Drinktionary: The Meaning of Slacktivist

How the latest Sun King–Three Floyds mashup craft beer got its name.
In March, Indiana’s Sun King Brewery and Three Floyds Brewery released their third collaboration brew. Slacktivist, It’s a Dopple Kolsch—a made-up style that bolsters a Kolsch with a higher ABV (7.3) and a bigger hop profile. The hops are an experimental strain from Roy Farms in Moxee, Washington, that currently only has a number for its name, like a secretive government experiment—though probably not as scandalous.

The name references legislation (HB 1311 and SB 297) making its way through the General Assembly that will triple the amount of beer that microbreweries are allowed to produce per year, raising the cap to 90,000 barrels. Clay Robinson, founding brewer of Sun King, first heard the term “slacktivist” on an NPR program. It refers to the realm of activism that is executed without ever leaving the house—click-and-send petitions, emails, and blogging. It’s exactly the kind of action that is being used to push the legislation this year. “They are active in a cause, but from their comfort zone,” says Robinson. The new limits will allow Sun King to expand to a new facility in Fishers, and it will pave the way for Three Floyds’s $10 million brewery and distillery expansion.

This isn’t the first time Robinson has joined political forces with Munster-based Three Floyds. The two dealt with the same issue in 2011 but on a smaller scale, and they had to make sure politicians weren’t including beer that was sold out of state in that count in 2012. They also backed legislation that now allows breweries to distill as well. As a result, the Three Floyds spirit operation is well underway, and Sun King will follow suit after opening its new Fishers location.