It’s a Cream Dream!
Dave Colt and I started a series of conversations that eventually became Sun King Brewing Company roughly six years ago… That and a host of other conversations with my friend and fellow brewer have helped shape my life and the beers that you and I enjoy with regularity! One of my favorite ongoing dialogues has been about hops and how to craft a beer in a manner that will really get the hop flavor and character shine.
The two of us were brewing together at a corporate brewpub in downtown Indianapolis and we began our attempts to win, place or show at the Alpha King Challenge (held every year at the Falling Rock Tap House during the Great American Beer Festival) and when we opened Sun King we continued to work towards this goal. As we brewed, talked about and developed beers for Sun King, a new idea began to take shape and we brewed the first of what would become the Cream Dream series in August of 2009, brewed selfishly for us and aimed entirely at making our mark at the Alpha King Challenge (a fact that is still true to this day).
Our most popular beer right out of the gate was Sunlight Cream Ale, which was meant to be a summer seasonal, and while we really enjoy Sunlight’s crisp, easy drinking nature, we asked ourselves; what would make it dreamy for us? The answer was of course, more alcohol and a boatload of hops! So we decided to double the grain bill for our cream ale, thus increasing its alcohol percentage to nearly 10%, and hit it with a boatload of big American citrus hops, which altogether makes for a really simple and clean malt profile that allows the hops to really come through.
Cream Dream is an ongoing effort and we work to make it better every by changing up varieties of hops, as well as when and how we utilize them. In 2011 we finally accomplished our goal with Cream Dream IV, when we took third place and joined the likes of Matt Brydilson from Firestone Walker, 2nd place with Double Jack, and Jeff Bagby from Pizza Port Carlsbad, who took 1st place with his Poor Man’s IPA.
One of the most fun aspects of the Cream Dream series, aside from drinking them, has been naming and coming up art for it. Each beer has taken on a movie sequel theme starting with CD II: Electric Boogaloo (after what is arguably the finest and quite probably the only break dancing movie sequel), followed by CD III: The Search for Hops and CD IV: A New Hop. Cream Dream V: I Thought We Were Buddies… was named in honor of Mark Vojnovich, former brewer and proprietor of Circle V Brewing – one of Indianapolis’ early brew pubs and the place where Dave Colt got his first break into the world of professional brewing.
We hope you enjoy this version and the future iterations of Cream Dream.