Festival of Wood & Barrel Aged Beer
These bad boys are true limited-edition. Some brewers make a single-barrel batch of what could be the finest Mocha Java Oatmeal Double-Cream Stout Aged in Cognac Barrels there ever were. This festival, the oldest of its kind, established by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild in 2003, stands alone with its distinctive brews (absolutely no pale ales) and determination to maintain a reasonable number of guests. Beer festivals get crowded; long lines and breweries without beer can be the bane of an otherwise delightful hopventure. The local guys tend to shine here, and some of these beers are so rare that even the geekiest of beer geeks may never find them again.
Best of Chicago 2011