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Sun King Brewing Company

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BEER AVG
3.86/5
Based on:
93 Beers
3,358 Ratings
Place Score: 92
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

135 N. College Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana, 46202
United States
phone: (317) 602-3702

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @sunkingbrewing

Notes:
Place added by: indyGold on 07-29-2009

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 16
Photo of Benjhilmer
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3

I like what Sun King has done for the beer drinkers of central Indiana. I just don't love everything they make...

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

So I figure I will be the lone guy who shows up just after 10 on a Friday to try some beer, because, you know, I'm a freak and all. Apparently not.

I pull up and as I try to park, I see maybe a dozen people with growlers walking out to their cars. It's 10:15! I almost ran over a guy. Not kidding. I get inside and this spot is way made up. There are at least 8 employees working the taps. This place is built for maximized profits, and I can only assume they are raking it in.

I personally found the selection rather thin, to be honest. 3 year-round beers and 4 seasonals? That's it? And the seasonal I tried was very unimpressive. A staff member told me that no single beers were available in stores because of archaic liquor laws. Apparently this wasn't the case because I did find singles available at spots I hit up later on. I think she was just trying to get me to purchase beer there. (They have 4-packs available in the coolers.)

It's a really nice looking spot, maxed out with all the merch you could ever want to buy and the view of all the tanks is certainly impressive. I just wish the substance matched the style here a bit more.

Photo of jbizzle0v0
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Solid indy brewery. Helped create a foundation for quality beer in indy.

Photo of routledc
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Kind of touristy. Wasn't feeling it, but their cream ale is fantastic.

Photo of Enochase04
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

What an awesome place. Stopped in today and they were giving away free sample tickets to the first few people through the door. Staff was very friendly and attentive. The brewery was beautiful and very clean. Lots of space to walk around with a few standing tables to drink at. Overall just thouroughly impressed with sun king and will definently stop back on my next trip to indy.

Photo of ShadyRigglesbee
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Great local brewery. Recommended.

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

I give this place a high rating for its friendly attitude, its regular tasting events, solid and reasonably priced regular offerings, generally interesting specialty and one-off brews. I might rate them higher if I'd ever got to try their barrel program beers, but unfortunately these are very hard to get and often only available for a few hours. Staff is knowledgeable, pours a rock solid growler that keeps its carbonation, and is quick and attentive. They run huge numbers of people through their tastings on Friday, and as crowded as it can get, things always run quick. If you are in a hurry, you can get in and get out with only minimal fuss. Quite glad this brewery is part of the Indianapolis beer scene.

Photo of MeisterSmudge
2.59/5  rDev -37.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3

I'm here every now and then for work functions, events, or to drop off homebrew competition submissions. The place is okay if you're just stopping in to grab some beer to go, but isn't great if you're with a group. There aren't really places to sit and drink beer. They do have some good beers from time-to-time, and the one-offs are usually worth trying. Most of the beers are overpriced, but you can get a growler fill for $5 on Fridays. The thing that turns me off the most about this place is the staff. I've been to a lot of breweries and Sun King is only place I've felt that I was treated poorly. The service is consistently bad and the staff have been consistently rude, unfriendly, unhelpful, and unwelcoming. This is the only brewery I've ever left unhappy, and it's happened more than once.

Overall, it's worth stopping in if you're in the area, but not the best spot in Indy to share beers with a group.

Photo of doldham
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Sun King does a nice job of getting you in, getting tastes, filling a growler, buying some merch, and getting out. There are no pints and there's nowhere to sit, so they don't want you to hang around too long, but they give you enough tasting tickets to try every beer on tap for free. There are always three house beers and a rotating selection of three seasonals. Go on Fridays for growler fill specials, but expect it to be crowded then.

Photo of Cozuma
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

The first thing you may notice about this place is it's extremely popular on Fridays when you can get their standard fare (Osiris, WeeMac, and Sunlight) in half gallon growlers for $5, their other "seasonal" offerings come at a heftier price, Dunkel Kong Junior was $10, I shudder to think what it is not on sale. Walking in the front door you get ID checked and pick up a can top set. The can tops are used with the tickets to pick which beers you want to sample, the staff was really friendly when trying to choose all upbeat and happy to crack a joke. The nice thing about their sampling system is that they actually give you enough "tickets" or can tops in the case of their specialty offerings that you can try all the beers they currently have on tap. This is really nice so you don't have to decide which to get if you've never tried any of their beers. The place was very crowded and being a brewery there wasn't much in the way of sound absorbing material so the tasting area was very loud, no worse than a bar on a Friday night but distracting from the beer. Another nice feature was several taps ready to fill growlers with lots of staff to man them. They even have a growler washing station which I thought was a nice touch. In the end I had some beers I liked, discovered one I didn't like before was better there so I will have to revisit my review at a later date and of course at least one beer I questioned what the hell was in my sample cup. I'm sure some people like it but I was not a fan, but I digress. The point is they have friendly staff, offer up all of their beers they have running and have a nice special on Friday's for the growlers. I'll be going back and I live over an hour away it was fun.

Photo of lilsmizzul1225
5/5  rDev +21.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Love coming to this place every Friday for the tasting and cheap growler fills. The community is great because it's just a brewery. They don't try to make themselves up to be a pub or anything, they sell beer (damn good beer too). They also do a lot for the community and host great parties.

Photo of TotallyHosed
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Sun King brewery is a happening place. I was there on a Saturday evening, about two hours before closing. There were over two dozen people sampling beer while flanked by stainless steal tanks on one side and Sun King schwag on the other. Everyone is happy to be there and it seems like the place to start off your Friday or Saturday night.

All the beer is fresh and stored in huge tanks that are kept in a large refrigerated room. Therefore, the quality of the brew does not get any better.

There are two tasting tables, so you don't wait more than a minute for a sample. All the tasting tickets and tokens are laid out at the front desk, just waiting for you pick up and begin immediately. Everyone was friendly and quick to help.

I saw schwag and several options for taking beer to go that I have not seen at other breweries. You can choose between three different growlers and three different kegs. Here is the first time I've ever seen a 1/12 keg and a wooden carrier for two 64oz growlers. Cool! There were six different brews to sample: three regular selections and three seasonals.

You can sample all six brews for FREE! You can sign up for a tour for FREE! This value cannot be beat. I will always make it a point to visit Sun King when I'm in Indy.

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
3.11/5  rDev -24.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I visited Sun King for the first time while on my trip to pick up my Upland Gilgamesh.

I could not believe how many free samples they gave out. They give you four tickets which are good towards any of their year-round brews and two pop tops which act as vouchers for their specialties. This is great! This place is generous and the staff encouraged me to try their brews; however, I think they get stuck in talking to everyone like they are new to the craft beer world. I felt slightly babied in this way, but they were nice and sincere, so I cannot hold that against them.

I was excited about the free beer, but I was most excited about trying their Malus Pi. It's too bad my excitement would not last for long.

How disappointing... I was dumbfounded by how unexceptional their beers were. Their Osiris IPA was okay, but nowhere near my top 10 IPAs. I could not even finish their Zauis Oatmeal Stout, and I am a stout-loving guy. For me, it seemed like all of their flavor profiles were off. To be fair, I came there a few hours after they opened, and the samples are given out in plastic pitchers. So, maybe my samples were not as fresh as they would have been if I would have gotten a four-pack/growler.

I lost track of how many shirts and whatnot they were selling, which is too bad because the people calling the shots know how to make money; they just need to focus on fewer brews in order to maximize quality. I want IN brewers to make great beer, so it's disappointing when they don't.

Also, while there, I could not get past the smell of the place. There was a strong odor of bleach/cleaning fluid, which is understandable due to the facility, but it negatively affected my desire to try and brews.

This place is a cool facility to check out, especially to try their samples, but it just did not do it for me.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

So this place was a bit of a pain in the ass to get too.
My gps wanted me to exit the highway on Ohio St, but I couldn't due to rather large concrete barricades... It seems I was unwittingly in some sort of express lane.
Anyway, I finally managed to follow the next exit and come back up... But my gos again failed me and told me to turn right on Wabash... Well Wabash is an unmarked alleyway so I missed it and found myself 40 feet from the brewery-- but it was the wrong way down a one-way street... So it took another 8 minutes to make a rather large loop and circle back.

Finally, I arrived.

Parking was ample for Friday afternoon and I casually strolled right in. The woman at the front desk was very nice as she checked my ID (they card EVERYONE in IN) and explained how the place works.
I was given my 4 tickets and 2 lids and proceeded in.

Each ticket was good for a sample of any of the 4 regular beers and the lids were good for a free pour of the seasonals.
All free.

Well, that's my kind of pricetag.

So I tried a few beers... Stood around and checked out the brewery. Can't believe this place is only 2 years old! Seems like a HUGE operation already.

The employees were all friendly. Merch prices were in-line with what I'd expect.

All-in-all, this is a cool place to stop, but there's really nothing to do here... Worth checking out, but by no means a "must stop."

Photo of robboyd
3.39/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5

The Sun King facility is a nice place to visit. You can see their production line right from the tasting area and the only thing that separates you is a small fence, no walls or glass. I've had fun every time I visit. You can buy their canned beer or kegs at the brewery and you can taste their house beers and maybe a specialty beer or two. The first time I went, there was no one directing traffic and no lines so I stepped up to what looked like the tasting area. Turns out that was the growler fill area but they filled some tasting cups for me there, which made me assume that was what you do. The next time I visited I was rudely told to do tastings in the tasting area, which was a few tables to my right. I'm not sure how one was to know that without being offered some kind direction. Just a small hiccup in a generally pleasurable visit.

My biggest gripe, and one I've spoken about on BA previously is that their selection hasn't been great when I've gone, which has been three visits now. I hear such great things about their specialty beers but haven't had the opportunity to taste them. Their house beers are good, not great, and not worth an extra stop when I'm in Indianapolis. I wish them luck and hopefully they bring more of those award winning specialties to cans.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stop #333 on my world brewery tour.

This place has been around for a while, I can't believe it's me who is doing the first review.

Located in an industrial-meets-residential area a couple blocks east of downtown and slightly southeast of the Mass Ave neighborhood/retail area. Not much to look at from the outside and one could miss it if not carefully paying attention as it sits past the parking lot.

This was my second attempt at Saturday tasting hours. The first time they did not let this 39-year-old in without an ID. State law that everyone gets carded or no entry. My bad.

This time I was a bit pressed for time and I promised the wife I would be in and out in less than 20 minutes (did it in 15).

The taproom hours are mostly to buy beer and growler fills. While they have tables, I think all of them were the standing variety so it's not really a place to hang out as much as it is to sample, purchase, and move on.

You get (free) tokens to sample the beers. I think I got two for specialty beer and three for regular beer. I went with the milk porter specialty and sink the clipper which was an imperial ESB. The beer I enjoyed most was a scottish ale and I picked up a four pack of that. A fine malty brew.

They had lots of people pouring the beers and being one to make judgements, based on brewery workers I've seen, this was mostly not people who worked in the brewery so I didn't make much of an effort to ask pesky pretentious beer snob questions. Plus, I had to get in and get out as quickly as possible. It is nice that the tasting room is surrounded by the brewery so one could easily look around for a self guided tour.

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Sun King Brewing Company in Indianapolis, IN
92 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.