Despite the title, there’s no whining here. Just a running chronicle of what makes us Solemn Oath–matters serious and funny, big and small, and so on and so on.
This was no free-for-all of bearded dudes shouting, "Well this is how we do it at MY brewery." We started, 6,500 of us, with the double-digit growth we've generated year over year, the progress we've made chipping away at your pappy's adjunct light lager and your mom's chardonnay. From there, each SOB on the trip had a somewhat different experience, each marked by the wisdom of seasoned veterans and the experience of new beers in new settings. In a way, our gathering was something of a peaceful rebellion against the status quo, a mile-marker on the path to more democratic beer. It wasn't lost on anyone that, mere blocks from the conference, a hearty demonstration on the steps of the Supreme Court reflected the vigorous arguments within, the fates of millions hanging in the balance. Our purpose there was serious, but, at the end of the day, it's just beer.
One night, as we were closing down the taproom, I asked Lou a simple and direct question, “What are you looking for in a soulmate, Lou?”
When we’re done boiling wort in the brew kettle, we have to get it to the fermenter. This is called ‘knockout’ and it has to happen at the proper temperature. If it doesn’t, we could shock or even kill our yeast. We knock out ales at sixty-eight to seventy-two degrees, and lagers around fifty.