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February 10, 2015

February is (usually) the last, miserable month of winter in Chicagoland.

The holidays are a distant memory. You’d rather not talk about your misguided New Years resolution to only buy produce from farmers markets from now on. Maybe you picked up an old TV series that you missed to get you through until spring, but you’ve already finished it. You haven’t felt the warmth of the sun in months. In fact, the only part of you that ever sees sunlight is your face and maybe a bit of ankle when you step out of the car. Your skin is pale and colorless and you’ve had a sinus infection since Christmas.

Cheer up, guy, we made you a doppelbock. Endsinator is our take on the hefty dark lager that originated centuries ago in Germany. Brewed with a base of dark Munich malt and boiled to within an inch of its life for a rich, complex malt profile of toasty melanoidins, caramel and dark fruit. There's just enough grassy hop character to balance the sweetness and it's fermented super cold to keep the focus on the full-frontal malt assault. Stay strong, spring is almost here.

January 22, 2015

It’s not often we release a new IPA--turns out vikings aren't very good at sharing the spotlight.

It's even more rare that we’re comfortable throwing the term “session” on the front end of one of our IPAs--in fact, we’ve never done that before. But your thirst for all that is good and hoppy is well documented and we at Solemn Oath have a long tradition of giving the people what they want. Why PowerSax? Because sax sells. We know you want it and it’s time to dim the lights, turn on the fog machines and give it to you.

January 21, 2015

We're bringing the largest collection of one-off beers we've ever made to a single event.

The occasion is the Uppers & Downers Festival of Coffee Beers at Thalia Hall this Sunday, January 25th, a production of Good Beer Hunting and Intelligentsia. Solemn Oath and Goose Island are the festival's two brewery case studies, meaning we have our own space at the festival and the opportunity to explore as much new territory as we can imagine and bring as many successes as we can produce. We've been working with Intelligentsia on several new concepts and we're bringing back a few old favorites in new forms. If you already have tickets, great, we'll see you there. Check out the beer list below. If you're ticketless, the fest is already sold out, but you're not out of luck. We're throwing an Uppers & Downers party at the Solemn Oath taproom on Tuesday, January 27th with all of the beers we're bringing to the festival. Please note that quantities are limited and availability is not guaranteed. And for the city folk, we'll be bringing a smaller selection of the Uppers & Downers lineup to The Map Room on Monday, February 16th including two of the Muerte Inmaculada imperial coffee IPA variants and the Heaven Hill barrel-aged coffee milk stout Beverage of Champions.
January 2, 2015

This week we span the malt-hop spectrum by bringing back the most bitter of vikings and introducing a new Scotch ale.

Death by Viking, our imperial IPA, bursts with pine resin and grapefruit hop aroma that gives way to a clean, tongue-smacking bitterness and a warming finish like those post-pillage bonfires pre-Battle of Stamford Bridge. There's enough malt character left after fermentation for a hint of caramel and cracker, but not enough to call this beer balanced. The fermentation profile is moderately fruity, accentuating and complementing the intense hop-derived qualities of this beer.

December 29, 2014

When you think of the number "100," many different things may come to mind.

  • In the year 100C Emperor Trajan and Sextus Julius Frontinus become Roman Consuls.
  • The atomic number of fermium is 100.
  • There are 100 Senators in the U.S. Congress.
  • The U.S. hundred-dollar-bill features Benjamin Franklin which then inspired Puff Daddy’s 1997 hit "It's All About the Benjamins.”
  • On March 2, 1962 Wilt Chamberlin scored a record 100 points in a NBA game.
December 11, 2014

This week, we announce two brand new beers, both sturdy enough for mid-winter's chill.

Pain Cave is a double IPA with a bodacious citrus and pine-sap hop aroma, minimal malt character, intense lingering bitterness, and light-t0-medium body--there's nothing balanced about it. Kavorka is a Russian imperial stout with the aroma of Ghirardelli Square and a coffee roastery being swept up in the Boston Molasses Disaster, a subdued bitterness, and a rich, full body with a lasting baker's chocolate finish. A good amount is already stocked away in bourbon barrels.

December 10, 2014

When you think of the number "50," many different things may come to mind.

  • A normal lens' focal length in photography is 50 mm.
  • There are 50 states in the United States of America.
  • "Five-Oh" (or 5-0) is a slang term for the po-po (police).
  • 50 is a calibre of ammunition.
  • There is a rapper named 50 Cent.
December 4, 2014

This week, we have two beers returning for your drinking pleasure and grammatical consternation, both in draft format, and one in bottles.

Axe Scar Pig. is our American red ale, ruby in color with a tight off-white head, packed with caramel and toasted malt character, and bursting with the choicest earthy and melonesque American-variety hops. Like a battle hog built for endurance, Axe is medium-bodied and supremely drinkable. Interrobang‽ is our true-to-style Belgian-style tripel, straw colored and brilliant, a delicate balance between bready pils-malt sweetness, spicy Continental hop aroma, and bubblegum-fruity Belgian yeast character, all forming an invisibility cloak around the beer's potent 9.0% ABV.

November 20, 2014

We'd like to introduce you to a beer that we're very happy with. But first, a few words about our approach to crafting recipes.

The majority of beers we brew can be classified under four categories:

  • Traditional Style - These are beers that fit into existing BJCP or GABF guidelines. The beer must fit into specific parameters for original/final gravity, color, IBU, ABV and flavor to be considered a traditional style. Bier der Toten Vienna Lager and Interrobang Belgian-Style Tripel are examples of beers we brew according to style guidelines.
  • Super Style - This is when we take an existing traditional style and exaggerate certain qualities, kind of like a traditional beer style after plastic surgery. Scareball would be considered a super style since it uses all the ingredients of a traditional Pilsner, but quantities are exaggerated to give it a bigger dry-hopped aroma and higher alcohol content than a typical Pilsner.
  • Hybrid Style - A beer that has aspects of two or more styles would fall under this category. The current trend of “Belgo-American” styles is a perfect example of this. At SOB, we brew Nourri au Fourrage to be a hybrid of the American Stout and Milk/Sweet Stout styles.
  • Freestyle - These are beers that are delicious, but don’t resemble any particular beer style. They can be some of the most memorable beers in a brewer's profile, though they may be difficult to classify. Our best example of this approach is Pernicieux.