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, 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 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.


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