Ska Brewing Co. and its attached eatery, The Container of Food, have been offering take-out options since COVID-19 shut down the ability to drink and eat inside. But when Ska — mainly just a beer, hard seltzer, and maybe cider place until now — announced it was also making to-go margaritas, we had to try one.
Dave Thibodeau and Bill Graham are both founders of Ska Brewing Co., but after the brewery was up and running, Graham headed up to Palisade to start a distillery in the form of Peach Street Distillers, which Thibodeau also co-owns. They eventually wanted to bring the two products together as a hybrid “brewstillery” in Boulder, where you could order both beer and spirits. Ska Street Brewstillery fully opened on March 16 — for all of an hour and 11 minutes before Governor Jared Polis closed all dine-in restaurants and bars. If you happen to be in Boulder, the brewstillery re-opened for take-out service on May 6.
What’s more important to us over in the corner of the state, though, is that when Ska and Peach Street teamed up to open the Front Range brewstillery, the effects of that decision rippled back to western Colorado. Because of the state’s arcane alcohol laws, the original brewery and distillery also had to get licensed to sell each other’s products. As such, you will be able to order Peach Street liquors at Ska’s headquarters in Durango when it fully reopens.
For now, as part of its take-out service, Ska is offering margaritas made with Peach Street’s D’Agave Silver, orange liqueur, fresh lime, and orange juice. In case you’re unfamiliar with d’agave, it’s a spirit fermented out of the blue agave plant. But wait, you ask, isn’t that tequila? The answer is: technically, no. Tequila is a designation of origin product, which means it can’t be tequila if it’s not made in a specific part of Mexico — the same way champagne is only sparkling wine if it’s not from the Champagne region of France. That said, there are some pretty good sparkling wines, and that’s what Peach Street’s D’Agave is … for tequila.
Anyway, we got Ska’s margarita and a grilled pineapple and prosciutto pizza. We recognize in retrospect that getting the margherita pizza would have been more thematic, but hey … we like prosciutto and pineapples.
The margarita comes in a mason jar and you can legally drive home with this alcoholic beverage, as long as the container remains sealed with a label from the Colorado Department of Revenue — reminding you that it’d be a crime to open the lid halfway home. And your food travels from the kitchen to the parking lot via a conveyor belt to maintain social distancing. The only thing it’s missing is a speaker that plays a 10-second excerpt from Raymond Scott’s “Powerhouse” — you know, the music that they always play in factories in cartoons.
We sanitized the exterior of the jar before opening it and then drank down its contents enough to add ice cubes and a lime wedge to the jar itself. (Why dirty another glass?) You could taste the tequi- … d’agave in it, but not to the point where it overpowered the rest of the drink. Whatever orange liqueur they used also blended well with the juices. We approve and look forward to trying other cocktails in the coronavirus-free future.
The pizza, which also had green chile and jalapeños in addition to its namesakes, also hit the spot. We don’t care what anyone says, pineapple is a perfect pizza ingredient, and grilling it makes it better. The Container makes a great crust, and it all pairs with the now-growing selection of alcohol at the facility.