Friday, June 22, 2007

Pink Boots at Ska

"The sole advantage of power is that you can do more good." ~Baltasar Gracian

June 21: Slept in till 9:00 am. All this driving is taking its toll. My cousin Kevin lent me his old Toyota Four-Runner so that I could leave my van hooked up while I went to Ska for the day.

Spent part of the morning with Jeffrey Wayne Ogden who was brewing up a batch of Pin Stripe Red. Jonathan Reed prepped a plate & frame filter.

Partner Matt Vincent showed me the blueprints for their new 4-story building. Construction should start in July, with move-in slated for one year later. Everybody at Ska seemed excited and relieved (and perhaps terrified) of the big move.

Hung out with Lab Technician Katie Frye. I can happily report that Katie is just on top of it. And she's interested in a pair of steel-toed pink boots, if I can find a manufacturer willing to manufacture a custom order for a whole bunch of us brew women. Katie is in the budget-and-planning stage for Ska's future lab, so if any of you lab specialists want to pass her your helpful hints on what you recommend for her lab in the new building, please email her at

Then I helped myself to a popcorn lunch and talked to Partner Bill Graham about the differences between brewing and distilling. In addition to being a partner at Ska, Bill is also a partner at Peach Street Distillers. He gave me samples of his Apricot Eau de Vie and Peach Eau de Vie. Eau de good! Ska's beers seemed to lean toward the English style, and were equally good.

Meanwhile, the staff was getting ready for the weekly Ska-be-que, an unadvertised treat for Ska's regulars. Each Thursday at 4:30 pm, Ska invites a local restaurant to serve some food, and a local band to play some music. It's free to the regulars and anybody else who shows up. The restaurant and musicians get an opportunity to promote themselves plus some beer in trade. The regulars get a weekly party with some free grub, and Ska gets to sell some beer and build a lot of goodwill.

I enjoyed two soft tacos by Gaspacho Mexican Restaurant. The music de jour was punk and a little loud, but still fun. The crowd was friendly, and included some of the best-looking dogs and babies I've seen. This week's Ska-be-que was also the going-away party for Ska's distributing guy, who is moving to California, so there were a few visiting local brewers in attendance.

My contact for Ska, Partner Dave Thibodeau arrived during the Ska-be-que, so I finally got to meet him. A big thanks to Dave for gifting me two t-shirts and a bottle of Double Blonde.

One of the local brewers who showed up was an old friend of mine, Scott Bickert. What a surprise. Scott used to work at Rio Salado and Tommyknockers, and is now a Partner at Durango Brewing Company. Scott was accompanied by his Assistant Brewer, Ben McKibben. Here's a list of who's who in the above photos:

Top Photo: L to R: top row: Katie and Matt; bottom row: Bill, Teri, Jeffery and Jonathan.

Middle Photo: L to R: Beth Graham with baby Ila, Bill, Teri, Dave and Matt.

Bottom Photo: Ben and Scott from Durango Brewing, and Teri in her new Ska scooter girl t-shirt.

No comments: