Home Beer Editor Expansion Report: Sun King, Wicked Weed and Seattle Cider Co.

Expansion Report: Sun King, Wicked Weed and Seattle Cider Co.

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Wicked Weed's new Funkatorium barrel house.

Wicked Weed’s new Funkatorium barrel house.

This month: Sun King’s second home, Wicked Weed’s funky focus and Seattle Cider’s new tanks.

Details: Last week, the Town Council of Fishers, Ind., approved an agreement with Sun King Brewing, solidifying the brewery’s expansion plans in the northeast suburb of Indianapolis. According to the brewery, the expansion will nearly double the brewery’s output, increasing it from 30,000 barrels annually to around 58,000. Due to Indiana beer regulations, a small brewery can’t sell on-premise if its annual output exceeds 30,000 barrels a year. So, instead of increasing output and shutting down beer-to-go at its downtown Indy facility, the brewery decided to open a separate brewery. The new facility, slated for a July 2015 opening, will focus on mainstays like Sunlight Cream Ale and Osiris Pale Ale, and will house a tasting room, beer garden and outdoor space for large events (locals: prepare for an Oktoberfest next year!). Meanwhile, the original location will zero in on seasonals and specialty beers—and you’ll still be able to pick up beer to-go, too.

Details: You’ve probably already heard that the up-and-coming Asheville, N.C., brewery is launching a separate Funkatorium facility next month, where it will age all of its wild ales. But the bigger news is its forthcoming third production facility, projected to open fall 2015, about 9 miles from the original brewpub. The Funkatorium opens up space for more barrels, which means more wild ales like Serenity and Black Angel. The third facility will top off at a whopping 50,000 barrels per year, focusing solely on the likes of Freak of Nature DIPA, Hopburgular IPA and specialty seasonals. Haven’t tried those beers yet? The expansion allows the brewery to cover more of North Carolina, and possibly ship beers beyond state lines.

Details: The sister cider company of Seattle’s Two Beers Brewing, which opened after Two Beers ceased contract brewing the here-and-gone Churchkey Can Co. beers, celebrated its one-year anniversary in a major way: It nearly tripled its production capacity. This month, the ciderhouse installed five new 60-barrel tanks, bringing its potential output up to 235,000 cases per year. That means more of the ultracrisp Dry, fruity PNW Berry and seasonal Pumpkin Spice ciders on the shelves. Distribution is spreading, too: Before the expansion, Seattle Cider was available only in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, but now it’s entering Chicago, Vancouver, British Columbia and Japan. (Next on the list: East Coast, Midwest and California markets.)

Each month, Expansion Report highlights growing craft breweries and how beer drinkers stand to benefit (hint: more beer!).


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.


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One Comment

  • davetharave says:

    Memo to Indiana – time to do away with the antiquated restrictions on making, buying and selling beer. Sounds like you could use more Democratic legislators; just sayin’

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