On Saturday my coworker Philip Montoro and I went to the afternoon session of the ninth annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer, put on by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Hall. As usual, there were a lot more beers than I could possibly try—172, from 62 breweries—and as usual they were nearly all rare and interesting brews that I really wanted to taste. It was a good problem to have, but it still made decision-making difficult, especially given the high percentage of alcohol in most of them (the program doesn’t list alcohol content, but warns at the bottom of some pages: “Please be aware that many of these beers are quite strong and should be enjoyed responsibly.”). Two-ounce tasting portions add up fast when they weigh in at 10 percent alcohol or more.