Since its origins as a city, Mishawaka has long been regarded as a place of innovation.
Over the course of nearly 200 years, commanding strides led to progress in various fields including transportation and manufacturing, each with a wealth of pioneers and community leaders blazing their trails.
Just as noteworthy in the historic annals of the Princess City and its environs is the rich and intriguing legacy of breweries, many of which were long-established near and along the banks of the storied St. Joseph River. Now, a new establishment is poised to take its rightful place within the long and illustrious line of visionaries who were powerfully inspired by this city of prosperity.
In the summer of 2022, Sun King Brewery welcomed guests to cross the threshold of a brand-new tap room, situated at The Mill at Ironworks Plaza. Sun King was based in Indianapolis more than a decade ago, and now has five facilities in the greater Indianapolis area. The movement to launch an ancillary location in northern Indiana was due to the efforts of Co-owners Dave Colt and Clay Robinson, both distinguished professional brewers.
The Mill at Ironworks Plaza is a mixed-use residential development adjacent to the legendary Beutter Park backdrop, and in its entirety strikes an avant-garde and sophisticated profile across the riverfront skyline.
Since Sun King introduced its expertise with independent craft beers to the Hoosier populace, the company has tallied more than 50 national and international awards honoring their unique creations. Colt, for his part, is beyond enthusiastic to bring this breadth of experience to the region he once called home, and where his familial ties run deep.
“We are excited to celebrate the opening of our first northern Indiana tap room, share our award-winning craft beer and contribute to the great community of Mishawaka, near where I grew up in neighboring South Bend,” Colt says. “We look forward to expanding access to our fresh, local beers to our great fans up north, and to becoming part of the Mishawaka community.”
During a spirited conversation with Colt, both literally and figuratively, it is very evident that the rush of the successful 2022 grand opening has not waned. Listening to even the partial inventory of specialty beers is a fascinating lesson, as is the limitless array of ingredients the brewers use. Within the 5,000-square-foot taproom there are 24 beers on tap, which include a variety of seasonal, barrel-aged, sour, and dessert-inspired options. Among the favorites of patrons are the Cherry Busey, Shadow Proof imperial stout and Caramel Apple Tripel. There is seemingly nothing to be ruled out as to what could potentially be incorporated into a brew. Take, for example, the dozens of frosted cupcakes that were, as Colt describes, “lovingly sacrificed” for an experimental formula that yielded a drink well-suited for those with a sweet tooth.
The addition of Sun King spirits in 2018, which offer a twist on traditional cocktails and slushies, has also been well received in the taproom. The entire atmosphere, with the exception of the bar area, is designed to be family friendly. For guests on the run, carry-out cans, growlers and kegs can be purchased in advance. Tacos and burgers are offered by a new local restaurant concept called Smash & Trash, and groups can unwind with board games indoors or in the outdoor seating area. Sun King also oversees and operates the nearby Ball Band Biergarten, christened in reverence to the former Mishawaka factory site.
“I’m kind of over the moon,” Colt says. “We have a production release calendar for our 2023 IPAs, and we’re hoping to develop a social cantina this year. We’re really looking forward to diving deep into this city, and we want to get out there and make an investment in our community.” Through the years Sun King has aligned with a number of locally based organizations to raise awareness and capture funds for charitable causes, through product donations, gift baskets and other civic affiliations.
Colt is effusive in his praise for the Mishawaka city leaders who have proven a beneficial and guiding alliance in bringing Sun King to Mishawaka, and also extends tremendous gratitude to the Mishawaka Parks and Recreation department for their direction and guidance.
Visit Sun King Mishawaka at 235 Ironworks Avenue, Suite C, and enjoy not only the view, but also an unforgettable dining experience. For additional info, visit sunkingbrewing.com or call 574-406-8623. To stay informed on changes and updates, visit any one of Sun King’s social media outlets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.