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Beyond Beer: Ska’s Refreshing Road to Hard Seltzer

In Durango, Colorado, Ska Brewing’s path to hard seltzer and CBD-infused soda began by making flavored water for the team and giving it away to patrons. Scaling up to alcoholic seltzer worth drinking, however, proved to be a bigger challenge than expected.

John M. Verive May 20, 2021 - 8 min read

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“Seltzer was a fun endeavor to get into,” says Steve Breezley, Ska Brewing’s chief operations officer. “But we didn’t come in with enough respect for it.”

The brewery in Durango, Colorado, began developing their hard seltzer around 2017 as an offshoot of Skagua—the flavored sparkling water that’s long been a mainstay in Ska’s tasting room. Initially, the brewing team planned to “ferment something tasteless” and use their experience with Skagua’s flavors for a new hard-seltzer version. However, as Breezley puts it, “tasteless is harder than it sounds.” It took a lot of trial and error (and a lot of tasting panels) to achieve a suitably flavorless base.

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