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150 Posts by

John Barley

@ divider
March 14, 2019
Saturday, March 23rd Solemn Oath is debuting a beer project we’re calling Duality. For the first rendition we’re focusing on the almighty hop with a double […]

Saturday, March 23rd Solemn Oath is debuting a beer project we’re calling Duality. For the first rendition we’re focusing on the almighty hop with a double set of double dry-hopped IPAs designed for exploration and uniqueness.

Andrew Mason, SOB Director of Brewing Operations:

With this duality project we set out to show how two very different beers can arise from a common starting point. I first thought of the scene in Full Metal Jacket when Private Joker is getting dressed down by the Colonel about his conflicting uniform messages. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMEViYvojtY We don't take ourselves seriously enough to conflate beer with good and evil, or war, but the idea of contextualizing ingredients and juxtaposing hops struck a chord. Both beers start in the same place, with the same malt bills and brewhouse treatments, but in the fermenters they take divergent paths. Duality 1 is made with Bravo, Galaxy, and Lotus. Duality 2 is made with El Dorado and Jarrylo. The hops themselves have interesting stories. Lotus or *Lotus* (imagine saying that in a delicate whisper) is a newly named hop variety from Hopsteiner, recently graduated from their experimental breeding program. They took hops from hearty American varieties that have been bred for disease and pest resistance, and crossed it with a Japanese variety called Eastern Gold that dates back to the 1930's. It also has Neomexicanus in its genetic heritage which is a landrace hop variety discovered in the desert southwest that has great drought resistance and incredible flavors and aromas. Lotus delivers flavors and aromas reminiscent of walking in an orange grove during the spring blossom. It's lightly floral with a sweet orange perfume and has a backbone of vanilla suggesting an orange creamsicle. We paired that with Bravo, another hop that has orange characters, but leans more towards orange rind and candied orange. Additionally we used Galaxy to bring a tropical passionfruit and citrus emphasis to tie it all together. Duality 2 is also very fruity but in a very different direction. El Dorado and Jarrylo bring a mix of watermelon, starburst-y, pear and fruity spice to play. El Dorado, named after the mythical golden city has flavors and aromas that run the gamut from pineapple and mango to watermelon and stone fruit. We like to think of it as a candy like dry hop addition. Jarrylo is named after Jarilo, the Slavic god of fertility and springtime and ends up having a common thread to our brewery's namesake. In Robert Burns' poem John Barleycorn three kings harvest barley to provide for their families: There was three kings into the east, Three kings both great and high, And they hae sworn a solemn oath John Barleycorn should die. Jarilo was celebrated as the bringer of crops and cereals, but that also meant that like John Barleycorn, each harvest he had to be murdered. His wife Morana becomes so distraught that each year she brings the winter as retribution and the cycle starts again each year. As a hop Jarrylo adds banana, pears, and spicy fruitiness. Together they create a delicious fruit explosion that is very different from Duality 1. So come explore these two different expressions with us and see how different hops and hop combinations can radically shape a beer and its character.  Sometimes at Solemn Oath we listen to rock and sometimes we listen to rap. On occasion you might hear some jazz, pop, or a splash of early punk. The important thing to realize is that we’re always lively. Always accomplishing something. Always planning for what we hope will not be your favorite new thing, or the brewery’s favorite new thing, but our favorite thing together. Never complacent and always adapting. Changing the world, probably.
March 13, 2019
Solemn Gardens IPA is a unique tropical beast. A torrent of coconut bliss stemming from the experimental side of the hop farm world. This is Batch […]

Solemn Gardens IPA is a unique tropical beast. A torrent of coconut bliss stemming from the experimental side of the hop farm world. This is Batch 2.

As a hop-focused brewery we study hop development and this beer is assembled from two cultivars with incredible potential and an already established star. (more…)
March 10, 2019
When Kraft put macaroni and cheese into a box 82 years ago it immediately became an American staple. While the powdery noodle glory may fill you […]

When Kraft put macaroni and cheese into a box 82 years ago it immediately became an American staple. While the powdery noodle glory may fill you with nostalgia from your childhood, Mac Dynamite’s modern perfection of the dish will fill you inspiration for a bountiful mac n’ cheese future.

To kick off St. Paddy's Day weekend, Mac Dynamite will be out on Friday, March 15th at 5pm with the greenest and spiciest mac 'n' cheese ever and we'll be re-releasing three different canned IPAs so you can soothe that delicate palate of yours with some tropical goodness after surviving those spicy, cheesy noods. (more…)
February 14, 2019
Our first release of the 2019 season for The Old Order features unique beers for our little brewery. Within this program we’ve released dozens of bourbon […]

Our first release of the 2019 season for The Old Order features unique beers for our little brewery. Within this program we’ve released dozens of bourbon barrel aged beers and will continue to do so, but this quarter we’re adding an exciting layer to our barrel varieties. Saturday, February 16 all the beers below will be released at 11AM for members and 3PM for non-members.

Apple brandy, grape brandy, and bourbon barrels are all featured prominently with our Baltic Port 83. A restock on our celebrated IPA Strange Old Woods, a restock on on the complex sour and refreshing IPA Unholy Water, and a brand new Tartshake collaboration with a familiar face in I Quit Solemn Oath. All these beers are ready and waiting for you. Lets get into it. (more…)
January 29, 2019
Solemn Oath Brewery, together with the longstanding beer institutions of Chicago’s Hopleaf and Lisle’s The Bavarian Lodge, will soon release a new stout, Taproom Exclusive, designed […]

Solemn Oath Brewery, together with the longstanding beer institutions of Chicago’s Hopleaf and Lisle’s The Bavarian Lodge, will soon release a new stout, Taproom Exclusive, designed to spark a discussion amongst beer drinkers and the beer community. A draft-only offering, Taproom Exclusive will not be served at Solemn Oath’s retail location, and instead will be exclusively available at select craft-focused Chicagoland bars, restaurants and retail locations, including its partner establishments.

“Competition is coming from all directions and in many cases, breweries are built in the same neighborhood as the taprooms that helped them achieve their initial success,” said Alan Taylor, owner of The Bavarian Lodge. “If breweries want to maintain a relationship and a presence on our beer list, they will have to be savvy with how they do business with us. This project, making a beer that is not available in the brewery taproom, serves that purpose.” (more…)
January 18, 2019
One celebrated Coffee Milk Stout with Sweet Orange Peel, five wood-aged coffee beers, fresh barista-brewed coffees from Intelligentsia, divine grilled cheeses from Toasty Cheese, and the […]

One celebrated Coffee Milk Stout with Sweet Orange Peel, five wood-aged coffee beers, fresh barista-brewed coffees from Intelligentsia, divine grilled cheeses from Toasty Cheese, and the previously unannounced release of a massive Barleywine. From 11AM-3PM on Saturday, January 19 will be The Most Important Day of Beverage. These are what snow days are all about.

Here’s the plan, here’s the skinny. If you’ve pre-ordered your beers please bring a copy of your receipt and an ID matching your beer purchase. This event is open to everyone so come enjoy our annual coffee beer extravaganza. (more…)
December 27, 2018
In 2019 you’ll be seeing some old favorites, some new creations, a new location, experimentation with all new barrel varieties, and new variations of beers we […]

In 2019 you'll be seeing some old favorites, some new creations, a new location, experimentation with all new barrel varieties, and new variations of beers we love that we've been wanting to bring you for years. This year we'll begin the New Year how we begin each year, with coffee stouts as far as the eye can see.

On Friday, December 28 at noon we will begin the pre-sale of Most Important Beverage of the Day, Beverage of Champions, Beverage of Champions Rock & Rye, and for the first time ever Beverage of Champions Caramel, Beverage of Champions Coconut, and Beverage of Champions Hazelnut. All six beers will be available for pre-sale on December 28th and available for pickup at a celebration on Saturday, January 19 from 11AM-3PM. (more…)
December 10, 2018
A kettle soured Tartshake IPA of Unholy Water, a Corporate Holiday Party, a bourbon barrel-aged titan aged on wood chips from a 250 year old bur […]

A kettle soured Tartshake IPA of Unholy Water, a Corporate Holiday Party, a bourbon barrel-aged titan aged on wood chips from a 250 year old bur oak, the return of Funsponge, and a malted milk chocolate soul in a glass.

Saturday, December 15 we close out our 2018 rendition of The Old Order with an absolute Herculean release. Five beers of wide variety and each with their own story to tell. (more…)
November 30, 2018
The Old Order is a small and exclusive beer community with access to our most innovative and earnest beers. In 2018, for the third consecutive year, […]

The Old Order is a small and exclusive beer community with access to our most innovative and earnest beers. In 2018, for the third consecutive year, over 90% of our wood-aged creations reached the hands of members and their invited guests.

Exclusive events, unique beers that only reach their hands, advanced access, and so much more. Behind the scenes at Solemn Oath we consider this group of people to be family. We invite you in and hope you’ll consider joining us. In 2019, The Old Order will see us experimenting with new barrel varieties, the return of our award-winning Radth, an exclusive summertime outdoor release just for members and their guests, advanced access to a few of our hyper-limited 16oz can releases, new exclusive merch, and more.  (more…)