Each and every Friday we’ll post moments and happenings from the week in the world of SOB. We hope this gives you insight into what we’re about and a look behind the scenes at our little American craft brewery.
We won’t be selling. We won’t be pushing. We won’t be trying to convince you of anything at all. These are a few moments for you to relax and enjoy some beer. And let this serve as a reminder to us all that at least some of the time, that’s really all a brewery should be.
As you may have been able to feel by all the cool and crisp mornings, this week marks the beginning of fall. For many, this season begins with the next phase of the Digital Era as nerds everywhere line up for their shot at being an early adopter of Apple’s newest creation. For SOB this transition marks a shift of our seasonals to a more malt-focused complexity.
This one is always highly-anticipated and a regular on our annual calendar since 2012. Bright citrus and tropical fruit hop flavor takes on a rich caramel and oatmeal sweetness in this full-bodied Belgo-American ale. You’ll see Man vs. Internet on draft in limited quantities and in bombers around town at your favorite bottle shop. Nerd out on this beer and tell us what you think. It’s also a good warmer to have a chat about the merits of artificial intelligence with your best friend or robot.
The best thing about being a part of the beer industry is the people you meet. My brother Joe and I first met Matt Taylor in December of 2013. Eager to escape the Chicago cold we set out to San Diego at the invitation of Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing Co./Lost Abbey who had asked me to join a panel discussion he was having for startup breweries for Brewbound.
Since then Matt and I have spoken often of the polarizing issue of aesthetics in beer. After brewery safety, the quality of what is actually in the glass will always be what’s most important, but not far behind is the environment that beer is in. Illustration and design have been and will always be a massive part of our culture here at SOB. From the simplicity of our taproom to the passion through creativity you see in our bottle labels and murals, art is how we tell our story.
Almost as much as making great beer, our brewery likes to tell a good story. Since our doors opened in 2012 we have woven threads of our beers into an ongoing and ever-evolving fabric of storylines. From our viking beers to the Snaggletooth Bandana line of IPAs, we’ve given our beers a life of their own.
Once a year since our doors opened we’ve developed a one-off beer that has been part of a series we haven’t talked much about: The Seven Seals. To date, these beers have always taken a slightly American approach to the Belgian brewing tradition from which we draw a great deal of inspiration.
When our artist Jourdon Gullett was installing the massive mural that’s located in the front hall of our taproom SOB head brewer Tim Marshall entered to see what he was doing. “What is this, your pain cave?” Tim said. “I guess so,” replied Jourdon. “That’d make a pretty good beer name,” Tim mumbled as he walked away.
Back in 2014 we wanted to sprinkle in a new IPA we had been discussing for a while. It was just a fifteen-barrel batch and for the most part it was kept here in the comforts of our taproom. What we kicked out was Pain Cave, one of our fastest moving and most highly sought-after beers of 2014. When scheduling came around we decided to invest more tank time in its success. We decided to make six batches in total and offer in both draft and bomber format.
It’s been three years since we first started this incredible journey and it is time to raise our glass. Our annual Oath Day celebration has grown each year and we’ve put in a lot of effort to make this our best party yet. If you will be joining us and have a ticket, here are the details. If you missed out or simply can’t make it, keep in mind we’ll have some leftovers available on Sunday and there is always next year.
On Saturday your job is to have a good time. Make new friends, enjoy the beer, and destroy your older brother with a giant Q-Tip. Last year went swell, so again please keep our neighbors and the City of Naperville in mind when you’re deciding how hard to party or how to party hard. We would like to continue to do this each year and just like Oath Day Two we need your help keeping things within the boundaries of such things as the law and good taste to continue to have this opportunity. In short, don’t be an asshole.
It is that time of year again. The Oath Day cometh. And with our annual celebration comes the extraordinary efforts of our artist Jourdon Gullett.
Each year at this time Jourdon works tirelessly to develop the extra little things that give Oath Day that aesthetic boost (yeah Erin, we know you helped too). Pins, stickers, hats, tees, and this year a few extra pieces of stuff for your SOB collection.
Like a conspiracy theory obsessed cousin, we’ve been stockpiling our vital items for this week’s Oath Day Three.
Long lost wood-aged wonders, never-before-seen Intelligentsia collaborations, hoppy beers for days, and more will be featured across the six beer stations we’ll have for Oath Day. A DJ spinning 80s vinyl, an arcade, a photo booth, some sweet vans, a mobile (and tented) halfpipe, American Gladiator-style jousting, custom motorcycles (weather permitting), and what we assume are your best friends. We’ll have more on the available and upcoming Oath Day merch and special items this week. It’s going to be awesome.
Developing and sharing stories has always been a massive piece of the culture here at Solemn Oath. Today our Vikings series moves from a trilogy to a tetralogy.
Last week at the Craft Brewers Conference I sat on a panel with Tommy Gannon of Sierra Nevada and Jeff Billingsly of Deschutes to discuss flagship beers. Sierra obviously has Pale and Deschutes has two in Mirror Pond and Black Butte Porter. We, of course, have none.