I didn’t think when I said yes last year to a fantasy draft where local Chicago beer writers picked who we thought would win medals at the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (FoBAB) that this would become an annual event. I also didn’t think a worldwide pandemic was going to shift the way we live and breathe, but eight or nine months in, the fantasy draft is back. We will await the results of these medals not from the comfort of the UIC Forum deep in bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout and the most solid hang session all year round but from our respective homes, texting each other madly as the results come in and we see who was selected as the best breweries again.

It is that time again; the FoBAB awards are coming out as you are reading this column right now. The Awards ceremony will be streamed on Facebook Live at 3 p.m. today. I will be watching and checking my list to see what medals will be rolling in. This year, the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild put together what they called FoBAB at Home Kits with randomly selected beers from this year’s festival. These kits sold out in minutes, and I did not get one.

As you are reading this column this morning, you can go to the Festival website to check the results and root for your local beer writer to win the second annual FoBAB Fantasy Draft that was organized by the fine folks at ABV Chicago: Ryan Ingerswen and Craig Conciarcyzk. This duo hosts a podcast put out weekly called ABV Chicago, during which they drink beers and talk about their reactions live on the podcast. I have gotten to know Ryan and Craig during the years, especially over Honker’s Ale at the Goose Island Barrel Warehouse, where Craig pestered me to be on my small, passion project Nintendo podcast. To date, we have not had any guests on this show, but if we ever do, Craig will be the first.

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