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2011 Forty Under 40: Clayton Robinson

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About me...
Clayton Robinson
Owner/brewer
Sun King Brewing Co. LLC
35
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
iPhone
Most-used apps:
Pandora
Yelp
Favorite stuff:
Beer; movies; spending time with "the lady in my life, Staraya;" books; including "Cash" by Johnny Cash; "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill; and "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser
 

Clay Robinson started his brewing career about 12 years ago at Rock Bottom, where his boss described the job as “wet, hot, sticky and dirty.”

“‘You’re basically a janitor,’” Robinson remembers him saying. “‘But at the end of the day, you get to sit back with a pint of beer that you made.’”

“And then,” Robinson said, “he sipped his pint of beer and said, ‘it’s delicious.’”

If that didn’t convince him, his first batch of oatmeal stout and the smell of the grain mixing with the hot water did.

Now, after stints with Rock Bottom and the Ram, some personal time and time off in 2008 to write a business plan, Robinson and his partners have their own brewery, Sun King. They bought the remains of a Portland, Maine, brewery that had gone out of business and installed it at 135 N. College Ave.

Since July, 1, 2009, the day the company brewed its first batch of beer, Sun King has won two medals at the World Beer Cup and another two medals at the Great American Beer Festival, the two largest competitions in the world for craft brewers. Last summer, it took home eight medals at the Indiana State Fair Brewers’ Cup.

Perhaps just as important, by the end of its first year, Sun King was selling beer at the rate Robinson had anticipated in the fifth year of their business plan.

For 2011, he expects 75-percent to 100-percent growth and for Sun King to continue to build its business in “a realistic and a sustainable manner.”

“A lot of people in Indy who love beer know who we are, but a lot of people have no idea still,” Robinson said. “So we have time to grow our reputation around Indianapolis.”•

___

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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