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Ska Brewing to introduce new brew celebrating Durango’s trails and stewards

Membership event and product launch planned for Thursday
Chelsea Kemp, social media guru at Ska Brewing Co., and Kristen Muraro, Ska marketing director, show off the brewery’s latest beer, The Trail Crew, dedicated to trailworkers who build and maintain trails around Durango. Durango Trails is holding a membership event at the brewery on Thursday where the beer will be premiered. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

Durango Trails is celebrating its 34th anniversary, and Ska Brewing Co. is joining in the fun with a premiere beer honoring trailworkers.

The new hoppy beer is called The Trail Crew, and Ska is hosting a spring membership event for Durango Trails on Thursday.

Durango Trails Director Mary Monroe said whether one enjoys the outdoors by hiking, mountain biking, trail running, dog walking or just taking a trail to a favored fishing spot, “trails are the way.”

“Trails are the way we access our experience in the outdoors,” she said.

The membership event is Durango Trails’ annual Earth Day acknowledgment where current members can renew their memberships and prospective members can join Durango Trails. It is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Ska.

“The Trail Crew brew is sort of our homage to the volunteers that put in the labor of planning, maintaining, building all of the trails,” Chelsea Kemp, social media guru at Ska, said on Tuesday. “So our idea is that this would be a beer that people would be enjoying after all of their volunteer trail work.”

It’s a shoutout to trailworkers and a reminder Durango has a great system of trails connecting people to the outdoors, she said.

She said Durango Trails practices the philosophy that “great trails build great communities and great communities build great trails,” and The Trail Crew beer was crafted in honor of that idea.

Monroe said Durango Trails’ mission to build and manage “world-class trails, educate and create community connections” aligns with Ska’s values too.

Beer cans at Ska Brewing Co. in Durango are carried down the production line where they are about to be topped off with can rings and stacked for packaging on Tuesday. Ska is premiering a new hoppy beer called The Trail Crew on Thursday. The launch will be at Ska during Durango Trails’ spring membership event, and the beer was created and named to honor the stewards of Durango area trails. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

Durango Trails recruits between 400 and 600 volunteers every season who put in about 4,000 hours of work on area trails, she said. The Trail Crew brew is a way of recognizing that community support.

“We’re so lucky to be in a place like Durango that very much aligns with getting outdoors and the trails and how that improves our physical, mental and social well-being,” she said.

The event is also a way for Ska to showcase sustainability measures it is undertaking, Kemp said.

Ska adopted plastic-free, fiber-based can rings about a year ago, and with Earth Day around the corner, now’s an opportune time to brag about it, she said.

“We’re keeping 4 tons of plastic out of landfills just from these alone,” she said.

Ska is launching its summer sustainability campaign on Monday, Earth Day, and all of its merchandise contain QR codes that link back to its website with more information.

People can sign up for Ska’s newsletter for a chance to win cool prizes, but the point is to showcase ways the brewery has taken sustainability into its own hands, Kristen Muraro, Ska marketing director, said.

She said the roof on top of Ska is lined with solar panels, spent grain used for brewing is given to Table to Farm Compost for composting, and even the tables at the brewery were recycled from materials leftover from an old bowling alley in town.

The brewery is producing 20 barrels of The Trail Crew, with remaining beer to be kept on draft. The brew’s alcohol by volume is 5%, which is quite middle of the road in terms of alcohol content – not too high, not too low – and quite “crushable,” Muraro said.


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