Beer Man

Ska Brewing's Mexican Logger is making his way back to Denver

After a six-year absence, Durango's Ska Brewing Company plans to begin selling its much loved (and occasionally scolded) Mexican Logger back to Denver.

The summer seasonal is, you guessed it, a Mexican-style lager that that the brewery serves with limes in its tasting room and sells in bottles throughout southern Colorado; it is a lighter beer with a 4.2 percent alcohol by volume.

"We tend to drink a lot of beer down here and we love the crazy ones. But sometimes you just don't want to drink a lot of those," says brewery co-owner Dave Thibodeau. "So we decided that we should just make the beer that we wanted to drink all summer."

But the beer's other claim to fame is its logo, a cartoon of a Mexican man in a sombrero holding a chainsaw and sleeping against a tree.

Thibodeau says the brewery came up with the logo after hearing about how the Mexican government had had done away with the traditional siestas decades earlier. "It wasn't meant to be a stereotypical lazy thing," he says. "We were championing the siesta. We wanted to bring the siesta back."

The beer's other logo shows the same cartoon character wielding two chainsaws - thus the name, Mexican logger. Thibodeau says his name is Carlos Javier and that he's based on a comic book that he and the brewery's other owners wrote when they first started out. Many of the brewery's beer names come from the comic book.

"He's actually a superhero," Thibodeau says of Javier.

Ska used to sell the beer in Denver, but stopped in 2004 when demand overwhelmed the brewery's supply. But now Ska is loading a truck full of Mexican Logger next week for shipment to Denver to see what the reaction will be.

"We know the label is a bit controversial, but we don't want to back away from it," Thibodeau says. "Our distributor was a little afraid of flack we might get. But I talked them into it. We sell so much of it down here. Hopefully, we won't offend anybody."

And that will be important because Ska plans to start canning Mexican Logger (the brewery already cans a number of its other beers, including number-one seller, Modus Hoperendi) in the summer of 2011 and selling it statewide.

The label on the can will be slightly different from the one on the bottle in order to make it fit, Thibodeau says. "We're not sure yet if it will be Carlos Javier taking a siesta or the one with him wielding the chainsaw."