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Pick Six: Dave Thibodeau of Ska Brewing

We Asked Ska Brewing cofounder Dave Thibodeau to pick memorable, flavorful, and standout beers he’s encountered in a lifetime of beer drinking, we found he’s fond of the classics.

Jamie Bogner Feb 17, 2018 - 12 min read

Pick Six: Dave Thibodeau of Ska Brewing Primary Image

Before he cofounded Ska Brewing Co. in 1995, Dave Thibodeau and his partner Bill Graham were avid homebrewers who created big in-your-face recipes that satisfied hop cravings, and bucked the conventional norms of the time. Opening a brewery meant quick access to a lot of flavorful beer, and what they make is still his go-to. But we asked him to go beyond the brewery in Durango for a 6-pack of beers that inspired him over the years. He took us down memory lane where we were happily surprised that he included one beer that’s likely on a lot of Colorado-based brewers lists, but is rarely mentioned aloud. “Most of the beers that are my favorites are beers that have been around for a while, and it’s not because I haven’t had beers that have tasted equally as good recently, I just haven’t formed a relationship with them,” he says.

Tabernash Weisse

Left Hand Brewing Co. (Longmont, Colorado) “This is a beer that got me really into drinking beer and brewing beer. Tabernash Brewing was the company started by Eric Warner after he graduated from Weinstephan. In the late 1990s the brewery merged with Left Hand and eventually the beer was phased out, but their weisse beer, when I first had it, was something that I’d never tasted before. I thought it was pretty heavy on the banana esters, but I had never tasted anything like it before.

“It no longer exists—I think Left Hand brewed it for a while, then it morphed into Haystack Wheat, which also may not exist anymore. I miss this beer, and we’re going to have to figure out a way to resurrect it. It was an elemental beer for me and I’m not alone in this. We do a bike ride every summer with Avery Brewing Co., The Boulderango, and we either ride from Avery to Ska or Ska to Avery. The first year we were doing it, we were trying to figure out a beer that we could brew together and Adam [Avery] and I started talking about Tabernash Weisse. We both just kind of freaked out because it was Adam’s favorite beer at the time also. We tried to brew it together and… it came out nowhere close.”

Rodenbach Grand Cru

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].