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SOB Stories

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.

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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.
May 29, 2018

A few weeks back we hosted our inaugural White Van Custom Vans & Custom Van Art Show featuring more than sixty artists and their interpretation of van art on miniature vans. We know that is a lot of vans but if you read it slowly, it really does make sense.

The response from our fellow collaborators on these miniature vans was exceptionally humbling. We thank you for your participation and for coming to hang out at one of our favorite events in a long time. We're certain the White Van Art Show will return again soon and we'd love to have all of you back out for a new challenge.

May 12, 2018

Jenna Blazevich is a visual storyteller hellbent on helping small businesses and nonprofits design meaningful and unique brand experiences. Founder of Vichcraft Design Studio in Chicago, Jenna's work is inspiring, passionate, and recognizable.

All week we’ll be featuring participating collaborative artists for the White Van Custom Vans & Custom Van Art Show happening at the brewery on Saturday, May 12 at 6PM.

May 11, 2018

A self proclaimed lover of the grungy/shitty look, the work of Ryan Thomas Monahan is absolutely stunning. Known for his miniature sculptures of street scenes, Ryan spends hours researching, sketching, planning, and considering before even making his first move on a project. Pay close attention to everything he creates, no detail is overlooked.

All week we’ll be featuring participating collaborative artists for the White Van Custom Vans & Custom Van Art Show happening at the brewery on Saturday, May 12 at 6PM.

May 11, 2018

Through her remarkable work with signs, banners, and public art projects, Shelby Rodeffer's versatility is something we find incredibly impressive. A champion of work done by hand, Shelby pulls influence from folk and representational art and her work can be seen across Chicago and her native Nashville.

All week we’ll be featuring participating collaborative artists for the White Van Custom Vans & Custom Van Art Show happening at the brewery on Saturday, May 12 at 6PM.

May 10, 2018

Painter/Illustrator Corinne Halbert has been turning minds, eyes, and mind's eyes with her incredible delivery of erotic horror. From Hate Baby to commercial work for juggernauts like Seth Rogan, Corinne has a uniquely identifiable style that is both original and totally awesome.

All week we'll be featuring participating collaborative artists for the White Van Custom Vans & Custom Van Art Show happening at the brewery on Saturday, May 12 at 6PM

May 8, 2018

Michael Ruta as been making jewelry and other objects for as long as he can remember. From titanium to platinum to a used skateboard wheel or scrap wood, Michael builds passion from any material he gets inspired by.

All week we'll be featuring participating collaborative artists for the White Van Custom Vans & Custom Van Art Show happening at the brewery on Saturday, May 12 at 6PM.

May 8, 2018

For years Peter Gamen has been bringing Kustom Kulture out of the garage with his company Kandy Van. With canvases consisting of cars, motorcycles, skateboards, and more this painter gives life to any surface he touches.

All week we'll be featuring participating collaborative artists for the White Van Custom Vans & Custom Van Art Show happening at the brewery on Saturday, May 12 at 6PM.

April 20, 2018

On Saturday, June 10th we celebrated five years of being a brewery with a little something we call Oath Day.

If you made it out to Oath Day to celebrate with us, we thank you and we will raise a glass, probably several, to you this evening. If you missed out, take a look at these photos and weep. Hope you learned your lesson.