In response to the 416 Fire, Ska Brewing Company spearheads relief efforts by organizing a substantial fundraiser on June 23, “Save the San Juans Saturday” with the hopes to raise $500,000 to benefit Durango’s Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). Additionally, Ska makes self-less donations, equivalent to a keg of beer, to nearly every beer-serving establishment in Durango and Silverton, Colorado. These generous gestures assist in the retention of local employment and to support the craft beer tourism industry during their busiest season of the year.
“The San Juan National Forest is currently closed, our local open space is closed, and the train isn’t running,” says Dave Thibodeau, Ska Brewing Company founder and long-time Durango resident. “We’re a tourism economy and we lean heavily on the busy summer months, so we all suffer from the fires and subsequent closings. We don’t have cash to give in support, but we do have beer— and lots of it.”
Ska Brewing also shares the same sizable amount of beer with almost every on-premise account in Durango and Silverton, and two cases of beer for each off-premise account.
“We want drinking Ska beer to be one more way you can support this cause, so we made it available absolutely everywhere in town,” says Thibodeau. “Beer itself won’t put this fire out, but damnit I’d hook up the world’s longest hose to one of our tanks if it did.”
On Save the San Juans Saturday Ska pledges to give $1 from every pint sold to CERF and thus far more than 25 other breweries, bars and restaurants have also signed on to participate in this worthy cause. Odell Brewing Co. plans to donate $1 from every pint of Colorado Lager sold at their Fort Collins and RiNo Denver locations; and from June 18 through Saturday, June 23, Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont and Boulder, Colorado, also commit $1 from every Oskar Blues pint sold. All to-go sales of Oskar Blues CANundrum mixed 12-packs, available for purchase at their Boulder and Longmont taprooms, is also being donated.
“Oskar Blues and SKA are cut from the same unconventional ColoRADo cloth and have built our breweries in places we love to play in the outdoors,” says Chad Melis, marketing director for Oskar Blues Brewery. “Hell, you can’t spell oSKAr without SKA. We’re proud to help lead the charge in helping their community respond to the 416 fire with a week of fundraising at our taprooms.”
All seven Parry’s Pizzeria & Bar locations, in partnership with Ska and Dogfish Head, plan to give 100-percent of the profits from Ska’s Mexican Logger and Dogfish Head’s Flesh & Blood IPA to relief efforts on Saturday, June 23, from 11:00 a.m. until close. Durango Brewing, is donating $1 from every pint from June 15 until June 22, to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation; and from now through the end of June, New Belgium Brewing matches tips and donations in their Fort Collins, Colorado, tasting room.
Durango and Silverton visitors and residents can help fight the 416 Fire by purchasing Ska beers and contributing to the local economy throughout the summer months.
The complete list of the following breweries, restaurants and bars on board to sponsor fundraising efforts on June 23, for Save the San Juans Saturday:
Parry’s Pizzeria & Bar (All locations)
“There are a lot of great efforts underway to support this effort,” says Thibodeau. “We felt we could have the most impact by supporting the businesses that have supported us.”
All fundraiser details are listed here.
For additional information about Ska Brewing or their fire relief efforts, contact Emily Hutto at
Any breweries, bars or restaurants that are interested in participating or hosting fundraising events can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.