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.

How Did I Get Here: Adrian Ball

Thursday, March 01, 2012

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.

Sun King Takes The Polar Plunge!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A well-crafted beer served at 32 degrees is just about perfect. Jumping into Eagle Creek Reservoir at a similar temperature is… a little less than ideal.

But that’s exactly what the members of the Sun King Brrr Crew Team did on Saturday afternoon at the Eagle Creek Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics of Indiana. For more than a month, the Brrr Crew team asked family and friends to make donations, and in return, each member of the team agreed to jump into the ice-cold water.

In a winter season where temperatures have largely remained above freezing and little snow has fallen, the team thought they would get off easy. Mother Nature had other plans for the event. Bookended by days that hit the mid-to-upper 40’s, Saturday provided the Brrr Crew team with temperatures worthy of the title Polar Plunge.

But even wind chills that dropped the temperature well below freezing couldn’t stop the team from completing its mission. Assistant brewers Adrian Ball, Jon Clampitt and assistant cellarman Jordan McCarrel embraced the opportunity to take the plunge in style, donning short shorts and tank tops, while Heather Hall and Beth Belange took the more conservative – and sane – route of hoodies and pants.

In the end, the dedicated team raised more than $3,000 for Special Olympics of Indiana, which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in more than 20 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

And while the chattering teeth, numb feet and moments of panic were fleeting, the good that the money raised will do for the men, women, boys and girls who are given the chance to compete are lasting. And that’s a cause worth raising a glass to.

Check out our pictures from the event!

Rivoli Revue Seeks To Resurrect Historic Theater & Neighborhood

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

(The Rivoli then and now, courtesy of the Indy Star and Prairie Ghosts.)

Lovers of cinema, history, and urban renewal will gather at the Athenaeum on Saturday, March 3 for the second annual Rivoli Revue. Presented by the Rivoli Center for the Performing Arts, Inc, the Rivoli Revue aims to raise funds for the restoration of the historic Rivoli Theater.

The Rivoli Theatre is an artifact from a time when Hollywood studios controlled not only the production of feature films but their distribution and screening as well. The Rivoli was constructed in 1927 at 3155 E. 10th St. by Universal Chain Theatrical Enterprises and was the first Universal theater in Indianapolis. The Spanish mission-style building seated upwards of 1,000 patrons and was a true movie palace, featuring Indiana limestone, ornate plaster and woodwork, leaded glass windows, copper sashes, brass hardware, terrazzo floors, and ivory bathroom fixtures.

Sold by Universal in 1937, the building passed through the hands of several private owners and continued to play host to films as well as live musical performances by artists such as John Mellencamp, Quiet Riot, The Cult, Supertramp, Kansas, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, and Bruce Springsteen. The theater closed for good in early 1992 and has been decaying steadily ever since.

The Rivoli Revue features performances by members of the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, musical duo Patchwork, Creme de les Femmes burlesque group, Bennu Dancers belly dancing troupe, South Six 5 band, singers Krista Gordon and Amada Capps and dancer Muriel Greenlee.  There will also be a silent auction and sampling of Sun King beers in the lobby starting at 6 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m., tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

Welcome (Back) To The Jungle! GFJ Returns...

Monday, February 27, 2012
Sun King’s most anticipated IPA, Grapefruit Jungle, returns to the Tasting Room on Thursday, March 1. Watch the video to learn more about GFJ and swing by the Tasting Room between 6 and 9 p.m. on March 1 to taste it, enjoy a pint, and pick up a growler to enjoy at home! Music will be provided by Grace Askew and food will be provided by Spice Box. It’s free if you’re legal, see you there!