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!

Cooking with Sun King: Simple Burger on Pretzel Bun

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stop – put those bags of burger patties and buns back in the freezer. It’s not hard to make burgers and buns from scratch. Just get fresh, quality ground chuck, hand form patties and follow the instructions below!

Burger Rub

Equal parts:

Smoked Paprika
Granulated Garlic
Granulated Onion
Ground Cumin
Cayenne Pepper

Apply liberally to both sides of burger right before grilling.

Pretzel Bun

1 cup warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon sugar
½ cup Dominator Doppelbock (or any dark lager)
4 cups flour
½ stick butter, melted
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
6 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
Egg Beaten

Combine warm water, yeast, salt and sugar in stand mixer.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the Doppelbock, flour, and melted butter.  On medium-low speed mix with the dough hook for about 5 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the bowl.  Toss dough with vegetable oil, cover, and sit in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 425*.

Bring to a boil the water and baking soda.

Portion the dough into 8 buns.  Make an ‘X’ cut across the top of every bun.  Place the buns into the boiling water in batches for 30 seconds. Brush the top of each bun with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 9-12 minutes.

Cook patties over medium hot direct heat until you achieve desired doneness. Unless you want crispy, well-done patties, resist the urge to flatten them while cooking.

Dustin Boyer has worked as a bartender, brewer, and restaurant manager. He is the go-to guy for Sun King’s many bar and restaurant accounts and is responsible for booking the food and music for the brewery’s tappings. When he’s not doing that he can be found on a fork lift or making magic with meat on the Big Green Egg. Don’t ask him when he’s opening a restaurant because he only cooks for fun.

Take the Polar Plunge with Sun King!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Special Olympics Indiana Polar Plunge Polar Bear will be making a special appearance this Friday evening the in the Tasting Room!

The Sun King Brrr Crew will be on site to help promote the several Polar Plunges that are happening around the state of Indiana as well as the Polar Plunge that they will be participating in at Eagle Creek on Saturday, Feb. 25. Patrons will be able to make donations by purchasing a donation card for a suggested $1 donation. One hundred percent of the donation card proceeds will go to Special Olympics Indiana.

Flatwater Tap Takeover & Isis Release!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sun King is taking over the taps at Flatwater in Broad Ripple on Thursday, Feb. 23 and not only will we be rolling out a collection of limited seasonal and specialty beers but we’ll be releasing Batch 555 as well!

Batch 555 has been named Isis – as its name suggests Isis is the sister of Osiris, only this Imperial IPA amplifies everything you love about our house pale. Isis will be tapped at 6:30 p.m. and she will be accompanied by 2011 Barrel Aged Timmie, Wee Muckle, Oak Aged Golden Princess, Velvet Fog Batch, Maibock and Jungle Room. Admission is free but the beer is not. See you there!

Heart of The Brews: A Beer Tasting to Benefit the Riley Heart Research Center

Friday, February 10, 2012

For the second year, Sun King has teamed with UplandBarley Island, and Bier Brewery to support “Heart of The Brews,” a fundraiser to benefit the Heart Research Center at Riley Children’s Hospital. The event will take place from 6:30 to 10 PM on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Omni Severin downtown and tickets can be purchased here. Designated drivers can purchase tickets for $10. There will be a silent auction including autographed sports memorabilia, gift certificates to local restaurants and hotels, a private tour and tasting at Sun King, gift baskets and more.

Image courtesy of Best Spa Health.


Saturday, February 04, 2012

Goliathon – “Riot In Cairo” from MonkeyEatsMonkey on Vimeo.

Indianapolis’ own Goliathon takes the stage tonight in the Local Underground Tent! Take the Tour of Indy with the Big Green Bistro, enjoy Sunlight Cream AleWee Mac Scottish Ale,Osiris Pale AleZaius Oatmeal Stout and Three Floyd’s Lawless ESB on draft as well as a selection of wines from Graybull.

It’s free until 5 p.m. and just $10 after. The band takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. See you there!

Left Lane Cruisers Get Dirty In The Local Underground!

Friday, February 03, 2012
Come down to the Local Underground tonight and shake whatcher mama gave ya when the Left Lane Cruisers take the stage. Take the Tour of Indy with the Big Green Bistro, enjoy Sunlight Cream Ale, Wee Mac Scottish Ale, Osiris Pale Ale, Zaius Oatmeal Stout and Three Floyd’s Lawless ESB on draft as well as a selection of wines from Graybull. It’s just $5 to get in and the band takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. See you there!