All hail, Sun King Brewing Co. May its radiant star continue to shine over the Indiana brewing landscape, giving entrepreneurial warmth and refreshing suds to those followers of the craft movement. In 2009, Sun King was the first commercial brewery to open up in Indianapolis in nearly 30 years, and today it’s a beacon of inspiration for the Midwest craft scene as whole (plus it has swanky pre-Columbian-style branding which we totally dig).
The King continues to grow larger, recently announcing the new development of a 15,000-square-foot craft distillery and tap room in Carmel, Ind. It’s projected to open in the fall of 2017. Oh gracious Sun King, our prayers have been answered. From the press release:
“Since our first keg of beer rolled out, we’ve been experimenting with new flavors and ingredients and testing new techniques and technology,” said Clay Robinson, co-founder of Sun King Brewery. “Distilling handcrafted spirits is a natural evolution from the creativity and methods that go into craft brewing, and we are excited to begin producing small batch, uniquely Indiana spirits with the same attention and quality that we give to our beer.”
Ah, this is grand news for the craft scene, a nice contrast to, say, mega distillery Midwest Grain Products of Indiana (usually just called MGP). Near the Ohio/Kentucky boarder, MGP in Lawrenceburg, Ind., provides lots of jobs to the state (which is cool), but it also mass distills some 50 brands of spirits, sold under various brand names, some of which are misleadingly marketed as craft style (not cool). Tincup Whiskey? George Dickel Rye? Bulleit Rye? All made by MGP.
So we’re excited to see Sun King join the likes of The Indiana Whiskey Co. in the true craft distilling marketplace. Sun King’s Co-Founder and Head Brewer, Dave Colt, has already completed his distiller’s education working with world-renowned distillers at the Distilled Spirits Epicenter in Kentucky. Colt will oversee distillery operations.
Much like its beers (above), Sun King’s high-quality, handcrafted, small batch spirits will be inspired by the uniqueness of Indiana. The team plans to create unique flagship spirits, as well as more traditional products like whiskey, gin and rum, which will be available for tasting and purchase from the distillery. The distillery will also produce seasonal spirits that will be available at limited times throughout the year. From the release:
“Sun King’s new distillery and tap room will be a wonderful addition to Carmel’s exciting new Midtown district,” said Carmel’s Mayor Jim Brainard. “We’re proud of the public-private partnerships that continue to fuel Carmel’s growth and make redevelopment projects like this possible for our residents and visitors to enjoy.”
The Sun King Distillery and Tap Room will be located at the north end of Midtown Plaza adjacent to the Monon Trial. Midtown Carmel is a redevelopment area, which will serve to connect Carmel’s Arts and Design District to City Center and the Palladium.