We brew our single-hop American pale ale a few times every year to give some of the many hop varietals we use a chance to hog the spotlight. This time, it’s Chinook.
We usually use Chinook in conjunction with a citrusy, currant-ish, or tropical fruit-leaning hop like Cascade, Amarillo, or Galaxy to give the overall hop profile the Americanity we’re shooting for, but ‘nook is flying solo in this batch. Going lone ‘nook. It’s a one ‘nook rodeo. Rolling ‘nook deep. American denim, five pockets, one ‘nook. Ya dig? (Ed. Note: That’s a lot of puns). We used three different sources of Chinook to develop a degree of hop complexity while staying true to the single-hop agenda. The result is a pale ale that won’t grab you with fruity tendrils and shake you, but one that will scrub your tastebuds with spruce sap until you see Sasquatch.
Each spring, we shout out the window, “Hey! These floors are dirty as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore!” We also roll back around to the beers we made when we opened in May, 2012. The one we most look forward to is finally here.
Today we release bombers of ultrahighfrequency in the taproom. This American double red ale is big on citrus and melon hop aroma with the underlying caramel malt lending an overall candied citrus quality. Toasted, caramel, and a hint of chocolate malt flavor are prominent and supported by substantial body, but give way to ripe orange and a firm, lingering bitterness.
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.
Every April, we start the vikings on a six-month hiatus and bring in the IPA series we were inspired to brew by the legendary dumpster-punk trio The Snaggletooth Bandana.
Nobody has been able to confirm this, but I’ve heard from four different third-hand sources that the Fireside Bowl was so named because Franklin Delano Roosevelt caught polio at a ‘Dana show there back in ’21 when it was Icepick Eddy’s Lock-N-Key Coldbox. Heady shit man! Can you imagine? Snaggletooth Bandana is our American IPA, more west coast than Kidnapped By Vikings in that it lacks the caramel sweetness and some of the body, with a tropical fruit-driven hop character rather than citrus and pine.
We’re at it again. Our third anniversary is nearly here and as we go forward we’re going to go back in time.
There’s no need to dress up, but Oath Day 2015 will rock a not-so-subtle ’80s vibe. Again we’ll be skipping out on long lines and obnoxious crowds in favor of closing down for the day and opening up as much of our entire facility as we can, including a massive chunk of the parking lot and brewery. Oath Day is Saturday, May 16th, and here are the details. Again this year we’ll have two sessions and there will be even more room to spread your wings. We’ll have more pouring stations, more activities, more coffee beers, more wood-aged beers, more collaborators, more SOBs, and more time.
Sorry in advance to the purists.
We’ve never been huge supporters of the status quo. SOBs have always been more comfortable playing the mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester and seeing how far we can get you to follow along without going insane or changing the channel. So far you seem to kind of like it that way.
Eigengrau is not your average kölsch. Far from it. Like Cologne’s fuckingepicasfuck cathedral, Eigengrau is our gothic reminder of the unending wrestle for balance between light and dark. As its namesake implies, Eigengrau’s color rests just on the dark side of black, but don’t let this menacing facade fool you. The mellow roastiness of German chocolate wheat gently blankets a sweet, bready, and biscuity malt profile with mellow, almost lager-like fermentation characteristics. Throw in some mild floral hops and the final equilibrium is a light-bodied beer that, while eccentrically SOB, rests sturdily within a tradition that refuses to be ignored. So close your eyes, take a sip, and raise your longest finger in the face of expectation–smiling all the while. Prost.
Don’t worry–he’s not a sociopath, he just has resting dead eyes.
Psychogaze is packed with roast, toffee, and chocolate aromas with a nice big smack of earthy spice and candied citrus up front–not your standard porter fare, but damn it’s good. The malt bill is stacked with dark Munich and crystal for toast and caramel sweetness, chocolate and black malt for a roasty underbelly, and oats and flaked barley for a supple, complex texture and sturdy body. And just in time for the extradition of Robert Durst, the grand swami of flat affect! Seriously, have you watched “The Jinx?” Dude describes his real-life recollection of dismembering a body with the demeanor you would expect from your neighbor relaying his mild annoyance at the corner store bread collection. Holy shudder.
Sometimes we brew beers that are hybrids of American and European styles. Some of our beers are amplified versions of classic styles. Some really don’t fit within an established style. This time, we stayed true.
Billy No-Mates is a classic Irish stout–coffee-like roasted barley aroma with sharp roast and mellow chocolate flavor and a lingering bittersweet finish with a dry smack. It’s medium-light-bodied and drinkable at 5% ABV and well-suited for extended St. Patrick’s Day sessions.
Damn, that’s hoppy for a brown ale.
I know, I know. Hear it all the time. What else would you expect from us? We don’t always drink brown ales, but when we do, it usually just makes us want a porter. That’s why we amplified the Americanity–because when we want porter we want porter and when we want brown ale how about we get smacked in the face with hop aroma? Right? The hop schedule is like a slightly sedated Kidnapped by Vikings, but the malt bill gets packed with dark crystal, dark Munich, chocolate malt, and oats for a supple body and velvety, round mouthfeel. Well-toasted bread crust and bittersweet chocolate match up with grapefruit, orange rind, and pine sap for a very different brownsperience. Just don’t call it a brown IPA. Unless you only drink IPAs–oh wait…