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125 Posts by

John Barley

@ divider
July 17, 2014

Solemn Oath is expanding.

When our head brewer Tim Marshall and I began working full-time on Solemn Oath in August, 2011, we had no space and no equipment, but a vision and a plan to bring it to life. We would focus exclusively on draft out of the gates and eventually add packaged beer. That allowed us to offer an intimate introduction to our beer at the Solemn Oath taproom and at our favorite bars and restaurants around Chicago, where we think beer is best had and where we like to drink it. As our production increased, we rolled packaged product out in the form of twenty-two ounce bombers, making our beer available to take home for the right occasion and company, apt for sharing alongside beers from our peers whose company-in-beer we enjoy. But before we had even released our first bottle, we began actively working on our next expansion. This will all be done before the end of 2014 and we're ready to announce it.

July 3, 2014

Tim and I invented spontaneous combustion.

It actually sounds cooler than it is. Really, we were just bored. History was boring. Extremely boring. Who knew? Not these two time-traveling mavericks. Why do you think Paul quit teaching it? You have to be a god-damned illusionist to try and get kids to pay attention to all the boring shit. Yeah, we know, Cromwell, Hammurabi, Tesla, blah blah blah. 332, 1280, 1668, 1776. Yes, there were some interesting people and times in our world history, but they’re only a minuscule part of the vast void of history.

June 11, 2014

On Thursday, June 26 Solemn Oath and our brothers at Penrose Brewing Company will be debuting a new event format we will regularly pair up for - The Neighborhood Party.

One of Chicago's obvious strengths is it's neighborhood diversity and this night is set to highlight exactly that. Each quarter we will select a different neighborhood or area of Chicagoland to highlight. We are creating an all evening affair with several stops where you can join from beginning to end or hop in anywhere along the way.

June 10, 2014

We're hitting the ground in 2018 running and a little bit jittery with the Most Important Day of Beverage. Saturday, January 13 will be the release of Most Important Beverage of the Day, Beverage of Champions, and the all-new Beverage of Champions Rock and Rye.

The release party, which is open to all, will go from 11AM to 3PM. At 3PM the party will end and all remaining bottles that need to be picked up can be done so through the Taproom. If you cannot make the celebration we will hold your bottles until close at the brewery on January 20, after which we will put any bottles not yet picked up back on sale and no refund will be given.

May 13, 2014

This week we embark on the annual sleep-deprived binge we call Chicago Craft Beer Week. It's a time for special tappings, hang sessions with the friends, and a jovial celebration of all things craft beer.

The best way to attack the madness is to embrace the advice your dad has been trying to pound into you since you were little, "Have a goddamned plan." This is our schedule, so be sure to join us for a few things and bring some friends.

April 8, 2014

Before Solemn Oath began, I sought to build a company where individuals could be unleashed in a creative atmosphere with a united goal. The work of our artist, Jourdon Gullett, is an excellent example of how this looks when it goes really, really well.

The person we sought for our brewery art was one who would understand our goals and make Solemn Oath Brewery a part of their home. Joe and I had an affinity for raw illustration and tattoo-inspired work and those dimensions defined the space we wanted Solemn Oath's art to inhabit. Our world collided with Jourdon's through a mutual friend, and he has since filled it with all things dark, dangerous, and unfathomable.

April 6, 2014

Your mother was wrong. The use of profanity, even in print, is not always inelegant. Nor apparently does it disqualify you from incredible and humbling honors. Last week SAVEUR Magazine announced Solemn Oath's SOB Stories as a 2014 Best Food Blog finalist. Unbelievable.

We're one of six finalists in the best wine and beer category, each of which have incredible sites. While we hope it is us, please take the time to vote for your favorite. Voting closes April 9 and we'd love to have your support. And dammit share with your friends.

March 14, 2014

William Faulkner said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." That crazy SOB was right. E-Ville, an American Brown has reared its, well, evil head a number of times over our first two years. Axe Scar Pig. didn't debut until 2013 but this American Red Ale was actually spawned from E-Ville. These two beers have a past.

In August of last year one of our wood-aged E-Villes went rogue. And when a barrel goes rogue in a bad way we move it outside and rid ourselves of its contents. Obviously at SOB we weren't just going to pop the bung and pour it out. Obviously we were going to hit it with an axe. Why would we not hit it with an axe? And thus, Matt Offerman's Thursdays With Murray was born.

[youtube_sc url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Ur77wQEKo&feature=youtu.be" title="Thursdays%20with%20Murray"]

During the production of a never released accompanying drama section of this masterpiece, Tim sliced the shit out of his leg with the axe while performing an action that can only be described as pretend kneeling. These things happen. Life happens. And, at the time we were looking for a name for this American Red so that was that. You will have to ask Tim about the pig section, that part is just too crazy to write about. Here's the plan, enjoy.

February 28, 2014

Wisconsin. It's funny how life really works. I remember there being taps everywhere when I was growing up, but I wasn't paying much attention to them--not nearly as much as I will be from here on.

Yesterday we signed with Wirtz Beverage, making Solemn Oath their first brewery for the state of Wisconsin. We couldn't be more thrilled and excited to pave the road with the Wirtz family, Nate Phippin, and their entire team in a state with such a proud and storied brewing heritage.