Fishers approves plan to expand Sun King brewery

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Jobs are brewing in Fishers, thanks to Indianapolis craft beer maker Sun King. The company is planning to open a second location in Fishers by next summer.

The four councilors in attendance at Monday's Fishers Town Council meeting voted unanimously in favor of the brewery, which is projected to bring in tens of thousands of visitors a year.

Sun King owner and co-founder Clay Robinson says the brewery needs the space. On a typical Friday, about a thousand people visit their downtown location.

"We are kind of busting at the seams and this summer we were selling so much beer that we actually had to pull beer from our three distributors in the outlying areas of the state, and for about 6 weeks we didn't sell Sun King anywhere outside of Indianapolis," Robinson said.

The new Sun King location would be located at Kincaid and Park Central Drives. Right now, the site is a 13-acre plot of soybean plants in a commercial corner of town. The $10 million facility would include a full brewery, a tasting room and event space. The owners also hope to grow their own barley and hops on the land.

"Marion County consumes the most Sun King, and Hamilton County is the next largest place where we sell our beer. So there's a lot of rooftops, a lot of people in the area, it's a growing community," Robinson said.

An independent study commissioned by Sun King predicts the project would bring nearly $20 million and 27,000 visitors a year to the region. The company also plans to hire 20 full time and 20 part time workers.

"That goes towards jobs, it goes towards all of the construction that is going to happen surrounding it, it goes toward more beer, more sales tax, more excise tax," Robinson said.

The agreement includes using 25 years of property taxes generated by the site to help pay for surrounding infrastructure. Those taxes are expected to bring in about $100,000 a year.

"I think it adds a layer of interest and uniqueness to our community that we probably didn't have before. It's just one bigger piece of a puzzle that we really wanted to land," said Fishers Town Manager Scott Fadness.

Plans also include a bike and running path from Sun King to 106th Street, eventually connecting to downtown Fishers.

"I think it will work here. And I think Sun King is the type of project that is transformative and will actually redefine this whole office park," Fadness said.

Sun King hopes to break ground as soon as November. The company aims to start brewing in Fishers by their sixth anniversary in July 2015.