This Unique Barrel-Program Strategy Works for Ska

This June, Ska Brewing teamed up with its sister company, Peach Street Distillers, to offer a unique chance for their key accounts to have their own beers, which are specific and exclusive to each of Ska’s individual retailers.

In this effort, Ska’s working with its key accounts in the Boomerang Barrel Program, allowing accounts to choose their own barrels from Peach Street in which to age a beer.

“It’s something that we’ve talked about for a while, working together more with our sister company, Peach Street,” Ska’s Sales and Marketing Director Kristen Muraro said. “We’ve started to collaborate more on different things with both sales and marketing, so this just seemed like a good way for us to join forces.”

Muraro said Ska approached some of its key accounts in passing, putting the idea out there, and let them “come to us.”

Of the eight accounts Ska is working with this year, they start off at Peach Street, sampling different barrels and choosing which one they like. After the bourbon from that barrel is bottled, someone drives the barrel from Peach Street in Palisade, Colorado to Ska in Durango, Colorado.

“We then brew a beer on our small pilot system,” Muraro added. “Normally we do an Imperial Stout for that program, but a couple of accounts have wanted to do something different other than a Stout, so we’ve done a couple of styles.”

Ska has committed to about 8-9 beers for this program per year — about one a month — though they have to be strategic in the brewing process, while giving attention to other projects at the brewery. However, the accounts normally know their customers well, so the conversations are easy in choosing which barrels to use.

“Some accounts were like, ‘do what you want to do,’ and they left it up to us, trusting our brewers to do what they do,” Muraro said. “Others were more involved and had some ideas of what they were looking for.”

Muraro said that though Ska helps, for the most part, the accounts are the ones marketing their specialty beers. Ska helps by setting up displays and banners in the stores to feature the beer.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.