Sun King Networking Open House

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

As the summer began, I started my internship at Sun King Brewing Co. one thing I never anticipated was just how involved Sun King is with enhancing Indy. “Enriching the lives of Hoosiers One Pint At A Time”, which is one of the many things we heard while going through the interview process, as well as, in the training program. This philosophy would play a big part in my internship and the way I developed my marketing strategies this summer.

One of the hardest things for many people to do is breaking the ice in many situations. So I set out to utilize the Tasting Room’s comfortable setting for young professionals in Indy to get together and schmooze, make some new contacts, and learn more about Sun King. As I put together the Networking Open House events, I was hoping to accomplish these things as well as share our philosophy of enriching our community with the attendees.

Once the doors opened, the people shuffled in with the music playing and the beer flowing, slowly but surely everyone started to let their guard down and mingle. Throughout the night we offered tours of the brewery, door prizes, and of course samples of Fresh•Local•Beer.

We have now hosted two Networking Open Houses and attendance keeps growing. We hope to continue to offer events in the future that allow a common place for people to come together and share information to better not only themselves, but our community as well.

NUVO's Best of Indy Party!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Being voted by your peers to any sort of “best of” list is always an honor, but when you’re voted the “Best Indiana Beer” three years in a row by the readers of a venerable local publication like NUVO – Indiana’s largest independent alternative news organization – it feels especially good.

NUVO has been looked to locally as the guide to all things food, drink, culture, news and music for 20 years now, and has survived a changing media landscape that has swallowed up print publications left and right – and done it all while remaining free to you.

At Sun King, we also work hard to be good members of the Indy community. It’s why we never turn down a good opportunity to support a local charity; why we keep our prices fair; why we ensure local bars, restaurants and liquor stores remain well stocked before we expand to any other communities; and why we offer complimentary samples of beer in our tasting room to help make it a great place to gather with friends and enjoy Fresh•Local•Beer. So it only made sense to host NUVO’s “Best of Indy” part in our backyard.

The party brought together local food and entertainment that you voted to the best of list, including best local hip hop artist Oreo Jones, best local metal band Devil to Pay, best local punk/hardcore band Gay Black Republican and best DJ A Squared Industries.

The lineup of food was no less impressive with perennially local favorites YatsHotBox Pizza and West Coast Tacos, as well as newcomer Bru Burger Bar.

Thanks to NUVO for choosing us to host the party and to everyone who came out to join us.

WTTS 20th Anniversary Tapping Party

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Live music, food trucks and Fresh•Local•Beer – sounds like a pretty good way to celebrate an anniversary, right? That’s how our good friends at local radio station WTTS celebrated 20 years on the air Thursday night in our south parking lot.

The 20th Anniversary Tapping Party kicked off with the music of Landon Keller, who opened for local favorites Hero Jr. and Max Allen Band (MAB). Those in attendance also had a range of food options thanks to food trucks Spice BoxTaco LassiMac Genie and The NY Slice. For desert, Nicey Treat was serving up homemade goodness in the form of gourmet-frozen treats that helped attendees cool down on a steamy afternoon.

On tap at the Sun King beer tent were our house beers Osiris Pale Ale, Wee Mac Scottish Ale and Sunlight Cream Ale, as well as a beer made especially for WTTS, Hazy Daze Summer Wheat. The beer was designed by Sun King owner/brewer Dave Colt, who combined his love of hops with WTTS Program Director Brad Holtz’s love for wheat beers. The result is a hoppy wheat that is the perfect beer for a hot summer day.

All proceeds from the $5 door fee went to Gleaners Food Bank, a worthy cause that ensures the homeless and needy get the food they need. Together we managed to raise $2,838.41 that will supply 11,354 meals to hungry Hoosiers!

Sun King Brewing would like to express a big thank you to everyone who came out to support us, WTTS and Gleaners Food Bank, as well as the food trucks and bands that kept everyone well fed and entertained.

See you again at the brewery soon!

The Tasting Room is OPEN again!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Tasting Room is OPEN again!

Two weeks ago we closed our doors to the public and began work on a series of projects that will allow us to make more Fresh•Local•Beer. While we were at it, we took the time to do a lot of things that were long overdue.

Some of you remember when we first opened the Tasting Room in September of 2009 with nothing but a small cooler in the corner with 12 taps and a couple of picnic tables to sit and enjoy samples of our beer. As we’ve grown, we have stuck with our plan of pouring every penny we earn back into the business in order to grow/improve our facility, buy more/better equipment to make more beer, and hire people to do the jobs that making/distributing more beer requires. We’ve done most of this growth right before your eyes, but it’s impossible to do things like tile the entry or paint the rafters in the tasting room with a constant influx of people, plus the place has been an absolute mess with everything moving in and out. I think everyone would agree that if you don’t visit us for a few weeks, there’s bound to be something new or different around here and this time is no exception!

For us the time has flown by, but from what we’ve gathered from social media and people we’ve talked to, it seems like forever. We appreciate all of your support and love for our beer; without you, we wouldn’t even need to expand! We now have the infrastructure to grow to 30,000 barrels and four of our new tanks are already here.

Stop by and see what we’ve been up to… We look forward to seeing you in the Tasting Room!

Indy Film Fest 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Welcome to La La Land – Indianapolis International Film Festival 2012

Indianapolis International Film Festival

What do Lost In TranslationReservoir Dogs, and Clerks have in common? They all started by entertaining viewers at film festivals similar to our own Indianapolis International Film Festival. Started in 2004, the IIFF has become one of the Midwest’s fastest growing and most watched film festivals.

The cast of “The Oranges”

This year the IIFF will begin July 19th with an exclusive screening of “The Oranges” at theIndianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater and will be followed up with a special VIP party hosted here at Sun King Brewery. This is only the beginning of the fun; from July 19th to the 29th there will be screening nearly 150 films from drama to comedy. The films for this year’s festival will be shown throughout Indianapolis at the following locations:

• Multi-Purpose Room
The Earth House
The Jazz Kitchen

The IIFF will conclude on July 29th with a “best of” screening at The Earth House. This one night screening will feature the best films from the festival, in case you didn’t get a chance to make it out to any of the other screenings.

The IIFF’s schedule and ticket prices can all be found on the Indianapolis International Film Festival’s website,

We hope to see you all out enjoying a Fresh•Local•Beer and taking in all the great films the Indianapolis International Film Festival has to offer.

Sun King Community: Indy Crit 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It’s no secret, or accident, that we at Sun King Brewing have closely aligned ourselves with the local cycling community. We are proud supporters of cyclists of all kinds, and love to be involved with as many bike-related events around Indy as possible. The craft beer community and cycling community just seem to go hand-in-hand.

We have also spent a considerable amount of time and money supporting the local non-profit community through volunteering, helping them generate revenue and spreading the word about their cause. So when we were approached by the Indy Criterium (Crit) about being a sponsor and helping to raise money for Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, it was an easy decision.

The 2012 Indy Crit, now in its third year, proved to be a sweltering, steamy event as the day wore on, but the Sun King truck was parked on the corner of Meridian and New York Street serving up cold beer in the wine and beer garden to help cool down fans. In addition, we helped organize a rotating caravan of food trucks to keep all in attendance well fed, including Spice BoxScratch TruckTacos Without BordersByrne’s Pizza and more.

The races were thrilling, and the local bike polo community also set up shop to show people what their sport is all about. There were even community rides held throughout the day.

With four beers on tap – Sunlight Cream Ale, Wee-Mac Scottish Ale, Osiris Pale Ale and our summer seasonal, Firefly Wheat – each $5 pint we served up served an even greater purpose. The proceeds will go towards Freewheelin’s “Earn-a-Bike” program that enables youth ages 10 to 15 to not only learn bike mechanics and life and leadership skills, but the chance to choose and restore a bike that becomes theirs to keep. Now that, friends, in a cause worthy of a toast.

So, to all the participants of the 2012 Indy Crit, the event organizers who did a fantastic job, and the folks at Freewheen’ Community Bikes: Cheers!

It's a Cream Dream!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

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.


Company Culture - Through the Eyes of a Sun King Intern

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

To the outsider Sun King looks like just a local brewery. Some may drive by the office/brewery in downtown Indianapolis and think of simple hops and grain, but it is much more than that. What they are seeing is merely the shell, which houses one of Indiana’s finest breweries. The building only houses the equipment for making fine craft beer, but it doesn’t contain the passion the Sun King employees have for their product.

From the offices to the tasting room/canning line, you get the sense that everyone in the building is working toward a common goal. That goal is to make a quality craft beer for all of central Indiana to enjoy. The Sun King staff has created a sense of family amongst all the employees. This family doesn’t just stay at home though; Sun King is very active in the community within central Indiana, putting together and supporting a wide variety of events. Even Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard got into the mix when Sun King held the Bike to the Ballpark event, where bike riders rode from the Sun King brewery to Victory Field for opening day and to enjoy an Indians Lager.

Being here only a short time thus far, I have been able to take a look behind the scenes and have discovered that there is little separation between the different departments. I’ve learned that though Sun King is professional as it comes when dealing with their beer. Outside of that though, the mentality around the brewery is pretty relaxed. The dress code would be best described as casual. T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops are not an uncommon sight around the offices of Sun King. The relaxed nature of Sun King gives it a fun atmosphere to be in.

I am excited for what the future holds for me this summer at Sun King. Whether it’s going to events, meeting new people, and getting to know more of the Sun King family. This summer should be an interesting and fun one to be an intern here at Sun King Brewery.

Sun King Turns 3!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Sun King Turns 3!

Three years ago we fired up our brew kettle and began crafting beer at 135 N. College Avenue in downtown Indianapolis! It was an incredible and challenging day that was the culmination of years of conversation, planning, and hard work.

In the beginning there were four of us in what seemed like a cavernous warehouse doing everything that needed done and putting in as many hours as it took. As we rolled out kegs of beer and word began to spread, we started picking up more draft accounts around town. This initial surge, and all of our growth to date, is because of everyone who loves our beer and helps spread the good word about Sun King!

Growth in demand has kept us in a constant state of expansion and over time we have leased more space, replaced most of our original equipment and most importantly, created jobs to the tune of 32 full-time and 50+ part-time employees. Our rise has been meteoric and we are now the second largest brewery in Indiana, producing half as much beer as our friends at 3 Floyds and only slightly more than the good folks at Upland.

Indiana beer culture has grown and changed tremendously over the past many years and the number of Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup medals garnered by Indiana brewers is staggering. There are more breweries opening all the time, not only here but all across the country. We are proud to be an Indiana craft brewery and a part of the craft beer movement that is changing the way people think about beer!

We are truly grateful to be doing what we love and to have so many people enjoy our work. Thank you from the entire Sun King Crew for making helping us make our dreams come true!


What the Hell is Going On at Sun King?

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Based on customer interaction and social media feeds, we have noticed that there is a some conversation/concern about some recent announcements from us…
We have a lot of stuff going on right now and we’re working as hard as we can to make as much Fresh•Local•Beer as possible. As a craft brewery we are committed to quality and refuse to take shortcuts or rush our beers. We often say, “Beer is not like donuts… We can’t just make more!” and recently the demand for Sun King has skyrocketed which has forced us to make some tough decisions:

1: Order more equipment and take on projects that weren’t slated until next year!

2: We put liquor stores on allocation to ensure that they all have a consistent supply of Sun King cans. It’s often hard for us to judge how much beer needs to go into cans vs. kegs, so given the limited amount of beer we can produce this is the only logical option.

3: We stopped selling kegs out of the Tasting Room in order to make sure that our bar/restaurant partners have Fresh•Local•Beer on tap.

4: We are closing the Tasting Room from July 4th to July 18th. This was a tough one because the Tasting Room is our direct connection to all of you. With everything that needs to happen around in order to keep moving forward, it will be much easier to execute without the constant flow of people. Over the coming weeks we’ll be getting new tanks, moving things around, erecting a new cooler and taking care of some necessary maintenance.

We truly appreciate your support and thank you for understanding our situation. It is because of you that we have been so successful! We are working hard every day make you proud and to craft the freshest, most delicious beer possible.

Clay, Dave, Andy, Omar, Steve and the entire Sun King Crew