More is Better for Sun King & Three Floyds

Senate Bill 297 goes into effect on July 1, 2015, to increase the maximum amount of beer a small brewery can manufacture per year for sale within Indiana. The limit is up to 90,000 barrels, from 30,000, while still operating a restaurant or tasting room. Indiana State Senator Ron Alting, representing the 22nd district serving Tippecanoe County, authored Senate Bill 297 and navigated it through both houses and governor signature.

"We are thankful to all of the state representatives and craft beer enthusiasts who helped support small business and the Support Indiana Brewers campaign," said Clay Robinson, co-owner of Sun King Brewery. "When it goes into effect, the new law will allow us and other small breweries to employ more Hoosiers and get more local craft beer to fans who love it.

“The Indiana craft beer scene has more than doubled its share of the local market in the last four years; allowing breweries to reinvest in the economy, create more local jobs and attract craft beer lovers from other states to visit Indiana breweries,” added Robinson. "With the new law, we're excited to begin planning several ways to increase our production in Indiana including adding infrastructure to our current downtown facility, exploring options for a destination brewery in Fishers and working with distributors to broaden our reach statewide," said Robinson.

July 1, Sun King will celebrate the law becoming official with specials at both the Downtown Indianapolis brewery and the new Fishers Tap Room & Brewery.

Birth Days

Newly opened Central State Brewing Company launched Raspberry House on April 30 at Three Floyds’ Dark Lord Day in Munster and Rustic Blonde Ale on May 4 at Black Acre Taproom in Irvington, where we talked with co-founder/head brewer Josh Hambright about CSB being the first in Indiana to brew exclusively with a scientifically engineered wild yeast strain most associated with what makes Belgian beers distinctive.

“We are exploring the delicate art of yeast interaction and cultivation in an experimental process as a third wave brewery dedicating ourselves to 100% Brett brewing,” explained Hambright, who honed his skills at Flat 12.

Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Brett brux in general parlance, has distinctive qualities to create a profile that feels like ‘barnyard.’ It’s a multifaceted yeast with the ability to be utilized in various ways to create a menu of brews that share a quality yet can be distinctive from each other. For a full commentary go to:

Co-owners with Hambright are brewer Chris Bly and Jake Koeneman, president of the company. Cy Wood is on board as creative writer.

Prior to launching their own brews Central State brewed collaboratively with Indiana-based 18th Street Brewery, Mash Craft Brewing and Black Acre Brewing and with Good Beer Hunting in Chicago.

After a year of creating recipes and testing batches Central State is launching each new batch as a special event. Hambright eschews the tag “Belgian-style” to describe the Central State philosophy of brewing. He describes CS beers as “American beer. It’s its own self.” He doesn’t want to ride the coat tails of “generations of Belgian beers that have meaning as themselves.”

Describing his trajectory, Hambright said, “I lucked into Flat 12. Rob [Caputo] was very supportive. The beauty of craft beer is everybody shares. It’s fun to see the tracing back to John Hill and Greg Emig here and Rob brings his Michigan connections. Through Rob I have friends all over who are willing to help. Now it’s my turn to share.”

Described as "House Beer,” the unfiltered, hazy blonde Rustic Blonde Ale offers an introductory field and farm nose, an immediate cleansing taste, subtle flavors and a dry finish. It’s on tap at Black Acre and “all around Indianapolis,” reports Hambright. Check the beer board for Central State on draft at your favorite neighborhood spot. Central State does not have a place of its own. Hambright and Bly brew at Black Acre’s newly expanded brewery in Irvington.

Learn more at:

Counting toward the official 25th

Broad Ripple Brewpub Brewer Jonathon Mullens promises a daily new brew release line up during “BREWERS ASSOCIATION 10th annual AMERICAN CRAFT BEER WEEK MAY 11-17, also our 24.5 year anniversary.”

Monday: Anise Stout (Lucky Lad infused with Anise); Tuesday: Dark Weiss (A Weiss beer that will have a touch of the dark malts) I am brewing this on May 4th for the "May the 4th be with you" Fan holiday of Star Wars; Wednesday: Lawnmower Dry Hopped with Warrior; Thursday - 24.5 Anniversary Ale that will be 24.5 Plato, 24.5 IBUs and 24.5 SRM. I know cheesy right? First thing that popped in my head to do; Friday: Nice Weiss aged on Gooseberry. This will be served both at BRBP and to kick off the May 16-17 Broad Ripple Art Fair.

“All of these will be 1/6bbls and a get while they are hot kind of thing. Once they blow, they blow.”

Chilly Water owner Skip Duvall and brewer Dan Kryzywicki reported Danny G stopped in while he was in town for an ISO POPS concert. When a patron doubted authenticity, DuVall replied, “We are a music joint, ya know.” So it’s not just the beers that make a brewpub distinctive—it’s the intent and ambiance as well.

Special American Craft Beer Week tappings include:

May 12, Vanilla Bean Russian Imperial Stout; May 13, Rauchbeer [Smoked Lager]; May 14, Barrel aged Doppelbock; May 15, Barrel Aged Imperial Stout; May 16, Blueberry Pilsner. $3.75 pint daily special on select beers.

DuVall says, “Since Chilly Water opened last June we have brewed 42 different styles of beer. We'll continue to brew new styles, but coming this summer we will start to bring back some of the original styles like the Harmonika Hefeweizen and 5 String ESB. Before that however, May brings two more new beers...a Belgian Wit and an American Brown Ale with a new food menu to pair with the beers.” Check out the live music line up at: Shows are free and start at 8 p.m.

Triton reports specialty beer tappings all week, a HopCat Beer Dinner, Chef JJ’s Eggfest and the Anniversary Party for Triton Tap. “There is so much to do! Thousands of craft beer enthusiasts nationwide will be reveling in the 10th annual celebration of American Craft Beer! We have opportunities to participate statewide! We hope you come out, too! Join us!” enthuses co-owner David Waldman

American Craft Beer Week?

“Why an American Craft Beer Week?” asked a package store patron when he overhead me inquiring about anything special going on that location.

My short answer: “To bring attention to a growing population of people who want full-flavored beer that’s local and fresh along with out-of-town/out-of-region brews that fill shelves and coolers at shops like this. It’s about the patrons who want choices.”

The patron gave me that discernible “You’re pulling my leg” look.

In truth, handcrafted beer has always been about people—from its start in Mesopotamia into the present.

Brewers Association 10th annual American Craft Beer week May 11-17 showcases brews that are distinctly of U.S. origin across a swath of individualized brews based on classic recipes. And the focus is on the patron. Talking with brewers over the past few weeks, I learned their choices for American Craft Beer Week were all people-centric—they were talking about what best to share–making something special while keeping within the tradition handed down from master to apprentice in a neighborhood setting.

That’s why Rock Bottom Downtown and Rock Bottom College Park each has a different beer profile. Their core patrons bring different preferences. Chatting with Rock Bottom Downtown head brewer Jerry Sutherlin about his Three Pepper Ale, he pointed out in his setting a milder infusion of house-roasted Anaheim, Jalapeno and Poblano peppers would be a patron preference. Tasting it alongside the Kolsch, which is the base beer for Three Pepper Ale, slight heat restraint shows creativity. On the other hand, Fire Chief Ale this year is a step up in body for a Red Ale, with a subtle malt sweetness and fruity, spicy hop character. When I asked about the change from last year Sutherlin credited assistant brewer Joe Carroll for this new recipe. Sutherlin works with his master chef to develop daily food and beer pairings, something he thinks helps patrons. And something special is celebrating Mother’s Day with a food and drink menu through May 10.

And that’s why this report from Amanda Wishin for a GPO event at BRBP underscores patron-centric thinking. “Head Brewer Jonathon Mullens brewed a beer especially for the Girls Pint Out. Brighter than Sunshine is a lightly smoked Saison aged on pineapple,” said Wishin. “Jonathon also gave a brief overview of the history of Broad Ripple Brewpub and a tour of its unique brewhouse.”

Brewers Association gives awards in over a dozen specifically identified “American” Ales, Lagers and Wheats. Sierra Nevada Brewing in 1981 was the first brewery to name its newly brewed beer “American Pale Ale” describing it as “a delightful interpretation of a classic ale…with generous quantities of premium Cascade hops [to] give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet.

Learn more about “American” styles at: and


May 9: BRBP, 4 p.m. tapping homebrewer Evan Brill’s Best of Show Vienna Lager at the 2014 Indiana State Fair Brewers of Indiana Guild Brewers Competition. Brewing at BRBP is part f the prize. All 20oz Imperial pints of the prize winning Vienna Lager will be only $4 on May 9.

May 9: Inaugural Indiana-Michigan Craft Beer Fest at Toscano Park, 201 Florence Ave., Granger, 2-7 p.m. with 30 breweries serving 100+ beers. Benefits St. Judes Children's Research Hospital and Hospice at Home. Tickets at:

May 9: Baseball, Brews & Blues at United States Steel Yard, One Stadium Plaza, Gary, 1-5 p.m. Join Triton Brewing Company and a number of other breweries at the home of the Gary Southshore Railcats. Featuring music from the Planetary Blues Band and great craft beer. VIP tickets are $60. General Admission tickets are $35. More at:

May 12: FLIX Brewhouse is tapping Ginger Kiss, Single Hop American Pale Ale with fresh ginger and Lemon Drop hops.

Tickets now on sale for Sept. 26, 2015 Valpo Brew Fest. More at

Upland Sour Fest on May 16 is sold out.

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