Oath Day 2015

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.

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Eigengrau and Nonsequitur Metaphor

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.

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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.

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Billy No-Mates

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. 

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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…

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Death Bombers

We warned you this was coming.

You may have spotted Death By Viking on draft already this winter, but now it’s time to take some home. We have our imperial IPA packaged and ready. The rest is really up to you. Here’s the beef:

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. Yes, you read this paragraph before. No, that doesn’t mean you’re not crazy.

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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.

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This post brought to you by Lou Waldmeir, Solemn Oath Brewer and Resident Horn Section Enthusiast

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.

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Uppers and Downers

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.


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