Stop the Presses! Not Really.
We just wanted to say that.
Why Brewers Are Embracing Blonde Ales
“While they may never generate click-bait headlines, breweries are betting on blondes as an everyman, everyday offering.” Read the rest of the Imbibe article here.
8 New Beers You Should Try – Pink Vapor Stew
With so many breweries releasing so many beers, a beer lover can feel overwhelmed. Paralysis by analysis is real, so it can never hurt for a thirsty traveler to know what to look for. After you’ve made headway on the classics on this list, this list, this list, and this list, reach for something new, something like one of these 8 releases we’re excited about. Here’s our freshest batch of new beers to try.
Porch Drinking: Ska Brewing Expands Capacity, Adds New Beers in 2017
Like many large to mid-sized breweries in the country, Ska Brewing (Durango, CO) has begun eyeing the next phase of growth to keep up with the rising demands and competition in the craft beer industry. In 2017 that’ll take the form of a brewery expansion, new beers and an expanded beer garden at the brewery. (more)
Rudie Can’t Fail!
Paste Magazine names Rudie Session IPA one of Colorado’s Best 40 Beers!
Mexican Logger returns for Summer 2017!
DURANGO, CO (Mar. 28, 2017) – Ska Brewing’s award winning Mexican Logger returns for summer 2017. A favorite of Ska fans and critics alike, Mexican Logger has clinched medals at the Great American Beer Festival in the International Style Pilsner Category for the past two years.
Mexican Logger was originally brewed in 1999. The brew has been one of Ska’s top sellers every year and, to keep up with the demand, Ska increased production of the beer by twenty percent for 2017.
Six-packs of Mexican Logger will hit shelves April 5. AND, as if this day couldn’t get any freakin’ better, did we mention that Ska’s Mixed-up 12-pack will contain Mexican Logger this season?
In addition to Mexican Logger, the new Mixed-up 12 will now also include Modus Mandarina IPA alongside Ska classics, True Blonde and Pinstripe. Mexican Logger and Mandarina’s popularity at BBQs and reputation for being delicious under the sun helped them muscle their way into this seasonal assorted offering, replacing Modus Hoperandi and ESB. The Not Summer version of this Mixed-up 12 will include Euphoria. Read more here.
6 Most Interesting Beers to Try at 2017 Collaboration Fest
The 4th annual Collaboration Festival returns to Denver on Saturday, showcasing beers that are combined efforts of breweries that may go way back or have but a passing familiarity. Organizers bill it as a festival like none other, and those aren’t empty words. These are one-offs created especially for the centerpiece of Colorado Craft Beer Week. Read the rest of the Porch Drinking article here.
Three Beers to Try at Collaboration Fest
Colorado’s team-oriented beer festival returns to Denver on Saturday, March 25th. The spirit of collaboration defines the craft beer community, and it will once again take center stage at the Colorado Brewers Guild’s fourth-annual Collaboration Beer Fest when it returns to Denver this weekend. Read the rest of the 5280 article here.
Ska Brewing Announces New Head Brewer – Kurt Randall
Ska Brewing today announces that industry veteran Kurt Randall will take on the title and role of Head Brewer. Read more here.
The Full Pint: Regional Breweries Must Carefully Consider Before Expanding
Craft beer has always been a hyper-local phenomenon. Breweries begin as experiments between friends or passion projects and grow as local hangouts and community partners. It’s been the same since the first craft breweries began to pop up. Nobody starts a brewery with the expressed goal to sell beer in a grocery store on the other side of a country. Read the rest of the article here.
Success Can Mean Many Things…
Check out the full article about our new COO in The Brewer Magazine here.
Mexican Logger Official Release: Wednesday, April 5th
Elevation Outdoors – Best of The Rockies – Best Brewery!
The Rocky Mountain region is an outdoor mecca filled with epic outdoor destinations, top notch gear companies, and athletic events that are geared towards the ambitious and fit people that call Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, or Montana home. With such an amazing outdoor scene in the area, the task of narrowing down the best trail, and the best outdoor-related business, and the rowdiest event in the Rocky Mountain region is not as easy as it seems. But through a series of reader polls launched at the end of 2016, Elevation Outdoors Magazine is ready to announce the winners! Check out all the winners here.
Durango Film Festival : March 1-5, 2017
Durango Film Festival is March 1-5, 2017. Enjoy the official Film Beer – 12 Hangry Men Farmhouse Ale
A Liquid Love Letter to Colorado
Thanks for the love, Jeff Matson! Check out this article from The Coloradoan.
12 Hangry Men – Official 2017 Durango Film Festival Beer
Releasing ’12 Hangry Men’ for Durango Independent Film Festival | Brewbound.com
Official 2017 Durango Film Beer Release!
Announcing the Official 2017 Durango Film Beer Release! Wednesday, February 8th at 5pm at World HQ. Join us for beer and food pairings and movie trivia!
6 Mexican Lagers: Because you Want Summer Back
Official 2017 Snowdown Beer!
Introducing the Official 2017 Snowdown Beer, Dark Lager, an empire approved, limited edition German Schwarzbier. Find it locally in and around Durango, CO.
2017 Durango Film Beer Food Pairing Recipes
12 Hangry Men – The Official 2017 Durango Film Beer is a farmhouse ale that pairs nicely with a variety of foods. Here are a few recipes to try. Stay tuned for more! And check out www.durangofilm.org for this year’s lineup!
Main Dish (vegan)
Asian Noodles with Spicy Stir Fry Corn and Cabbage
The peppery and lemony flavors of 12 Hangry Men come from a French Saison yeast strain used in the beer. These flavors will, up front, enhance the intensity of the hot chili peppers found in this dish, and then the dry finish of the beer will help ease the heat. The fermented white grape will bring a nice, crisp complement with the addition of a fresh-squeezed lime wedge to the dish.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 8 ounces soba or udon noodles (or substitute
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
(or use pre-shredded coleslaw cabbage as a shortcut)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or water
- 2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels (scraped from 3 medium ears),
or thawed frozen corn kernels
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 or 2 small fresh hot chili peppers, seeded and minced,
or dried red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, optional
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, or more to taste, optional
- Soy sauce or tamari to taste
- Garnish with a lime wedge
Cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the cabbage, garlic, and wine. Cover and cook until the cabbage is just slightly limp, about 5 minutes.
Add the corn, bell pepper, and chili pepper, and stir-fry over medium-high heat until everything is tender-crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Combine the cooked noodles, cabbage-and-corn mixture, and the remaining ingredients in a serving bowl and toss well. If a bit more moistness is needed, add a small amount of water, then toss again. Serve at once.
Slow Cooker Moroccan Chickpea Stew
This Farmhouse Ale is so versatile, it pairs wonderfully with the spices and heat of this Moroccan stew!
- spicy Italian sausage (skins removed and rolled into small bite sized meatballs)
- 1 white onion (medium, chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 butternut squash (small, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 3/4 cups red lentils
- 15 ounces chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon ginger (freshly grated)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoons salt (and pepper, + more as needed)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- cooked quinoa
- sour cream or greek yogurt
- Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. Stir together to combine, then cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours (or 6-7 hours on low).
- For a thicker stew, remove the cover with 1 hour left in cooking.
- Serve with quinoa, a handful of arugula and a dollop of yogurt.
- For the crisp topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
- For the apple filling:
- 2 pounds firm, sweet apples (4 to 5 medium-large apples)
- Up to 1/4 cup water
- For serving (optional):
- Vanilla ice cream or heavy cream
Equipment: 8-inch-square baking dish, preferably ceramic, glass, enamel-coated cast-iron, or stainless steel (avoid aluminum or uncoated cast-iron)
- Make the crisp topping:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter pieces and use your fingers to rub the mixture together until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the apple filling.
- Make the apple filling:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
- Peel the apples and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the cores and discard. Cut the apple halves lengthwise into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices—there should be about 6 cups total. Transfer the apple slices to an ungreased 8-inch-square baking dish and spread them out evenly. Drizzle up to 1/4 cup of water over the apples—use less water if the apples are particularly juicy.
- Scatter the crisp topping evenly over the fruit without pressing down on it. Bake until the topping is browned, the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, and the juices are bubbling, about 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm, with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of heavy cream. DO AHEAD: Apple crisp can be baked, cooled completely, covered, and kept at room temperature for 1 day.
- Reheat, uncovered, in a warm oven until heated through.
Best Beers of 2016
Our very own Dave Thibodeau speaks about the best beers of 2016 to Thrillist.
WSJ: Where the Beers Are
Check out this mention in the Wall Street Journal
Beer in Review 2016: Best in Colorado beer from Dave Thibodeau
Our very own, Dave Thibodeau names his favorite 2016 beers. Read the Denver Post article here
Good Beer Hunting Podcast
Good Beer Hunting Podcast featuring our head brewer, Thomas Larsen and Stephen Mance of Half Acre Beer Co.
CRAFT – an evening with El Moro & Ska Brewing
Seven stations will feature the culinary creativity of El Moro paired with the brewing badassery of Ska to give you an experience like no other. Explore the suggested pairings or be adventurous and discover your own. Unlimited tastes allow you to fully dive in to the Craft experience. Get your tickets here
Ska/Venture Season Kickoff Party
Colorado: The State of Craft Beer – Western Slope
There’s a lot of great beer made in Colorado and beer is embodied into the spirit of our state and our passions. It is how we celebrate, reflect, and take time for ourselves. This video shows how craft beer incorporates into our communities and daily lives. Take a look into the hidden gems we have right here on the Western Slope!
State of the Colorado Brewing Industry
State of the Colorado Brewing Industry. 9News Interview with Dave Thibodeau, Jason zumBrunnen and Steve Kurowski. Watch it here.
A lot went into The Hall of Justice. Voted one of the best looking booths at GABF by Paste Magazine!
Mod Brewery at Ska
Rock Out Some Swag!
We’ve got a ton of new merchandise – check it out here!
Seasonal Beer Releases
We know the feeling: your fridge becomes devoid of tasty summer beer, and in an effort to not fill it with pumpkin beer you might ponder a seasonal break from beer drinking. Don’t listen to those voices in your head. That’s blasphemy, keep your liver strong with these great beers.
Focus On The Beer
Thanks to Focus On The Beer‘s recap of our awesome night! Thanks to everyone who turned out!
Live Music at World HQ!
Colorado Craft Breweries Prepare for 7th Annual BoulDurango Bike Ride
Brewery cycling tour encourages craft industry camaraderie while giving back
Boulder, Colo. (July 14, 2016) — Craft brewery owners and employees from Avery Brewing, Ska Brewing, Boulder Beer, Epic Brewing, Great Divide Brewing, and Left Hand Brewing are banding together for the annual BoulDurango bike tour. Joining them will also be Steve Kurowski, Marketing Director of the Colorado Brewers Guild. The riders will be cycling 436 miles from Durango to Boulder, stopping for beers (and occasionally food and rest!) at breweries and pubs along the way.
The ride began in 2009 when Adam Avery called up Dave Thibodeau with the crazy idea of riding bikes from his brewery in Boulder to Ska’s brewery in Durango, Colorado. Why? To encourage the spirit of collaboration, camaraderie, and giving back that the craft beer world embodies.
“As busy as we all are, I think it’s good to get out in the Colorado hills with some of the state’s brewing pioneers and share a few ideas and more than a few beers,” said Avery Brewing Founder Adam Avery. “Collectively, we have hundreds of years of brewing experience among us, so good ideas are bound to take root at some point before delirium takes over toward the end of the week.”
The ride takes place over a period of six days and goes through some of Colorado’s steepest and most grueling road terrain, with a total elevation gain of 9,473 meters. Folks can dive into the route via bit.ly/BoulDurango16 to view the elevation gain and average grade of each segment.
“It definitely doesn’t suck that my work week will consist of riding bikes with my craft beer cronies, drinking beer and getting to know other Colorado communities, all in the name of charity. This ride continues to be the most ingenious idea that Avery has ever had!” said Ska Brewing Co-Founder Dave Thibodeau.
This will be the first BoulDurango Ride for two of Avery’s brewers. “I started training just so I wouldn’t be last, but now I think I can crush this thing! I’ve been drinking El Gose for electrolytes, Modus Mandarina for vitamins, and Joe’s Pils to stay hydrated,” said Avery Special Projects Brewer Leigh Audin. “I expect this week to be very different from my normal work week: shorter days, but more sweaty and less covered in beer…maybe.”
“I’m doing it because of the camaraderie. When a piece of our equipment goes down, we call our friends at other craft breweries,” said Avery Process Analyst Dan Strevey. “That’s why I work in craft beer. There just aren’t a lot of industries like that.”
The community is invited to keep tabs on the riders via #BoulDurango, and to meet up with the riders for a beer or three at their end-of-day watering holes:
- 7/18 morning: Ska Brewing, Durango
- 7/18 evening: Montanya Distillers Tasting Room, Silverton
- 7/19: Colorado Boy Pizzeria & Brewery, Montrose
- 7/20: Brick Oven Pizzeria & Pub, Crested Butte
- 7/21: Eddyline Brewery, Buena Vista
- 7/22: Breckenridge Brewery, Breckenridge
- 7/23: Avery Brewing, Boulder
“From day one, this ride has been about craft brewery unity, bike culture, and an overwhelming belief that suffering together will make us all stronger,” said Dustin LeMoine, Avery Brewing National Sales & Marketing Director. Now in its seventh year, it is clear that the Tour de BoulDurango does just that.
Historically, the Tour de BoulDurango began in Boulder and ended with a party at Ska Brewing in Durango. This year, for the first time ever, the peloton is reversing the flow and ending with a party at Avery where riders, cycling enthusiasts, and craft beer supporters will celebrate with revelry and beers from all the participating breweries!
- What: BoulDurango Finish Line Fest
- When: July 23, 2016, 2-6pm
- Where: Avery Brewing Company, 4910 Nautilus Ct., Boulder, CO 80301
- Cost: Free entry with $5 for a custom glass and a beer
- Benefitting: Cyclists 4 Community, a non-profit organization dedicated to gathering resources to help local communities in need.
For updates on the ride, follow #BoulDurango on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Podcast: The Business of Beer
Dave Thibodeau, Co-Founder and President of Ska Brewing, joins us to talk about the theme of the brewery and how they got the name Ska, how the Ska Comic Book came about, his guilt pleasure beer and more!
11 Reasons to Visit the Best Brewery in Durango
Recently, these fine folks paid us a visit and made us extremely jealous of their nomadic lifestyle. If we didn’t love brewing beer so much, we might just join them! Read on…
21st Anniversary Party
Tickets are OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT! To all the folks who purchased tickets, we’ll see you September 10th for The Nuns of Brixton, The Toasters and Fishbone!
Podcast – San Diego Beer Talk
“Since Ska was nice enough to send us some beers, we had already dove into them before talking to Dave. So naturally Dave starts talking about some of the beers we were drinking. That leads us into our first listener question. Dave then talks more about the history of the brewery and how they started. It leads us into the Ethos of the brewery and their really cool looking website. A little talking about geek culture and then onto their awesome World Beer Cup bronze award for True Blonde.” …Listen here
Podcast – Beer Business Radio with Dave Thibodeau
We’re the Official Beer for the Race Across America!
Craft Brewing Joins Forces with the World’s Toughest Bicycle Race
Boulder/Durango, CO – In celebration of its 35th year, Race Across America (RAAM) is proud to announce a new partnership with Ska Brewing Company. The two Colorado based companies will join forces this year for post-event celebrations. Read more…
Hop Ivy is now available in cans!
Colorado’s first certified all Colorado ale now available in Colorado liquor stores.
Ska Brewing announces the release of Hop Ivy in cans–its first canned craft beer sourced entirely with Colorado ingredients. Hop Ivy is Colorado’s first craft beer to reach Platinum Certification status through the Real Colorado Beer Project. The project was created to support the local Colorado economy as well as help the consumer recognize real Colorado beer.
“For the first time ever, the power is in the hands of the Colorado beer drinker,” said Colorado Malting Company Co-founder, Jason Cody. “The Real Colorado Beer Project is the first project of its kind that allows consumers to check out the ingredients in their beers. Simply by visiting the website, beer enthusiasts can see if their beer is Real Colorado.”
Hop Ivy is a twist off of Ska’s previous semi-local Hoperation Ivy, a wet-hop ale made with freshly picked hops from various small hop farms around the state. Like Hoperation Ivy, Hop Ivy is a hop-forward pale ale showcasing local Chinook and Nugget hops harvested at Simply Grown LLC hop farm in Palisade. The malt barley is grown and malted at Colorado Malting Co. in Alamosa and the yeast is from the Brewing Science Institute in Woodland Park. Fresh snowmelt from the mighty San Juan Mountains is the source of Hop Ivy’s water.
“Hop Ivy is a tribute to Colorado’s many local farmers,” says Ska Co-founder and Colorado native, Bill Graham. “Using local harvest in the brewing process and selling the finished product within the state supports the economy and the well-being of Colorado–our home.”
Hop Ivy will hit shelves statewide the week of May 16, 2016. Coloradoans, ask for it at your local liquor store!
True Blonde Wins Bronze at World Beer Cup!
True Blonde Ale wins Bronze at the World Beer Cup in the English-Style Summer Ale Category! Held every 2 years, it is considered the Olympics of beer contests. Read more…
Mexican Logger Returns!
Durango, CO (March 29, 2016)—Ska Brewing announces the 2016 return of their award-winning Mexican Logger summer seasonal. Making a name for itself in the ever-popular Mexican lager category, Ska’s rendition won Silver at The Great American Beer Festival in the International Style Pilsner Category in October 2015.
Mexican Logger will hit shelves around the country on April 6 with its superhuman balance of sweet malt and mild bite. Crafted with fresh grains and Saaz hops, the Mexican Logger is a refreshing brew for warm weather days. At 5% ABV and 20 IBU’s this highly sessionable beer features a light to medium body and a clean, crisp finish.
Mexican Logger lovers are entranced by the concoction. To keep up with demand, Ska Brewing has increased production of the beer by twenty percent. The Mexican Logger is not only a favorite of Ska fans everywhere, critics have also awarded it medals year after year.
“Originally brewed in 1999 and first enclosed in cans in 2011, the Mexican Logger has been our top seller every summer. It has the DNA of a quality craft beer but the easy drinking appeal of a Mexican lager. Years of production equal years of perfection,” says Thibodeau. “I must say that it’s a perfect pairing with a long, hot day of brutal chainsaw work.”
The beer will available through September in all of Ska’s regions of distribution, which are largely Colorado, Southern California, Chicago, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Ska will celebrate with a Mexican Logger release party on April 6 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at its World HQ in Durango, Colorado.
Ska Brewing Cans The 12 oz Bottle
DURANGO, Colo. (February 24, 2016) —Ska Brewing announced this week they will be canning bottles—and will be packaging their 12 oz beers entirely with cans. Ska, the second craft brewery in the country to package any of its beer in cans (behind fellow Colorado craft canners Oskar Blues), is moving their entire flagship portfolio to an all-can lineup. The new cans will start hitting shelves in all of Ska’s markets on March 1, 2016.
“It’s funny, people think we’re early adopters, or trend-setters, but we just like outdoor adventures and cans go more places. We’re probably just selfish,” said Dave Thibodeau, Ska co-founder and President, through a peal of laughter. “We started canning thirteen years ago, because we selfishly wanted our own beer in a more portable package. We can’t really think past just solving our own problems. But this might solve some other people’s problems too—maybe even world problems?”
“It’s about fuh-CAN time,” said Jeremy Rudolf, Oskar Blues CANigma, when probed about their fellow canning pioneers’ shift, “I’m really looking forward to Decadent in a can!”
Ska will continue to offer their Robust Reincarnations (Decadent Imperial IPA, Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter and True Blonde Dubbel), in 22 oz. “bomber” bottles, along with certain limited edition beers. Brand new 12 oz. cans debuting March 1 include Decadent, (also still offered in its traditional 22 oz. bottle), and two of Ska’s most award-winning beers: Buster Nut Brown and Steel Toe Milk Stout.
There are other reasons to can the bottle, according to Bill Graham, Ska co-founder and Overlord of Brewing Operations. “People don’t want to drag a dozen bottles around for a lot of the same reasons we don’t want to ship a dozen hundred thousand* of them. They’re heavy and fragile. Even when they’re empty.”
*not a real number
Ska & Verde PR Announces Partnership
Ska Brewing Company adds Verde Brand Communications to its Cast of Characters
Ska announces local public relations firm as agency of record
Durango, Colo. (Feb. 17, 2016)— Ska Brewing Company enlists Verde Brand Communications to join its legion on the quest to save craft beer forever and stop the global domination of Rotgutzen. It is now Verde’s duty to tell of the tales of Ska and its evolving craft beer collection.
Verde’s accepted the challenge to spread the good message and great beers of Ska Brewing far and wide, obliterating the propaganda pushed by the corporate beer conspiracy. By taking the helm of Ska’s public relations, Verde pledges to make it easier for all beer aficionados to have the access they deserve to the hand-crafted brews from Ska. Verde will turn up the volume on globally-significant seasonal beer launches, news from the Ska Mothership (World Headquarters) and bring more visibility to more beer fans seeking an in-person Ska experience at the brewery’s events.
Both Ska and Verde are products of the small mountain town of Durango, Colo. The culture of the Durango is a key differentiator for Ska, and it’s also hard-wired into Verde’s DNA. Verde and Ska will stage in-person planning sessions at Ska’s wind-powered, music-inspired brewery.
“A year of epic proportions is in the works at Ska, and we want to have more hands on deck to help spread the good word,” said Kristen Muraro, marketing director at Ska. “Verde’s professional and cultural authenticity in the outdoor lifestyle and craft beer realm will have great synergy with Ska.”
“I can honestly say, I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to partner with Ska for two decades,” said Kristin Carpenter-Ogden, founder of Verde. “Sharing an iconic craft beer like Ska after a great day out on the trails, in the mountains or on the water is one of the finest things about life, and the entire Verde workforce takes the responsibility of sharing the Ska story far and wide very, very seriously.”
Please contact Lauren Fallert, firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions or specific requests.
Arizona Beer Week Schedule of Events!
Official 2016 Durango Film Beer Release! Kiwi Saison
Join us Friday, February 5th at 6pm for the tapping of the 2016 Official Durango Film Beer! Eleventh Kiwi Saison is a sturdy farmhouse ale with a mild kiwi tartness.
Movie Trivia begins at 6:30pm.
You can find Kiwi Saison in 22oz. bombers in local Durango liquor stores and on tap in our Tasting Room. Celebrate 11 years of the Durango Film Festival! The Festival runs March 2-6, 2016. For more info, visit www.durangofilm.org.
Ska Brewing Adds Bump ‘N’ Grind to Seasonal Stout Series
DURANGO, Colo., (Jan. 19, 2016) – Ska Brewing announces the NEW winter release in its Seasonal Stout Series, Bump ‘N’ Grind, Ska’s award-winning Steel Toe Milk Stout brewed with coffee and cocoa nibs.
“Various interpretations of Bump ‘N’ Grind have been favorites in the tasting room since we first implemented the Seasonal Stout program back in 2012,” said Ska Co-Founder Dave Thibodeau. “This is hands-down my favorite and I’m really excited to share it with our stout fans in all of our markets.”
Bump ‘N’ Grind weighs in at 5.8% ABV and is brewed with coffee from Durango’s Desert Sun Coffee Roasters. It pours black with a frothy tan head. The flavor is rich coffee with hints of chocolate and has a smooth-sweet, almost mocha-like finish.
Bump ‘N’ Grind will hit shelves on draft and in 22oz bottles on January 21, 2016. Ska will host a release party at their World Headquarters at 5:00pm with live music from the Charlie Milo Trio.
About Ska Brewing
Based in Durango, Colorado, Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and produces over a dozen award-winning beers. Many of Ska’s brews are widely available in cans including ESB Special Ale, True Blonde Ale, Modus Hoperandi IPA and rotating seasonals. For information (a lot of it), music, and a good time, visit www.skabrewing.com. Plug in to the latest updates, beer releases and shenanigans at facebook.com/skabrew and twitter.com/skabrewing.
Saying Goodbye to NC After 12 Years.
DURANGO, Colo., (January 4, 2016) — Ska Brewing, the Durango, CO brewery best known for their popular Modus Hoperandi IPA is announcing their decision to withdraw from the North Carolina Market after 12 years. “This is one of the longest relationships we’ve ever been in,” said Ska cofounder and president, Dave Thibodeau, adding, “they were our second market outside of Colorado—we will always care deeply about North Carolina.” more…
Beer in Review 2015
As 2015 comes to a close, we’re once again asking leading figures on the Colorado beer scene to reflect on the past year and look ahead to next.
This next installment in our 5th annual Beer In Review features Dave Thibodeau of Ska Brewing Co. in Durango. Ska recently celebrated its 20th anniversary as one of the state’s mainstays in the craft beer world. Dave is president and co-founder of the brewery known for its classic styles as well as interesting side projects and is distributing in 10 states, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This year, the brewery won…(more)
The Legend of Ska! – Podcast
The Ska aesthetic: The history of the brew’s design and marketing motif
Have you ever wanted to learn a little more background history about our design and marketing? Check out Dave Thibodeau’s interview with DGO.
Amazing Beers That Were Too Expensive to Brew Again
Men’s Journal hit us up on why our Vinifera won’t be brewed again. Farewell, you delicious beast!
Chefs talk about what pairs best with Modus Mandarina IPA
Ska Brewing Releases Hop Ivy, State’s First Certified All Colorado Ale
DURANGO, Colo. – Ska Brewing is releasing the first craft beer sourced entirely with Colorado ingredients available for year-round, statewide distribution. Hop Ivy, which will hit the shelves by Thanksgiving, is also the state’s first beer to reach Platinum Certification status through the Real Colorado Beer Project.
“Hop Ivy is our chance to celebrate what our friends behind the scenes are doing for Colorado’s craft beer scene,” says Ska Co-founder and Colorado native, Bill Graham. “At the consumer level, these suppliers are easy to overlook, but they are the unsung heroes thriving to create a meaningful connection from grain to glass.”
A recently released Economic Impact Study completed by the Colorado School of Leeds stated that – through collective efforts such as supporting Colorado suppliers, Colorado brewers generated approximately $1.15 billion in economic activity last year.
Hop Ivy is a twist off of Ska’s previous semi-local Hoperation Ivy, a wet hop ale made with freshly picked hops from various small hop farms around the state. Like Hoperation Ivy, Hop Ivy is a hop-forward pale ale showcasing local Chinook and Nugget hops harvested at Simply Grown LLC hop farm in Palisade. The barley is grown and malted at Colorado Malting Co. in Alamosa and the yeast is from the Brewing Science Instiutute in Woodland Park. Fresh snowmelt from the mighty San Juan mountains is the source of Hop Ivy’s water.
Hop Ivy’s initial release will be in draft with cans following at the first of the year—the beer will only be available in Colorado. The Tasting Room at Ska Brewing World Headquarters in Durango will celebrate its release on Thursday November 19, 2015 from 5-7 pm with the help from the band The Great Contention and food specials featuring local Coloradan ingredients.
About Ska Brewing
Based in Durango, Colorado, Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and produces over a dozen award-winning beers. Many of Ska’s brews are widely available in cans including Modus Hoperandi IPA, ESB Special Ale, True Blonde Ale, and the ever popular Season Stout Series. For information (a lot of it), music, and a good time, visit www.skabrewing.com. Plug in to the latest updates, beer releases and shenanigans at facebook.com/skabrew and twitter.com/skabrewing.
About the Real Colorado Beer Project
The Real Colorado Beer Project is an attempt to support the real local Colorado economy as well as help the consumer recognize which tap handles, canned or bottled ales and lagers will provide the dew of real Colorado, and to what degree. There are five levels of Real Colorado Beer: Wild Platinim, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. (www.RealColoradoBeer.com)
Grab a bite at The Container of Food!
Make yourself at home. Grab a seat anywhere you’d like and check out our newly remodeled upstairs! Join the community, start a conversation and make new friends. There’s beer at the bar and food at The Container of Food. If you’re unfamiliar, we’re a manufacturing facility. We brew beer–and lots of it. We put it in cans and bottles for sale around the globe.
There’s a lot going on here and if you want to learn more, we offer daily tours of our fantastical 100% wind-powered brew fortress at 4:00pm Monday–Saturday.
The Container of Food, built from repurposed shipping containers, serves hand-crafted brick oven pizzas and gourmet sandwiches, salads and snacks, along with sweets and kids options. Gluten-free options are also available. The Container is open 11:00am – 8:00 pm M-F, 11:00am – 7:00pm Saturdays and Noon – 6:00pm on Sundays. Check out our menu here.
Mexican Logger Wins Silver at GABF!
Mexican Logger won Silver at The Great American Beer Festival in the American-Style or International-Style Pilsner Category!
AND… our Ska Face Barleywine won Bronze in the Wood-and-Barrel-Aged Strong Beer Category.
Find out about more Colorado GABF medal winning beers here.
Ska Brewing to Release Modus Mandarina
DURANGO, CO., (September 17, 2015)- Ska Brewing is announcing the release of Modus Mandarina IPA, an India Pale Ale brewed with orange peels and generously hopped with Mandarina Bavaria hops. The release will coincide with the Great American Beer Festival the week of September 21.
The beer originally brewed 3 years ago as a special release, is the first cousin of Ska’s award winning Modus Hoperandi—brewed essentially the same but with a citrus twist.
“The dry-hopped addition of the Mandarina Bavaria give the beer a distinct aroma of tangerine and citrus,” said Thomas Larsen, head brewer at Ska. “However, the orange peels added to the beer give it just a subtle touch of orange in the flavor profile.”
Modus Mandarina will see its initial release at various Ska Brewing events throughout Denver during the week of the Great American Beer Festival, and will also be distributed initially throughout Colorado, Southern California, Arizona and Illinois. A complete list of Ska’s events during the Great American Beer Fest can be found here.
Ska Brewing Celebrates Large, Round Number Anniversary
Ska Brewing Celebrates Large, Round Number Anniversary
DURANGO, Colo., (Friday, Sept. 8, 2015) —Ska Brewing will be celebrating another birthday next weekend, but not an awkward number like 14 or 19 (yuck!) On September 12, Ska will be celebrating a large, round number with style.
Ska Brewing’s 20th Anniversary Party and Brewer’s Invitational will be held at Ska Brewing World Headquarters in Durango from 4-9 p.m., offering partygoers a festival atmosphere with three bands and over 30 guest breweries pouring beer. Ska punk band Reel Big Fish will headline the sold-out event, with support from Mad Caddies. Colorado favorites Denver Vintage Reggae Society are slated to kick off the music.
“20 years ago we were just a toddler brewery, stumbling around taking our first steps,” said Dave Thibodeau, Ska President and Co-Founder. “We still stumble, actually, but over time we learned to share things, make friends, and throw great parties. We’ve put all of those skills together and invited a slew of great breweries to Durango to celebrate the big 2-0.”
Ska Co-Founder Matt Vincent put it more simply: “That two has tons of style, and the zero speaks for itself. Two syllables… it’s just a cool number. We’re going to do it justice.”
Many of the guest breweries in attendance will be pouring special or limited-release beers, including a few Ska collaborations. Ska, in honor of its big round number anniversary, has brewed up a very special, blended sour for exclusive release at the Anniversary Party: “Monumentale” is a blend of three sours fermented with Lacto and Brett and aged for 1, 3 and 5 years respectively, in Peach Street Distillers Colorado Straight Bourbon barrels. Sweet and tart cherries were then added and the result is a funky, tart, refreshing beer—with an underlying cherry sweetness that doesn’t punch you in the mouth.
Guest breweries attending include: Animas Brewing, Avery, Boulevard, Breckenridge, Brew, Carvers, Dogfish Head, Dolores River Brewery, Durango Brewing, Elevation, Epic, Firestone Walker, Great Divide, Huss, La Cumbre, Left Hand, Liquid Mechanics, Marble, Odell, Oskar Blues, Ouray, Pagosa, Ratio, Riff Raff, San Luis Valley, Santa Fe, Ska, Steamworks, Stone, Telluride, Three Barrel, Three Rivers and Wynkoop
This event is sold out. Keep a lookout for next year’s announcement though… Ska’s turning 21!
Pinstripe in Cans!
We canned Pinstripe Red Ale! All your dreams have come true. Now YOU can get it in the can! Find it on shelves on or around the 4th of July!
Estival Cream Stout Release
Ska Brewing Releases Summer Seasonal Stout in Cans, Buckles Seatbelt
DURANGO, Colo., (June 17, 2015) —Ska’s Seasonal Stout Series welcomes the northern hemisphere’s warm season with the summer release of Estival Cream Stout. Estival Cream Stout will be available starting on the summer solstice: Sunday, June 21st. A third-year offering, this refreshing but satisfying beer pioneered the summer stout category and is a favorite among beer fans whose friends make faces at them.
“Some people don’t think a summer stout makes sense, but we haven’t gotten to where we are by just doing what ‘makes sense’” said Bill Graham, Ska co-founder and Overlord of Brewing Operations. “Sometimes you have to be under the curve to be ahead of it. All we know is the entire seasonal stout category—especially summer stout—is going to catch fire at some point.”
According to Dave Thibodeau, Ska co-founder and President, the brewery doesn’t see markets the same way others might. “I look at the numbers, and I say okay, where is there more room for growth than in the summer seasonal stout category? Nowhere. Seasonal stouts are probably going to be the fastest-growing category in all of craft beer. Right?”
According to Steve Kurowski, marketing manager for the Colorado Brewers Guild, “There is no seasonal stout category. They’re the only ones doing that.”
Naysayers aside, Graham admits they’re not really looking at the numbers at all—“It’s summer, so we’re busy brewing delicious beers, and drinking them.” According to Graham, the stout’s orange peel citrus and subtle honey “goes really well with campfire smoke.”
The packaging for the Estival Cream Stout features a black, 12-oz. can, with Ska’s Pinstripe character emerging from a fiery citrus sun in what could be an allusion to the category’s sales potential. As with all four of the stouts in Ska’s Seasonal Stout series, this beer will be released in cans, and distributed in all of Ska’s markets.
Estival Cream Stout is 5.8% Alcohol By Volume (ABV), and, in keeping with the series’ solstice and equinox release dates, will be tapped on the summer solstice, Sunday June 21st. The release will double as a summer kickoff party and will be held from 1-4 pm at Ska World Headquarters in Bodo Park, an unheralded industrial park on the outskirts of Durango. The event will feature Father’s Day specials, live music from Afrobeatniks, lawn games and mouth-watering food pairings from The Container.
Official 2015 Durango Film Beer
Ska Brewing to Release Hibernal Vinifera Stout
Ska Brewing To Release Hibernal Vinifera Stout
DURANGO, Colo., (Dec. 16, 2014) — Ska Brewing is announcing the Winter release in its Seasonal Stout series: Hibernal Vinifera Stout, an oak-aged foreign stout brewed with Malbec grapes. The beer—in keeping with the series’ solstice and equinox release dates—will hit shelves on December 21st, the date of the winter solstice. This is the third year for both Vinifera and Ska’s Seasonal Stout Series, which features a different canned stout for each of the four seasons.
“It’s been a lot of fun brewing the seasonal stouts with such a crazy array of ingredients,” said Ska Head Brewer Thomas Larsen, “but while the other three season’s stouts can almost qualify as dessert beers, the Vinifera is a standout for me because the Malbec grapes and roasted malts make it hearty enough to hold up to Colorado’s plunging cold winter temperatures.”
The Hibernal Vinifera Stout weighs in at 8% ABV and pours black with a thick tan head. The flavor is coffee and dark roasted grains, with dark fruits, caramel and subtle oak, and a dry, vinous finish.
The packaging for the Hibernal Vinifera Stout, pictured below, features a black, 12-oz. can with Ska’s True Blonde character as the Sumerian goddess of grapes and the cold season, Ngeshtin-ana. As with all four of the stouts in the Seasonal Stout series, the beer will be released in cans and on draft, and distributed in all of Ska’s markets.
Ska’s 19th Anniversary
In case you missed it, here’s a sneak peak of what you might expect for our 20th! If you were there, relive the party here:
Rudie Session IPA
Rudie, the newest addition to Ska Brewing Co.’s arsenal was unveiled at the Colorado Brewers Guild’s inaugural Sesh Fest on August 2nd. The Guild loosely defines a session beer as anything under five percent alcohol by volume that is well balanced, crisp, and refreshing. “It’s a beer you can drink for breakfast” says Dave Thibodeau, President and Co-Founder of Ska “We wanted to brew an aggressively hopped beer that you can drink a few of and still hold your shit together.”
Rudie is the first new mainstay to be added to Ska’s portfolio since the death of Ten Pin Porter (RIP). The beer weighs in at 4.5% alcohol by volume and is brewed with El Dorado and Galaxy Hops in quantities more typical of an American IPA than a session beer. “By this point in the summer the novelty of light lagers and wheat beers has begun to wear off, but the novelty of drinking beer all day has not.” says Bill Graham, Brewing Overlord and Co-Founder of Ska “The idea was that hop forward, flavorful beers don’t always have to knock you on your on ass.”
The inspiration for this beer comes from a long standing tradition of brewing specialty one-offs for The Durango Film Festival. “Every year we brew something different for the film fest.” says Thomas Larsen, Head Brewer at Ska “It needs to be flavorful, approachable, and sessionable enough that folks aren’t launching projectiles at the screen mid-film. The last few years we’ve been experimenting with low alcohol beers that retain the big body and big flavor profile people expect of an IPA. We knew we were on to something.” Rudie will hit the shelves August 2nd in twelve ounce cans.
Colorado Craft Brewers Embark on sixth annual Tour de BoulDurango
On Monday, July 21st owners and representatives from six of Colorado’s leading craft breweries will depart on the ride of a lifetime…for the sixth year in a row. Commencing at Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, CO and culminating at Ska Brewing Co. in Durango, the annual Tour De BoulDurango is a five day, 426 mile road bike ride through some of Colorado’s steepest and most grueling road terrain. This year’s venture features riders from Avery, Ska, Boulder Beer, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, and Great Divide breweries.
Out of the gate the tour will call for a 109 mile ride through Golden and over Loveland Pass before descending onto Breckenridge Brewery. As day one concludes it is likely the riders will reflect on all of the pedaling still to come. “As busy as we all are, I think it’s good to get out in the Colorado hills with some of the state’s brewing pioneers and share a few ideas, as well as a few beers,” says Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Co. “Collectively, we have hundreds of years of brewing experience amongst us—good ideas are bound to take root at some point before delirium takes over toward the end of the week” Friday will mark the final stage of the ride from Ouray, over three mountain passes, and into Durango.
The cycling brewers are scheduled to arrive at Ska Brewing Co. at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 25th. The ride culminates with Finish Fest, a finish line celebration featuring beers from all of the participating brewers as well as the collaboration brew, Wheelsucker Wheat. “This year we are really trying to encourage interaction and community involvement statewide” says Dave Thibodeau, President and Co-Founder of Ska Brewing Company, “Whether that means joining the riders for a beer at the end-of-day watering holes or helping us rustle up some coin for Bicycle Colorado. We have some new toys this year that will make it easy for all the pedal heads and beer drinkers to join in.” The brewers will be using Insta-Mapper GPS tracking software making it possible for anyone, anywhere along the route to join the riders, cheer them on, or see when it’s time to head to the pub. Bicycle Colorado, an organization dedicated to building a bicycle friendly Colorado is the beneficiary of Tour De BoulDurango and is cited by the League of American Bicyclists as the model organization for the country’s forty nine other states.
The High Mountain Passes of the Route:
Loveland Pass – 11,992′ ~ Hoosier Pass – 11,542′ ~ Cottonwood Pass – 12,126’ ~ Cerro Pass 7,958
Red Mountain Pass – 11,008′ ~ Molas Pass – 10,910′ ~ Coal Bank Pass – 10,640′
Tour de BoulDurango Beer Festival Details
When: Friday, July 25th, 5:00 pm
Where: Ska Brewing World Headquarters, 225 Girard St., Durango Colorado. (970) 247-5792
Who: Welcoming brewers and brewery owners from six of Colorado’s best-loved breweries— Avery Brewing, Ska Brewing, Great Divide, Oskar Blues, Left Hand Brewing and Boulder Beer Co.—as they finish their six-day Tour De BoulDurango road ride for charity.
What: A $10 ticket gets you…
– A commemorative pint glass
– Beer from all six breweries, plus the Ska/Avery Wheelsucker Wheat Collaboration
– Live music by Durango’s own The Lawn Chair Kings
Why: To encourage the spirit of collaboration, camaraderie and giving back that the craft beer world is known for, and to raise money:
All proceeds from Finish Fest will benefit Bicycle Colorado, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a bicycle-friendly Colorado.
Ska Brewing Co. Announces Southern California Rollout
DURANGO, Colo., (June 5, 2014) — Ska Brewing Company is announcing the opening of its first new market in five years. The move into Southern California at the end of the month comes with the addition of a new high-speed canning line that has relieved capacity issues for the Southern Colorado brewery.
“We’ve been considering the Southern California market for years. The bar is set high here, but our beers fit right in with the quality of beers available, and the character of our brewery fits well with SoCal culture” said Ska President and former Ocean Beach resident, Dave Thibodeau. “Plus, I really needed a way to write off my travel expenses when a good swell rolls through.”
North County San Diego will be the staging ground in the newest theatre on the war against mediocre beer. Ska is teaming up with California uber allies, Stone Brewing Co., through their distribution arm Stone Distributing Co., to mitigate on-ground operations. Ska’s arsenal is deep and will encompass nearly their entire award-winning portfolio including the flagship Modus Hoperandi India Pale Ale, gold medal winner at this year’s AmeriCAN Festival. There will also be a focus on Ska’s popular canned seasonal beers; Mexican Logger, Euphoria, and the Seasonal Stout Series.
Ska has been distributing Stone’s beers in Southwestern Colorado since 2003, the year Ska first canned their beer. “It had always been our hope that Stone would do the same with Ska’s beers in California” says Thibodeau, indicating that capacity issues and strong growth in existing markets have hampered Ska’s efforts in the past. “We’ve been coming to the Stone Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Fest for years, trying to set the stage but our old canning lines just couldn’t keep up. Now the stage is set and the show is about to begin.”
Starting June 30, Ska beer will be available throughout Southern California in all markets south of Santa Barbara. Numerous kick-off events will take place the weekend preceding the formal release including sneak previews at Hamilton’s on June 27th and Churchill’s on June 28th. Tuesday July 1st will feature Ska’s Barroom Hero, Arlo Grammatica, as he hosts a guided tasting at Blind Lady Ale House.
Estival Cream Stout Release
Ska Brewing Co. Announces Estival Summer Stout in Cans
DURANGO, Colo., (June 11, 2014) — Estival, the freshest release in Ska’s Seasonal Stout Series hit the canning line today. The Cream Stout will be available Saturday, June 21st and is destined to be paired with barbeque, ice cream, and high country campouts.
“This is a medium-bodied stout brewed with orange blossom honey, milk sugar, and aged on orange peels,” said Ska co-founder and Overlord of Brewing Operations Bill Graham. “It is a great match for summer evenings when you feel like something more substantial than a lager or pale ale, but still not too heavy.”
Estival Cream Stout is 5.8% Alcohol By Volume (ABV), and, in keeping with the series’ solstice and equinox release dates, will be tapped on the summer solstice, June 21st. The release will double as a summer kick-off celebration and will be held at Ska World Headquarters in Bodo Park. The event will feature Estival specials, lawn games, unique food pairings from The Container and live music by Robby Overfield.
The packaging for the Estival Cream Stout features a black, 12-oz. can, with Ska’s Pinstripe character emerging from a fiery citrus sun. As with all four of the stouts in the Seasonal Stout series, this campfire beer will be released in cans, and distributed in all of Ska’s markets.
Join us for our 19th Anniversary Party and Brewer’s Invitational!
We are super excited to have the legendary Skatalites the Pietasters and The Rebel Set perform this year! You won’t want to miss this show. The Skatalites are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year as well and we will be brewing up a special beer in their honor. To be released at the party of course. The opening band will be announced early this summer. It just keeps getting better! Sample tasty brews from 25 of our closest brewery friends. $35 includes a commemorative tasting glass, beer, 3 live bands and lots of fun! Food vendors on site. Must be 21 or over. Event is Rain or Shine and NO REFUNDS. Get your tickets!
Vernal Minthe Stout Release
Ska Brewing Releases Spring Seasonal Stout: Vernal Minthe Stout
DURANGO, Colo., (Mar. 14, 2014) — Ska Brewing is announcing the spring release in its Seasonal Stout series: Vernal Minthe Stout, a stout brewed with peppermint, spearmint, cocoa and vanilla beans. The beer will hit shelves on March 20th, the date of the spring equinox.
Vernal Minthe Stout, which Ska debuted in March of 2013, has already won a Silver Medal at the European Beer Star Awards.
“We started out 18 years ago brewing ales that honored their European roots,” said Dave Thibodeau, Ska President and Co-Founder. “American craft beer has come a very long way since then, and it’s amazing to me that we can take our crazy beers back to Europe now and win a medal in the Beer Star Awards—one of the most important and recognized beer competitions in the world.”
Vernal Minthe Stout is a unique and rewarding treat. Sweet, with refreshing peppermint and spearmint throughout, but with dark roasted and milk chocolate notes for balance. The medium body of the stout allows the mint to shine through. Some have called it an Andes Mint in stout form; there’s no doubt it’s a great dessert beer. Vernal Minthe Stout is 5.8% ABV and 41 SRM.
Vernal Minthe Stout will hit shelves in all of Ska’s U.S. markets around the spring equinox, in keeping with the Seasonal Stout Series’ solstice and equinox release dates. The packaging (artwork below) features a black, 12-oz. can, with Ska’s True Blonde heroine as the Greek goddess Persephone, who, according to Greek mythology, turned the naiad Minthe into a mint plant in a jealous rage.
Ska will release Estival Cream Stout—the Seasonal Stout Series’ fourth beer—on the summer solstice in June.
Ska Hosts Swedish Brewers Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri For International Beer Collaboration
DURANGO, COLO., (January 22, 2014) — Ska Brewing is hosting brewers from Sweden’s Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri at Ska’s World Headquarters in Durango this week. Lars “Lasse” Ericsson and Marcus Wärme traveled to Colorado on Monday to brew a collaborative beer with Ska, a White IPA called Wipa Snapa.
The international collaboration comes less than a year after Ska brewers and representatives traveled to Nynäshamns, a city south of Stockholm, to brew a collaborative beer there called Skatkobben. While Skatkobben was released only in Sweden, the new Wipa Snapa collaboration will be released here in the U.S., after a sneak preview at the Colorado Brewers Guild “Collaboration Fest” on March 22, and an official release party at the Craft Brewer’s Conference in Denver April 9th.
The collaboration is another milestone in a larger international commerce and export story, in which Colorado’s exploding craft beer scene has spawned dozens of new small breweries and brewery-related businesses, reinvigorated bars and liquor stores, and helped the Colorado “destination brand” gain increased recognition overseas via craft beer.
The Ska/Nynäshamns relationship flourished after Ska attended the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival in 2011, and realized that they shared a love of the outdoors and general adventure with their counterparts from Nynäshamns. It is Ericsson and Wärme’s first trip to the U.S., though they both speak English fluently. After a 26-hour travel day on Monday, they arrived at Ska Tuesday morning energetic and ready to brew. Ska representatives are sharing a little Colorado mountain culture by taking Ericsson and Wärme skiing at Durango Mountain Resort, after an early-morning duck hunting outing. At the end of the week they will travel to Denver with Ska’s Arlo Grammatica to visit other breweries and take part in a “Pints and Pipes” promotion at Denver’s Cheba Hut.
With a U.S. craft beer scene that many consider to be setting the standard for innovation and quality worldwide, many European brewers and consumers are looking to the U.S., both for existing beers and for new ideas. This turns the old dynamic—in which Europeans were known for producing quality, flavorful beers, and the U.S. was widely mocked for our dedication to mass-produced light lagers—on its head.
“Craft beer is becoming very popular in Sweden, like here, and Swedes are very curious about new beers,” said Nynäshamns’ Head Brewer Lasse Ericsson. “In the U.S., many brewers started in the 80’s, and in Sweden it wasn’t until the 90’s, so Swedish brewers are looking to the U.S. because you are about ten years ahead of us as far as the craft beer scene.”
The Swedish brewers also collaborated with Dogfish Head—a Delaware-based craft brewing powerhouse—in their hometown last year, producing a beer called Kvasir, part of Dogfish Head’s popular “Ancient Ales” series. The official release party for Wipa Snapa will feature representatives from Ska, as well as Dogfish Head Founder Sam Calagione, pouring both Wipa Snapa and Kvasir.
The White IPA style is a hybrid of the Belgian witbier and India Pale Ale styles, resulting in an unfiltered and well-carbonated beer brewed with a large proportion of wheat, and featuring spices and a strong hop presence. “Wit” means “white” in English, so-called because of the unfiltered yeast and wheat proteins that give these beers a hazy, white color.
The Wipa Snapa features ingredients from both Colorado and Sweden, including Sea Buckthorn berries—a tart, refreshing berry native to Scandinavia—and Chinook hops from Paonia, Colorado’s High Wire Hop Farms. The beer was also brewed with juniper berries, representing the high desert south and west of Durango, and substituting for the orange peel and coriander spices traditionally used in Belgian wit biers. Wipa Snapa, when completed, is projected to come in at 6% ABV.
Ska Head Brewer Thomas Larsen, right, and Nynashamns Angbryggeri Head Brewer
Lasse Ericsson watch as grain is milled for the international collaboration beer Wipa Snapa.
Ska Brewing to release Hibernal Vinifera Stout
Ska Brewing is announcing the second release in its Seasonal Stout series: Hibernal Vinifera Stout, an oak-aged foreign stout brewed with Malbec grapes. The beer—in keeping with the series’ solstice and equinox release dates—will hit shelves on December 21st, the date of the winter solstice. This is the second year for both Vinifera and Ska’s Seasonal Stout Series, which features a different canned stout for each of the four seasons.
“Grapes create interesting, complex flavors. We felt like the Malbec grapes would be a good match with the dark roast flavors and dry character of a foreign stout,” said Bill Graham, Ska’s Overlord of Brewing Operations. “And it has a pretty good dose of alcohol in it, which is nice on a cold winter night.”
“You should use some goofy wine country quote,” said Arlo Grammatica, Ska’s Barroom Hero. When asked exactly what he meant, Grammatica was already on the road, headed to his next beer event.
The Hibernal Vinifera Stout pours black with a thick tan head. The flavor is coffee and dark roasted grains, with dark fruits, caramel and subtle oak, and a dry, vinous finish.
The packaging for the Hibernal Vinifera Stout, pictured below, features a black, 12-oz. can with Ska’s True Blonde character as the Sumerian goddess of grapes and the cold season, Ngeshtin-ana. As with all four of the stouts in the Seasonal Stout series, the beer will be released in cans, and distributed in all of Ska’s markets.
RIP: Ten Pin Porter (1996-2013)
DURANGO, Colo., (Nov. 12, 2013) — Ten Pin Porter, Ska Brewing’s flagship porter since 1996, is slated to die later this month in Durango. A memorial service for the delicious craft beer will be held at Ska Brewing World Headquarters on Black Friday, November 29, throughout the day.
“Ten Pin Porter will be missed,” said Ska Co-Founder Dave Thibodeau. “He was the third beer we ever brewed—he meant the world to me. When you’d crack him open, you always knew he’d love you back. Unconditionally. Right now, we’re just focused on getting people together to remember the good times, and say our final goodbyes to a great beer.”
Family and friends are invited to come by Ska and pay their respects on Black Friday—services will include an open casket ceremony. Mourners will also be able to get in some early holiday shopping, as all draft dark beers and black-colored merchandise at Ska World Headquarters will be marked down by 20% on that day.
Ten Pin Porter was known by craft beer throughout Colorado and the Southwest, and as far away as Illinois and North Carolina. Despite the serious roasted aromas and dark outward appearance that were Ten Pin’s trademarks, those close to the beer knew it to be a sweet—and very drinkable—medium-bodied porter.
“I think people who judged Ten Pin just by appearance were missing out,” said Ron Chalmer, a network system administrator from Aurora, Colorado, who had known the porter for over a decade. “We spent time together almost every day after work. There’s definitely a hole in my glass now. I don’t know if it will ever go away.”
Ten Pin joined the Ska Brewing family in 1996, after a bowling alley showdown between the Ska boys and the evil Rotgutzen International Beverage Corporation. In the showdown, the heroine True Blonde inflicts a crushing roundhouse kick that dislodges the skull of Pinstripe, Rotgutzen’s CEO, thus saving craft beer and delivering a perfect “ten-pin” strike at the same time. As word of the showdown spread, Ten Pin Porter quickly became a flagship beer in Ska’s lineup.
Ten Pin enjoyed spending time at bars, beer festivals and with friends all over the country, and was an active member of the Brown Glass Bottle Society.
Ten Pin Porter is survived by a nephew, Steel Toe Stout, a brother, Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter, and four cousins, known collectively as the Seasonal Stouts.
In lieu of flowers, Ska is requesting that donations be made out to the Durango Bootlegger’s Society, or any favorite charity.
Shipping Container Restaurant to Open at Ska Brewing
DURANGO, Colo., (July 29, 2013) — Patrons of the Ska Brewing Tasting Room, located at Ska’s World Headquarters building in Bodo Park, will soon have a new menu to consider while sampling Ska’s craft beer fresh from the source. The Container Restaurant, made from two repurposed shipping containers, is scheduled to open August 5. The restaurant will feature a year-round menu–with food made from scratch and many ingredients sourced locally or in-state—to complement and enhance the beer tasting experience.
Matt Vincent, Ska co-founder and Vice-President, has had his eye on using shipping containers since before the World Headquarters was built in 2008. “Maybe because our old location had such limited space, we were always fascinated with the idea of creating more usable space with shipping containers,” said Vincent. “The idea of being able to repurpose things fits with our focus on sustainability. We already have solar tubes to light the warehouse, recycled denim for insulation, former bowling lanes for tables… creating a restaurant space by repurposing shipping containers was another way to reduce our footprint. And it’ll look badass.
The restaurant also represents the evolution of eating at Ska Brewing World Headquarters. In recent years, Zia Taqueria had operated out of an Airstream trailer in Ska’s beer garden during the warmer months, but Zia recently opened its own location in Bodo Park, and was no longer able to feed the brewery’s hungry customers on site. According to Ska President and co-founder Dave Thibodeau, the food void simply had to be filled. “Our customers are here sampling world-class beers, and food has to be part of that experience.”
The food is made from scratch, and as many of the ingredients as possible are sourced from the local region and state according to Chef Jeremy Storm, The Container’s Manager and Head Chef. “With The Container I have the chance to do things the way I think they should be done: fresh, local as possible, and from scratch. Not only that, but I get to create a menu that complements and draws from these amazing beers.”
Storm has followed food for most of his life, from a dishwashing job at 13 to formal training at the Culinary Institute of America in his twenties, followed by a seven year stint as a chef in Washington, D.C., and several years as an instructor at the New England Culinary Institute. Eventually, Storm followed food all the way to Alaska, where he worked on commercial fishing boats and guided multi-day river trips on the famous Copper River—deepening his understanding of people and the food on which we depend.
The menu features several items made with Ska beer, including a sandwich made with Sunnyside Farms pork shoulder and Steel Toe Stout barbecue sauce, and a Steel Toe Stout brownie. The restaurant’s local, house-ground beef—finished on spent grain from the brewery—highlights the rewards of cooperation between local food producers.
The restaurant will also serve hand-crafted pizzas from a brick pizza oven, along with sandwiches, soups and salads, appetizers, sweets and kids options.
Ska ‘Harvests’ Hoperation Ivy in Colorado
DURANGO, Colo., — For the 6th year in a row Ska Brewing will brew a limited release wet-hop IPA, using fresh Colorado hops from High Wire Hop Farms in Paonia, and grain from Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa.
“Hoperation Ivy” will be brewed within hours of the hop harvest in August, and will hit shelves sometime in mid-September as #23 in Ska’s Local Series, which sees distribution only in Colorado. The timing of the harvest and conditions of the growing season contribute a unique character to each year’s batch.
Ska’s “Hop Harvest Crew”, comprised of warehouse workers, drivers, brewers and company founders, will travel a few hours north to Paonia, and harvest Colorado-grown Cascade hops to create this batch of wet-hopped India Pale Ale.
“This is a true ‘harvest’ beer”, said Bill Graham, Ska Co-founder and Brewing Overlord. “To do it right the fresh hops must be added the same day they’re harvested. We only brew one batch a year, and we look forward to the next year from the minute it’s gone.”
Generally, when hops are harvested they are dried and pressed into pellets, but fresh hop, or “wet hop” beers use whole flowers that were plucked from the vine just hours before and still retain most of the volatile flavor compounds that are lost during processing.
“Not only do we get to make a rare and delicious beer, but we also get the chance to use local ingredients,” said Dave Thibodeau, Ska President and Co-founder. “That’s exciting because it means supporting Colorado farmers, and also because it results in less ingredients being transported here from the Northwest or Europe. That’s really the area of brewing where you can have the biggest impact in terms of reducing your carbon footprint.”
Ska Brewing Molé Stout Signals Autumn’s Arrival
DURANGO, COLO., — On September 21st Ska Brewing will begin the second year of its Seasonal Stout program—featuring a different canned stout released near the equinox or solstice of each of the four seasons—with the second annual release of Autumnal Molé Stout.
The Autumnal Molé Stout is an ale brewed with cocoa nibs, spices and three varieties of chile peppers: Ancho, Guajillo and Hatch green chiles, (also known as Anaheim Peppers.) The beer clocks in at 5.8% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) and 15 IBU’s (International Bitterness Units).
One source of inspiration for the Autumnal Molé Stout is Ska Brewing’s location in the high desert of Southern Colorado, where chile peppers—especially the famous Hatch (aka Anaheim) Green Chiles—are as important to fall as football. “Last year it was an inspiration, this year it’s a tradition,” said Dave Thibodeau, Ska President and co-founder. “We eat, play and drink according to the seasons, and part of what we love about each season is the anticipation of the next one.”
The beer’s release will be celebrated on the Equinox at Ska Brewing World HQ in Durango, but according to Thibodeau “we just assume that all fall equinox celebrations in our nine markets are celebrating this beer’s release.”
The series will continue as it did last year, with the release of the other three stouts in the series: Hibernal Vinifera Stout on the winter solstice, and the Vernal Minthe Stout and Estival Cream Stout in 2014.