Ska Fabricating Offers Brewery-Proven Solutions to Craft breweries and other small batch manufacturers
Matt Vincent, the third partner in Durango’s largest and most award-winning craft beer brewery, invented and built dozens of devices over the years to help Ska Brewing achieve efficiencies in the brewing, packaging and distribution of their beer. But the strong demand for one of those machines, the can depalletizer—a steel framed machine that automatically lifts layers of empty cans from the pallets they arrive on and feeds them onto a canning line’s conveyor belt—inspired Vincent to start a new company.
Ska Fabricating began in June of 2012 in a 500 square foot space west of Durango, but relocated in November of 2013 to a 5,000 square foot warehouse just across the Animas River behind Durango’s Home Depot store. At that time, machinist Dan Morris joined the company as Vice President and partner, bringing years of CNC machining expertise as well as the equipment—CNC machines and a waterjet table, which expands the company’s ability to create custom equipment tailored to the clients needs. In February of 2016, Ska Fabricating bought the building at our current location, 545 Turner Drive. The company now employs 30+ people, manufacturing and selling depalletizers, conveyors and packaging line equipment to businesses around the world.
“At Ska Brewing, we found ourselves solving a lot of problems that you couldn’t buy solutions for,” said Vincent. “We put in the time to make these things work just right, and what we ended up with were solutions that were created by brewers, for brewers, and proven in a brewery. That’s something other breweries just couldn’t find, and there’s a huge amount of value in it for them.”
Now that there are an estimated 5000+ craft breweries in the U.S. and growing, there is a prime market for Ska Fab depalletizers, and other brewery-proven products. At the time of publishing, we have provided over 400 businesses with depalletizers in 48 states, and 11 countries. Additionally we have entered other markets outside of the craft sector to include coffee, water, pharmaceuticals, spice containers, soda, orange juice, and many others.
The craft beer industry has long been more interested in showing off its collaboration than the inherent competition that is spotlighted in most industries, but some might still wonder: what about giving away Ska Brewing’s secrets?
“Matt’s part of the Ska Brewing team,” said Ska President and Co-Founder Dave Thibodeau. “He’s not going to give away any secret sauce. Some of his inventions are so unique and important to what we do that they’ll stay right here. But a lot of them, including the depalletizer, bring value to other breweries without taking away from Ska. The camaraderie in craft brewing is one of the reasons craft beer drinkers are so passionate about their favorite breweries. Beyond the beer, they’re fans of the way we do things. And that really is the way we do things.”
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