Grapefruit Jungle and other limited beers to be released at Sun King anniversary party

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By: Eric Strader
ericstrader69@gmail.com

Eric Strader/Hop Notes

Sun King Brewing Co. will turn six years old next month, and they have a lot to be proud of over the past six years.

Least of which is their work in getting the legal barrel limits for the state of Indiana raised. The previous cap of 30,000 barrels annually was stifling breweries’ growth, and Sun King partnered with Three Floyds Brewing Co. (the two largest Indiana breweries) to change legislation.

Earlier this month, Governor Mike Pence signed into law Senate Bill 297, which increases the amount of beer allowed for in-state sales from 30,000 barrels per year to 90,000 barrels per year.

This law will not directly affect any of our local breweries, since none of them are approaching even 30,000 barrels annually. However, it does affect the state’s brewing industry as a whole, which now consists of nearly 100 breweries producing more than 120,000 barrels a year and contributing $610 million a year to Indiana’s economy.

Sun King Brewing Anniversary Party
4 to 10 p.m. June 27, 2015

South parking lot at Sun King Brewery,
135 N. College Ave., Indianapolis

Tickets: $10 until May 31, $15 until June 26, $20 at the door

Here is what Iechyd Da Brewing Co.’s Summer Lewis had to say on this issue:

“Currently, the craft beer demand has restaurants and bars scrambling to find unique brands to put on tap. With previous barrel limits, large Indiana production breweries couldn’t even meet that demand in our own state leaving bars to spend their dollars out of state. If breweries have the financial backing, the equipment capacity, and demand, laws should not dictate how much success Hoosier breweries can achieve in their own backyard. The new legislation allows for incredible growth at home. It still begs the question…why any limits at all?”

Now with legislation changed, Sun King can focus on their anniversary party.

Six years ago, when Sun King Brewing Co. began crafting fresh, local beer at the corner of Market Street and College Avenue in Indianapolis, hardly anyone noticed.

Today, the brewery has grown to become the second largest brewery in Indiana and is excited to announce its sixth anniversary party on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the brewery (135 N. College Ave., Indianapolis).

The anniversary party, billed as SKB VI, will feature live music, Indy’s best food trucks, a great lineup of limited-release beers on tap, plus the release of one of the brewery’s most anticipated seasonal beers, Grapefruit Jungle IPA (7 percent ABV).

Grapefruit Jungle (GFJ) is a classic American IPA that was devised by Sun King owner/head brewer Dave Colt and showcases hops from the Pacific Northwest to create an intense citrus hop flavor explosion that is reminiscent of biting into a fresh grapefruit. For the third year in a row, GFJ will be released in its very own 16-oz. can, as well as on draft throughout central Indiana.

“Grapefruit Jungle makes the kids crazy, just like Rock and Roll,” Colt said. “GFJ was designed as a tribute to the birth of rock and roll and features three distinct hops to mirror the three notes necessary to make a chord, which also happens to create an intense depth of flavor.”

The fun starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, in Sun King’s south parking lot. Indy’s own DJ Helicon will set the mood for the day and warm up the stage for Beech Grove native Brandon Whyde and the Devil’s Keep, who will be opening for San Diego’s dirty blues duo Little Hurricane. The headliner for the evening’s festivities will be Austin-based band Jamestown Revival playing its self-described “indie rock with a Southern slant.” Festivities last till 10 p.m. and are for patrons 21 and over.

Tickets are available now for $10 online or at Sun King Brewery for a limited time ($10 ticket promotion ends May 31). $15 tickets will be available June 1-26. Day of show tickets will be $20.

Until recently, I had not been able to experience any of Sun King’s special release beers, but thanks to a friend in Indy, that is no longer the case. He was able to score two cans (which are actually the special 16-oz. aluminum twist-off cap bottles) of Sun King’s award winning Afternoon Delight (barrel aged doppelbock, 8 percent ABV, IBUs 23). This beer took gold medals at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival, as well as the 2012 and 2013 Festival of Barrel Aged Beer

This bourbon barrel aged version of the brewery’s Dominator Doppelbock is quite nice. Most barrel aged beers are stouts and barleywines, so first off, it’s nice to have a barrel aged beer with a lower ABV in a different style.

The bourbon is right out front, but this beer is not as hot or boozy as many barrel aged beers that I’ve experienced recently. It’s a bit sweeter than other barrel aged beers with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, oak, molasses and caramel. And to top it all off, I got to enjoy it out of my new Sun King glassware. Thanks Kevin!

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