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125 Posts by

John Barley

@ divider
February 13, 2014

Let us take a moment to thank you for your continued support as we've expanded and developed new formats and offerings. We're working to get more and more beer in your hands in more and more convenient ways. You'll be happy to know that it's our third highest priority - More on that from Paul is coming soon.

It took us a while to get to packaged product and thus far the response has been incredible. Continued support from our family of SOBs and the support of shops throughout Chicagoland has been humbling. This month we continue on and grow with both 1) our first beer that head brewer Tim Marshall will actually admit to being "cellarable" and 2) our largest release bottle release to date in Kidnapped.
January 16, 2014

In the history of Western civilization we've had our cultures woven around the idea of threes. From religion to folklore, our generational storytelling has been influenced by this concept for thousands of years.

In modern society, 'The Rule of Three' is a writing principle in which grouping things in threes is funnier, more interesting, and a better way to communicate your point. Charles Dickens's used this principle in a A Christmas Carol with the three spirits. There's the Three Little Pigs and the Three Stooges. There's also always the Latin phrase 'omne trium perfectum' means everything that comes in threes is perfect.

January 7, 2014

Businesses can grow too quickly. Often, that rapid expansion is at the cost of culture and authenticity.

Since they began in 2009, Clay Robinson alongside Dave Colt and their colleagues at Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis have created one of the most genuine and respected breweries in craft beer. From just 509 barrels in 2009, Sun King kicked out 5,024 in 2010 and surpassed 21,000 barrels in 2013. More than anything, they've grown well--maintaining an incredible culture and having never wavered when it comes to their focus on quality.

December 24, 2013
December 23, 2013

Last month I had the good fortune of being able to share my story and the story of Solemn Oath with a unique audience, TEDxNaperville. As someone who is perpetually in search of inspiration, I have long been a supporter of TED and really any situation that involves sharing ideas.

For my topic, I elected to talk about the landscape of the craft beer culture--how this is an industry that is overflowing with passion, creativity, and determination. And how, most of all, we're just getting started.

December 3, 2013

The craft industry is strong right now, but what comes with growth is often people getting involved for the wrong reasons. Quick dollars in a burgeoning industry from individuals or companies that aren't passionate about the craft. Wine went through this and craft beer has even gone through this before.

So while you could dive in and open another microbrewery and compete within our collaborative sphere, what many of you should consider is adding to the movement in a different capacity. What you should consider is opening the next great American craft beer bar. And if that is of interest to you, here are some important things to consider.

November 18, 2013

We are nothing without our friends. For each of the past two years Solemn Oath has had the great fortune of being a part of GBH x BSSG, also known as GoodBeerBuckshot, an event well-beyond-organized by Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting and Max Wastler of Buckshot Sonny's Sporting Goods.

Hosted at Camp Wandawega, one of Earth's most inspiring places, this weekend serves as a hat tip to camaraderie and creativity and is forged by the fortunate few that attend. The group consists of artists, artisans, brewers, chefs, designers, coffee roasters, and film makers, with each expected to add to the experience and help drive the weekend. Read more on that here.

November 12, 2013

This Thursday we have an event that isn't for everyone. It's for the diehards and the geeks. Under the radar by design and organized to take place in front of a small group, it's an event for those running breweries, just love them, or hoping to one day start one. It's for those hoping to understand more about what is going on in this industry and where it came from.

Earlier this year, we began this discussion. Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting and I began talking about how to tell this story. A story of siblings, not only actual but within the industry. Who better to team up with on this than brothers Jim and Jason Ebel of Two Brothers Brewing Co. Brothers making more beer in the state of Illinois than anyone outside of Goose Island and the ones who helped pave the way for the next wave.

October 24, 2013

Beer connoisseurs across the globe have long held California as a mecca to the craft, and they're absolutely right. From the long-time powerhouse breweries in the north to the hop-centric revolution carried forward by producers in and around San Diego, the California market has long been then envy of others throughout the states. But few people ever mention what's going on in  greater Los Angeles.

Last week we had the chance to bring Solemn Oath to pour beer in Los Angeles as part of a truly unique event called Uppers & Downers. Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting and Intelligentsia teamed up for the first in what will be a series of events highlighting the past, present, and future of beer brewed with coffee.