Saturday, May 22, 2010

New beers at Ska Brewing

Ska Brewing Co. went a little nuts on Friday, unleashing several new beers for the end of American Craft Beer Week.

It was an embarrassment of riches: New on tap were a Belgian-style Flanders red ale, a black trippel, an imperial brown and an American amber.

A cask of Ska's Special ESB that was dry-hopped with Fuggles was pouring, and a Local Series release from last year, Merlo Stout, was back on tap.

I started off with a small globe glass of the Flanders red ale. It's an old Belgian farmhouse style that is delightfully sour and complex. Ska Head Brewer Thomas Larsen said it was eight months old and could have used further aging.

I'd have to agree. The Flanders red tasted fine, but the sour note lacked the punch that is often found in the style.

Next, I got a pint of the Fuggles dry-hopped cask ESB. Ska's ESB is probably my favorite of the brewery's year-round mainline offerings, so I had to give it a try.

Fuggles is a traditional English hop variety often used as an aroma hop in ESBs and other British ales. As one would expect, on cask the ESB was quite a bit warmer and less carbonated than the canned version. The Fuggles gave it a nice taste Larsen compared to raspberry. If you like hoppy beers, this is certainly one to try.

Finally, I got a little sampler of the black trippel. I had never before had a black trippel, and my goodness. This was superb. Deep, complex and dark but not heavy.

Larsen said he brewed a typical trippel recipe and then added dark and chocolate malts. The result was striking. I think this black trippel instantly leaps over Ska's own Saison Du'Rango and Durango Brewing Co.'s 20th Anniversary Ale to become the best new locally brewed Belgian-style beer by a wide margin, and those are both good beers. It just so happens that the black trippel is that much better.

Unfortunately, I did not get to try the new imperial brown and American amber.

These beers won't be on tap for long, and they're only available at Ska HQ in Durango. If you can, I highly recommend you get down there as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Ska closes at 5 p.m. today for a private party and is typically closed Sunday. Hopefully, these very special beers last into next week.


  1. Missed that last party, but the rest of American Craft Beer Week at Ska was thoroughly enjoyable! Many thanks to anyone that came out, and particularly those who brought food for the Durango Food Bank!

  2. this was a really quality post. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get something done.