Commercial Barrel-Aging

Brewery Spotlight: FOBAB 2023 medal winners

By Midwest Barrel Co.

November 13th, 2023

Barrel head with FOBAB stamp

Another year of the Festival of Wood Barrel-Aged Beer is in the books and the winners have been named!

While we weren't able to make it to Chicago for FOBAB this year, we were excited to see so many familiar breweries receive medals. It's such a huge honor to know that some of the best brewers in barrel-aging chose to age their beers in barrels we provided.

This year, we decided to feature some of the winning brews and breweries who we've partnered with!

Did you age a medal-winning brew in a barrel from Midwest Barrel Co.? We want to get you on this list! Reach out with details and pics.

Brewery: Hidden Hand Brewing (Solemn Oath)

Val d'Or, Hidden Hand Brewing
Val d'Or, Hidden Hand Brewing

Beer: Oaked Val d'Or (Wild Beer Brett)
Award: Best of Show

Val d'Or was 100% barrel-fermented using what Hidden Hand calls third-use bourbon barrels. The first use was at the distillery, the second use was for a Hidden Hand beer and then the third was for Val d'Or after the barrels rinsed them with ~200º F water. The beer rested in the barrels for 15 months and then conditioned in the bottles for another 6 months. The name of the beer is a reinterpretation of Orval, both of which translate to Valley of Gold and refer to the Abbey of Orval in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium.

Val d'Or is one of the only beers that is step mashed at the Solemn Oath and Hidden Hand family – and was their first attempt at it with their system. The recipe ingredients stay true to the Belgian style and true to the brewery ethos by being locally sourced.

Wine Barrel-Aged Tripel G, Sketchbook Brewing
Wine Barrel-Aged Tripel G, Sketchbook Brewing

Beer: Wine Barrel-Aged Tripel G (Belgian Tripel)
Award: Gold, Other Pale Beer

Sketchbook Brewing brewed up this luxurious Belgian-style tripel ale in memory of Evanston Homebrew Club's Uncle Gregg, who was known for his love Belgian beers and life. Wine Barrel-Aged Tripel G was aged in neutral red wine barrels adding rich red wine flavors to a robust 10.3% ABV brew.

Brewery: Half Acre

Orin, Half Acre
Orin, Half Acre

Beer: Orin
Award: Silver, Other Dark Beer

Orin is a 13.6% ABV, three-year blend with the oldest barrels aging beer for 33 months and the youngest aging for 10 months. The beer featured a mix of barrles: 4-5 year Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, apple brandy barrels and 9-year Elijah Craig barrels. The result was apple-forward thanks to the brandy barrels and nicely oaked from longer conditioning.

Brewery: Jackie O's

Double Barrel Temple of Minerva, Jackie O's
Double Barrel Temple of Minerva, Jackie O's

Beer: Double Barrel Temple of Minerva
Award: Bronze, Strong Porter / Stout

For this batch of Double Barrel Temple of Minerva, the Jackie O's crew first aged the beer in a mix of Buffalo Trace Mash #1 and Mash #2 bourbon barrels for 17 months. Then, the beer was aged in ex-bourbon rum barrels for six months.

Congrats, Winners!

Congratulations again to all 2023 medalists, award winners and every brewer who worked their tail off to enter a beer for FOBAB this year.

We can't wait to learn what you have aging for next year's contest!

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Midwest Barrel Company

Just your resident barrel slingers delivering some damn good content

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