How Did I Get Here: Errol Katz

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Have you ever taken a look at our Sun King Crew page and thought, I wonder how that guy/gal started working at SKB. Here's your chance to meet Errol, one of Sun King's Draft Techs.

How Did I Get Here: Errol Katz

Name: Errol Katz

Nickname: Errol Katz

Job Title/Duties: Draft Tech

How did you get here?

Errol arrived at Sun King like many other SKB employees, by bugging management enough to get a job. Prior to Sun King, Errol spent time in school studying audio engineering and pursuing his passion for music. After school, Errol launched a successful screen printing business which he owned and operated for 11 years. Looking for a career change, Errol found himself pursuing a job in the beer industry before he finally landed at SKB.


Errol grew up in Richmond, Indiana

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?


What is your favorite thing about working at SKB?

“Making Chris Hansen happy everyday”

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

“I don’t like surprises”

What do you like to do outside of work?

Errol still plays in a handful of bands around town and is somewhat of a local guitar legend. He plays mostly metal music but mentioned he maintains a wide variety of musical tastes and styles. If you are lucky, you may catch Errol laying down some tunes at your local pub.

Who are some of your favorite bands?

Errol had a little bit of trouble coming up with a list of favorite bands so the question was rephrased to read “what bands have you listened to today?” Thus, on Thursday, June 26th 2014 Errol listened to a combination of The Dead Kennedy’s, Outkast, and Black Flag.

Bonus fact!  Last summer, Errol saved a sweet kitten from being hit by traffic on College Ave and 16th Street.  He brought the kitten to the brewery and the kitten was adopted by one of Sun King's former employees.  Errol will always be our hero!

How Did I Get Here: Gretchen Ferringer

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Have you ever wondered into the Tasting Room at Sun King and wondered how SKB's Tasting Room Manager got her job at the brewery? Meet Gretchen aka Mama G!

How Did I Get Here: Gretchen Ferringer

Name: Gretchen Ferringer

Nickname: Mama G

Job Title/Duties: Tasting Room Manager

How did you get here?

Gretchen was a nurse for 14 years in her past life. One day she decided she needed a change and quit her job to start a new life venture. She quickly landed on her feet working at a friend’s Sushi restaurant. From there, Gretchen was introduced to Sun King founder, Clay Robinson, and the rest is history.

Where did you grow up?

Gretchen was born and raised in the South West Indiana town of Velpen. She then went on to Indiana University, to then obtain her degree from Vincennes University before settling in Indianapolis. Gretchen is married and has a 7 year old daughter.

What is your favorite thing about working for SKB?

Gretchen’s favorite thing about working for Sun King is the family mentality that all of the employees have. She loves working in an environment in which people are accepted for being themselves.

What is something someone may be surprised to know about you?

Gretchen is a huge fan of heavy metal music. Her favorite band is Korn whom she has seen in concert 6 times. Although one might not expect it, Gretchen says she is no stranger to a good mosh pit.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Gretchen likes to garden, paint and read in her free time. She has recently read biographies from Slash, Ozzy Osborne and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and explained Kiedis was by far the craziest rocker of the three.

What is your favorite food?

“I just like food”

Gretchen did mention however that if she had to eat one food for every meal it would be sushi. Gretchen has managed to turn her 7 year old daughter into a sushi lover as well.

Cooking with Sun King: Grilled Corn Salsa with GFJ

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Chef D has been busy with the grill, just in time for summer time grilling, and the holiday weekend. 

This Cooking with Sun King recipe, Grilled Corn Salsa, is made with our most anticipated seasonal beer Grapefruit Jungle.

Stay tuned for our next Cooking with Sun King Contest.  Where you get to be the chef and win prizes!

Grilled Corn Salsa with GFJ

2 red bell peppers diced

2 green bell peppers diced

1 jalapeño seeded and diced

1 pint grape tomatoes diced

2 medium red onions diced

4-6 radishes diced, soaked in ice water for 5-10 minutes

4 garlic cloves finely chopped

zest of 1 lime

juice of 4 limes

zest & juice of 1 grapefruit

1 bunch of cilantro, discard stems & roughly chop the leaves

4 ears of corn grilled

2 15 ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained

¼ cup of GFJ

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Grill the corn over medium high heat, in the husk, for 5-8 minutes.  Remove from grill, cool & cut kernels from the cob.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss to combine.  Allow flavors to meld for an hour.  Serve with chips or on top of a grilled pork chop. 

For more grilled flavor, try grilling the jalapeno & red onion.  Half the limes & grapefruit then grill for 3- 5 minutes, to really bring out the smoky flavors.  

Important Information for Sun King's 5th Anniversary Party

Friday, June 27, 2014

Important information for Sun King's 5th Anniversary Party

The Sun King Crew is excited to celebrate our 5th Anniversary with all of you this Saturday, June 28th, 2014 at Sun King Brewery.

This email contains important information about the SOLD OUT SKB 5 Party with The Wild Feathers (8pm)*, Scott H. Biram (6:30pm), the Shelby County Sinners (5pm), along with DJ Helicon (4pm).

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• Event Stuff - Our anniversary party will be located outdoors in our south parking lot.  The event is rain or shine.  Please plan accordingly.  Lawn chairs are permitted.  Please be considerate when setting up your chairs.  No outside beverages of any kind are allowed into the venue.  All patrons must be 21+ with a valid ID.  Please remember to bring your ideas!  *Band Lineup times are subject to change.

• Tasty Brew News - This is the official tapping party for Grapefruit Jungle.  Pints and cans will be available for purchase during the event.  NO CARRY OUT SALES WILL BE ALLOWED.  We will also be serving on draft Mello Johnny (Anniversary Brew) • Laverne • Shirley • Popcorn Pilsner and Sunlight Cream Ale • Wee Mac • Osiris (cans).  All beers are $5 a pint • you must purchase tickets at one of our ticket stations.  Ticket stations are cash and credit!
• Take an UBER - Sun King has partnered with UBER to insure that you have a safe ride to and from the event.  First time users can download the app for free via their smartphones, then use the promo code SUNKING5, for $25 towards their ride.  There will be a designated UBER pickup/drop off spot located in SKB's Parking Lot.  Already an UBER user?  We encourage you to utilize UBER due to limited parking.
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• Don't get Hangry! - There will be several of your favorite Indy food vendors onsite including: Just Pop In! • Duos Indy • Scratchtruck • Little Eataly • Mac Genie • Spice Box • Circle City Spuds.  Food trucks will also be selling H2O so that you can stay hydrated.  

• Event Parking - Feel like pedaling your bicycle to SKB 5 - we've got you covered!  There will be several bike racks to park your bikes.  Friendly reminder to bring a lock, the racks will be unattended.  Driving from out of town?  Here's a map of close places to park.  No charge lots are first come, first served.


• SKB Tasting Room - The Sun King Tasting Room will have special hours on Saturday due to our anniversary party.  We will be using the majority of the Sun King parking lot as the event venue space.  Open Tasting Room hours will be 12 pm - 3 pm.  No public tours will be scheduled and we will not be allowing brewery bus tours to visit due to extremely limited parking.  You will be able to purchase growler fills, cans, merch and kegs, and will be allowed to do sampling as well, you will not be able to bring your purchases into the event.  Please plan accordingly.  The Tasting Room will close promptly at 3pm.  There will be no loitering in the Tasting Room nor in the Sun King parking lot.  

NO Grapefruit Jungle will be available for purchase in the Tasting Room.  It will be released Monday, June 30th at Sun King and will be distributed to local bars, restaurants, and liquor stores.  

We would like to take a moment to thank our partners, MOKB, Do317, WTTS, Yelp, UBER, Just Pop In, as well as our friends, families, and other great community partners for your support over the past five years!  Cheers to many more years of Fresh•Local•Beer.

Sun King Community Partner Spotlight: Indy Mega Adoption Event

Monday, June 23, 2014

Indianapolis has demonstrated it is a first class city in several ways, and we now have an opportunity to add animal welfare to that list.  The plan is ambitious… increase the number of live releases of animals from Indianapolis area animal shelters to 90%.

The Indy Mega Adoption Event is a 2-day event designed to adopt out as many dogs and cats as possible from shelter and rescue organizations in the greater Indianapolis area. Participating groups will bring over 750 adoptable dog and cats to the Indiana State Fairgrounds south pavilion for this unprecedented event.

All pets will be vaccinated, spayed or neutered, micro-chipped and will go home with their new families the same day they are adopted.

Adoption fee for any cat or dog is $30.  Entrance to the event is free! Parking is $5 per vehicle.

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, June 28 -29, 10:00am to 8:00pm both days.  

The event is sponsored by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, along with Petsmart, Petsmart Charities and Banfield.

Why do we need a “Mega Adoption Event”?

Over 16,000 cats and dogs end up in Indianapolis shelters every year with around 8,000 being euthanized. The sad truth is that these 8,000 pets are healthy and adoptable. The method of “mega adoptions” is a proven technique that has great success in other cities across the country where shelter euthanasia rates have reduced dramatically in just a few short years.

We want to achieve this same outcome for our city’s deserving pets who through no fault of their own end up in shelters.

The concept of “mega adoptions” is simple: Bring all the adoptable dogs and cats to one facility.  Set a standard, low adoption rate. Make the event a fun-filled day for the entire family. Adopt all the pets.  Everybody wins!

How can you help?

Spread the word to your friends and network. This event will be big, fun, fast and happy!  Far too often families that would be the perfect match for an adoptable pet miss an opportunity of a lifetime because they “can’t bring themselves” to the shelters. Well now is their chance to meet the love of their lives at the Indiana State Fairgrounds!

For more information visit

Or find us on Facebook and Instagram

Sun King Community Partner Spotlight: Starfish Initiative

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Starfish Initiative is a college access and readiness program serving economically disadvantaged high school students in Marion County, Indiana. We are currently recruiting mentors and we hope you’ll consider joining our team!

We believe that mentoring is the key to improving the educational attainment and future of today’s youth. To that end, we match every student in the Starfish program with a college-educated, volunteer adult mentor whose job is to help walk their student into college. Thanks to the guidance of their mentors, 100 percent of the Starfish Scholars who completed the four-year program have graduated from high school and 98% have been accepted by colleges or universities across Indiana — and beyond.

Starfish was founded in 2003 by a group of local businessmen, concerned that many of the academically promising but economically disadvantaged students in Indianapolis were not getting the preparation for post-secondary education they needed to be the future leaders of the community. They founded Starfish Initiative — the name taken from the famous “Starfish Story” — to help economically disadvantaged students. Currently, Starfish serves approximately 340 students in 40 public, private, charter and magnet high schools.

Improving the educational attainment of promising, economically disadvantaged students is one of the region’s greatest needs. According to a 2009 study by America’s Promise Alliance, only 30 percent of urban high schoolers in Indianapolis graduate, putting Indianapolis as 50th of the top 50 cities in the country for graduation rate. Each dropout costs the state of Indiana about $3,000 a year for the rest of their lives, a great public cost, at a time when economic growth and development and a well-educated workforce are of paramount importance.

With a commitment to long-term, community-based mentoring, leadership training and college access programming, Starfish Initiative is uniquely placed in the community to improve graduation rates, post-secondary educational access and make a difference for students and their families — one at a time.


We get this done through the primary vehicle of mentorship. Mentorship is the core, the heart of our business. We provide one-on-one mentors to ambitious teens for four years of high school to prepare them for the realities of college life. In the context of that mentoring relationship we introduce college access programming such as college visits, personality and career-affinity assessments, scholarship assistance, and funding assistance. And our mentors are successful in their work. One hundred percent of the students who complete the Starfish program graduate high school and 98% are accepted into a college or university! We are similarly proud of our persistence rate: an extraordinary 78% of our graduates are sticking with it, still in college or have attained their degree.

Our mentors are college coaches preparing our Scholars to get out there, get their degree and take charge of their life. The Scholars will likely refer to them throughout their lifetime as the people who stood beside them – the people who believed in them – the people who helped them achieve their vision of success – the people who helped change their lives forever.

Starfish Mentors make a two-year commitment to their Scholar. In those two years, we ask that you and your Scholar meet just twice a month, then call, text, or email once on the “off” weeks. Not bad. A very high percentage of our Mentors ask to remain with their Scholar the second two years of high school – for the big payoff: high school graduation and college entrance!


Please consider filling out an application today to make a world of difference to that ONE scholar!


Rick Rosales
Match Specialist
Starfish Initiative
814 N. Delaware St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Sun King Community Partner Spotlight: Horizon House

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Helping Homeless Neighbors in Indy

For over 25 years, Horizon House has been serving homeless neighbors in Indianapolis.  You may have passed us on East Washington Street without even know it. Located at 1033 E. Washington St. we are a non-profit agency serving as a day shelter for homeless neighbors. We provide basic services & case management, employment training, street outreach and in-house collaborative partners – Eskenazi Health and Indiana Legal Services. For the dignity & respect of those we serve, we are a non-descript building. In addition, we are a secular agency to help all homeless neighbors with varying religious beliefs. Our aim is to help neighbors overcome barriers to end their homelessness.  This starts with treating all with hospitality, dignity and respect.

We welcome all homeless neighbors – last year we served nearly 3,000 neighbors. Starting with an orientation, we inform neighbors of all the services available – access to showers, restrooms, laundry facility, local phone calls, mail delivery, food, & clothing. From here, neighbors meet with a case manager to uncover other barriers they may need assistance with overcoming. We then refer neighbors to our medical and mental health in-house clinic, to legal services with ILS, our employment training weekly class, addiction services and many more.

Upgrading Healthcare Facility

Currently, we are undergoing a clinic renovation to integrate the medical and mental health clinics into a holistic approach to treat homeless neighbors. The new facility is called the Pedigo Health Center and should be completed in June. This expands the number of exam & consultation rooms so we can provide enhanced services to neighbors. We will then be able to treat the mind & the body at one location for better healthcare.

Want to get involved?

Consider volunteering – we need volunteers in our Employment Training program to work one on one with neighbors creating resumes/cover letters & learning to job search online; in the Kitchen area to make coffee, serve food items and be hospitable to neighbors & at the Front Desk where we need volunteers Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm to work the front desk while staff are in meetings. Interested? Please email Laura Smith at

Be a sponsor of our 10th Annual Tackling Homelessness event in September at the Colts Training Facility with Colts players signing autographs.  This event sells out every year so hurry!  Hosted by #76 Joe Reitz & his wife Jill, The Hunter Smith Band performs, Jimmy Maddog Matis emcees the event, silent & live auction, barbecue buffet, autographs & photos with Colts players; special Chalk Talk segment with Colts players and more. Contact Mary for more info at (317)396-6342 or

Donate items – Check out our website for info on needed items at or email Mary to get on our eNews list – We provide all the toiletries for neighbors to take showers so always need  – travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, disposable razors, deodorant, gently used or new washcloths & towels and more.

Make a Financial Gift  – Please consider a gift to Horizon House to help support our work in helping homeless neighbors at . You can even set up a monthly gift on this site.

Buy a Brick – Horizon House has bricks for sale for $100 - $125 that can be purchased “In Honor” or “In Memory” of someone or for yourself as a way to show support for our neighbors. The engraved bricks will be placed at our neighbor entrance off of Southeastern Avenue.  Purchase a brick here; it is $100 for 2 lines of 13 characters each and $125 for 3 lines of 13 characters each. This makes a great Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries as to why the color of our Fistful of Hops cans keep changing… The answer is simple: Because the seasons change.

The essence of Sun King is seasonality and in order to keep our IPA fresh and interesting, we created Fistful of Hops to be a ROTATING SEAONAL IPA. The malt base of Fistful stays the same year round and is designed to let the hop flavor and character shine through. Every three months we switch things up and showcase new hop varieties and when that happens we rotate to a new color to denote the change. We launched with Red in the Fall, followed by Blue during Winter, now Green for Spring and in July we will release the Orange for Summer before starting the cycle all over again!

A lot of people don’t realize, but one of the biggest issues with hops is supply. In order to make any particular beer, you obviously have to have a consistent supply of the necessary raw ingredients. When Dave and I were conceptualizing Sun King back in 2007 there was a series of events (weather issues and agricultural difficulties, as well as a warehouse fire in the Northwest that destroyed a LOT of the world’s hop supply) that led to a serious shortage in the world’s hop supply. We were fortunate enough to have a great relationship with Brewers Supply Group and they allowed us to secure hop contracts for our fledgling idea which at the time was going for a brew pub that would produce 1,000 barrels of beer a year. In 2010, Sun King produced 5,000 barrels of beer and we’ve been growing ever since we opened to the point where we produced 21,000 barrels of beer in 2013!

Because of the growth in the craft beer industry, hops continue to be in short supply. It’s not that there aren’t hops out there, but the specific varieties of American hops that are essential to making a really tasty American style IPA are still really hard to come by. People constantly tell us that we should make Grapefruit Jungle all year, but the truth is we simply can’t. We literally allocate every ounce of the hops we need to craft GFJ into making as much of it as we possibly can once a year. Every year we beg, borrow or steal more of the specific varieties and make even more GFJ and every year it sells out just as fast every time!

With all this in mind, in order to offer a year round IPA we came up with Fistful of Hops, our Seasonal Rotating IPA. Fistful of Hops rings in at 6.5% ABV and 70 IBUs bringing you a big hop punch that will continue to change with the seasons.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

As Ivy works more and more with bicycle parts, she strives to bring out the femininity in each piece, rather than the masculine and sturdy motifs she so often come across. Cycling is not just for tough and athletic individuals; it can be refined, delicate, artful, feminine, and therapeutic.  Ivy wanted that idea to come through in her work and to inspire women in particular to take another look at what cycling can mean to them. “A Most Lovely Sound” ideally gives everyone a new look at what cycling can be in this rising culture of diverse tastes and styles. 

Ivy's boyfriend was the one who inspired her love for cycling over two years ago.  She had surgeries on both knees, so cycling allows her to stay active, competitive, and involved in her community without further injury.  Her boyfriend showed her how to find a riding style she could become passionate about and has since been the root of her artistic inspiration.

To purchase some of Ivy's creations or just to check out her work, please visit her website:  


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holly Sommers is an Indianapolis-grown artist, conceptualizer, and experimenter. She is also the mother of four big kids and squeezer of everyone else’s small kids. Holly is part of the creative team at the community arts organization, Big Car Collaborative, helping bring art to people and people to art. And together with her husband, she owns the small creative agency, Sommersville, providing design, musical and artistic direction to people they like who do things that they admire. An alumnus of Herron School of Art + Design and a constant student of experiences, Holly enjoys serving her community, and supporting the initiatives of developing thinkers and doers. 

Holly's piece, entitled, “Patience, darling." is her first attempt at figurative sculpture, and using eye shadow. The boats are made from very old, hard rubber bike tires, and nothing has been cleaned. The concept stems both from personal struggle and empathy for family, friends and strangers who know just how it feels to endure outside influences on your internal soul. "In honor of all who have been kept from someone dear. Some things take strength. Some things take faith. All things take time.” 

The artist’s proceeds from the sale of this sculpture will be donated to Indiana Youth Group in support of the simplest truth: love.