:12 AM »
Well, I pulled the trigger, we'll be at the Friday night session.
Yeah ticket price was kinda high... then I started looking for a hotel... JESUS, fest ticket is only a drop in the bucket.

Anyway, we fly in Tuesday night, probably head up to Wisconsin Wednesday & Thursday, Back to the city Friday for the event and we'll probably explore a little Saturday.  Would love to meetup with anyone available either Friday afternoon or Saturday.  Probably head south and east Sunday, might even make it to Grand Rapids.
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Offline Murphadam

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2019, 11:53:46 AM »
Lots of tickets still available for all three sessions five days out.  I think we've reached saturation.

Offline emerge

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2019, 11:57:07 AM »
Well, I pulled the trigger, we'll be at the Friday night session.
Yeah ticket price was kinda high... then I started looking for a hotel... JESUS, fest ticket is only a drop in the bucket.

Anyway, we fly in Tuesday night, probably head up to Wisconsin Wednesday & Thursday, Back to the city Friday for the event and we'll probably explore a little Saturday.  Would love to meetup with anyone available either Friday afternoon or Saturday.  Probably head south and east Sunday, might even make it to Grand Rapids.

I should be around Saturday :cheers:

Offline ender

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2019, 12:41:01 AM »
Well, I pulled the trigger, we'll be at the Friday night session.
Yeah ticket price was kinda high... then I started looking for a hotel... JESUS, fest ticket is only a drop in the bucket.

Anyway, we fly in Tuesday night, probably head up to Wisconsin Wednesday & Thursday, Back to the city Friday for the event and we'll probably explore a little Saturday.  Would love to meetup with anyone available either Friday afternoon or Saturday.  Probably head south and east Sunday, might even make it to Grand Rapids.

i'll be at the friday session, probably pretty hammered at the go, as i judge... but i'll save the wait on the goose line for ya... as long as joan doesn't yell at me.
rhyder74 on ps4.

Offline emerge

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2019, 11:19:30 PM »
Well, I pulled the trigger, we'll be at the Friday night session.
Yeah ticket price was kinda high... then I started looking for a hotel... JESUS, fest ticket is only a drop in the bucket.

Anyway, we fly in Tuesday night, probably head up to Wisconsin Wednesday & Thursday, Back to the city Friday for the event and we'll probably explore a little Saturday.  Would love to meetup with anyone available either Friday afternoon or Saturday.  Probably head south and east Sunday, might even make it to Grand Rapids.

I should be around Saturday :cheers:
Update: PM’d
Have fun in WI!

Offline Murphadam

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2019, 11:51:15 AM »
Any reports?  Sounds like the Saturday night session was genuinely roomy!

Offline emerge

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2019, 01:42:15 PM »
Any reports?  Sounds like the Saturday night session was genuinely roomy!

That's what i've been hearing. Heard that the cider and mead sections were also respectable with no lines.


Offline unclejedi

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2019, 01:49:34 AM »
So yeah, I quite enjoyed this and will be back.  Went to the Friday night session.  We showed up about 20 til and quite a line had formed, but they had already banded almost everyone already in line.  Showed IDs and tickets for bands, and the line moved pretty quickly around opening time, with a slight hold up once, plus the time for metal detectors.

Once inside, there were plenty of great options without lines and only a few of the usual suspects with silly lines for something hyped.  It was quite crowded and sometimes a little hard to move through some areas, but never that hard to get a sample.  I was a little unsure of the published 20 sample limit, but no one was counting.  At one point there was a ridiculous line for Hop Butcher... I came back an hour later, neither beer had kicked, and I sampled both without waiting.  Another time, I was hanging out in front of the meads and it suddenly became crowded, but not at the tables.  I realized it was a line, asked what it was for and was told Goose Island, who were in the complete opposite corner and had cattle shoots for line management.  I simply stood there getting several pours of Superstition, wondering what the hell is wrong with these people.

Anyway, I suppose if I were chasing ticks of all the hyped beers present, I might have found something to complain about.  As it were, I was not, and there might have only been a couple things I missed, but so many other great things made that negligible.  It even thinned out about 2 hours in.  We left with about 30 min to go, fully satiated.
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Offline unclejedi

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2019, 01:54:06 AM »
Well, I pulled the trigger, we'll be at the Friday night session.
Yeah ticket price was kinda high... then I started looking for a hotel... JESUS, fest ticket is only a drop in the bucket.

Anyway, we fly in Tuesday night, probably head up to Wisconsin Wednesday & Thursday, Back to the city Friday for the event and we'll probably explore a little Saturday.  Would love to meetup with anyone available either Friday afternoon or Saturday.  Probably head south and east Sunday, might even make it to Grand Rapids.

i'll be at the friday session, probably pretty hammered at the go, as i judge... but i'll save the wait on the goose line for ya... as long as joan doesn't yell at me.
Looked for you a coupla times, didn't see you.  And please know that my comments above are not intended to disparage Goose Island, just the people who make long lines for it all the way to a place where there is perfectly good mead being offered. :cheers:
non-conformists are all the same...

Offline emerge

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2019, 02:57:32 PM »
So yeah, I quite enjoyed this and will be back.  Went to the Friday night session.  We showed up about 20 til and quite a line had formed, but they had already banded almost everyone already in line.  Showed IDs and tickets for bands, and the line moved pretty quickly around opening time, with a slight hold up once, plus the time for metal detectors.

Once inside, there were plenty of great options without lines and only a few of the usual suspects with silly lines for something hyped.  It was quite crowded and sometimes a little hard to move through some areas, but never that hard to get a sample.  I was a little unsure of the published 20 sample limit, but no one was counting.  At one point there was a ridiculous line for Hop Butcher... I came back an hour later, neither beer had kicked, and I sampled both without waiting.  Another time, I was hanging out in front of the meads and it suddenly became crowded, but not at the tables.  I realized it was a line, asked what it was for and was told Goose Island, who were in the complete opposite corner and had cattle shoots for line management.  I simply stood there getting several pours of Superstition, wondering what the hell is wrong with these people.

Anyway, I suppose if I were chasing ticks of all the hyped beers present, I might have found something to complain about.  As it were, I was not, and there might have only been a couple things I missed, but so many other great things made that negligible.  It even thinned out about 2 hours in.  We left with about 30 min to go, fully satiated.
Maybe i'll break my hiatus next year...

Did they put all the sour beer and cider in the far back room again? That was tricky to find as I recall...

Offline unclejedi

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2019, 11:22:56 PM »
So yeah, I quite enjoyed this and will be back.  Went to the Friday night session.  We showed up about 20 til and quite a line had formed, but they had already banded almost everyone already in line.  Showed IDs and tickets for bands, and the line moved pretty quickly around opening time, with a slight hold up once, plus the time for metal detectors.

Once inside, there were plenty of great options without lines and only a few of the usual suspects with silly lines for something hyped.  It was quite crowded and sometimes a little hard to move through some areas, but never that hard to get a sample.  I was a little unsure of the published 20 sample limit, but no one was counting.  At one point there was a ridiculous line for Hop Butcher... I came back an hour later, neither beer had kicked, and I sampled both without waiting.  Another time, I was hanging out in front of the meads and it suddenly became crowded, but not at the tables.  I realized it was a line, asked what it was for and was told Goose Island, who were in the complete opposite corner and had cattle shoots for line management.  I simply stood there getting several pours of Superstition, wondering what the hell is wrong with these people.

Anyway, I suppose if I were chasing ticks of all the hyped beers present, I might have found something to complain about.  As it were, I was not, and there might have only been a couple things I missed, but so many other great things made that negligible.  It even thinned out about 2 hours in.  We left with about 30 min to go, fully satiated.
Maybe i'll break my hiatus next year...

Did they put all the sour beer and cider in the far back room again? That was tricky to find as I recall...
As near as I could tell, everything was in the same room, unless I missed something.  Each section had large signs at the end of the rows to help find the broad style categories.  Although some of those categories seemed overly broad.  Regretfully, I can't really report on the sour stuff, I saw it, but didn't really explore that area.
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Offline Murphadam

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2019, 11:11:16 AM »


Did they put all the sour beer and cider in the far back room again? That was tricky to find as I recall...

I heard there was no back room this year - ciders and meads were on the main floor with everything else. 

Offline emerge

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Re: What's up with FoBAB?
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2019, 12:01:25 PM »


Did they put all the sour beer and cider in the far back room again? That was tricky to find as I recall...

I heard there was no back room this year - ciders and meads were on the main floor with everything else.

Cool, that makes a lot more sense, and sort of a return to the earlier years.

On the topic of signage, I saw this:



Holy shit! Mobcraft beat Off Color???


I've had both of these beers, they're both top notch, but OC's has more depth and unique character. Mobcraft's was super oaky and nearly passed for a lambic.

Edit: Here are the complete results.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 12:14:51 PM by emerge »