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.
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.