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.
Since they began in 2009, Clay Robinson alongside Dave Colt and their colleagues at Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis have created one of the most genuine and respected breweries in craft beer. From just 509 barrels in 2009, Sun King kicked out 5,024 in 2010 and surpassed 21,000 barrels in 2013. More than anything, they've grown well--maintaining an incredible culture and having never wavered when it comes to their focus on quality.
For my topic, I elected to talk about the landscape of the craft beer culture--how this is an industry that is overflowing with passion, creativity, and determination. And how, most of all, we're just getting started.
But then you think about the fact that our solar system is sliding through our already-rotating galaxy, which is itself hurtling through space, away from the center of the universe, which is who knows where. What we mean, obviously, is that this is a perfect time of year to convert all your friends and family. Not to your religion or anything like that, but to beer. And here's the key to doing it: Don't dip any toes in the water. Don't ease anyone into it. Slow and steady loses at life. Step away from that Boston Lager.
So while you could dive in and open another microbrewery and compete within our collaborative sphere, what many of you should consider is adding to the movement in a different capacity. What you should consider is opening the next great American craft beer bar. And if that is of interest to you, here are some important things to consider.
Goose was old news, he swore, hemorrhaging all its talent and cutting corners already, just a year after the sale to AB-InBev. Too many exciting new breweries were coming up for Goose to stay fresh and hold onto its tap handles while adapting to corporate top-down management. Their sales force was playing dirty with dollars. Goose Island was no longer Chicago's craft darling, and never could be again.
Bullshit. I called it then, I believe it now, and here's why: ten reasons you should be drinking the good stuff.
Hosted at Camp Wandawega, one of Earth's most inspiring places, this weekend serves as a hat tip to camaraderie and creativity and is forged by the fortunate few that attend. The group consists of artists, artisans, brewers, chefs, designers, coffee roasters, and film makers, with each expected to add to the experience and help drive the weekend. Read more on that here.
A few weeks ago, John introduced me to the works of a man named A.J. Jacobs. The first article I read by this sarcastic gem of a man was titled “I Think You’re Fat” and it rocked my world. Not only has Jacobs written articles for Esquire and The New York Times, he’s also written quite a few books, one being “The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World,” where he read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and wrote about his experience. Upon discovery of the existence of this book, I decided to emulate Jacobs’ experience by reading The Oxford Companion To Beer by Garrett Oliver, which is the ultimate beer encyclopedia. I thought it was about damn time for me to learn something; fill my ginormous brain with something other than the Pulp Fiction script and decoding of a cat's meow (a few short meows upon entry to my apartment means Marsellus is happy I’m home).
Last week we had the chance to bring Solemn Oath to pour beer in Los Angeles as part of a truly unique event called Uppers & Downers. Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting and Intelligentsia teamed up for the first in what will be a series of events highlighting the past, present, and future of beer brewed with coffee.