Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beer at 6512 on hold

As you may have noticed, posting here has slowed considerably this summer. It's time for me to recognize that I'm no longer posting regularly, and to acknowledge that this blog on indefinite hiatus.

There are several reasons, but primarily I just don't have the time to keep the blog as updated as it should be. For two years, I've written this blog as a personal project outside of my full-time job. There's a lot going on in craft beer locally, and I'm not keeping up with it. I feel if I'm not going to do it right, I'd rather not blog at all.

In all honesty, the last thing I want to do when I come home from work is spend more time in front of a keyboard and a glowing screen.

Perhaps I'll get back to it at some point. Perhaps not. Perhaps I'll find other outlets for writing about craft beer, or participating in the industry more directly.

I'm enormously appreciative of my readers, and the craft brewers I've come to know. I feel like I've been through graduate school in beer appreciation and the business of craft brewing.

Breweries are some of the most exciting businesses in America today, and, as others have noted, what's happening in craft beer is as interesting as anything in the worlds of food and drink.

Keep drinking good beer and supporting good brewers. I'll do the same.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ska's 16th birthday bash highlights Durango Beer Week

Ska Brewing Co. will host a big bash Sept. 24 to celebrate its 16th anniversary. Twenty of the region's best breweries will be pouring, and the New York City ska band The Toasters will headline the entertainment.

The party will mark the Durango debut of Shebeen Black IPA, brewed in honor of The Toasters. Shebeen has otherwise been available at a handful of Toasters concerts. The Clash cover band the Nuns of Brixton and the Blue Hornets will open the concert.

The breweries scheduled to join Ska's birthday bash include Avery, Breckenridge, Bristol, Carver's, Durango, Left Hand, Lumberyard, Marble, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Ouray, Pagosa Brewing, Santa Fe, Santan, Steamworks, Stone, Three Rivers and Tommyknocker.

I'd highly recommend you stop by Marble's tent. This Albuquerque-based brewery distributes only in New Mexico, so this is a rare chance to get their beer in Durango, and they're doing some fantastic brewing. Last year, Marble brought a version of From the Wood, a sublime barrel-aged ale that earned national attention from Draft magazine.

Ska expects the 16th anniversary party to sell out. Last year's 15th anniversary party was probably the best event I've experienced in my six years in Durango. The Supersuckers hosted a rock show of the quality you just don't see in Durango, and a lot of the beers were fantastic.The event runs 4-9 p.m. Sept. 24 at Ska, 225 Girard St. Tickets are $25 and available online or at brownpapertickets.com, or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

Ska's birthday party is just the biggest event during Durango Beer Week. The week kicks off with Steamworks’ 15th Anniversary Beer Dinner, to be held 7 p.m. Sept. 16 on the brewpub’s back deck.

Chef Sean Clark will offer a five-course meal matched to the Steamworks beers from brewer Ken Martin. The events costs $40 per person, and reservations are available by calling (970) 259-9200.

“Chef Sean has taken a leading role nationally in pairing fine foods and craft beers,” said Kris Oyler, Steamworks co-founder. “The menu, which includes Cuban pork, Yorkshire pudding and braised plantain, and smoked elk tenderloin with Palisade cherry gastrique, is fantastic. Of course, so are the Steamworks’ award-winning beers paired with each course.”

Durango’s official annual Oktoberfest is set for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. on Main Avenue between 9th and 10th streets. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Women’s Resource Center.

“The event will include all the traditional Oktoberfest activities such as a stein-hoisting competition and a bratwurst-eating contest,” said Erik Maxson, Carver Brewing Co. head brewer. “Plus, the Bootleggers will collaboratively brew an authentic Oktoberfest beer to be tapped at the event.”

Food vendors, children’s activities and live music throughout the day from the Alpiners, Midnight Backhand and Moreland & Arbuckle are also planned. Durango Herald Arts & Entertainment Editor (and beer aficionado) Ted Holteen will serve as master of ceremonies.

Durango Beer Week continues with a variety of activities, including a beer brunch at Carver’s, a bike tour of the breweries, and a Brewathalon at Durango Brewing.

For more information on Durango Beer Week, visit www.realbeer.com. Here's the schedule:

* Friday, Sept. 16 Steamworks’ 15th Anniversary Beer Dinner, 7 p.m.
* Saturday, Sept. 17 Oktoberfest, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Main Ave.
* Sunday, Sept. 18 El Rancho Foosball Tournament, cash prizes, noon
* Monday, Sept. 19 Beer Brunch at Carver Brewing Co., 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
* Tuesday, Sept. 20 Lady Falconburgh’s Beer Bingo, 9 p.m.
* Wednesday, Sept. 21 Durango Brewing Company Brewathalon, 5 p.m. Test your skills at Shuffleboard and Ring Toss.
* Thursday, Sept. 22 DATO/Ska-b-que, at Ska Brewing, 5 p.m.
* Bootlegger Pint Night at Steamworks - $1 pints for anyone with a pint glass from any of the four Bootlegger breweries. Proceeds benefit the Colorado Brewers Guild.
*Friday, Sept. 23 Bike Tour of breweries, 5:30 p.m. start at Durango Brewing, finish at The Balcony.
* Book signing at Steamworks, 6-8 p.m.: "Mountain Brew: A guide to Colorado’s Breweries" by Ed Sealover.
* Saturday, Sept 24 Ska Brewing Co.’s 16th Anniversary featuring The Toasters and 20 regional breweries, 4-9 p.m.