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Indiana craft breweries raise support with what they know best: a collaborative beer

Sadly, last fall, Sun King Brewing pulled its products from distribution in Michiana. It is the second largest brewery in Indiana, and according to a Chalet Party Shoppe employee, the brand was quickly becoming one of the store’s best selling.

The reason for this change is a law that limits Indiana brewers to produce only 30,000 barrels (a barrel is about 31 gallons) a year  without facing restrictions.

As the law is currently written, once a brewery exceeds this limit, it may no longer distribute its own beer in-state or operate an on-site tasting room.

With nearly 100 already in existence, and more in the works, most Indiana breweries are well below this limit. However, Sun King along with Three Floyds, the state’s largest brewery, are very close to reaching this limit. They have both taken great measures not to exceed this amount so they can keep their tasting rooms and the ability to self-distribute.

According to a recent article by Flavor 574’s Geoff Lesar, Omar Robinson, president and co-owner of Sun King, said that the brewery’s tasting room is its biggest marketing tool. For either of these breweries to lose its on-site facilities would be detrimental to business.

In an effort to bring more attention to this situation, both breweries have joined forces to brew Slacktivist (7.3 percent ABV), a collaboration Doppelkolsch.

The name, Slacktivist, is a word that was coined in the 1990s to describe activism or support of a cause as long as it’s easy to do so. And what is easier than drinking a beer to support Indiana’s craft breweries?

Slacktivist pours a clear golden color with a thick white head. The bready, malty aroma definitely signifies this as a lager. Even with a light-medium mouth feel, there is plenty of bold flavor, with pale malty sweetness up front and a crisp, clean finish.

Less than five years ago, there were fewer than 40 craft breweries in the state.  Now, with nearly 100 breweries producing a total of more than 120,000 barrels a year and contributing $610 million a year to Indiana’s economy, new laws are needed. Many new jobs have been created in the state’s brewing industry, including a total of 83 employees at Three Floyds and 58 full-time and 60 part-time employees at Sun King.

You can show your support by contacting your state legislators. Tell them that you support small Indiana businesses and that you want to see them grow, create more jobs, help brewers reinvest in our communities, and of course continue making the great craft beer that they do.

Visit, click “Take Action” and make your voice heard. Currently, there are two bills before the state legislature, and both would increase from 30,000 to 90,000 the maximum number of barrels of beer a small brewery can manufacture in a year for sale within Indiana.

Three Floyds brewed about 120 barrels of Slacktivist, which is on tap at the pub and also available in 22-oz. bombers. The bombers can be found in Michiana bottle shops, as well.

Slacktivist will also be featured as part of a Three Floyds Beer dinner to be hosted by Temper Grille in Granger. Phil Funari from Three Floyds will be on hand to present the beers.

Here is the menu:

  • Reception beer: Gumball Head (American Wheat, 5.6 percent ABV, IBUs 35)
  • First Course: Zombie Dust (pale ale, 6.2 percent ABV, IBUs 50) meets lobster ceviche tostada
  • Second Course: Slacktivist meets braised Korean pork belly with Asian noodles
  • Third Course: Robert the Bruce (Scottish-style ale, 6.5 percent ABV, IBUs 24) meets openf-ace duck confit sammie
  • Fourth Course: Topless Wytch (Baltic-style porter, 9 percent ABV, IBUs 65) meets braised goat
  • Fifth Course: Live A Rich Life (Belgian-style double IPA, 9.5 percent ABV, IBUs 100) meets spicy cioppino
  • Sixth Course: Blot Out The Sun (imperial stout, 10.4 percent ABV, IBUs 97) meets duck butter stuffed chocolate truffles

Tickets are $75 (all inclusive). The reception will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner promptly at 6:45.

Temper Grille is located at 1213 E. University Drive in Granger.  For more information, call the restaurant at 574-273-0443.

For more Michiana craft beer  news and commentary from Eric Strader, subscribe to the Hop Notes email newsletter.

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