Sun King is the brain child of Dave Colt and Clay Robinson. The idea for Sun
King was born during their years brewing together at a large, corporate brew pub
in Downtown Indianapolis, but the roots of Sun King go back even further through
friendships formed and the close-knit nature of the Indiana Brewing Community.
Both brewers began their careers over a decade ago by happenstance, while
working in the restaurant side of things at two local brew pubs. From the moment
each of them was given the opportunity to craft beer, they both knew they had
stumbled upon something very unique and special.
Dave spent several years as the Bar Manager / Assistant Brewer at Circle V on
the North Side of Indy, which is actually where Dave and Clay first met when
Dave helped Clay load kegs into his car on several occasions. They wouldn’t
cross paths again until a few years later when Clay was brewing for Rock Bottom
in Downtown Indianapolis. By that time Dave had begun his career brewing for the
Ram as the assistant to John (Johan) Hanley and Clay had taken over brewing
operations at The Rock. They would often get together at the end of the week to
enjoy beers and talk about life and the art of brewing...
Through a series
of circumstances that would take more time to explain than you care to read:
Clay passed up a transfer to Denver with Rock Bottom and pointed them in the
direction of John Hanley. John took the job and moved to Denver, which allowed
Dave the opportunity to become the Head Brewer at the Ram in the summer of 2002.
By the close of that year, Clay had ended his career at Rock Bottom and began a
three year sabbatical that was filled with travel, fun and booze which
eventually lead to the creation of BeerJuggs, the home-brewing instructional
In the fall of 2005, Dave was in need of an assistant brewer to Replace Jerry
Sutherlin, who was leaving to become the Head Brewer down the Street at the
afore mentioned Rock Bottom, so he called Clay to get the phone number of a
friend and fellow brewer... To which Clay inquired, “Why?” When Dave said, “I
need someone who could operated a brewery.” Clay expressed his interest and made
plans to drop by and discuss the details. Within a few days, Clay was hired and
the two began brewing together.
Over the next three years, Dave and Clay spent an average of 50 hours a week
together, locked in a small brewery cranking out as many seasonal beers as
possible while keeping up with the expansive line up of house beers. During
their time together, Dave and Clay managed to create a reputation for themselves
in the Beer Community and rack up a nice collection of accolades that includes 3
GABF Medals, 2 Festival of Barrel Aged Beer Medals, Dozens of Indiana Brewer’s
Cup Medals and the award for 2007 Indiana Brewery of the Year. It was during
this time that Sun King began to take shape. The two spent long hours brewing,
scrubbing and polishing copper while discussing what they would do if they had
the opportunity to open their own brewery. The first of which was that they
would have no copper on any of their tanks, an idea they stuck with when
sourcing equipment for Sun King. The rest of which have made their way into the
overall concept of Sun King.
Clay left the Ram in July of 2008 with the intention of dedicating himself to
making Sun King a reality. After a two month hiatus in Alaska, Clay returned to
Indianapolis where he holed up in his home for a month and drafted the Sun King
business plan. He enlisted the help and consultation of his father, Omar, a
highly motivated, self starting individual who has started and run more than his
fair share of businesses over the last 50 years. The two of them got to work
revising the business plan and pouring over budgets while consulting with their
new attorney and soon to be business partner, Steve, who Dave and Clay had
become friends with over the past several years because of his love of good
Upon Completion, Omar and Clay took the plan to one of Dave’s long time friends,
Andy, who used to frequently have lunch at Circle V all those years ago. Dave
had been discussing the idea with Andy occasionally and Andy had always
expressed interest in helping make those dreams a reality. Needless to say, Andy
loved the plan and agreed to take up the cause of coordinating investors for the
project. In the Fall of 2008 Sun King was officially born!
It has taken a lot of time, effort and perseverance to get the job done, but
most of all it has taken the help and support of a lot of good people who
believed in what we were trying to do. After nearly 6 months of searching by our
realtor, Richard King, we finally found a home downtown at 135 N. College Ave.
With the help of our project planner, John Bennet and a host of talented
contractors and friends, our industrial warehouse space has been transformed
into the first full scale production brewery since Indianapolis Brewing Company
closed it’s doors in 1948.
On July 1, 2009 Dave and Clay brewed their first batch of beer at Sun King, an
English-style Barley Wine aptly named Johan. Sun King began distributing Craft
Beer to the Indianapolis Metropolitan area at the end of July and have been
gaining momentum ever since.
In 2010, Sun King Brewing Company won two awards at the World Beer Cup: A Silver
for Sunlight Cream Ale in the Blonde or Golden Ale category and a Bronze for
Dominator Dopplebock in the German-Style Doppelbock or eisbock category.
Year Round Beers
Bitter Druid ESB
Osiris Pale Ale
Sunlight Cream Ale
Wee Mac Scottish Ale
Crab Apple Wit
El Gallo Negro
Home Grown Harvest
OktoberfestRing of Dingle
Cans protect beer from its two greatest enemies, sunlight & oxygen, in a way
that no bottle can!
We like to think of cans as a tiny keg that delivers fresh, draft quality beer
to you in a convenient little package. Every can is lined with a food grade
liner that keeps the beer from having any contact with aluminum. Our
semi-automated canning line, purchased from Cask Brewing Systems, has the lowest
Oxygen pick up in the industry and the seam on a can is perfect seal, therefore
locking in the freshness. Cans are lighter, so it takes less fuel/energy to ship
them, both to and from our facility. They are more frequently recycled and the
process that takes less energy than recycling glass, so the environmental
footprint of cans is much lighter than most other packaging methods. (Reusable
Growlers and Kegs are the most Earth friendly ways to transport beer)