John Barley President
John Barley

Well, I’m A Regular Visitor Here

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.

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Tickle Me Kidnapped

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.

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February Beer Releases

How many months have 28 days in them? All of them! Remember that overly-intellectual prick who dropped that in high school? He probably still tells that dumb joke. February is great. It’s short and next up is March which tricks your brain into thinking it should be spring.

Just because it’s insanely frigid, it does not mean the beer will stop. This month we’ll be waving bon voyage to Kidnapped By Vikings as we have already brewed our final batch of the season, we’ll wrap our metaphorical tastebud-arms around some wood-aged disciples, we’ll enjoy Death on draft, and swoon over a barleywine. Bottle schedule announcement coming soon.

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Screw Taxes. Death and Butterflies.

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.

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Founders & Radicals: Clay Robinson

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.

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Holiday Hours 2013

The holidays are a special time for people to hang with family and friends and enjoy a break from the daily grind. For a brewery, however, they’re a bit of a pain in the ass as we try to balance giving our crew time to spend with their blood and making sure you have beer to drink come January.

Taproom hours and brew schedules all become a moderately-sophisticated game of chess, always involving humans and sometimes involving yeast strains. Regardless, we take pride in the fact that the fruits of our efforts are used by you as something you share with those you care about around the holidays. And we hope, you’ll come hang with us for at least part of your down time. Also remember to utilize Paul’s Holiday Conversion Guide to blow some minds this year with not only our beer, but that of some great breweries around town and across the world.

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Sharing Ideas

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.

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All Things are Subject to Change: SOB Bottles

When the concept for Solemn Oath Brewery began we knew from the start we wanted to focus on draft beer only. As a small brewery with a small staff in a huge market, we wanted to focus our efforts in one space and keep things relatively simple. Now we move forward. Next week, for the first time ever, Solemn Oath will be available in bottles.

For the foreseeable future, we will be releasing two beers per month in limited volume. Until sold out, 22 oz. bottles will be available at the Solemn Oath taproom as well as many of your favorite liquor stores across the Chicagoland area. We ask that you contact your local liquor store directly regarding their availability of Solemn Oath releases. 

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STEAL THIS POST & Start a Great Beer Bar

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.

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