How Did I Get Here: Chris Hansen

Wednesday, April 04, 2012
He's super friendly. Really.

Sun King’s policy from the start was to hire from its volunteer pool. But some jobs need to be filled by a specific person with a specific skill set. When it came time to start building Sun King’s delivery fleet, Chris Hansen was that person.

Chris grew up in the beer business, working for his parents’ distributorship, Bon Vivant Libations, from the age of 12. He went on to work in logistics for craft beer distributor Cavalier and got to know Clay and Dave when he would run kegs from the downtown Ram to the Noblesville location.

In July 2010 he was working for a mobility company (think Jazzy Carts) when Clay sent him a Facebook message asking him if he’d be interested in coming to work for Sun King. He said yes and immediately took the position of Logistics Manager, managing drivers and line cleaners, scheduling and routing deliveries, and preparing and receiving invoices. He also handles payroll for the brewery and is usually behind the wheel of a fork truck when new tanks arrive.

“Besides the beer,” Chris says that his favorite part of working at Sun King is, “getting to work with the people and in a great family atmosphere where everyone gets along well.”

Manic Mondays: Sun King Expands Tasting Room Hours

Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Monday is a dark day for many. Not just because it’s the start of the traditional work week but because it was one of the two days that Sun King’s Tasting Room stayed dark. ‘Was’ being the operative word because as of today, Sun King’s Tasting Room is now open six days a week! The Tasting Room will now be open between 10 AM and 6 PM Monday through Thursday, 10 AM to 7 PM Friday, and 1 to 5 PM Saturday. Those of you who are really paying attention noticed that we are also extending Saturday hours to 5 PM to better accommodate you. Thanks for squeezing us into your busy schedule, just don’t expect us to start opening on Sundays!

How Did I Get Here: Cupcake

Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Courtney Hughes/C-Style Photography.

There are rumors to the contrary but we’re pretty sure the birth certificate of Sun King’s funk-loving draft technician reads, “Cupcake.”

Cupcake says that his time at Sun King, “started as a dream, and I haven’t woken up.” That dream started in March 2010 after Cupcake had spent the previous 16 years working in local restaurants and brewpubs. He showed up to volunteer and quickly moved over to the canning line as a part-timer and on to making deliveries as a full-time employee.

He now travels central Indiana cleaning and maintaining draft lines to ensure that the funk stays in your speakers and out of your pint glass.

How Did I Get Here: Jon Clampitt

Friday, March 30, 2012

Jon Clampitt AKA Clamp, Clamps, Clampsquatch

Jon Clampitt doesn’t waste time. The one-time IUPUI student knocked back his first Osiris Pale Ale at J Clyde’s pub on a Tuesday night in July 2010, visited the brewery for the first time two days later and the next day he was volunteering in the Tasting Room.

Clamps had never worked in a brewery before but Sun King’s owners loved his hustle so they hired him to work part-time in September 2010. He was still going to school part-time and working another part-time job but his willingness to do whatever, whenever, without complaint translated into a full-time position in January 2011.

Clamps worked his way up from the Tasting Room to keg monkey (the affectionate term for the person who cleans kegs) to assistant cellarman to assistant brewer. Or, more accurately, assistant brewer’s assistant, as assistant brewer Adrian Ball shows him the ropes on the brew deck.

Bike To the Ballpark!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Friday, April 13 Sun King Brewing Co. and the local bicycle advocacy group, INDYCOG, are teaming up to host the second annual Bike to the Ballpark to kick off Indianapolis Indian’s baseball season.

Cyclists of all ages will meet in the Sun King Parking lot at 5 p.m. for a special appearance from the city’s biking-fanatic-in-chief, Mayor Greg Ballard, and then depart for Victory Field at approximately 5:30 p.m. Another local bike enthusiast group, Pedal and Park, will be providing temporary bike parking on site. Tickets for the game can be purchased at the gate.

This year’s Bike to the Ballpark is special because it marks the beginning of Sun King’s new relationship with the Indianapolis Indians. Starting with opening day of the 2012 season, Sun King Brewing Co. is the Official Craft Beer of the Indianapolis Indians. Brewer/owner Dave Colt crafted a specialty beer in honor of this new partnership, Indians Victory Lager, which will be tapped at Captain’s Cove inside Victory Field at 6:30 p.m. and will be available at the ballpark for the duration of the season.

Riders have several options: BYOB (bring your own bike) or hitch a more relaxed ride with the Circle City Pedicabs. For eager cyclists without bikes, check out the Indy Bike Hub for rentals ranging from $15 to $55.

All participants will receive a coupon from the Indy Cycloplex for a free track session or free helmet.

Constructive Criticism: Beer Bloggers Review Isis

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Periodically, Dustin will box up cans of refrigerated “yeast samples” and ship them to journalists, bloggers, and breweries we’re friends with. A number of beer magazines and blogs received a sample can of Isis last month and here’s what they have to say about it.

All About Beer is familiar with our work but they were excited to try Isis. Greg Barbera said that the, “Mouthfeel isn’t as overly resinous as most DIPAs but still is high enough in alpha acids to make the enamel on your teeth chirp.” Read the full review here.

Brewed for Thought enjoyed the beer, saying that, “With Isis, I can only confirm that Sun King is one of the top brewers in the country.” We’re blushing. Check out the full review here.

Fermentedly Challenged is one of several blogs that received Sun King beers for review for the first time. “I’d have no problem downing a few of these on a hot day,” is what they had to say in their review of Sunlight Cream AleThey thought that Wee Mac Scottish Ale “tasted better than a typical Brown ale, it had a better malty character than typical brown ales.” Osiris Pale Ale held up well under the microscope, too. “It’s too bad Sun King doesn’t (yet) distribute out here to Colorado as they could probably take up a good amount of shelf space based on taste alone.” Go here to read the full review.

The star of the show was Isis, though. “My Bronco hat gets tipped to Sun King Brewing Company for coming up with a solid double IPA in their Batch 555 Isis.” The full review is here.

Prof Sudz also got his first sample pack for review a few weeks back. According to his blog, “Sun King Sunlight Cream Ale would be a great option to introduce to your dedicated macro lager drinking friends. The appearance of the beer is familiar enough to them so they won’t be scared away, and the flavor profile isn’t too complex for the uninitiated beer drinker to understand and enjoy.” Read the full review here.

He also had very nice things to say about Wee Mac and Osiris but he really took a shine to Isis. “Some Double IPAs seek to punish your tongue with an overwhelming bitterness, but Sun King Isis features a juicy mixture of hops which is quite delicious.” The full review is here.

Indy Brew Bus Embarks On A Three Hour Tour...A Three Hour Tour

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The most famous three-hour tour of all time is surely that of the S.S. Minnow and its crew of Gilligan, the Skipper and the rest of that ill-fated gang. For a much tastier and local three-hour tour, look no further than the newest addition to the Indianapolis craft beer community, the Indy Brew Bus.

The Indy Brew Bus will take up to 14 passengers to production breweries around town as part of its tour, including Sun King Brewing. Here at Sun King, we invite you to try free samples of our house beers, including the beer our brewers made with their own tastes in mind, Osiris, and our award-winning, Sunlight Cream Ale and Wee Mac. In addition, you’ll have the chance to try some of our seasonal or specialty brews that rotate throughout the year.

The Indy Brew Bus will have tours on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., Fridays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 12 and 3:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m., but please note that the Sun King tasting room is not open on Sundays so we will not be a part of tours on that day.

The Indy Brew Bus will pick up riders from your Downtown hotel. If you are a local, the bus will pick up outside the Omni Severin Hotel, which is close to convenient parking in Circle Centre Mall. Each tour is $30 per person and all participants must be 21 or older.

Whether you’re from out of town or just want to see what the local craft beer scene is all about, we look forward to seeing you at Sun King. Oh, and don’t forget to leave with a growler of your favorite fresh, local beer because the Indy Brew Bus has coolers on board to keep it cold throughout the rest of your tour.

Kirk with a coterie of companions.

How Did I Get Here: Craig Church

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Craig, center, with Cupcake (L) and Jordan (R). Photo by Chris Page.

Sun King’s delivery drivers are some of the most recognizable faces at the brewery because they are out in the community every day putting Fresh•Local•Beer into the hands of Hoosiers. And Craig Church has the distinction of doing that job longer than almost anyone here.

“I was a mug club member at the RAM, and kinda got to know Dave and Clay,” says Craig Church. He got into home brewing while working as a server and when his friend Jmac (Sun King part-timer Jonathan McGuire) started volunteering in Sun King’s Tasting Room, Craig came on board, too, in October 2009. He became Sun King employee number two when he was hired to run the Tasting Room part-time in January 2010 and became full-time Sun King employee number three in March 2010.

Like most of Sun King’s employees, Craig is a utility infielder, doing whatever needs to be done to keep the ship moving. He makes deliveries, cleans and maintains draft lines and troubleshoots draft problems when they arise. “My favorite part of working here is being out around town getting to know bartenders, restaurant, bar owners and talking beer with people,” he said. “And the beer.”

Bitter Druid ESB Now A Semi-Annual Specialty Beer

Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Some of you have been asking and yes, it’s true – Bitter Druid ESB is no longer going to be a part of Sun King’s house beer lineup. As we have grown, the demand for all of our beers – house, seasonal and specialty – has grown as well, with the exception of Bitter Druid ESB. We know that there is a die-hard group of people who love the Bitter Druid and this doesn’t mean that we don’t still believe that it’s a great beer or that we’re going to stop making it. However, in order to devote the necessary time, energy and tank space to crafting everything else, we have removed Bitter Druid from the house beer lineup and it will become a semi-annual specialty beer. Fans of Bitter Druid ESB will still be able to purchase it in growlers and bars/restaurants will be able to purchase kegs when it becomes available. We hope you understand the need for this change and we thank you for your continued support!

Bicycle Dreams

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sun King is proud to supportINDYCOG, Indianapolis’ bicycle advocacy organization, in its screening of Bicycle Dreams, the award-winning documentary film about the Race Across America (RAAC).

The movie provides a powerful and inspiring look inside the most difficult race on the planet. The footage captures emotional and physical breakdowns, late-night strategy sessions, and great moments of personal triumph, all in intimate detail. The film has received critical acclaim and won major awards from the Fall Brook and Breckinridge film festivals, as well as the Yosemite, Grand Rapids, Red Rock and All Sports LA film festivals among others.

The screening is part of the film’s nationwide tour. The movie will be shown on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 PM at the Earth House Collective, 237 North East St.

Advance tickets are $11, $15 at the door, and Sun King will serve beer at the event.