From Crooked Stave’s inception in late 2010, owner-brewmaster Chad Yakobson and his team have clung tight to their mission statement, “quality, never compromising”. Their unique brews are a testament to the care and commitment they pour into their operation – from the creation of their complex ales to the way they want them to be packaged and distributed. When the Stave team decided to get into cans, they knew that automation was going to be important – but not just automation for automation’s sake.
“For us, it’s always been about quality – one of the most important things within our vision and mission within our brewery is “quality, never compromising” and that was a big thing for us before we went into cans, but also looking into the process of how we went into cans – that’s not just the canning line itself, it’s the entire process all the way through.”
When Chad asked around about the best options for his packaging needs, he kept hearing Ska Fab’s name. Trust was key in making such a big decision for his burgeoning company, and as an entrepreneur himself, he saw the same attention to detail that he uses in the creation of his products in Ska Fab’s approach to their own.
“Ska has great recognition amongst craft brewers, and that’s something we knew we could put our trust in as we got up and going with [our canning line] – to get the line that we really needed.”
Word of mouth may have brought Crooked Stave and Ska Fab together, but what really fostered a great working relationship was the execution of the project after the “hello”’s were over. Ska Fab cared about giving Chad and his team what they needed, working with them on any ideas and changes that popped up. The Stave crew was confident that if they wanted to tweak anything in order to make it up to their “Stave Standard”, Ska Fab was going to make it work
“It’s easy to work with someone that you like and respect, but also who is going to put quality in the same way. We’re going to work with the most quality manufacturer that we can that is going to work with us and build that relationship with us. Ska put that first and foremost right away.”
Ultimately, there wasn’t much that Crooked Stave needed to do themselves to get the project where it needed to be. Once they relayed their needs to the Ska Fab team, they were able to pick and choose the pieces they required for their dream line, then sit back and let the experts do the work. It gave the Stave crew peace of mind to be able to trust that Ska Fab’s knowledge and expertise would provide them with the highest quality product possible.
“We needed seamless integration from the beginning to the end, and that is something Ska was able to offer us.”
Now that they’ve had their line up and running for a couple of years, it blends right into their carefully curated space. Wandering through, you can see their mission statement built into every corner – “quality, never compromising”. Attention to detail and focus are paramount, and with that comes quality. Crooked Stave has been able to grow its operation considerably since they implemented their packaging line – opening a second taproom in Fort Collins and the re-opening of their original Friends & Family taproom in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood.. And they aren’t stopping there! While their current setup suits them well right now, the versatility of Ska Fab’s equipment has made it possible not only to operate today but to dream about new ventures in the future. They aren’t cornered into any one piece of equipment, and that leaves a lot of doors open for the young brewery.
“With the canning line we’ve got up and all the equipment from Ska Fabricating that we have been able to build out on it, we know that we can continue to use that past this line. If we want to bring in new canning lines to work faster, to continue that automation level, all of that is there with our Ska Fab equipment. If we want to be able to change our pack-out system, change anything in-line, it is all built so that we are able to do that. We can add in, add to it, continue to grow. That was really important to me, being able to do that.”
With the right tools, team, and drive at their fingertips, the sky is the limit for Crooked Stave, whose distribution is now flourishing in state and in out of state markets across the Nation. Ska Fabricating has been honored to be a small part of their success story, and it sounds like Chad feels the same way.
“I would absolutely recommend Ska Fabricating to our fellow craft brewing people, that’s a really easy one to say too because everyone around us also recommends Ska. I’m fortunate to have employees who have worked with Ska equipment at three or four other breweries give or take each person’s experience – so it’s another example of how their reputation supersedes itself. I would recommend them, just like everyone recommended them to us.”
Check out more about Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project on their website here.