Sun King to limit distribution in Indiana due to state law
By Amy Haneline, IndyStar
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 12, 2014)– Sun King Brewing has seen explosive growth since it opened in 2009. Now, it has finally reached its limit, according to our partners at the IndyStar.
The company is close to hitting Indiana’s cap on small breweries of 30,000 barrels per year, and therefore has terminated agreements with its distributors serving areas outside the Indy metro area and Bloomington.
As of today, Sun King will distribute only to Boone, Brown, Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Morgan and Putnam counties.
Co-owner of Sun King Brewing Clay Robinson estimates that 300 to 400 bars, restaurants and liquor stores outside of the distribution area will no longer receive shipments of Sun King products.
The brewery has grown by 35 percent over last year, Robinson said. “We cannot grow our business anymore,” he said. “We are in a weird position where we are trying not to sell more beer.”
Robinson, who also is president of the Brewers Guild of Indiana, said that raising Indiana’s brewing limit is on the Guild’s legislative agenda.
The U.S. government defines a small brewery as one producing under 60,000 barrels, Robinson said. The guild wants Indiana to raise its barrel limit to “keep it in line with the federal definition of a small brewer.”
Robinson also said the brewery has no plans at this time to sell out of state, but may consider in the future.
“In the past five years, we have turned down distributors who have offered to distribute to all 50 states,” he said.
Robinson continued, “We are born and raised in Indiana. It is where we want to sell our beer. The closer we are to home, the easier it is to keep it fresh. We want to be part of the community.”
Sun King is still on track to open its production facility and taproom in Fishers. Robinson said that the goal for that location is to be a destination brewery with entertainment and events space.
They are projected to break ground in the spring.