Two years of quality control research is satisfying Sun King’s mantra for Fresh . Local . Beer. even if the beer you take home is warm. A newly installed canning operation ensures stored on shelf cans retain their original taste profile to the same level as cans going from the downtown production facility’s cooler to your fridge, or via a liquor store cooler to your fridge.
While most canned and bottled beers are expected to sit on shelves, Sun King’s recipes were designed for constant refrigeration. It set them apart. Is this now a compromise?
Not in the least, according to co-owner and head brewer Dave Colt. He points out Sun King is being particular about which beers sit on shelves. Until new science develops a way for hops not to deteriorate when warm, expect Sun King on shelves to be moderate hop brews. Some seasonals and specials will join Sunlight and Wee Mac, but head for a bottle shop cooler for Osiris and other hop-centric beers.
In any case, buy and enjoy — don’t stockpile. Sun King suggests you check the the ‘drink by’ date as 90 days from initial canning. And refrigerate the cans when you get home. Statewide find SKB at major Indiana grocery and convenience stores including “Cost Plus, CVS, Fresh Market, Kroger, Martin's, Marsh Supermarket, Meijer, Rite Aid, Sam's Club, Target, Town & Country, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, and others.”
"Over the past few years we've decided to make dramatic infrastructure and technology improvements to our brewery in order to supply delicious beer that is 'uniquely Indiana' to Hoosier beer fans throughout the state," said Clay Robinson, co-founder of Sun King. "These investments will allow us to be innovative and flexible with processes and packaging, as well as be creative with new products and releases while still maintaining our high standards of quality."
But is all of Indiana ready to embrace craft beer when the choice since Repeal has veered to mega brews?
“Sun King took leadership in growing the industry to get more and more people to try craft beer, not just “a” beer, but a number of varieties,” Bob Whitt pointed out when he stepped in as president and a co-owner in April 2016. He recalled the situation a mere seven years ago when “there was minuscule knowledge” about craft beer in Indianapolis, let alone all of Indiana. “In Portland, Ore., 50 percent is craft beer; when you talk about potential, Indiana is in the early adolescent stage of growth. There are lots of opportunities to expand knowledge and patronage throughout Indiana.”
Wherever you live and travel, look for new packaging with the 16-ounce 4-pack cans, 12-ounce 6-and 12-pack cans of Sunlight and Wee Mac, and watch for more warm shelf beers to appear with the change of seasons, made possible through what Whitt refers to as “the utilization of art with science—not purely one alone. Starting with a great idea for a beer, you need to move the art of creating something new into the science of production to replicate a product time after time. It’s art creating a thing that is consumable.”
Sun King Brewery just made achieving its goal as Indiana’s ‘go-to’ beer easier. As of July 25, two Sun King favorites are appearing in svelte 12-ounce cans in packs of six and twelve on shelves in super markets and convenience stores. This new initiative joins their traditional tall 16-ounce cans in packs of four found in coolers in bottle shops.