08 Dec Sun King Brewing Makes Two Moves with Respect to Locations
Chess pieces were moving on Wednesday with regard to Indiana craft beer. They were Sun King Brewing’s chess pieces for the most part, and their moves are probably winners in both cases. Sun King has decided to close the Broad Ripple Barrel House location, which has been open for just under two years.
As with just about every part of Indianapolis, road construction or the scheduling of road construction has scared off many business or made getting to them much more difficult. In this case, we’re talking about several months worth of work planned for Broad Ripple Avenue, right in front of the Sun King location.
The second piece of the puzzle that led to Sun King’s decision was the increase in rent at their LOR Corp. location. Combine an increase in rent with the recent increases in labor and other costs, and there comes a point where it just doesn’t make sense to continue.
However, according to the piece (here) from David Linquist of the Indianapolis Business Journal, David Colt of Sun King says that their absence from Broad Ripple will be temporary. He stated that Sun King is likely to return to the area but it won’t be at the same location.
Broad Ripple has seen some changes in its craft beer scene in the past couple of years. Thr3e Wise Men Brewing closed in 2019 (where Sun King is located now), and the Triton Tap closed about the same time. HopCat-Broad Ripple had a long closed spell during the pandemic, and has just recently opened for more hours and more taps.
There was a short time when Pretty Nice Guys Brewing planned on brewing out of the old arcade bar on Broad Ripple Avenue, but now both are gone. Metazoa Brewing had planned a taproom in Broad Ripple in 2019, but reevaluated their priorities when Sun King-Broad Ripple was announced. Lastly, there is a brewery in planning coming to the old Broad Ripple Village in the next few months, but we’ll have more to say about that soon.
On the other end of the continuum, Sun King announced that they will be opening a location in Mishawaka in 2022. In the piece by Alex Brown for Inside INdiana Business (here), Colt stated that he grew up in nearby South Bend and fans of the brewery had been asking when they might open a taproom further north. The opening of Sun King-Kokomo under Amanda Lewton was a boon for people living north of Indy, as that was the closest place to get Sun King brews, especially the King’s Reserve beers, and because their in house brewer JD Alvarado is making some great beers of his own under the Sun King Small Batch brand.
The Sun King location in Mishawaka will be at The Mill at Ironworks Plaza on the river, just north of Lincolnway. The Mill is a mixed use residential and retail neighborhood that will be opening piece by piece from now until next summer – that’s when Sun King is planning on opening. Their space will be 5000 sq. ft. with a food hall run by the same outfit that runs the food hall at their Fisher location.
Mishawaka has a craft beer history that is deep and proud, and Sun King will only add to the draw. Evil Czech Brewery and Public House has been open and making great beer and food since 2012. Right down the Lincolnway is Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House, with their award winning beers and food as well.
Closest to The Mill at Iron Works Plaza will be one of the state’s best craft beer bars, Hop Station Craft Bar. Hop Station was named the 2020 best beer bar in Indiana by CraftBeer.com. The Mill is just about a half mile from Hop Station as the crow flies, so I asked co-owner Casey Stuber about their coming neighbor. He said, “We are all for it. I think It will help bring a lot of craft beer drinkers to the area. It will turn Mishawaka into a beer destination by having a bigger name brewery around. We serve Sun King from time to time in our rotating tap list and having them move in down the street won’t change that.” Having Hop Station and Sun King close together will indeed be a plus; they race in different lanes and will be synergistic rather than competitive.
Things are never static for long in Indiana craft beer. These changes, while surprising on first glance will be good for the state. We look forward to seeing what happens next.