Community Partner Spotlight: Zoolala

Thursday, January 19, 2017


  • Zoolala 2017: Party Like A King



One of Indy’s most fabulous young professional fundraising events—Zoolala—will celebrate its fifth year on Saturday, Jan. 28. Since 2013, young philanthropists have raised more than $200,000 by partying for a purpose.


Emerging community leaders founded the Indy Zoo Council in 2012 as an opportunity for young professionals to connect with and support the Zoo’s mission of empowering people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation. The inaugural event was a sellout and quickly became a staple fundraising event for the Zoo.



This year guests will receive the royal treatment at Zoolala 2017: Party Like A King. Guests at the sold-out VIP party will kick off the evening in the Zoo’s Oceans building, the only place guests will have the opportunity to see the inspiration for this year’s theme: the king penguin. VIP ticket holders will also be able to learn about the unique challenges penguins face in the wild and how Zookeepers care for the penguins that call the Indianapolis Zoo home.

The main event will take place in the Dolphin Gallery, featuring live music from the Julia Kahn Band and Indianapolis’s own DJ Lockstar; delectable food from local favorites Nada and Four Day Ray Brewing; beer compliments of Sun King Brewing; and a full, open bar. Surrounded by the Zoo’s playful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, guests will have the opportunity to get the ultimate selfie all the while remembering the true purpose of the party — animal conservation.


All proceeds from Zoolala go directly back to the Indianapolis Zoo. Feeding the 1,300 beaks, mouths, trunks and bills at the Indianapolis Zoo costs almost $400,000 a year, and Zoolala helps to offset those costs. Because the Zoo receives no direct tax revenue, fundraising events such as Zoolala are vital to the continued growth of the Zoo and the Indianapolis community.



In addition, funds raised also go toward the many grants that the Zoo gives out annually to animal organizations around the world. Conservation is at the core of the Indianapolis Zoo’s work, whether in the local community or thousands of miles away. The Zoo is committed to supporting many different organizations, researchers and scientists whose work is helping preserve wild things and wild places for future generations to marvel.


Over the years, animals from the savanna to the sea have benefitted from the Zoo’s involvement in these initiatives, including elephants, tigers, macaws and many more. And in 2017, funds are heading in some new directions, too. That includes organizations such as the Amur Tiger Conservation Project, Cheetah Conservation Fund, Kutai Orangutan Project and the Tarangire Elephant Project. Because of the support of the Indy Zoo Council, Zoolala is able to impact conservation worldwide.


Interested in supporting the Indianapolis Zoo by partying like a king? A few General Admission tickets remain and can be purchased online here. Get them before they’re gone!


The Indy Zoo Council is open to all young professionals in Central Indiana. For more information on how to join, contact Betsy Busald, Indy Zoo Council liaison, at or 317-630-2025.


Community Partner Spotlight: Be Beyoncé- Chalkboard After Dark Fundraiser for Dance Kaleidoscope

Wednesday, January 11, 2017



Be Beyoncé-

Chalkboard After Dark Fundraiser for Dance Kaleidoscope


Hosted by: The Urban Chalkboard

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017

452 W. Carmel Dr., Carmel IN 46032

7 – 9 pm

$25 Entry

Let your inner Queen Bey shine with Dance Kaleidoscope. DK’s Stuart Coleman and Brandon Comer will teach us all of Beyoncé's classic moves. By the end of this class you will be ready to backup the Queen on her next tour. If your only goal is to work-up a sweat, have some fun & sip on a glass of can do that too!!!

First 12 to purchase a ticket to this event will get 1 FREE ticket to an upcoming performance of Divas. Everyone else, do not fret, you will get a BOGO ticket to a Divas performance.

Don't forget to dress the part. Beyoncé never fails to show up in her best attire; and neither should you. Pay homage to your favorite and wear those heels, chandelier earrings, crystal leggings or whatever makes you feel like a diva.




Be prepared to move! Yes, that means you in the back---you WILL move and you will LOVE it. Please bring water to rehydrate.


Join us after class for $ glasses of wine and craft beer in the cafe. You will have earned it!

Don't forget to tip your server! Not really....BUT- if you would like to show your appreciation to Dance Kaleidoscope for all that they bring to the Indy creative community; donations will be accepted on their behalf the evening of the event.





To register:


Cooking with Sun King: Holiday Treats

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Impress your friends and your family this holiday season with these delicious holiday treats!  Chef Steven Unrue has been busy in the kitchen bringing you not one but TWO Cooking with Sun King recipes that will be sure to delight all of your guests over the holidays.


Start your evening with The Velvet Fog Bacon Wrapped Dates.  They've got a bit of a kick to them that will be sure to make your taste buds happy.  Close out our dinner party with something sweet.  Java Mac Chocolate Chip Cookies!



The Velvet Fog Bacon Wrapped Dates

Servings: 6 / Active Prep Time: 20 min / Total Time: 1 hr 10 min


Ingredients for Bacon Wrapped Dates:


2 lbs Medjool dates (about 24)

1 lb Mexican style chorizo sausage

12 strips Smoking Goose Applewood smoked bacon

2 jars piquillo peppers (most jars are around 7.6 ounces)

1 14.5-oz can good-quality tomatoes

8 oz (about 1 cup) The Velvet Fog Beer

Salt to taste


Directions for Bacon Wrapped Dates:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Using a paring knife, make a small slit in each of the dates, then push out the pit.


Fill each date with chorizo, but not so much that the meat is overflowing.


Slice the bacon strips in half crosswise to create two pieces out of each strip. Wrap each date with one of the half-slice segments of bacon. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes. Once the chorizo has cooked through (you can slice a date in half to test), crank up the temperature to broil and transfer the tray to the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp up the bacon, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.


While the dates are baking, make the sauce. Add the peppers, tomatoes, and beer together in a medium saucepan and cook slowly over medium-low heat for the entire time the dates bake. Season with salt to taste, then puree the sauce until almost smooth but still with some body; think thin salsa texture. (A handheld immersion blender works great, but a countertop blender is fine.)


Once the bacon is crispy, divide the sauce among six plates and top with four dates each.



Java Mac Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings: 3 doz / Active Prep Time: 20 min / Total Time: 1 hr 30 min


Ingredients for Cookies:


6 ounces Java Mac

1 stick butter, softened

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp molasses

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon espresso powder


Directions for Cookies:


Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.


In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and toffee chips.


In a larger bowl beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, vanilla and egg and beat well.


Alternate the flour and the beer with the egg mixture until combined.


Chill the dough for about 30 minutes, or until it has firmed up enough to scoop out cookies.


Scoop on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until the top springs back lightly when touched.


Cool completely.

How Did I Get Here: "D"

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


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 the challenges we face. 


Sun King's employees consists of people seasoned in the field of brewing to those that are new to brewery life.  No matter who you are at the brewery, your job is important, and instrumental to what we do.  As we continue to grow, our story continues, and we cannot do that without the people behind the scenes.  How Did I Get Here will shed some light on the people who make Sun King what it is.

We would like to introduce you to Dustin Boyer aka "D".  Dustin has been with Sun King for more than 6 years, one of Sun King's first full-time employees.  Dustin has worn many hats at Sun King including brewer, chef, managing brewery reps and accounts...the list goes on!  


You can follow Dustin's daily routine for the next three days - by heading to the Sun King Brewing Instagram. (SunKingBrewing)




How Did I Get Here?




Dustin "D" Boyer



Operations/Production Manager



Running every day brewery operations, including packaging, ordering raw materials, cellaring, future planning, and wearing cat themed t-shirts.


Where are you from?

Dustin calls Indy his hometown.


How did you end up at Sun King?

Dustin was running Spencer's Stadium Tavern, the first bar to carry Sun King.  Clay Robinson, co-founder/owner, approached Dustin about working/volunteering at the brewery to help get the brewery started.  Dustin would open the bar, work the lunch shift, head over to Sun King to help with whatever task was at hand, then would head back to the bar and close.  Clay said when ever D was ready for a change of pace, to come work for Sun King.  Dustin worked both jobs for a couple of months before getting hired by Sun King in July 1st, 2010.  


Was there a skill or experience that lead you to doing the work that you do here?

Dustin's brewing career started as Clay Robinson's brewing assistant at Rock Bottom Brewery in 2001.  Dustin continued his brewing career at Rock Bottom Brewery in Denver, Colorado before heading back to Indianapolis.  


What are your hobbies outside of work?

When not at Sun King you can find Dustin attending live music/concerts around town.  He enjoys taking rides on his motorcycle, drinking with friends, and cooking with fire (Check out Dustin's Cooking with Sun King Recipe: Cowbell S'more Tart).  You can also find him tending to fires, spinning records, and snuggling with his kitty, Merle.


What is your favorite thing about Sun King Brewery?

"The people that I work with."


What might someone be surprised to know about you?

D secretly loves Katy Perry and pop music.


What is the day in the life of Dustin like?

Dustin is in the door at 5am no matter what the weather is like outside! (Check out this video of Dustin riding his Ural Motorcycle in a blizzard!)  SAP for 2 hours.  Then on to Sensory and Quality Control/Quality Assurance of Sun King products.  The day isn't complete without some operational meetings along with future brewery planning meetings.  


What is your favorite style of beer?

Currently coffee infused beers (think Java Mac or When the Lights Go Out).


What is your favorite Sun King beer?

Winter time favorite: Timmie Imperial Stout  
To be released in summer 2017 (in 12 oz cans) - Pachanga Mexican Lager


What has been one of the most rewarding experiences about working for Sun King?

We are very fortunate that people enjoy our beer.


What should people know about brewery life?

You are pretty much a glorified janitor.


What was your first job?

Working at a fast food restaurant.  


Who is your favorite musician or album that you can play on repeat?

Anything Honky Tonk, especially Merle Haggard.


What is your favorite food or favorite thing to cook?



Help Sun King Spread Holiday Cheer

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


We at Sun King Brewery believe that commitment to the community is a year-round responsibility, although, we have a special place in our hearts for projects we support to during the holiday season. We encourage our amazing patrons and friends to join us in supporting these great causes!


Breakfast with Santa:


The YMCA at the Athenaeum plans a magic morning for families from local shelters, missions, and community centers. All participating families are invited to attend based on their current circumstances. On December 10th, the invited guests will enjoy a breakfast consisting of eggs, pancakes, sausage, fruit, and all the other fixins’. While musicians, actors, and artists entertain the kids, their parents can “shop” for gifts. The children are also giving the opportunity to “shop” for their parents. The morning culminates in a visit from Santa himself.



If you would like to support this magical morning, you can purchase gifts by clicking here. Gifts purchased this way will be mailed directly to the YMCA.



Elf volunteers are also needed. Inquiries about volunteering, click here.





Holiday Cheer with a local IPS school:


The benefiting school is an elementary school in the IPS district serving kiddos grades K through 6th grade. The school is located on the near west side of Indianapolis in the Haughville neighborhood.



Sun King’s involvement with this school is largely stems from the food pantry that operates at the school in conjunction with the Junior League of Indianapolis and Gleaners Food Bank. The food pantry serves over 100 families at the school who are otherwise unable to provide an efficient food source to their family. The pantry, located in the basement of the school, makes it very difficult to efficiently transfer the multiple pallets of food that Gleaners delivers monthly. SKB’s logistics team comes in to help with that by bringing the dollies and helping transfer the food downstairs.



Each year Sun King helps support some holiday fun at Stephen Foster by collecting money through our December tasting room donation jar, designated December Growler Fill Friday donations, and the generous support and donations from our staff! School staff selects the families that are in the most need and invites them to come shopping at the school’s Holiday Cheers event. Here, the parents get to pick out and wrap holiday presents for their children so they can have a magical holiday season. Sun King’s support is the only funding for this event and provides holiday awesome-ness for a lot of families at the school. Our ability to do this is rooted in the amazing patrons that we are so pleased to serve. We recently had our Growler Fill Friday collection date on December 2nd, but the donation buckets will continue to collect for the rest of December.




Thank you to all the people that support us throughout the year and know that your support is what makes these amazing programs happen.


Sun King Community Partner Spotlight: Major Taylor ‘Cross Cup

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


The Indy Cycloplex is hosting the Major Taylor ‘Cross Cup: an off-road cycling race meets mud run meets the biggest block party you’ve ever been to –a cyclocross race. If this sounds a little chaotic at first, hold on to your hat. On December 3 and 4, over 300 cyclists from across the nation, from wobbly amateurs to seasoned elite riders, ages 7 to 50+, will congregate at the Indy Cycloplex, home of the Major Taylor Velodrome on Cold Spring Road, to race up the grassy hills, skid through muddy corners, and the navigate tricky obstacles the course has to offer.



Cyclocross is an off-road cycling race that is not quite mountain biking but definitely not road racing; the courses, equipment, and physical demands are in-between and unique. The bikes are specifically built for the muddy trails and obstacle-course-like sections. They look like road bikes but with knobby tires, increased mud/grass clearance, and sometimes have disc brakes for heightened stopping ability.


The race course itself is a short circuit with a variety of terrain, including grass, dirt/mud, gravel, and some pavement, and elements such as staircases, steep run-ups, or logs/boards requiring the rider to run with their bike. The trail-like race course is barricaded with snow fencing and ribbon tape to separate spectators from competitors, but the nature of cyclocross allows spectators to see most, if not all, of the course from one central location. With a little bit of hiking and some time to explore, you can see everything that the course has to offer. The landscape at the Indy Cycloplex lends itself well to ‘cross with a huge, central parking lot, permanent restrooms and infrastructure, and plenty of terrain including a stone staircase, singletrack trail, steep climbs, some twisty ‘power’ sections, and – if it rains— plenty of mud.


That’s where the mud run part comes in –there are sand pits and sections of the course that can become too muddy to ride, or sometimes course builders intentionally include an element too difficult to pedal through, forcing a racer to shoulder their bike and run with it. As you can imagine, these obstacles lend themselves to comical, muddy slip-and-slides as well as epic displays of skill and control.


And you better believe the course is lined with rowdy fans waiting to see this happen. The Major Taylor ‘Cross Cup features a festival surrounding the race course for family, spectators, and visitors. Riders will often stay at the event long after their race to watch the rest of the races, ‘pit’ for their teammates, and enjoy food and drink. Local food trucks, Sun King beer, dedicated cheering sections, and exciting competition will be part of the action on both race days.

Each day of racing includes a different event for all categories from beginner riders all the way up to professionals, and includes a variety of age groups for every member of the family to compete. The cyclists will be racing to earn series points, international ranking points, and cash and merchandise prizes. Riders will conquer the challenging course and cross the finish splattered with mud, pain-facing to the line to the sound of cheers from family, friends, and the excitable announcer. So come on over, grab a Wee Mac, and watch some great cycling action in one of the most family-friendly parks in the region. This event is free to the public.




The Major Taylor ‘Cross Cup

Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4

Racing runs from 8:00am - 5:15pm each day

Indy Cycloplex, Home of the Major Taylor Velodrome, 3649 Cold Spring Road, 46222

Food Provided by: Der Pretzel Wagen and NY Slice Pizza



To learn more, visit 


Sun King Collect Your Tabs Challenge Oct 2016 - Jan 2017

Monday, October 31, 2016


It's hard to believe that Sun King started the Collect Your Tabs Challenge 3 years ago.  This marks our sixth challenge benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana.  Over the holidays we tend to gather more with friends and family.  As you celebrate with your loved ones, we challenge you, fans of Fresh•Local•Beer, to collect aluminum tabs, of all types and turn them in for prizes.  You can even make it a friendly competition amongst co-workers to see how many tabs you can collect over the holiday season!  The challenge goes now until January 7th, 2017.


We ask that all collected tabs will be turned in at on Saturday, January 7th at our downtown Indy Sun King Brewery location (we will ONLY be collecting these tabs on this date for prizes and will ONLY be collecting them at our downtown brewery location). Those who have participated will be awarded various Sun King prizes (see below). The bounty of collected tabs will be dropped off to the Ronald McDonald House to be recycled!


Why Should You Collect Can Tabs?

Not only is the can tab important for the purpose of opening your favorite Fresh•Local•Beer, it is also a valuable resource that generates much-needed funds to cover the operating costs to run the Ronald McDonald House to support families in need. Don't forget to recycle your cans too - that is important for our environment!


    What does the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana do?

    Nearly 1,500 families are served at the House each year while their children receive life-saving treatments at Indianapolis-area hospitals, including Riley Children's Hosiptal. Over one billion tabs have been donated in 15 years since the program began, generating about $500,000 in revenue. The Ronald McDonald House focuses on those families with a critically ill or injured child. The House is the only organization in Central Indiana that provides low-cost, short-term-to-long-term lodging for these families.


    Fund received from the recycled tabs adds up to $30-$50K annually. These funds go towards the operating costs of the Ronald McDonald House and will cover the costs of operating 3 rooms in the House for an entire year.


    How Can You Help?

    Help Sun King collect tabs by participating in the Save Your Tabs Challenge from October 28th, 2016 - January 7th, 2017. Sun King will continue to collect tabs at various community events around town. Be sure to drop off your collected tabs on Saturday, January 7th, at our downtown brewery location. We will weigh your tabs and reward you with prizes, and then we’ll deliver the collective bounty of tabs to the Ronald McDonald House where it will go to help those in need.


    Reminders: Please do not use plastic soda bottles or milk jugs because they’re hard to empty! Keep in mind if the tab sticks to a magnet, it cannot be used. Please check your tabs from soup and other cans - some are aluminum and can be used; others are steel and cannot.


    Prizes are detailed below:

  • • 1 to 4.9 lbs: $5 Gift Card
  • • 5 to 9.9 lbs: $5 Gift Card and a SKB Pint Glass
  • • 10 to 19.9 lbs: $10 Gift Card
  • • 20 to 49.9 lbs: $10 Gift Card PLUS one entry in a drawing for a $100 SKB Gift Bag
  • • 50 to 99.9 lbs: $10 Gift Card, one entry for $100 SKB Gift Bag PLUS one entry in a drawing for a Private Brewery Tour/Tasting for up to 10 people
  • • 100+ lbs: $10 Gift Card, one entry for $100 SKB Gift Bag, one entry in a drawing for a Private Brewery Tour/Tasting for up to 10 people PLUS $25 Gift Card with access to the SKB Private Cellar (full of specialty cans not generally available).

  • If you want to feel even better about cracking open a can of Fresh•Local•Beer then please join in the fun and help Sun King and The Ronald McDonald House of Indiana help families in need.

  • For more information about the contest, please contact If you would like more information about the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana, please visit:





    Sun King Community Partner Spotlight: American Pianists Awards

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016


    The YouTube clip serves up its clickbaity title in deadpan—no exclamation point required: “Steven Lin performs through earthquake in Japan.”



    The video from 2012 shows a younger Steven playing a beautiful sonata by Haydn, head down then arched back, fingers dancing, feet working the pedals, music flowing gracefully through his upper body. At the 1:50 mark, the picture starts to shake. The pianist continues to play. The shaking intensifies, the mic pics up sounds of shuffling. Steven continues to play. A minute into the magnitude 6.1 earthquake, the shaking dissipates, and Steven smoothly transitions into the next section, completely focused and delightfully immersed in his music.



    Now 27-years-old, Steven Lin has used this focus to propel his budding career to the top for young American pianists: he is one of five finalists for the 2017 American Pianists Awards and in the running for the $100,000 top prize including professional management and a recording contract!


    The American Pianists Association (APA) is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that works to discover, promote and advance the careers of young, world-class, American jazz and classical pianists. Winners receive cash and two years of career assistance, making this one of the most coveted prizes in the music world and the largest for American jazz pianists. Since its founding in 1979, the APA has supported 45 winners and regularly brings world-class musicians to Indianapolis for both the competition and to bring the beauty of music to non-traditional venues and underserved audiences.


    The Premiere Series (happening now!) provides the first live juried performances of the five American Pianists Awards finalists. Over the course of five months, each finalist makes an initial appearance on stage in Indianapolis. Discovery Week (April 2017) is the culmination of the American Pianists Awards, when all five finalists return to the city for adjudicated performances across multiple genres. The week concludes with the finals with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and naming of a winner.



    From left: 2017 Awards finalists Drew Petersen, Henry Kramer, Alex Beyer, Sam Hong and Steven Lin


    • Steven Lin’s Premiere Series concert is November 6 at the Indiana History Center; he will perform a solo recital and Beethoven’s concerto No. 1 with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
    • In partnership with Sun King Brewing, the American Pianists Association is hosting a young professionals meetup before the concert . Enjoy complimentary Sun King beer, so­ft drinks and small bites. Network with young professionals from leading YP and affinity groups from across the city. Learn the nuances of classical music from recent school of music grads. And experience the beauty of music with the American Pianists Awards.

    • For more about Steven and the American Pianists Awards visit or @APApianists on Twitter and Instagram.
    • Finally, life of a world-class musician involves lots of travel and practice. But these people can have some fun along the way; check Steven’s Instagram for some highlights from the summer:




    How Did I Get Here: Kelly "the Keg Washer" B.

    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Sun King Brewery now has around 75 full-time employees that make up our island of misfit toys that we call the Sun King Crew.  Each person has their own unique story on how they started working at Sun King.  


    Over the past seven years we have interviewed Sun King employees for our "How Did I Get Here" blog.  It's been way too long since our last story, so we are bringing it back!  And from time to time, we will revisit those previously interviewed employees to see what they are up today.  Everyone is encouraged to find their place at the brewery and sometimes paths change while working here.  We will also throw into the kettle some newbies with a dash of some SKB veterans never to have been interviewed about their story.  


    Last week, we let Kelly from "Team Cold Deck" aka Keg Washing, take over our Sun King Brewing Instagram account for three days.  Did you see the Pac Man keg attack?  WAKA-WAKA!  Kelly started at Sun King a mere 90 days ago.  She graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN with a degree in Environmental Management and a minor in Biology.  Here's a little ditty on Kelly and how she got to Sun King.  






    How Did I Get Here?



    Kelly B.



    Keg Washer aka Key Monkey


    Where are you from/Hometown?

    Evansville, IN - located in the southeastern part of the state for you non-Hoosier folks.


    What did you do before you worked at Sun King?

    Manager at the Bloomington Bagel Company.


    What’s it like being a Keg Washer?

    There is always something to do being a keg washer! I’m never bored!


    Why did you want to work for a brewery?

    Breweries are cool places to work for and I like beer, obviously.


    Why beer, not environmental management?

    It's a hard field to get in to and I'm not sure if I am ready to get in to it just yet.  I look at this as my "gap year", taking a year off to something else she likes, before joining the big leagues.


    What are your hobbies outside of work?

    I enjoy hiking, camping, ceramics, building stuff, and traveling.


    What is your favorite thing about Sun King Brewery?

    Everyone is so friendly and genuine. It’s like a big family. Working together, doing what we love, and bringing good beer to good people.


    What might someone be surprised to know about you?

    My oldest sister named me after Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell.


    What is the day in the life of Kelly like?

    Coffee, coffee, work, food, work, beer, food


    What is your favorite style of beer?

    IPA all the way!


    What is your favorite Sun King beer?

    Norwegian Blue? It’s too hard to pick just one.


    What has been one of the most rewarding experiences about working for Sun King?

    Being able to contribute to an industry that I love and believe in. I’ve learned so much so far and I can’t wait to learn more.


    What should people know about brewery life?

    If you take pride in your work, it will show in the product.


    What was your first job?

    Lifeguard during the summer months for 3-4 years in high school.  


    Anything else we should know?

    If an alligator lays an egg in hot sand it will be a male.


    Cooking with Sun King Oktoberfest Beer Cheese Soup and Beer Bread

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016


    Signs of fall have started sprouting up all around us. The leaves have begun to fall, there is a crispness to the air, and outdoor gatherings around the fire pit - all things that make us start to crave warm hardy meals to warm up our insides.


    This month's Cooking with Sun King recipe is another twofer.  Chef Steven Unrue has prepared for you recipes for Oktoberfest Beer Cheese Soup and also serves up Beer Bread - that's perfect for dipping in your bowl of soup!



    Oktoberfest Beer Cheese Soup


    Servings: 6 / Active Pre Time: 1 hr / Total Time: 1 day (Bread Rise Time)



    Ingredients for Soup:


    1/2 pound piece of Smoking Goose jowl bacon, sliced 1/3 inch think and cut into 1/3 inch dice

    1 celery rib, finely chopped

    1 small onion, finely chopped

    1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped

    2 large garlic cloves, minced

    1 Tablespoon chopped thyme

    1 16 ounce can of Sun King Oktoberfest

    About 2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

    4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

    1/4 cup all-purpose flour

    1 cup heavy cream

    1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese coarsely shredded

    4 ounces Velveeta, cubed small

    2 Tablespoons cornstarch

    Salt and freshly ground pepper


    Directions for Soup:


    In a large saucepan, cook the jowl bacon over moderate heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 7 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a bowl.  Add the celery, onion, jalapeño, garlic and thyme to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring util softened, 8 minutes.  Add half of the Oktoberfest and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes.  Add 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.


    In a small skillet, melt the butter.  Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Whisk this roux into the soup until incorporated and bring to a simmer.  Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.  Toss the cheeses with the cornstarch.  (This helps the soup from breaking.)  Add the heavy cream, cheeses and the remaining Oktoberfest and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper.  Add a few tablespoons of broth if the soup is too thick.



    Ingredients for Bread:


    3 cups bread flour

    1/4 teaspoon dry yeast

    3 teaspoon salt

    1/3 cup water

    1 cup Sun King Oktoberfest

    1 Tablespoon white vinegar

    1 Tablespoon molasses 


    Directions for Bread: 


    Mix all of the dry ingredients, then add in the Sun King Oktoberfest, vinegar, molasses, and water.  Stir until just combined.  Place in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for 11-18 hours at room temperature.  The amount of time here is flexible; you can let the dough rise as long as 24 hours and the bread will be fine.


    Remove onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 15 strokes.  Shape into a ball, proof at room temperature for 2 hours, covered with oiled plastic wrap.  We recommend that after shaping you place the ball on a piece of parchment paper for the proofing.


    Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  Heat dutch oven for 30 minutes.


    Lower oven temperature to 425 degrees.  Score and lightly flour surface of brea, then pick up while still on parchment (this makes the process easier) and place in the hot dutch oven (still on parchment paper).  Bake for 30 minutes with cover on and additional 20-30 minutes uncovered.  Remove from oven and let cool.