John Barley President
John Barley

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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. 

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

GBH x BSSG 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.

Continue Reading

Brotherhood of the Barrel

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.

Continue Reading

The Tinseltown Commeth

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.

Continue Reading

Cali Beans & Northwest Greens

Tupac Shakur once said, “California knows how to party.” Being the visionary and poet that he was, we’re pretty sure he was prophecizing this week as Solemn Oath descends on California for the very first time. Two ticketed events, both Saturday, are bringing two crews of SOBs to different parts of The Golden State.

Here are the details.

Continue Reading