Ska Brewing Company rolls into town
Jen Van Tieghem | Uptown News
Last month, Colorado’s Ska Brewing Company announced their intentions to begin distributing their tasty brews in Southern California, a move planned for some time. The Durango-based company celebrated the distribution expansion by holding several events in North Park and Normal Heights near the end of June.
Ska’s recent addition of a high-speed canning line made the expansion to SoCal possible. The brewery has distributed Stone Brewing Co.’s beers in Southwestern Colorado for over a decade and now the locally loved Stone will return the favor.
“This is the first territory we’ve moved into in 5 years,” said Arlo Grammatica of Ska Brewing. “We’re now in 10 states total.”
Gramattica whose official title is “Barroom Hero” recently served as an ambassador for Ska to the Finest City. He and his brewery cohorts hit up Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park, Churchill’s Pub in San Marcos and Blind Lady Alehouse (BLAH) in Normal Heights to introduce beer drinkers to their arsenal.
At BLAH, their True Blonde was a big hit. Light and fizzy, it held a delicate sweetness and blended well with the steady stream of pizzas coming out of the kitchen. Another Ska representative, Chad Conway, boasted about the award-winning brew.
“It won a gold medal!” he exclaimed of True Blonde’s top prize at the Great American Beer Festival in 2013- a premier tasting event that’s been held for over 30 years and includes a renowned private competition.
Ska’s Blonde was part of the English-style summer ale category, which had 27 entries. A flagship beer, it was part of the brewery’s original lineup and clearly holds a lot of pride for them.
On the darker side of things, their Buster Nut Brown Ale was surprisingly smooth and well-balanced. The nuttiness was aptly described as “hazelnut” and was not overpowering by any means. Conway recommended this beer to go with any kind of BBQ fare — catering to the summer season in San Diego.
Most of Ska’s repertoire will soon be available throughout San Diego (along with everywhere else south of Santa Barbara.) They’ve already been approved for Beverages and More and Total Wine and More to carry their lineup. And quite a lineup it is. With over a dozen beers regularly produced, they also do a handful of seasonal offerings.
One specialty we aren’t likely to see out here though is their seasonal stout. Released with the changing of each season, the Ska stouts are made with lactose sugar, making them a unique variety called milk stout. They’re creamy and rich and go down smooth — we think their next release may require a road trip to Colorado come fall.