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At that time, Good Beer Hunting existed as a tumblr page with just a small and primarily local following. GBH’s captivating aesthetics through Michael’s photography and a poetic approach to storytelling drew me in as a reader. Michael’s written word has always had the ability to establish an emotional connection between me and the people and places that he visits. In short, Michael has made me give a shit about things I didn’t even know. Over the years we have become great friends and watching him grow the GBH brand and develop his own personal skill sets has been incredible to watch.
Chicagoland is our home, but my brother Joe and I grew up about sixteen miles north of Milwaukee. For us, bringing SOB home to Wisconsin, maintaining that personal connection to where we're from, and, above all, doing it well have always been high on our priorities.
After you step through a refurbished barn door to this donut-offering plateless BBQ hot spot, you’ll be greeted by a skeeball machine on which you get one throw to see if you can enter. This place has everything: no chairs or tables, 600 taps, a Russian man screaming profanities, ski bums, and Stockard Channing singing "There Are Worse Things I Could Do." Don’t look for a bartender; there isn’t one. And why are there no bartenders? Because it’s that thing when everyone you know is on the Paleo diet.
This month marks the release of our most recent collaboration, Stefon, which our friends at Perennial Artisan Ales brewed at their shop. Stefon is a dark rye farmhouse ale conditioned with Brettanomyces. Earthy, spicy rye malt is at the front of the nose, followed by subtle stone and tropical fruit, with crackling cocoa flavor on the palate and a slight tartness that will only develop further with age.
As we’ve grown, the demand for our apparel, headwear, and miscellaneous items (coming soon) has grown in parallel. Alongside our passion for creating quality beer, the aesthetic presence of our space and the products we create has always been a focus. From our creative partners to the work of our in-house artist Jourdon Gullett, we’ve always strived to construct the best atmosphere possible for you to enjoy the beer that we’re so proud of—and sometimes that is a tee shirt on your back.
As we move forward we will tap something out of the norm, sometimes it may be a rad pin, other times a specially infused beer... and, because you are thinking it, we will break out some barrel-aged stuff sometimes too. Special tappings won't be all. We'll also choose a beer, sometimes two, to do $10 growler fills.
In case you missed round one in Armitage Awesomeness, our two breweries got together to do two things: celebrate the great venues for beer in one Chicago neighborhood and throw an event that reflects our best experiences hanging out with friends over beers. Craft-supporting establishments and breweries do a killer job of giving you options for single-venue events, but we wanted to pull together an itinerary for you that gives the beer event some legs and a breath of fresh air.
When our head brewer Tim Marshall and I began working full-time on Solemn Oath in August, 2011, we had no space and no equipment, but a vision and a plan to bring it to life. We would focus exclusively on draft out of the gates and eventually add packaged beer. That allowed us to offer an intimate introduction to our beer at the Solemn Oath taproom and at our favorite bars and restaurants around Chicago, where we think beer is best had and where we like to drink it. As our production increased, we rolled packaged product out in the form of twenty-two ounce bombers, making our beer available to take home for the right occasion and company, apt for sharing alongside beers from our peers whose company-in-beer we enjoy. But before we had even released our first bottle, we began actively working on our next expansion. This will all be done before the end of 2014 and we're ready to announce it.
It actually sounds cooler than it is. Really, we were just bored. History was boring. Extremely boring. Who knew? Not these two time-traveling mavericks. Why do you think Paul quit teaching it? You have to be a god-damned illusionist to try and get kids to pay attention to all the boring shit. Yeah, we know, Cromwell, Hammurabi, Tesla, blah blah blah. 332, 1280, 1668, 1776. Yes, there were some interesting people and times in our world history, but they’re only a minuscule part of the vast void of history.