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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Ale. They 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.
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.
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.”
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.
Adrian Ball AKA Dre, Assistant Brewer. In his free time, Dre likes to jump in cold lakes to benefit charity. Photo by Kirk Stelsel.
Many people know the rough outline of Sun King’s creation and are familiar with the core ownership group, but Sun King’s success is the product of its entire staff bringing a lot of experience and expertise to bear on the challenges we face. How Did I Get Here will shed some light on the people who make Sun King what it is.
Adrian Ball met Clay in 1994 at a restaurant called Joe’s in Crawfordsville, Ind. Dre was a cook and Clay, a freshman at Wabash College at the time, was a busboy. The two worked together for about a year until Dre moved to Indianapolis. They reconnected in 1999 when Dre visited Rock Bottom Brewing Co. in downtown Indy where Clay was working as an assistant brewer. “That’s when I first got interested in the brewing process,” he said.
Dre started homebrewing, bringing his beers to Clay to try and even helping Clay out with a brew. In 2005, Dre took a part-time job assisting brewer Omar Castrellon at the now defunct Alcatraz Brewing Co. By that time Clay was working with Dave Colt at The Ram, which was located directly across the street from Alacatraz. Dre got to be friends with Dave when the brewers would “swap ingredients, have a beer together.” In 2008, Dre took an assistant brewing position at Rock Bottom downtown and in 2009, moved over to The Ram when Dave left to pursue Sun King full-time. Dre continued to work full-time as a cook as he gained experience on the brew deck. “Back then there were only so many brewing jobs (in Indianapolis),” said Dre.
In November 2009, Dre took another part-time brewing job, this time at Sun King. By May 2010 he was assisting Dave full-time. “I make sure the brews are running on schedule,” he said. “If Dave’s not here running the brews, I am.” Now Dre spends part of his days training Sun King’s newest assistant brewer, Jon Clampitt.
As Sun King grows Dre hopes to stay right where he is, helping Dave run the brewhouse. “I just love how it’s a family atmosphere,” said Dre. “Everybody gets along and looks out for each other.”
Fun Fact: Our friends at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will be happy to know that Dre listens to classical music when he’s alone on the brew deck.