When spring returns in 2020, it will bring a new hybrid “brewstillery” featuring Ska Brewing Co. beers and Peach Street Distillers spirits to Boulder. In the meantime, preparations to open the facility will bring changes to the companies’ operations in Durango and Palisade.
Peach Street and Ska are both owned partially by Dave Thibodeau and Bill Graham. Since 2005, when Peach Street formed, the two companies have collaborated on a number of projects, such as the distillery’s Modus Hoperandi Bier Schnapps, a spirit made with Ska Brewing’s flagship IPA, Thibodeau said. They have also shared resources, such as their sales team.
Throughout that time, Thibodeau and Graham were also interested in bringing the brewery and the distillery together in a pub. They saw the perfect opportunity for it when Boulder’s Fate Brewing Co. closed earlier this year. They now hope to open the hybrid brewstillery Ska Street in March of 2020, Thibodeau said.
Ska signed the lease on the property in September and acquired much of the brewery’s existing equipment in bulk in a state auction, he said.
Thibodeau said opening the new facility in Boulder will help Ska engage with its customers on the Front Range.
“We sell a lot of beer there, but we are somewhat detached from the people buying it,” he said. “We don’t like that; we want to be engaged with the people who buy our beer.”
According to a news release, Ska Street will feature on-site brewing of Ska beers in a 10-barrel brewhouse and distillation of Peach Street spirits in a 450-liter still. It will offer 30 Ska beers on tap and a mixology program similar to that of the Palisade distillery. Ska Street’s food menu will borrow from the Caribbean-influenced menu served at Ska’s world headquarters in Durango and the farm-to-table approach of Peach Street.
As Ska and Peach Street work on adhering to the legal requirements involved in opening the new facility, changes will also come to the existing facilities in Durango and Palisade.
Ska in Durango and Peach Street in Palisade currently operate under manufacturers licenses, Thibodeau said, which prohibit them from having overlapping financial interests. To fix that, Ska plans to become a brewpub and Peach Street a distillery-pub. Once they obtain the new licensing, the two companies will be able to sell and distribute each other’s products in their current headquarters.
Thibodeau said Ska wants to convert the second story of its taproom in Bodo Park into a Peach Street tasting room featuring that company’s spirits and the cocktails it currently serves in Palisade. Sharing each other’s headquarters will also make it easier to collaborate on joint projects, he said.
Peach Street currently produces gin, whiskey, vodka, brandy, eau de vie (brandy distilled from fruit other than grapes), d’agave (tequila in all but name), grappa, schnapps and amaro liquer.