THE WAKKER WEEKLY - Issue #1296 - Posted on: 30-Nov-2015

Bushwakker News

Our premium wine features for December are Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot from Washington. $9.95 for a glass and $27.95 for a half litre as well as the House Wine Co. Riesling Pinot Grigio VQA from Niagara, Ontario. $7.95 for a glass and $21.95 for a half litre.

Our guest draught tap is currently pouring the Dieu du Ciel L'Herbe a Detourne. Scores 99 points on Ratebeer.com. A Citra hopped Abbey Tripel from Quebec.  Next up will be Black Bridge Milk Stout from Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

Bushwakker Events

Nov. 30: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. Jordan Welbourne Trio. Saskatoon blues rock trio on a western Canadian tour make a one night stop in Regina. www.jordanwelbourne.com 8:00 PM.

Dec. 2: Wednesday Night Folk – Special Edition. A Classical Christmas with the RSO Chamber Players. After a four year hiatus, we are pleased to announce the return of a fun-filled holiday tradition at The Bushwakker. Enjoy 60 minutes of great classical music as well as many of your holiday favourites. Sing along to some of your most-loved carols. Lots of crowd participation at this show. Music and beer trivia, singing contest, you may even be chosen to swing a trumpet at a keg! Great RSO and Bushwakker prizes to be won! Come down early for dinner and get a good seat. This special show starts at 8:00 PM.

Dec. 2: Monthly ALES Club Meeting. If you are thinking about getting into the art of homebrewing or are an experienced homebrewer looking to elevate your skills, the ALES Club is for you. Monthly meetings are held in the Bushwakker basement clubroom on the first Wednesday of each month at 8:00 PM. The room is normally packed with passionate brewers so be sure to come early to get a seat. This month’s topic of discussion will be Single Hop Beers. New members always welcome.

Dec. 4: First Firkin Friday. Enjoy the pomp and circumstance as a small keg of specially created beer is paraded throughout the pub lead by a piper from The Regina Police Services Pipes & Drums. A volunteer is selected to wield The Mighty Firkin Wakker and attempt to tap the keg without soaking themselves and all those in the immediate vicinity. The firkin procession begins at 5:30 and the pub is normally almost at capacity by 4:00. Plan to come early to avoid getting a wet seat!

Dec. 5: 2015 Bushwakker Blackberry Mead Release – aka Mead Day. #MeadDay2015 A true Saskatchewan phenomenon! We have been brewing our Blackberry Mead all year long preparing for our annual kick-off to the holiday season. 400 pounds of Lumsden Valley honey and 84 pounds of blackberries are in every batch. Last year our entire Blackberry Mead offsale inventory of over 6000 bottles sold out in less than two hours. The devoted mead enthusiasts braved a Saskatchewan winter night and began forming a line 14 hours before it went on sale – yes, 9:00 PM on the Friday night! The line-up stretched almost all the way to 8th Avenue by 10:00 AM. Experienced mead lovers came prepared with ice fishing huts and propane heaters. Porta potties will once again be in place and Bushwakker head brewer, Mitch Dalrymple, will be serving hot chocolate to all those waiting in line. The Blackberry Mead Line Enforcement Crew will also be present to ensure there is no butting-in-line and will be passing out mead-purchase eligibility vouchers. Mead trivia questions will be posed to those waiting in line and free touques will be given to the winners. View the days remaining to Bushwakker Mead Day on our countdown clock over our brewhouse door. Local artist and designer, Gavin de Lint, has created a limited edition commemorative 2015 Bushwakker “Believe in Mead” purple pom-pom touque which will be unveiled that day. Blackberry Mead cheesecake will also be available. Take home bottle purchases will be limited to 12 bottles per person. $75 for a six-pack or $150 for 12 bottles. Catch the buzz! Visit our website homepage or view:
https://www.facebook.com/TheBushwakker/videos/861106367256390/ to see video footage of last year’s Blackberry Mead Release.

Bushwakker Blackberry Mead Queen/King Bee Limerick Contest. Want to experience the ultimate Bushwakker Blackberry Mead royal treatment? Sit on a royal throne, wear a royal robe, enjoy an abundance of food and some very, very special drink whilst elevated over the entire pub? All this can be yours on December 5th by simply being creative and witty. Write a limerick telling us Why You Love Blackberry Mead. The winner will be the person who submits the limerick that resonates with us the best. Email your limericks to us at bar@bushwakker.com. Feel free to submit as many as you’d like. Contest starts right now and closes Friday, December 4th at noon. Good luck and have fun!



Dec. 7: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. 'round Midnight. Veteran act plays popular jazz and adult contemporary tunes featuring lead vocalist, Carl Williams. 8:00 PM.
 
Dec. 9: Wednesday Night Folk. Kory Istace Vs. The Time Pirates. Renegade folk rock, bluegrass and country with character. 9:00 PM. 

Dec. 12: Annual "Missiletow" Christmas Ale Release at 11:00 AM Sharp! Avid fans of our "other" Christmas specialty brew look forward to this day every year. Only one tank of our winter warmer is produced annually. Rich malt flavours with plenty of depth and complexity abound. The perfect ale to sip on whilst curled up with a good book in front of a fireplace on a cold Saskatchewan winter night. We hope this special seasonal ale will last on tap until Christmas but the limited number of bottles will most likely sell out very quickly. 

Dec. 14: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. The Ministry of Groove. Popular act plays great 1970's jazz funk and their original tune, Blackberry Mead. 8:00 PM. 

Dec. 16: Wednesday Night Folk Night - Special Edition. The Regina Male Voice Choir. The annual one hour Christmas concert from Canada's longest continually operating male voice choir returns! Don't miss the procession of the massive boar's head during the Boar's Head Carol. Singing contests and prizes! This special concert starts at 8:00 PM.

Dec. 21: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. A Bluesy Little Christmas with The Shane Reoch Band. Regina's friendliest bluesman delivers great blues and seasonal favourites. 8:00 PM.

Dec. 23: Wednesday Night Folk. Becky & The Jets. Classic folk hits and from this popular Regina act. 9:00 PM. 

Dec. 28: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. Call Me Mildy. Original alternative blues from this dynamic four piece act. 8:00 PM. 

Dec. 30: Wednesday Night Folk. Billarney. Great Celtic music from this very large acoustic band. 9:00 PM.

Dec. 31: Nothing For New Year's 10. It's been a decade since we decided we wouldn't do anything special for New Year's Eve at The Bushwakker. It has definitely proven to be our most popular non-event ever! To celebrate 10 years of nothing, we're doing absolutely nothing! We'll most likely do even less than normal! There will still be no noise makers, no band, no escalated drink prices, no cover charge, no midnight champagne, no dancing, no line-ups, no hassle, no problem. We will however be accepting reservations because it seems like there are quite a few of you who get pretty excited about a whole lotta' nothin'!

Jan. 23: The Bushwakker 25th Anniversary Party. Get ready for the biggest birthday bash we have ever presented! Here's a glimpse into what we are planning. The release of our commemorative Revenge of The Tartan Tzar Macallan 12 Year old single malt scotch infused Russian Imperial Stout which has been aging for over a year, the tapping of a firkin of Highland Park infused MacGregor's Wee Heavy, the unveiling of a 25th anniversary t-shirt designed and presented by renowned Saskatchewan artist, Joe Fafard, the presentation of a special Bushwakker poem composed by Saskatchewan author and playwright, Ken Mitchell, speeches and presentations, free haggis, neeps and birthday cake and rollicking Celtic reels from The Tilted Kilts. The dance floor will be open! Yes, we need to celebrate Robert Burns' birthday too. Highland dancing and a massive pipe and drum band will perform. Come join us and allow us to thank you for a quarter century of incredible enthusiasm and support!


Changes To Provincial Liquor Regulations

By Bev Robertson - 11/19/15

We suspect that our readers are well aware of the recent changes to provincial liquor regulations. SLGA will sell 40 of its least profitable stores to the private sector. This is the topic seized upon by our local media. However, other changes may be more consequential in terms of bringing Saskatchewan beverage alcohol distribution and sales into the modern world. The most important may be uniform pricing. However, the change that will most affect the Bushwakker is that we will now be able to source our special orders from private stores in the province, which have a selection of products much more aligned with our needs than do SLGA stores. Up until now we have been forced to source roughly half of those products from private distributor warehouses outside the province. 

Which raises the question, will the private stores still be required to order their inventory from those same out-of-province sources, through the SLGA, or will private distributors be allowed to set up warehouses in Saskatchewan, as they are in every other province, thereby keeping more of the profit and government revenue in Saskatchewan? So far, it appears that the answer is “No”. Presumably licensees like the Bushwakker would also be able to order our guest beers and single malt scotches for scotch tastings from those in-province warehouses, if they were to exist.

We note that the Saskatchewan government has committed to ensuring that these changes are revenue neutral with respect to the provincial treasury. We also note that based on experience elsewhere, particularly Alberta, these changes will lead to an increase in the number of jobs associated with beverage alcohol sales in the province, but the new jobs won’t be union jobs. 

These changes are the result of a process started last year in which the province consulted voters on their preferences and are the result of a lobbying effort by a group representing restaurants, hotels, tourism, and taxpayers. However, another information gathering process was also initiated by the Government of Saskatchewan with regard the future of the craft alcohol producers in the province, including brewpubs and microbreweries and microdistillers. The results of that process may be held back until after the spring election. WE hope that it will address several other regulations that keep the province in the past and deprive it of income. 

One thing we hope to see change as a result of this second process is discussed above; our ability to source more of our beer and single malt scotch products from within the province from private distributor’s warehouses. The other issue relates to another topic that finds its way into our newspapers in the past week, the new protectionist taxing policy, recently announced by the Government of Alberta, that discriminates against craft beer produced outside the New West Partnership, consisting of the three westernmost provinces. 

We have and will always oppose protectionism. It invariably hurts everyone’s pocketbook, including those who were supposedly protected. American politicians, bowing to populist pressure, enacted protectionist policies in 1929, thereby transforming a recession into The Great Depression. However, we must note that whenever the federal government tries to lower barriers to trade between  the  Canadian  provinces,  it’s those same provinces, from which craft breweries now complain about being left out of the favourable pricing structure within the New West Partnership, that throw roadblocks into negotiations to lower trade barriers between provinces and make Canada a ”common market”. 

Saskatchewan also has protectionist policies which mitigate against all craft brewers from outside the province, but Saskatchewan’s method of creating protection is more nuanced. All states and provinces acknowledge the lack of economies of scale that makes craft beer, in brewpubs or microbreweries, more expensive to produce, so they tax small breweries less so that they can compete. All over North America, the first threshold at which a microbrewery is assumed to no longer be so small that it needs a big tax break at anywhere from 15,000 hl to around 100,000 hl. (We haven’t done a survey recently, and in Canada these taxes masquerade as so-called “mark-ups”.) 

Except in Saskatchewan! Saskatchewan’s threshold for microbreweries’ first markup is at 5000 hl. and the tax applies to all production, not just that over 5000 hl.

This has two important consequences. The back-of-the-envelope estimation of when a microbrewery gets big enough to start paying back its investors is in the 3000 – 5000 hl range. That’s one reason that the number of microbreweries/capita is low in this province, but all of those that exist so far have not reached the 5000 hl level. Any out-of-province microbrewery that is big enough to decide to enter the Saskatchewan market will be well over the 5000 hl. limit so it will automatically face tax discrimination.

Clever, Eh? 

But it also means that the selection of craft beers available to you is limited and expensive.



Time Out

A resident in a seaside hotel breakfast room called over the head waiter one morning.

"I want two boiled eggs, one of them so undercooked it's runny, and the other so over cooked, it's tough and hard to eat. Also, grilled bacon that has been left on the plate to get cold; burnt toast that crumbles away as soon as you touch it with a knife; butter straight from the deep freeze, so that it's impossible to spread; and a pot of very weak coffee, lukewarm." 

"That's a complicated order, sir," said the bewildered waiter. "It might be quite difficult."

The guest replied, "Oh, but that's what you gave me yesterday!"


Our New Autumn Weekend Special is a Prime Rib & Giant Yorkie Dinner (available in two sizes)

Soup & Sandwich Special is $11.95.  All hot specials are $15.95, except where noted, and include a serving of soup du jour, chopped, or Caesar salad.

Soup

Sandwich

Hot Special

Beer Pairing

Fri., Nov. 27

Chicken, Leek & Potato

Black Forest Ham & Smoked Cheddar

Pan-Seared Arctic Char w/ Lemon Mash & Asparagus

Northern Lights Lager

Sat., Nov. 28

Bushwakker

Cheese Denver

Steak & a Pint. $17.95

Mon., Nov. 30

Potato Bacon

Shrimp & Mango Quesadilla

Salmon Boxty

Chico IPA

Tues., Dec. 1

Bean & Rice w/ Roasted Corn

Taco Pizza. $13.95

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

Regina Pale Ale

Wed., Dec. 2

Cream of Mushroom & Sherry

Prime Rib Sliders

Pork Curry w/ Spiced Basmati

Granny’s Bitter

Thur., Dec. 3

Lemon Chicken Orzo

Lamb Pita Wrap

Beef & Ale Pie w/ Spinach Salad

Sodbuster Brown Ale

Fri., Dec. 4

Smokey Tomato w/ Garlic Croutons

Pastrami & Swiss

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast w/ Cranberry Mead Sauce

Ponce de Leon

Sat., Dec. 5

Bushwakker

Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $17.95