Dave Colt and Clay Robinson worked at several Indianapolis brewpubs before meeting and opening their own brewery in 2009. Their business venture, Sun King Brewery, rolled out the first keg in July of that year, and there has been no looking back.
In 2010 they added a canning line. Then in 2011 they were awarded eight medals at the Great American Beer Festival, including four gold. That same year, because of increased demand, Sun King upgraded from a 15-barrel system to a 30-barrel brewhouse.
Distribution finally reached Michiana, which made many of us very happy. However, due to a state law capping legal brewing capacity to 30,000 barrels annually for small breweries, they ended distribution outside of Central Indiana in December 2014. With the help of Three Floyds Brewing Co., the state’s two largest breweries were successful in changing legislation to raise the production cap, and in March of this year, Michiana began to see the return of Sun King cans to the shelf.
The last seven years for Sun King have been remarkable, and on June 25 the brewery will celebrate with their Seventh Anniversary Party. The event will be hosted starting at 4 p.m. — with live entertainment until 10 p.m. — at the brewery parking lot, 135 N. College Ave., Indianapolis.
Indy’s own DJ Helicon will be warming up the stage for Turnpike Troubadours, an American Red Dirt group from Oklahoma composed of Evan Felker, R.C. Edwards, Kyle Nix, Ryan Engelman and Gabe Pearson. Other live music will include country music singer-songwriter Nikki Lane and alternative folk group HONEYHONEY.
In addition to Indy’s best food trucks, live music and a great lineup of limited release beers on tap, Sun King will release their popular seasonal beer Grapefruit Jungle IPA (7.5 percent ABV, 77 IBUs). This is their classic American IPA devised by head brewer Dave Colt, which showcases hops from the Pacific Northwest to create an intense citrus hop flavor explosion that is reminiscent of biting into a fresh grapefruit. GFJ will be available in 16 oz. cans and on draft throughout Central Indiana. New this year, patrons will be able to purchase four-packs of Grapefruit Jungle (limit two cases) to take home and enjoy. You must, however, purchase a ticket to be able to purchase carry out.
Tickets are on sale now, and are available for $10 in advance online or at Sun King Brewery for a limited time. You need to act quickly, though, because the $10 ticket price ends June 24, and the price for day of show tickets will increase to $20. But if you’re feeling lucky, we’ve got your chance to win a pair of free tickets to the event.
If you answer the following question and fill out the form, you will be entered into a drawing for a pair of free event tickets. The winner must be 21 or older and must provide identification. A winner will be drawn at random from all entries submitted by midnight June 19. Flavor 574 will notify the winner via phone. The winner will be able to pick up the tickets from the office at 237 Edison Road, Mishawaka.
For more Michiana craft beer news and commentary from Eric Strader, sign up for the Hop Notes email newsletter.