If you live in Indy you have seen it:
a vaguely Mayan, anthropomorphic sun. For many this big orange circle is a signal for celebration. The Sun King face is the logo of Sun King Brewery,Indy’s largest maker of craft beer.
The brewery’s award-winning Osiris Pale Ale, Sunlight Cream Ale and Wee Mac Scottish-style Ale are adored by many across Indiana. But why choose the sun for an Indiana-based brewery? And what’s the connection to No Bad Ideas?
We asked Sun King co-founder Clay Robinson to help us explain.
Clay and his friend and business partner Dave Colt were looking for a name that references life on Earth, changing of seasons and the corresponding influence on beer making.The Sun is in essence king of this process, thus Dave proposed naming the company Sun King.
At the time, Clay was unsure: “I felt it was a great name for a brewery in Colorado, California, or Arizona where the Sun shines all the time.
”Given the current below freezing temperatures in Indiana, this seems fair. However, Dave insisted that “the Sun shines everywhere, even on us Hoosiers.” The name was settled.
So what does this have to do with No Bad Ideas?
This month, the No Bad Ideas X Sun King Snapback was released. Featuring the iconic Sun King face and No Bad Ideas metal crown, the side of the hat has a big Indiana logo including the word LOCAL a testament to the spirit of local pride that infuses both companies.
“Local is what we are about. Our initial goal was to be Indianapolis’ beer and we’ve adapted that to becoming Indiana’s beer. We believe that the father from home beer travels, the harder it is to maintain its freshness, connect with people, and be a part of the community.”
“Community is incredibly important to us and we work with over 300 organizations throughout central Indiana to help make Indiana a better place to live, work, and play,” states Clay. The collaboration with No Bad Ideas is an example of SKB’s focus “on working with local companies to come up with creative projects that showcase the creativity happening right here at home.”
No Bad Ideas owner Andy Moss agrees: “NBI was built around the ideals of innovation and creative self-expression. We take pride in the design and delivery of great products from our team of Indy originals, and we seek to inspire and assist other innovators from our hometown. We’re thrilled with this initial Sun King collaboration and look forward to continuing and growing this partnership.”
Let’s talk more about hats and beer. First, who has hat game at SKB?
In addition to the many figurative hats Clay wears at Sun King, he has been known to rock the literal kind particularly sock hats in winter. His take on others at SKB showing hat game skills?
“One of our Drivers, Drew, has a crazy hat collection, and I’m not sure I’ve seen him in the same hat twice. Our Marketing/Art Director Mike rocks a hat most days and our Sales Manager, David, seems to always be styling something up top whether it is a toboggan or a ball cap.”
Be warned: when we asked if the backward baseball cap look is preferred at Sun King, Clay says, “I never wear a hat backwards and can’t say I’ve noticed a lot of that… But I’ll keep my eyes peeled and make sure to tell them to wear their hat proper.”
Sun King Brewery has crafted over 200 different beers since their debut, and consistently churns out new award winning beers. Clay says the 2011 Great American Beer Festival in which Sun King won 8 medals (4 Gold, 3 Silver, and 1 Bronze) was one of the company’s “finest moments,” and the brewery has also been rewarded with multiple medals in other competitions.
So which beer is the founders’ go-to? “Osiris is the beer that Dave and I designed and brew because it’s what we want to drink on a daily basis. “
And the 70 full-time and 50 part-time employees—do they enjoy the product? “All of us are here because we love beer and at the end of every day, no matter how challenging or rewarding, our crew loves to crack open a Fresh•Local•Beer.”
The No Bad Ideas team has their own Sun King faves.
NBI founder Andy eagerly awaits the annual limited release Grapefruit Jungle IPA. Befitting a fashion-focused team, company President Chris can’t stop talking about the artwork on the cans; his favorite is Osiris. The operations team prefers the crisp, clean finish of Sunlight Cream Ale, while the company’s marketing consultant is always looking forward to the next specialty release: “one of my favorites was called El Gallo Negro, an American Black Ale with the body of a porter and the hoppiness of an IPA. I took home two growlers!”
The King is growing.
Last year was SKB’s sixth full year in operation. The company’s 70 full-time and 50 part-time employees produced 30,000 barrels of beer and required a change in Indiana’s dated liquor laws to do so!
“We’re in the middle of another round of expansion so that we can make more beer. This will put us in a position to re-launch the northern part of the state this spring, and for the first time Sun King will be distributed state wide!”
Treat yo self twice.
The No Bad Ideas x Sun King Snapback is available now online.
Additionally, Growler Fill Friday could be a perfect time to score a double; this limited edition hat will be available at Sun King Brewery downtown so you can pick up your hats and beer together.
Tell us how you like it.
Long time Sun King fan or new to the brews? Tell us about your favorite.
Pick up a hat? Share pic with us on Instagram.
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