Ear to the ground

“That might be a lot cheaper than therapy.”

-A local woman considering whether to join the current kick-boxing craze

Cans of steam

Another Durango brewery has jumped into the river beer market, joining Ska Brewing’s ESB Special (a product housed in crafty, red package strikingly similar to a can of Coca-Cola). Steamworks Brewing Co. has announced its flagship brew, Steam Engine Lager, is now available in six-pack cans.  

“Why do this?  Because we ‘can,’” said Brian McEachron, Steamworks director of sales and marketing. “Given the region’s focus on outdoor living and activities, the addition of cans to the Steamworks repertoire is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Having the Steam Engine Lager in cans not only allows it to ride the Durango & Silverton railway through the summer tourism season, but also tag along on many a rafting, camping, golfing or boating excursion, and more.”

The Steam Engine Lager logo and label also have been updated for the “can” unveiling. Created from a photo by Durango photographer Scott Smith of one of the D&SNG’s authentic coal-fired steam engines, the logo and label were designed by graphic artist Justin Travis.

“The train is excited to get that little nod of appreciation,” McEachron added. “This is just another way we can strategically align ourselves in the market.”

From a brewery business standpoint, canning, versus glass bottling, has allowed Steamworks to enjoy reduced labor and packaging costs, as well as lower breakage. Quality is also maintained, as canning allows for lower oxygen levels and no light exposure, both of which can impact a beer’s quality.

“And canning is actually more environmentally friendly,” McEachron concluded. “It requires 51 percent less energy to recycle a can versus a bottle.”

Kitty season

Breeding season is upon the Four Corners region, and litters are pouring into the La Plata County Humane Society. The local animal shelter has received dozens and dozens of kittens in recent weeks and is looking for community support. The kittens are currently in need of temporary foster homes within the Durango area.

To show appreciation for your help, the Humane Society Thrift Store will give a free gift certificate to all new foster parents. For more information, visit the shelter, located just north of Wal-Mart or call 259-2847 and ask for Steve, Chris and Sam.