A lot has changed in a year. All of us have made big career moves and great new friends. Our tiny, independent craft distributor was acquired by a global giant. Naperville parents gained a new place to put a few back while their kids are at gymnastics. Some of our biggest supporters won Saveur and James Beard awards. Fabricators in California and Michigan have built and shipped us tanks--three times. In our second year, we plan on growth, not only in terms of how much beer we produce, how wide we spread it, or how big our taproom is, but in terms of how far a brewery can push in new directions. We have some projects in the pipeline that may surprise you. We think Joaquin Phoenix is a genius. Do the math.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the tremendous support you've shown us in our first year. We are very aware that you have many options for delicious local craft beer and that the number of options is rapidly growing, a fact that we can't afford to take for granted. Rest assured, we have even more exciting plans for year two including a lot more barrel aged beer, Solemn Oath seasonals in attractive 22 oz. Bombers, oodles of new beers and most importantly, more fly videos of Sarah Otto breakdancing.
This first year has been exemplary. The opportunity to meet and work with so many outstanding and talented people. It's awesome. Each and every day I get to come and work with my brother Joe and some of my best friends. When people post up at a bar around town and order a beer, I think people take for granted the extraordinary efforts it takes to get that glass of SOB in their hand. From our entire operations staff to the taproom folks helping build our culture, there are a lot of people involved. None of them are more overlooked than the efforts of Bob Collins, Wes Phillips, and the entire team on the ground at Windy City Distributing. From the delivery drivers to the sales team to their leadership, everything we do wouldn't be possible without them.
Over the past year here at Solemn Oath, I have made some great friends, consumed some killer beer from not only us but our fellow craft brewers and had one of the best years of my life. We have surpassed in this first year all my expectations and I love and appreciate all the support that we are getting from the Chicagoland craft beer community and beyond. I look forward to many great years to come and thank all the SOB's out there for their support. We could not have done this without you all.
This year I flipped the switch from burning myself out to doing my dream job. I'm working with the best people I could imagine and I'm extremely proud of what we're putting out there, from the beer to the experiences around it. Mostly, though, I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had, the new friends I've made, and for all of you. What good is a brewery without the people who drink its beer? We would be Kanye without a stage if not for you, and damn, that kilt would be hard to explain to our moms. Thank you for drinking our stuff and partying with us.
It's been very interesting for me to see the 1st year of SOB from both ends of the growler. I was a fan from the start, soaking up the logo, the style, and the spectacular artwork from my palatial estate in SoCal. I finally got to the tap room in October, and Tim's beers easily sated the six-month thirst I had built up. Joining the team in March and witnessing firsthand the brewery's many layers has allowed me to understand the process. Of course, you get a fantastic product when you have a group of good people all doing great work.
In the past year, the guys have gone back and forth from burly beard to baby face about twenty times, we’ve all consumed endough Malort to get the entire population of China intoxicated, and the brewery has acquired a beautiful Red Bull cooler (that is always fully stocked). I’d say our greatest accomplishment to date is the Red Bull cooler, although Paul’s beard has looked pretty killer lately. Okay, for real, it’s been a year but it really only feels like it’s been a month. Time really does freakin’ fly when you’re having fun. We’ve made over fifty different beers, brought on a bunch of great people, and created an amazing culture filled to the brim with kickass SOBs.
Solemn Oath exists to push your limits and challenge the status quo. Sometimes that's with beer and sometimes that's with our stories. These are those stories.