Beer-iversaries and putting the 'fun' in fund drive
To everything there is a season. In Durango, the changing of the guard from summer to fall means several things: roasting green chiles, archery and muzzle loading season, the return of college and NFL football, covering the gardens overnight, and, of course, brewery anniversaries.
She’s finally legal! Ska Brewing hosts its 21st Anniversary Party & Brewers Invitational from 5-9 p.m. Saturday. If you don’t have tickets, you’re outta luck. It sold out nearly immediately once tickets went on sale. Fishbone headlines the shindig this year, joined by the Toasters and the Nuns of Brixton … certainly the best three-band bill Ska has ever booked. For those of you who weren’t born yet when Fishbone ruled the earth, they were one of the first bands to mix ska, punk, funk, hard rock and soul with humor and social commentary. They were huge influences on the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More and countless other bands. The Toasters, veterans of past Ska anniversaries, were one of the originators of the third wave of American ska. And the Nuns of Brixton are a Denver-based cover band that plows the fertile musical fields of the Clash … while wearing habits, of course. If the music isn’t enough to wet your whistle, 30 of Ska’s closest brewery friends will be pouring suds. Stock up on Advil for Sunday morning!
Ska isn’t the only local brewer to celebrate a big anniversary this week. Steamworks turns 20, and has four days of shenanigans scheduled for Wed.-Sat., Sept. 14-17. We’ll dig deep into Steamworks’ big anniversary in next week’s Top Shelf, but for those who want to celebrate on the actual day of the anniversary, mark your calendars for Wednesday. Steamworks officially turns 20 that day and throws back to its original pint price of $2.50 all day long. It all winds up to Sat., Sept. 17 with a street party, beer garden featuring Steamworks’ original lineup, and a performance from the Atomic Punks, a tribute to early Van Halen.
If you got shut out on Ska anniversary tickets, you could head on over to Cortez for the 18th annual Harvest Brewfest on Saturday from 4-9 p.m. at Parque de Vida. Lawn Chair Kings and Last Nickel bring the tunes, and a variety of local and regional brewers will pour. The $30 entry includes a collector’s glass and unlimited beer tasting. All proceeds benefit the Montezuma Land Conservancy. Save land! Drink beer!
Thinking of beer, BREW Pub & Kitchen has four new offerings for your pleasure. Ursula is a dunkel weiss brewed with Honeyville honey; Gudy is a West Coast IPA (and a damned tasty one, if I do say so myself); Cat is an elegant and rich ESB; and Alex is a red ale that lactates smoothness.
Green chile goes with everything, but especially beer. Sutherland Farms down Aztec way will roast their delicious green chiles at every Ska-B-Q this month at the World Headquarters. If you missed out on Gazpacho’s August roasting (like me), or refuse to buy your chiles from big boxes and supermarkets (like me), but still hanker for a bushel or two, Sutherland is a nice option. Plus, they support dozens of worthy local causes.
The Community Concert Hall welcomes the return of the nation’s premier indigenous contemporary dance collective, Dancing Earth, at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Founded in 2004, Dancing Earth is a constellation of inter-tribal dancers, composers, costumers, filmmakers and spoken word artists who insist on the contemporary relevance of ancestral ways of being, knowing and doing. Their new, original work is “seeds: REdGENERATION.”
KSUT’s fall membership drive is in full swing, and once again it’s a “Hit It & Quit” drive. Today (Thurs., Sept. 8) marks the second earlybird drawing, with festival and camping giveaways for Telluride Blues & Brews and Flagstaff’s Pickin’ in the Pines (both festivals take place Sept. 16-18). Then on Monday through next Friday (Sept. 16), the full workweek’s worth of fundraising begins, with day prizes, morning prizes, on-air guests and a big grand prize that includes a week’s vacation to one of seven Mexican beach resorts – winner’s choice! Day prizes include Neil Young weekend passes with camping; outdoor gear; kegs o’ beer; fall harvests from local growers; concert-and-dinner pairings; and much more. The goal? $75,000 during the drive. Once that goal has been met, KSUT will end its on-air pitching and return to regular programming. Pledge by calling 970-563-0255, at www.ksut.org or return your membership mailer.
I haven’t done a Top Shelf list in recent weeks, but with all the brewing events taking place the next few weeks, I thought it was time to reprise my Top 10 beer guys list from a few years back, in alphabetical order to protect those fragile egos:
1. Scott Bickert, owner and brewmaster, Animas Brewing Co. Scottie is a gifted man who brings elegance to his suds menu.
2. Patrick Jose, head brewer, Carver’s. Jose honed his skills at Ska and had to fill some pretty big shoes when he became head brewer here a few years back.
3. Kynan Kelly, unaffiliated drinker. At some point, I’ll surrender my World Championship beer drinking belt to Kynan. Someday.
4. Ken Martin, brewmaster, Steamworks. A few years ago, I called Steamworks’ Spencer Roper “God.” If so, then Ken is the man behind the curtain.
5. Erik Maxson, owner and brewmaster, BREW Pub & Kitchen. Erik is a renaissance man. Not only is every batch unique, he’s an artist whose paintings decorate BREW’s walls.
6. Michael McCardell, owner and distiller, Durango Craft Spirits. “Chuckles” is a recovering Deadhead who harnesses all his supernatural powers for vodka, moonshine and bourbon sourced from local ingredients.
7. Mike Rich, owner, Wagon Wheel Liquors. The Wheel supports public radio, environmental causes and nearly every worthy nonprofit that comes his way.
8. Matt Stephenson, sales, Southwestern Beverage. He’s the guy who puts the PBR in your fridge … And he was a pretty good shooting guard back in the day.
9. Matt Vincent, co-owner, Ska. I went to high school with Dave & Bill and consider them lifelong friends. The best move these two knuckleheads ever made was hooking up with Matt back in ’94.
10. Nate Watkins, head brewer, Durango Brewing Co. DBC underwent a complete facelift recently, with Nate spearheading a revamped beer menu.
Funk it up Fishbone? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Remembering two singing cowboys
- By Chris Aaland
More than a century ago, Ada Habershon and Charles Gabriel wrote what would become one of the most popular Christian hymns of all-time, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
- A secret mission
- By Chris Aaland
Gather the backyard 'quaranteam' for reimagined community concerts
- Bluegrass through the years
- By Chris Aaland
For 23 straight years, I packed my car and coolers for Telluride Bluegrass.
- Lucinda unplugged
- By Chris Aaland
Don’t question the compassion of Lucinda Williams. Ever since her mid-teens, she has spoken truth to power.
- A day at the beach
- By Stephen Eginoire
What does one do when their favorite summer swimming hole is teeming with reptilian and amphibian aquatic life?
- Soaking it up
- Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
A look at some (OK, all) of the Telegraph's coloring page submissions
- Sole man
At the age of 19, Durango’s Mervin “Merv” Stilson started making shoes and never looked back (except for the time he made a Western-style jacket for Neil Young).