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

American Craft Beer Week

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It’s probably fair to assume that most Americans have heard the term “craft beer.” It’s becoming a household word but it’s probably also fair to assume that most people don’t know exactly what defines a craft beer.

Some people might say it’s simply “better” beer, or more flavorful, which is often the case but not a universal truth. Others might define craft breweries as small, which is heading in the right direction but craft breweries can be larger than most people might think.

The three largest crafter breweries in the world, The Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams),Sierra Nevada and New Belgium all produce close to, or more than, a million barrels of beer a year but are still well within the boundaries of what defines a craft brewery.

According to the Brewers Association a craft brewery is a small – less than six million barrels a year – and independent brewery that has an either all-malt lineup or at least 50% of its volume in all malt beers or in beers that use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor. Ownership by an alcoholic beverage company that is not itself a craft brewer must be less than 25%.

Why the lesson on craft beer? Because this it’s American Craft Beer Week and we couldn’t be more excited to be a craft brewery!

Founded in 2006, the purpose of American Craft Beer Week is to celebrate the culture and community of craft beer, and to give breweries and beer businesses the opportunity to connect with fans. We’ll be doing exactly that. To celebrate, we’ve got special events going on throughout the week:

• Today we will be joining the Indianapolis Monthly Beerfest at the Tomlinson Tap Room
• Thursday we’re taking over the taps at MacNiven’s and Tapping Sky Cake Aleger at 6pm
• Friday we’re sponsoring a Bike to Work Day Happy Hour at the Tomlinson Tap Room
• Saturday we are tapping Firefly Wheat at Chef JJ’s Eggfest in Broad Ripple

According to, in 2011 there were 1,938 craft breweries in the U.S. and “the majority of Americans live within ten miles of a craft brewery.” In addition, craft beer broke through the 5% mark of U.S. beer volume. It is interesting to note that craft beer’s 5% of total beer sales employs 50% of the workforce in the brewing industry.

So head out to your favorite watering hole and raise a glass of craft beer in celebration of America’s hard working, independent craft brewers…


National Bike Month

Saturday, May 12, 2012

There are a lot of cars in the world. A LOT. We complain about traffic here in Indy, but it’s nothing compared with New York, Chicago or L.A. Sadly, even that traffic doesn’t hold a candle to places like Beijing, Mexico City or Johannesburg.

With a crush of automobiles comes a whole host of gnarly side effects including lost time and increased stress for you, air pollution and wear and tear on your vehicle. Sometimes you have to drive, but sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, the opportunity exists to get out on two wheels powered by you rather than four wheels powered by an internal combustion engine. And that’s the whole point of National Bike Month, which just so happens to be this month.

The craft beer industry and bikes tend to go hand in hand, and at Sun King we are strong proponents of National Bike Month and bike riding in general. On May 18 we will be sponsoring two wonderful, bike-related events—Bike to Work Day and the first Fast Track Friday at Major Taylor Velodrome.

Bike to Work Day, presented by our good friends at INDYCOG, is a great opportunity to eschew your car for a day. A full schedule of the day can be found on the link at the start of this paragraph but we are most excited about the happy hour we’re sponsoring at theTomlinson Tap Room at the end of the day. We’ll have a great lineup of delicious craft beers ready for you to enjoy so stop by and join us.

Also on the 18th is the first of many Fast Fridays at Major Taylor Velodrome and Sun King is a proud sponsor of the event. If you’ve never been to the Velodrome before, it is most definitely worth the visit. It’s one of only 18 such structures in the country and the MTV plays host to elite national events. It was built in 1982 for the Pan Am Games and, as of last year, is now under the tutelage of Marian University and its very capable cycling team.

Are you a cycling fan? Tell us about your favorite bike, the reasons you love to ride and what your favorite bike-related activities are.

Sun King To Help Indiana Landmarks Rescue Endangered Places

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It’s no secret – Sun King loves Indiana. And if you love Indiana as much as we do, you want to preserve the best aspects of its past. That’s why we are teaming up Indiana Landmarks again and releasing Landmarks Wit in time for its inaugural Rescue Party.

Rescue Party will be held between 6 and 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 to benefit Indiana Landmarks’ Endangered Places program. The evening will feature an Iron Chef-style cocktail competition with bartenders from The Ball & Biscuit, The Libertine, and St. Elmo participating. The party also boasts music and performance art by Know No Stranger, a show of art created from rescued materials by Kipp Normand. The Impalas and dancing follow a program that includes the announcement of 2012’s “10 Most Endangered” list, awarding of the Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration, and a live auction of fabulous dinners in private historic houses. Dress is festive casual, tickets are priced at $75 and $125 and can be purchased hereReservation deadline is April 20. See you there!

Bike To the Ballpark!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I’ve biked a lot of miles in my life, but I can honestly say I’ve never ridden through the downtown of the twelfth-largest city in the U.S. with a police escort – until Friday night, that is.

Then again, I’ve never ridden my bike with Indianapolis’ Mayor before either. But that’s exactly what I, and a throng of fellow cyclists, did during the second-annual Bike to the Ballpark event. Starting at Sun King, we hopped on our saddles and followed a patrol car with lights and siren blaring, four bike cops and Mayor Ballard as we traversed the streets of downtown uninterrupted by red lights, stop signs or any other obstruction.

We wound our way around the circle and down Market Street towards the state capital, headed towards the brilliantly blue glass façade of the JW Marriott and finally rounded the corner of West Street and Maryland where INDYCOG was graciously waiting to check or bikes for safe keeping during the game.

Cyclists of all sorts joined in on the fun, including young and old, newbies and seasoned riders. The bikes ranged from road and mountain bikes to less traditional rides such as Sun King’s tricycles, track bikes and cruisers.

Once inside the stadium, the next phase of the night began as the Indianapolis Indians kicked off their home season against Toledo Mud Hens. Sun King’s latest addition to its arsenal of beers, Indians Lager, was sold to fans for the first time, marking the start of being the official craft beer of the Indians. A well-balanced, malty lager that most-definitely finishes with a hop punch, it will go perfect with any of the ballpark fare.

To cap off the night, the Indians pulled off a spectacular walk-off win in front of a home-opener record crowd of 14,073 thanks to designated hitter Nick Evans. The night concluded with a signature Victory Field fireworks show.

To all the cyclists that joined Sun King on the ride, thanks for being part of the event and we look forward to seeing you soon at another upcoming Sun King event.

Riders arrive at Sun King. (photo by K. Stelsel)

Dave and Kevin watch the Mayor address the crowd. (photo by K. Stelsel)

Sun King's Heather Hall takes to the streets with her husband Mike. (photo by K. Stelsel)

All Shane Brown's friends ride a lowrider. (photo by K. Stelsel)

Are You Ready for Some (Powder-Puff) Football?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Despite the inherent anti-ginger bias of the event, Sun King is supporting this year’s Blondes vs. Brunettes, a powder-puff football game to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The two teams will compete on Saturday, April 28 at the Midwest Sports & Social Complex with a party to follow. The girls really play, the guys really coach, and the age old question will be answered; blonde or brunette?

A donation of $20 online or at the door grants you admission into the game, along with drink specials and food. For more information visit or follow Blondes Vs. Brunettes on Facebook and Twitter.

Friends of Riley Host 'A Wedding Reception for Strangers'

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sun King is proud to support Friends of Riley, a group of young professionals committed to supporting Riley Children’s Foundation through active volunteerism, fundraising and community engagement. Friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

Let The Athenaeum Get Your Goat At St. Benno Fest

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Athenaeum Foundation and Athenaeum Turners in partnership with Sun King, Yelp, and NUVO will celebrate the arrival spring beer at St. Benno Fest!

Following the traditions of the Athenaeum’s founding families, St. Benno and his goat, Herr Bock, will officially tap the keg with the ceremonial chugging of two beers at St. Benno Fest. The fest begins at 7 p.m. on April 28 in the Athenaeum Auditorium and Benno and Herr Bock will arrive at 7:45 p.m. Party and dance with Polkamotion and then get your yodel on with St. Benno in the yodel contest at 9 p.m.!

Tickets are $5 in advance here and $10 at the door and a la carte food will be provided by The Rathskeller. Patrons will also have the opportunity to purchase commemorative, engraved Athenaeum bricks for $200. All proceeds from this fundraising event benefit the care and maintenance of the Historic Athenaeum.

See you there!

Shhhh! The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Goes Silent

Friday, April 13, 2012

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra will go silent. That night the ICO will collaborate with the Indianapolis Museum of Art to present a screening of The Mark of Zorro with live orchestral accompaniment.

This film was directed by Fred Niblo and stars Douglas Fairbanks as the masked hero of the people. In The Mark of Zorro, an oppressive colonial government rules over old Spanish California. The one and only Zorro comes out of nowhere, with sword in hand, to defeat the evildoers and make them bear his mark, all the while trying to rescue and swoon damsel in distress, Lolita.

The program will take place in the Tobias Theater at the IMA. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for IMA members, and $10 for students. Call the box office at (317) 940-9607. Group rates available.

See you there!