Sun King is headquartered in Indianapolis (pictured) and has a second location in Fishers.
The state's second-largest brewery is expanding its footprint beyond Indiana for the first time. Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Co. has announced distribution into Chicago and Louisville. The announcement continues a year of change for the eight-year-old brewery. In April, it announced a shift from self-distribution in its home region to partnering with Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage Co. as a means to achieve what co-founder Clay Robinson said is "solid, sustained and steady growth." Moving into markets outside the state also signals a change for Sun King, which had previously focused on state-centered growth strategies as "Indiana's beer."
During the 2015 General Assembly, Sun King and Indiana's largest brewery, Munster-based Three Floyds Brewing Co., helped spearhead a successful push to triple a state-imposed, 30,000-barrel limit on craft breweries. Sun King has since grown its physical presence in central Indiana with a second tap room and small brewing operation in Fishers, a $2 million investment in its main brewery in Indianapolis and a $5 million craft distillery in Carmel. Its statewide distribution presence now covers some two-thirds of the state with the Monarch deal and previous agreements that include Valparaiso-based Indiana Beverage.
In a statement, Robinson says:
For the past eight years, Sun King has been making great beer with the goal of becoming Indiana's beer. We haven't sold our beer outside of the state due to constraints caused by our own capacity and restrictions that were in place because of antiquated state laws. Having worked to increase Indiana's barrelage limitations and increase Sun King's capacity to make more beer, we're now in a position to not only meet the demands of Hoosiers throughout the state, but also to share our beer in other markets where craft beer enthusiasts want to enjoy it.
Distribution in the Louisville and Chicago markets is set to begin in August.
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