Do Durango, Part 1 ““ Drink Beer

Mayor’s note: I’m writing a three-part series on DOing Durango. Part one, focuses on the Durango brewery scene. Part two will focus on food. Part three will focus on touristy, fun activities you shouldn’t miss.

Ska Brewing Tasters HeidiTown

If I had to use just one word to describe Durango, Colorado, it would be “chill.” People are friendly and the pace of life is a few clicks slower than along the Front Range of Colorado.  It’s not surprising that this town of 17,000 has five breweries, because nothing says “chill” like relaxing on a sunlit patio with a cold craft brew in hand.

We visited in late April and for the first several days of this trip I was attending a conference, but for the last couple days we played like locals and that meant drinking some really good beer.

The Ska mobile outside Ska Brewing in Durango, Colorado.
Pretty sure the Mayor of HeidiTown needs a car like this.

I have been behind the scenes at a number of breweries, but have never had on an official tour until we visited Ska Brewing in Durango. Our tour guide was Holly and we were joined by a pair of brewery owners from Fruita.

The smell of hops and mash hit us in the face as we left the taproom and went behind the scenes. The highlight of the tour was getting a can of Modus Hoperandi IPA right off the line. Beer doesn’t get any fresher than that.

Ryan holding our fresh cans of Modus Hoperandi IPA at Ska Brewing in Durango.
One happy guy! The can had no top yet!
a wall of beer at Ska Brewing in Durango.
Best photo ever?
beer ninja at Ska Brewing in Durango, Colorado.
A beer ninja and a fresh can of Modus Hoperandi IPA. Best day ever?

After the tour we attempted to taste just about everything Ska brews, including the three porters they had on tap. The mint was weird and I just couldn’t get my head around it, but the molé was outstanding – so many levels to this intriguing porter.

The aftermath of tasting beer at Ska Brewing in Durango, Colorado.
We really did try to taste them all. An aftermath photo taken after they’d cleared most of the taster glasses.
Leaving my HeidiTown Mark at Ska Brewing
Evidence of the Mayor’s visit to Ska Brewing in Durango, Colorado.

We also visited Steamworks Brewing Company for dinner during this trip. The servers here are super knowledgeable about their food and beer and can recommend some killer beer/food pairings. Also, they have a wild salmon sandwich that I will dream about for years to come.

Carver Brewing Company has great beer and my favorite patio in Durango. Drinking a beer while swinging in a hammock chair on the patio at Carver is one of my go-to happy places.

We didn’t make it to Durango Brewing on this trip, but you can find them online at

There’s also a brand new brewery in Durango that just opened called Brew Pub & Kitchen. It’s getting rave reviews and we can’t wait to try it on our next visit.

Read Part Two, Eat good food.

Read Part Three, Get touristy.

This trip was sponsored in part by


  1. I absolutely loved touring all of the Durango breweries last summer. Ska Brewing was my favorite followed closely by Carver Brewing. Will have to check out the new Brew Pub & Kitchen this summer when I return. It’s a great town to have relatives live in – gives me a chance to brew tour!


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