THE FESTIVAL OF BARREL AGED BEERS SURVIVAL GUIDE 200 Breweries | Endless Brews
Two hundred breweries from around the country will descend upon Chicago on Nov 10-11 to provide beer fans with brews often assigned as special releases—it's wall-to-wall remarkable beers. With an abundance of sours and a host of bourbon, rum and wine barrel-aged brews, the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers (FoBAB) tests both liver and belly.
So, how do you survive? How can you avoid getting so drunk you can't walk? How do you avoid having your stomach curdle? For that matter, how do you enjoy FoBAB fully?
Don't worry—we have a plan.
Though hydration is always a good idea, it's profoundly important ahead of a beer festival, notably one marked by barrel-aged beers. Don't wait until the festival starts, arrive well hydrated. Water intake won't limit your inebriation, but it will help curb any potential hangover.
2) Eat Healthy Meals
We've all ordered 3 a.m. burritos or pizza after a night of over-consumption, but it doesn't actually help you in the long run. Eating healthy the day of the event will slow the process of inebriation (so you can sample more!) and keep you from feeling horrible the next day.
3) Pace Yourself
You paid $80 for a festival filled with exceptionally high-quality beers, so why slam beers the first hour? Shop around, be picky, go check out the swag, take pictures. Whatever you do, don't hurry. You have four hours. Use them.
4) Bring a Buddy
First, it's more fun to have some friends with you. Second, assuming you aren't a germaphobe, sharing samples allows for more tasting and less regret.
5) Make a Plan
Everyone is different but go in with a clear plan of what you want to sample. Maybe you want to try breweries from outside Chicago. Maybe you want to shop local beers from the breweries you may want to visit later. It's up to you, but make sure you get what you paid for at FoBAB.
6) Good Shoes
This is a drinking fest, not a club. You walk and walk and walk, all while consuming alcohol. Be smart and wear comfortable shoes.
7) There's a Coat Check—Use It
It can get pretty toasty in a crowded building. Feeling hot and sweaty will only exasperate dehydration. Plus, it's annoying to feel uncomfortable for four hours. Be smart. Dress for a beer fest.
8) Bring Antacids
Too many sours can lead to stomach distress, especially during a fest that also offers high-ABV brews. Bring a few antacids, just in case.
8) Bring a Pen or Pencil
FoBAB provides some of the best beers you'll ever have. If you think you will remember them all at the end of the night, you're crazy. Bring a pen and write them down (this will help you pace yourself, too).
9) Charge Your Phone and Monitor the Battery
You will take pics. You'll likely post to social media. You'll probably text people. At the end of this high octane festival, you'll also want to get an Uber, Lyft or taxi, so make sure your phone still has power.
10) Bring Cash
Yes, you should eat before the festival, but that doesn't mean you won't get the munchies. You never know what food truck might arrive when the festival ends or what hot dog stand you may find, so don't rob yourself of curing your post-BBA-beer hunger by relying on your debit card.
Full List of Breweries for 2017 FoBAB