A co-founder of Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Co. says the proximity and the amount of native Hoosiers now living in Louisville and Chicago led the brewery to choose those markets for its first out-of-state distribution. Dave Colt also says a change in state law boosting production limits helped lead to today’s announcement that the company would expand to those markets next month. He says, with the production capability and likely demand in place, now is the time to "send them some beer."
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Colt said Sun King will see how the new markets work out before deciding on further expansions. He says the moves into Chicago and Louisville will likely result in "a few more jobs." Sun King expects to roll out in Louisville at the beginning of August, followed by Chicago in mid-August.
Colt says the Louisville move targets in part Hoosiers who live in communities like Floyd Knobs and New Albany that visit Louisville because it is the nearest big city. In Chicago, he expects much of the market to be college graduates who have moved "to the big city" from Indiana.
The company also tells Inside INdiana Business it expects to make another announcement regarding a new partnership in the food arena. That announcement is expected around the end of the month.
In 2015, Sun King joined forces with Munster-based 3 Floyds Brewing Co. in a successful bid to convince Indiana lawmakers to boost the craft brewing annual production limit. The General Assembly passed legislation increasing that limit from 30,000 barrels per year to 90,000. The brewery said that change allowed it to distribute statewide.
Since then, Sun King has made a $2 million investment in its main brewery in Indianapolis and a $5 million investment into a craft distillery in Carmel. It announced in April a distribution partnership with Indianapolis-based Monarch Beverage Co. in response to what co-founder Clay Robinson called "solid, sustained and steady growth."