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Ska Brewing: Finding a Creative Solution to the Beverage Candemic & Virtual Drinking!





Covid-19 has made its presence felt in some unexpected ways. Now, here’s another: the pandemic has led to a beverage candemic.

Turns out that as people are staying at home, they’re pantry buying more than just toilet paper and sanitizer. Drinkers are stocking up on their favorite libations and can makers can’t meet demand.

Ska Brewing, the Durango-based craft brewer that operates a Boulder location in the old Fate Brewing space on 38th Street, took the challenge as an opportunity to get creative. They found a way to reuse cans that were out of commission due to misprints, timing of can ordering, or cans that were printed for beer that Ska isn’t going to brew right away. They’re taking these cans and running old labels on them.

Ska’s president and co-founder Dave Thibodeau told us “We’re having to get creative with what we can do. It hasn’t been easy, but for the most part the consumer has been pretty understanding.”

At  all of the places you’ve always been able to find Ska, you’ll be likely to find Modus Mandarina labels on Moral Panic cans and Mexican Logger labels on Hop Ivy cans.

The beer in the cans matches the label, not the container. While you’d think that wouldn’t need to be explained, some drinkers have gotten confused. As an example, Thibodeau pointed to the Mexican Logger labels printed on Hop Ivy cans which customers tried to return for having the wrong beer.

“To me I look at those labeled cans and its very obvious that there’s a label on it, but some people might not realize it until they’ve been drinking three or four of them. Then they notice it on the fourth beer, and they pull the label off and think they’re drinking a different beer..”

Generally, Thibodeau said that the fans have been supportive. Some of them are even seeking out the cans. They have fun seeing what new label is plastered on what old label. “It’s kind of fun for them, actually,” he said.

So, if you encounter a new breed of Ska cans your liquor store shelves, now you know what’s going on. Look for it. Have fun with it. Consider it a scavenger hunt pandemic perk with a chill beer reward. 


ALSO! Three new ways to imbibe virtually. Sure, Zoom drinking with friends makes for COVID safe happy hour, but if it’s getting old, you don’t have to stay in a rut. We’ve found three standout ways to imbibe with friends virtually.


Frasca Food and Wine’s At Home With – frascafoodandwine.com


Frasca at your house is now possible.

How does it work? Each week Frasca is offering a dinner kit that comes complete with prepared ingredients and a bottle of hand selected wine. When you fire up your stove, you can link to a step by step recipe and video guide by FHG Culinary Director Eduardo Valle Lobo and tasting notes from owner Bobby Stuckey, wine director Eduardo Valley, or others.

Though options change weekly, the menu that was available at press time was the Fete de la Loire Kit that included Goat Cheese Souffle, Pan Seared Roasted Quail, and Tarte Tatin. The wine selection was Domaine du Collier 2014 Saumur Blanc. $150 plus tax and optional gratuity. Not bad.


Whimsey Paint and Sip Remotely – whimsypaintandsip.com


Paint and sip nights are popular and now the fun can be had at home. You can paint your pet based on an outline they develop for you, or you can paint off of a number of other ideas available. To get your creative juices flowing, pour yourself a cocktail or open a bottle of wine.

Whimsey helps you while you work. You can purchase a link to an online video tutorial or a step-by-step PDF guide. Most kits come with your canvas and all of your paint supplies, so you don’t have to stock up on art supplies in advance. Do it remotely with friends. About $30 each but varies depending on the package.


Let’s Roam Virtual Game Night: Drinking Games Version – eventbrite.com (search it)


Next Roam is a company that provides virtual game nights for groups that are open to using electronic versions of games that you’d typically play in person. While these can be games like charades, trivia games, and drawing games, they can also be drinking games.

This service has the potential to make getting together with friends in interesting ways a lot easier. There’s also a way to set your time to happen regularly— any time you choose. If you want to try it out, start with a 7-day trial. After that, base subscriptions are $19.99 a month.


Deborah Cameron
Deb brings a passion for community journalism and for the local food scene. She started out as an intern and over the years grew into our current Cuisine Editor. She has appeared in multiple publications including the Longmont Leader, The Left Hand Valley Courier, Ms. Mayhem, Finance101, and Ask.com. When not writing she's eating, road tripping, dog-parking, or watching high school softball. She moved to Colorado from Seattle in the early 2000s after spending a year traveling the U.S. in a teal Ford Escort hatchback. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, and a rescue dog named Charlie.

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