Solemn Oat Brewery from NCTV17 on Vimeo.

Brewing Loyal Customers

There’s a new business brewing up some loyal customers. Solemn Oath Brewery opened up a few weeks ago and are offering residents five different kinds of their own beer, made in Naperville’s only brewery.

It’s located on Quincy Avenue, tucked behind industrial buildings. They do each step of the beer making process, beginning with prepping the barley, hydrating it with water, and converting the starch to sugars.

“Once we convert starch to sugar we pull all the color out of the malted barley, we run it through a separate tank, boil it, add hops to it at that point, which give it some nice citrusy, herbal, piney, grassy notes,” said Tim Marshall, Head Brewer.

Then the beer gets fermented and carbonated. Right now, Solemn Oath offers five kinds of beer: a Belgium white, a Belgian Pale Ale, an American IPA, a double American red, and a darker, milk stout. Over the course of the year, they plan to make 25 to 30 different styles.

“A big part of the differentiation there is just the ingredients that you put use,” said Marshall. “When we make Belgian beers, we use a specific yeast strain that produces the flavors known in Belgian beers. IPAs, we use a lot of hops and very light colored malts. Darker beers, like stouts, we use darker malts.”

Naperville has a rich history of beer making, but there hasn’t been a brewery in town since 1892 when the Stenger Brewery closed. The Stenger brothers brewed beer in Naperville for about 30 years, before the larger breweries drove them out of business, including one of their former employees, Adolph Coors.

“Even some people who live here don’t even realize that the fact that there is such a strong beer culture that existed at one time within Naperville,” said John Barley, President and CEO. “Craft beer and what we’re trying to do is really a bit different than from those times. It’s a bit different from what the big guys do now, as well.”

Solemn Oath fans can buy 64 ounce growlers from the facility to take home and enjoy or sit and have a couple drinks in the brewery’s tap room.

“Our production facility is right here, there is no glass separating you from it,” said Joe Barley, Co-Owner. “You get the smells, you get the noises, you get a little bit of everything.”

By the end of the summer, the crew hopes to offer fans even more. They plan to give tours of the production facility when it’s fully up and running.

The Solemn Oath Tap Room is open Thursdays and Fridays from 12pm-9pm, Saturdays from 11am-7pm, and Sundays 11am-5pm.

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