Tuesday, June 2, 2009
This is Part VII of Soggy Coaster's interview with Dave Thibodeau, president and co-founder of Ska Brewing Co. Previous installments are posted below. This is the final installment of the interview. Thanks for your patience if you've read all seven parts; I broke it up for polite consumption. This final installment has some good information about new Ska beers:
Soggy Coaster: What is your favorite Ska beer?
Dave Thibodeau: Right now, I’m in two worlds: the Modus (Hoperandi IPA) world and Mexican Logger, because I’ve only had a couple since we came out with it. That’ll probably be my deal for the summer.
I’ve got to say, overall, my favorite beer we make is our Ten Pin Porter. It’s a very dark beer that’s very drinkable. The balance within that particular porter is on the money. I think it goes with a variety of foods. It’s harder to drink when it’s 100 degrees out here. Once the sun’s gone down in the evening, all summer long and all winter long, definitely, I would say Ten Pin Porter.
Soggy: Interesting. What’s your favorite non-Ska beer? Can you say that without stepping on any toes?
Thibodeau: Oh, definitely. If I had one, I could. It’s the same thing: I go through moods and seasons change. I just had a case of New Glarus Raspberry Tart that one of our bookkeepers came back with, and I bought a case from her. I drank one bottle each night. It was a case of 12. By the 12th bottle, I was like, I’ve had enough. But for those first 11 days, it was one of my favorite things.
There’s definitely some standbys that I have. One of them is kind of similar to Pinstripe: Left Hand Sawtooth is a good standby. I like Victory Prima Pils. And like I said, these are all beers where the breweries make a lot crazier beers. But I like beers that I can drink a fair amount of. I like Stone’s Pale Ale. I’m not going to name any of the bigger (beers), because that seems to change every time I taste another one. It’s like holy crap, this is really good, and it’s the same if you throw the Belgian beers in there. When I say the word favorite, I like to use a standby, and those are the standby beers for me. Avery’s IPA, you know.
Soggy: Any upcoming events we should know about?
Thibodeau: The summer is so busy. The Silverton Jamboree. That is, I want to say, the second week of June. There’ll be a lot of stuff on Main street, Fourth of July, of course. There’s several music festivals in Colorado, the Crestone Music Festival. Then of course, all the beer festivals. We have a ska festival the third weekend of June in Denver. I think it’s called the Denver Ska Festival. Ska music in downtown Denver. There will be some good names there: the Aquabats, I think Mustard Plug. It’s solely Ska beer. We’re sponsoring it. Here at the brewery, music outside every Thursday. And we have some random events.
This is a really cool one I’ll throw out there: Avery and Ska are doing a collaboration beer in June. It’s going to be kind of a bigger hefeweizen. It’s going to be basically traditional, just punked up a bit.
We’re riding our road bikes during the Tour de France. We’re having a kickoff party in Boulder on Monday and riding our road bikes from Avery’s place to our place in Durango. So about 450 miles. Then we’re releasing our collaboration beer with a party when we get here. I think we’re going to have a ska band here playing. I’m hoping we get a big name or two in Durango’s cycling world to come out here, and we’re donating proceeds from that release night to the La Plata County Safe Roads Coalition.
Each night on the way, we’re stopping at a brewery to raise money for hopefully a local bicycle-affiliated nonprofit. I think we go Boulder to Breckenridge to Buena Vista, back over, I want to say, to Crested Butte, then to Ouray and then to Durango. So yeah, hundreds of miles over five days with a fundraiser every night at a brewery and then we release the collaboration “Skavery” beer.
Soggy: I’m excited to here that.
Thibodeau: Yeah, that’ll be cool.
Soggy: I just had an Avery Salvation the other night, a Belgian.
Thibodeau: That’s a good beer. I’m excited to do a collaboration with Adam (Avery).
Soggy: You’re both good breweries.
Thibodeau: That bring one more kind of bike-related event to mind, the single-speed world championships. I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag on that yet, but we’ll hopefully do some stuff with Oskar Blues and New Belgium for that. We’re having the awards here at the brewery on, I want to say, the third Saturday in September. It’ll be interesting to say the least.
Soggy: So what else should the masses know? Is there anything you want to add at all?
Thibodeau: We have a lot of exciting stuff coming up this year. After we get that assorted 12-pack of cans out, I think we’re going to try to release our Euphoria (pale ale) that we brew with Venture Snowboards. We’re going to try to get that out in six-packs and release it outside of Durango. It’s just been kind of a Southwest Colorado release. And then we’re going to have a holiday ale, too. So a lot of stuff going on this year, and I think that’s about it. Pretty exciting, though, we’ll have a lot of regular beer releases here at the brewery.
Soggy: Sounds good.