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Sustainable Development Strategies

Ska Brewing Company

Prior to expansion, Ska Brewing produced 7,000 barrels a year and reached a point where it couldn’t grow anymore because it was out of capacity at its current plant. The new building, completed in 2008, includes offices, warehouse facilities, an expanded production area, a bigger tasting room, and an outdoor beer garden.

The project site was an existing lot in an industrial park, which required a compact floor plan that is vertically oriented for operations. The warehouse is located on the floor above the production area (brewhouse) and a pallet elevator connects the two – eliminating the need for forklifts in the brewhouse. Reusing and repurposing items and equipment from the old facility was a major focus of this project. In addition, Ska worked to develop process improvements for wastewater quantity and quality and energy use and designed for durability and ease of operations and maintenance. Other sustainable innovations included tubular skylights to add light to the warehouse level, tasting room tables and bar made from recycled bowling alley wood from Durango and Denver, and recycling waste from the construction.

During 2007, Earthly Ideas solicited qualifications for design team members and assisted Ska Brewing with research on sustainable strategies for its new world headquarters. As sustainability consultant to the project, we facilitated a kickoff meeting for the design process and provided sustainable resources and information to the design and construction team.

Ska Brewing's world headquarters

In 2010, Ska brewed more than 15,000 barrels of beer moving them from the “microbrewery” to “regional craft brewery” designation. In early 2011, Ska increased its capacity by nearly seventy percent and exceeded its goal of brewing 20,000 barrels at its facility.