THE WAKKER WEEKLY - Issue #1391 - Posted on: 25-Sep-2017

BUSHWAKKER NEWS

This weekend’s SMOKED BBQ feature is SMOKED STEAK W/ STUFFED POTATO & CHEF’S VEG. $19.95 (Weather permitting.)

NEWS FROM THE BUSHWAKKER BREWERY. Bushwakker head brewer, MICHAEL GAETZ, reports our very popular PONCE DE LEON blackberry/black raspberry fruit ale is selling nicely as is his brand new NORTHERN STRONG LAGER (a bigger version of our Northern Lights Lager.) Our small but very vocal group of English Best Bitter customers have expressed great joy now that our GRANNY’S BITTER has returned. Enjoy that one tank while you can! Our Oktoberfest beer, HARVEST LAGER, will be released the last week of September for our Oktoberfest Week celebration. BUSHVAR CZECH PILS and another double batch of CHICO IPA are also working their way through the brewery.

Our guest tap is currently pouring a Black Witbier from Saskatoon’s 9 Mile Legacy Brewery; $7.95 for a pint and $5.95 for a half pint. We will tap a keg of Hofbrau Original Munich Helles from Munich on Monday, September 25th to kick off Bushwakker Oktoberfest Week. Available in a half or a full litre true Oktoberfest size!

Our premium wines for September are from the Mission Hill Winery in BC. The red is a Five Vineyards Pinot Noir VQA; $8.95 for a glass and $23.95 for a half litre. The white is a Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc VQA; $7.95 for a glass and $21.95 for a half litre.

THANKSGIVING FANCY GROWLER PACKAGE. Your Thanksgiving fancy feast deserves a fancy growler of Bushwakker beer to go with it! Right now you can purchase one of our Hop Handle growlers with two newly designed JoeFafard/Bushwakker etched glasses and a complimentary growler fill at the time of purchase for only $70! Take your traditional Thanksgiving Dinner spread to the next level this year!

The Bushwakker has been invited to participate in a celebration of the best in Canadian beer. Gold Medal Pints is an invitation-only showcase and cross-Canada beer competition. A national panel of beer experts headed by global beer authority and World Atlas of Beer co-author, Stephen Beaumont, has chosen our PALLISER PORTER as among the top five beers in our region.

A recent article appearing on Expedia has named Regina, Saskatchewan as being one of the Best Beer Towns in Canada. The Bushwakker was given recognition. Seems like the whole country is aware of our BLACKBERRY MEAD RELEASE DAY which is coming up on Saturday, December 2, 2018. You can read the entire article here at:  https://www.expedia.ca/travelblog/best-beer-towns-canada/

Our Bushwakker Writers Corner was launched in November 2016. It is a space dedicated to celebrating the recent works of Saskatchewan published authors. What will begin as one shelf will hopefully grow into a large library showcasing our province's wordsmiths. Pub patrons are encouraged to peruse a copy whilst enjoying a pint. The books in the corner library will be available for patrons interested in reading works by local authors and the books are to remain in the brewpub. 
One of our featured authors is Annette Bower. Annette Bower grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan. She began her working career selling men’s underwear at the Army and Navy store, then went on to pump gas until she entered nurse’s training at the Regina Grey Nuns School of Nursing. She has worked in Regina, Ottawa, Halifax, Sioux Lookout, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Regina Beach. Annette enjoys writing short stories and novels. She gathers inspiration about women and men in love, searching for love, or lost without love, from her past and present. Her short stories are published in magazines and anthologies in Canada, United States and
in the UK. Woman of Substance, set in Regina and Lumsden, is her first novel. Her second novel, Moving On, is set in Regina Beach, Saskatchewan. Her third novel, Fearless Destiny, is set in Apex, Saskatchewan and is the winner of the Raven Award for Favourite Contemporary Novel. Her novels are published by Soul Mate Publishing, New York. She looks forward to reading to crowds or small groups.

Her featured book is titled Moving On. Anna Jenkins, a mysterious woman arrives in the resort town of Regina Beach, Saskatchewan as the heir to a cottage, even though there isn’t an obvious family connection. The residents of the town know everyone’s business and they are very keen on discovering Anna’s secrets. Anna meets Nick Donnelly with a secret of his own. As a soldier, the injuries he sustained in an IED explosion are greater than most people realize. During his rehabilitation, Nick and Anna become friends. Nick begins to dream of a life on the land with a family of his own. When Anna discovers that Nick plans to return to active duty, she puts the brakes on loving a man who might die because of his career. Nick must convince Anna they have a future to live for.


Bushwakker Writers Corner Featured Author Annette Bower
 

BUSHWAKKER EVENTS

Sept. 24: SASK VS. CALGARY. We will be open at 11:00 AM and kick-off is at 2:00 PM. Be sure to stop by the Bushwakker before, during or after the game and enjoy our gourmet CALGARY BURGER & A PINT game day special. Delicious great value. Come “devour” the competition!

Sept. 25: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. TERRAPLANE. Great “family” blues band lead by Regina’s friendliest bluesman, Shane Reoch. 8:00 PM.

Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: BUSHWAKKER OKTOBERFEST WEEK! Enjoy German-inspired cuisine all week long. We have also special ordered a keg of Hofbrau Original Munich Helles for your drinking enjoyment. Prosit!

Sept. 27: Wednesday Night Folk. THE ACCOMPLICE. Innovative one-man band delivers Grammy recognizable rock songs. 8:00 PM.

Sept. 28: THE NEW, UNIQUE & RARE AMERICAN WHISKEY CHALLENGE: A formal sampling of six special premium American whiskies. Experience some very limited edition spirits as well as a sneak peek at some yet to be released products. Tickets only $25 each. Only 50 tickets will be made available. 7:00 PM in the Bushwakker Arizona Room.

Oct. 2: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE U OF R JAZZ BAND. Come hear the future Regina jazz stars! 8:00 PM.

Oct. 4: MONTHLY ALES MEETING. Looking to enhance your homebrewing skills. Why not sit in on a meeting with some of Regina’s most passionate and enthusiastic homebrewers? All levels of brewing experience are welcome. Meetings are held in the Bushwakker basement clubroom on the first Wednesday of the month at 8:00 PM.

Oct. 4: Wednesday Night Folk. THE RED WAGON GYPSIES. An unplugged a cappella/acoustic blend of sister-like harmonies. 8:00 PM.

Oct. 6: FIRST FRIKIN FRIDAY. Enjoy the pomp and circumstance of this long-standing Bushwakker monthly tradition. A keg of special beer is paraded throughout the brewpub in a procession led by a piper from The Regina Police Service Pipes & Drums. A volunteer is selected to wield the handmade wooden maul affectionately called The Mighty Firkin Wakker and attempt to tap the firkin in one mighty blow. The suds-soaking spectacle takes place at 5:30 PM.

Oct. 7: ANNUAL GREAT PUMPKIN SPICED BROWN ALE RELEASE. This will be Bushwakker head brewer, Michael Gaetz's new version of this autumn specialty brew. He has a revised plan on how the ginger component of this pumpkin pie-like ale will be introduced into the beer. He is confident this year's offering will not disappoint! Be sure to pick up some bottles or a growler fill for the Thanksgiving weekend!

The Birth of the Beer Hunter: Looking Back on Michael Jackson’s Legacy  

Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey

Legends of Great Men often include tales of prodigious behavior, signs of the genius yet to come. Mozart, for example, is said to have composed his first music at the age of 4. Michael Jackson’s life as a beer writer began with a similar feat: at the age of 16, the story goes, before he was even legally permitted to drink, he started writing about pubs for a newspaper in his native Yorkshire. Jackson himself was vague about exactly which publication he wrote for, perhaps anxious even 50 years on that he might get someone in trouble for sponsoring underage drinking. Some third parties name with apparent authority the Batley & Morley Gazette, but if you travel to Huddersfield and pay a visit to the local library hoping to read back issu existed. And if a column entitled “This is Your Pub” appeared in the Huddersfield Weekly Examiner, the Batley Reporter, or any other likely outlet between 1958 and 1960, we were unable to track it down.

Michael  James  Jackson  was born  in Leeds in England’s industrial north in 1942. His mother was English through-and-through while his father was the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Jackson spent his childhood in Huddersfield, a grand but fading town between Leeds and Manchester, where he developed an interest in rugby and, as a teenager, drinking beer. He died 10 years ago, in 2007, at the age of 65, leaving peers and disciples bereft. Obituaries, reminiscences and tributes poured forth highlighting his contributions to a global craft brewing scene which arose in tandem with his career, and for which he is given much credit. He was a hero to many, a friend to others, and his 30-year pre-eminence is hard to deny. This makes it difficult to assess him critically or even objectively, but, a decade on from his passing, perhaps it’s time to try.

It is certainly true that he entered a career in journalism straight out of school, starting as a cub reporter on the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, before moving to Edinburgh, and then onward to London’s famous Fleet Street, home to all the biggest English newspapers at the time. He was an old-fashioned journeyman journalist who learned the craft by tramping the streets with notebook in hand, which equipped him perfectly for the less romantic but more lucrative world of trade journalism. He was involved in the establishment of KLM airline’s long-running magazine Holland Herald and also oversaw the creation of Campaign, a British magazine covering the advertising industry, even coming up with the attention-grabbing name. He worked in television, too, producing episodes of the gritty documentary series World in Action, including one in which he escorted the prudish pro-censorship campaigner Mary Whitehouse around free-and-easy Copenhagen. By the early 1970s, and still only in his early 30s, he had made a name for himself as much more than a mere reporter.

His move into publishing, as a co-founder and editorial director at Quarto, seems natural in hindsight. According to Quarto’s official company history, Jackson was already in partnership with graphic designer Bob Morley when the pair went to New York in 1975 with books ready to pitch including The English Pub and The World Guide to Beer. They met American academic Laurence Orbach and the three formed a partnership dedicated to producing lavish, large-format, heavily illustrated coffee table books. Reading between the lines, that partnership eventually went sour, which is perhaps why Jackson seems to have been reluctant to mention it in later interviews, instead telling a version of the story that suggested he was a mere jobbing wordsmith who was asked to finish The English Pub when someone else failed to deliver. Whatever the truth, that book, published in 1976, became Jackson’s first substantial piece of what we now recognize as Beer Writing.

Though it is a decent work with many examples of the artful prose that so elevated his writing (“The sensuous procedures of brewing don’t die easily.”), it is no classic. Had he stopped there and moved on to writing about rugby or another subject, it is unlikely beer enthusiasts would remember his name with any more reverence than those of Mike Dunn, Frank Baillie, or the pub-crawling duo Warren Knock and Conal Gregory. In the mid-1970s, indeed, the pre-eminent British beer writer was Richard Boston, whose anarchic, witty weekly column for the Guardian newspaper was a major driver in the rise of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Boston’s own book, Beer and Skittles, is better than The English Pub, although it is far plainer to look at than Jackson’s photo-laden prestige publication.

It was with his next book, The World Guide to Beer, that Jackson trumped Boston and every other pretender to the throne. Even now, though so much of the content is out of date, it has much to offer—not least as a perfect time capsule of the pre-craft brewing world, and because the writing is so often brilliant—at turns witty, precise, romantic, and startlingly evocative. With a true beat reporter’s instinct, Jackson visited as many countries as practical and then bombarded his readers with detail and color. At that time, it was quite possible for him to taste, or at least record the existence of, a good number of beers in production anywhere in the world. There were few meaningful tasting notes, however, beyond the top level: hoppy, malty, sweet, and dry. Instead, a sense of each brew was given by comparison to others—Newcastle Brown Ale is like Vienna Lager, Russian Stout resembles German Doppelbock, and so on. A beginner beer blogger would get sneered at for this kind of thing today, but in 1977, even this put Jackson ahead of the game.

It was from that approach that an embryonic global taxonomy emerged—the first convincing, comprehensive, wide-reaching attempt to explain to consumers how various types of beer relate to each other. Of course there were similar exercises before Jackson—categorizing things is a natural instinct—but they were either industry focused, obscure, or lacked the wider view, as in the case of British writers who tended to add something like “… and lager” to cover everything else. In a section headed “Classical beer styles” spanning a mere two pages, Jackson listed 24 distinct styles of beer from Münchener (“dark-brown, bottom-fermented … malty without being excessively sweet”) to Steam Beer (“a hybrid between top and bottom-fermentation”), each categorized as either top-fermented, wheat beer, or bottom-fermented. He was attempting to record what he observed, not to lay down the law, but when he says of, say, Kölsch, “Alcohol content by volume just under 4.5 per cent,” in the context of a book that throbs with encyclopedic authority, it feels like a rule. He also drew a distinction between “types” (broadly similar beers) and “styles” (fixed classical models). It is prototypical and muddled but, even so, this brief bit of introductory matter was arguably more influential than the prose that fills the rest of The World Guide to Beer.

To novice beer geeks (and there weren’t many veterans in 1977) it was like receiving a map, or perhaps a training regime. For those whose enthusiasm led them into homebrewing, and from there to commercial brewing, it was a playbook. Since it was first published, Jackson’s style guide has formed the basis of judging standards at countless beer festivals and homebrew competitions. It has been ripped off, expanded upon, and debated by multiple generations of beer writers. And, less positively, it has also led to a kind of straitjacketing that confines every beer to a style, against which it will later be judged: “Not true to style. Zero stars.” Jackson’s influence is sometimes overstated, but that’s not his fault. His own claims in this regard were modest and carefully worded: “I think I was the first person ever to use the phrase beer style,” is how he put it in a 1996 interview.

Another angle from which Jackson’s work has come under tentative scrutiny in recent years—tentative because criticizing him, even respectfully, can make his acolytes bristle—is the question of journalistic ethics. In recent years author and BeerAdvocate columnist Andy Crouch has made journalistic integrity something of a personal crusade, putting him at odds with many of his peers who still operate in the cozy Jacksonian mode of collaborative bonhomie and gentle, if any, criticism. In 2010 Crouch spent several days mining the Michael Jackson archive at Oxford Brookes University and was among the first to break ranks when in a blog post he just barely criticized Jackson, in the mildest possible form: “Michael counted many brewers (not just crafts) as among his ‘clients,’ an interesting revelation to say the least.” And this is true. While Jackson was the world’s foremost beer critic, he was also employed by breweries in various capacities, such as giving opinions of products prior to launch, hosting tasting events on their behalf, or even appearing in advertisements for their products. He was also personally friendly with many brewers, partly no doubt because as a journalist it was necessary to keep channels of communication open, but also because it’s hard to maintain a distance from affable people who like to talk about beer, and drink it, as much as do you.

Of course standards and practices were different a decade ago, or two, or three, and it seems that, with some hesitation, he worked for, and was friendly, with brewers he respected, rather than making a show of respecting breweries who paid him—quite a different proposition. He demonstrated objectivity through the quality of his recommendations rather than by simply declaring it. To some extent, we suspect that barbs directed at Jackson on this basis today are really a proxy for criticizing active journalists whose partnerships with breweries can seem opaque and confusing. Nonetheless, it is likely that if Jackson was still around and operating like this in 2017 he too would be called out far more frequently.

Another related but lesser complaint is that Michael Jackson gave the industry as a whole an easy ride. For the first 30 years, the nascent profession of beer writing and the embryonic microbrewing industry had the same priorities: getting people excited about unusual, distinctive, interesting beers, and challenging the dominance of large multi-national companies. If they were to sell articles and books, beer writers needed a constant flow of new breweries and beers; and, if they were to grow, breweries needed to gain the attention of potential customers. In 1987 Jackson put his philosophy into words for CAMRA:

If I can find something good to say about a beer, I do. Any merit or unusual aspect is, I believe, of interest to my readers. That is why I choose to write about it in the first place … Nor since I have the whole world from which to choose, can I be comprehensive. If I despise a beer, why find room for it? This poses a problem only when a beer is too big to ignore.

This is the approach that most beer writers subscribed to until recently, and many still do: focus on the positive, and avoid reveling in the kind of hatchet job that so often characterizes food or art criticism. But readers have grown cynical, like the enthusiast who recently said to us, “The problem with beer bloggers is, they never have a bad beer.” An increasing number of readers expect to hear about both good and bad and roll their eyes in exasperation at what is sometimes called the “cheery beery” tendency in writing. Fundamentally, the idea that a writer might be on the side of the industry rather than the consumer troubles them

And, yes, the industry still venerates Michael Jackson. Influential British brewers such as Meantime’s Alastair Hook talk about his 1982 Pocket Guide as a kind of holy text which set them on the path to righteousness, while, in the US, he is given even greater credit: Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver has called him “the spiritual father of the early [American] microbrewing movement and the greatest champion of the craft brewer.” Hyperbolic as this might sound, it is not unjustified. By giving space to Anchor in his best-selling World Guide, and then by tracking the growth of US microbrewing in subsequent editions, spin-off books, and numerous articles, Jackson all but talked the American craft brewing scene into being. He reported first-hand, visiting various parts of the US regularly, conveying the sense of a red-hot, developing trend. Then, finally, in 1990, he did the same on television in the cult show The Beer Hunter. Charlie Papazian has also always been generous in crediting Jackson for his part in establishing and supporting the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), a turning point in American beer culture.

There are occasional pieces of Jackson’s writing that haven’t aged well, however. For example, a 1987 article in the Campaign for Real Ale’s monthly newspaper What’s Brewing in defense of the GABF prompts a cringe with 30 years distance. In it Jackson reacts sharply and sarcastically to the then current controversy over breweries fielding flirtatious “booth babes” in their pursuit of the popular vote in the GABF’s best beer competition. Elsewhere, especially in his earlier work, he was prone to lamenting the disappearance of the stereotypical buxom barmaid, and to casually sexist asides in otherwise innocuous articles. As he said himself: “Not only does beer inflame lust if taken to excess: heavy-beer drinkers are often male-chauvinists.” But he was, after all, a man of his time, with the love life to match—that is, more complicated than acknowledged in the officially sanctioned versions of his life story. According to those who knew him, he was often found surrounded by women at beer festivals, charming them with eloquent talk of beer. More than one girlfriend attended his funeral.

Does any of that matter? Yes, insofar as it highlights his humanity.

“[Contrary] to those who have commented on Facebook about his apparent haughtiness … I was always impressed by Michael’s humility and approachability,” says Geoff Griggs, a New Zealand-based beer writer who worked with Jackson on numerous occasions. “Despite his ‘rock star’ image … I always found Michael to be somewhat shy and retiring. And despite his unquestionable eloquence with words in their written form, he wasn’t the most gifted public speaker.”

The Beer Hunter was a persona. Michael Jackson, on the other hand, was a complex person, scrambling like the rest of us to meet deadlines and organize a life, with all of his faults, foibles, and doubts in tow. Those who treat him as a bland cipher onto which to project their own desires, prejudices and, yes, criticisms, do him a disservice. 



Turning the Tables…

TIME OUT

A Spanish magician has a grand magical show and at the end he says he will disappear after counting to three. He starts to count, “Un, dos…”
Kazaam! He vanished without a tres.


Weekend BBQ Feature:  SMOKED STEAK W/ STUFFED POTATO & CHEF’S VEG. $19.95 (Weather permitting.)

Soup & Sandwich Special is $13.95.  All hot specials are $16.95, except where noted, & include a serving of soup du jour, house, or Caesar salad.

 

Soup

Sandwich

Hot Special

Fri., Sept. 22

Beef Noodle

Italian Cold Cut on Focaccia

Beef Vindaloo. $16.95

Sat., Sept. 23

Bushwakker

Breakfast Bowl

Steak & a Pint. $18.95

Sun., Sept. 24

Bushwakker

Burger & a Pint. $17.95

Steak & a Pint. $18.95

Mon., Sept. 25

Lentil & Smoked Bacon

Chicken Schnitzel & Cucumber Salad on Marble Rye

German Meatballs & Spaetzle w/ Lemon Caper Sauce

Tues., Sept. 26

Chicken & Pancake

Potato Sausage Pizza

Jaeger Schnitzel w/ Hunter Sauce

Wed., Sept. 27

Potato & Beer

Harvest Ploughman’s Platter

Sauerbraten & Braised Cabbage Dip

w/ Hot Potato Salad

Thur., Sept. 28

German Sausage & Barley

House-Made Bratwurst w/ Fresh Sauerkraut & Harvest Mustard

Wild Boar Apple & Brie Sausages w/

 House-Made Sauerkraut

Fri., Sept. 29

Octoberfest Chili

Curry Wurst & Fries

Pork Hock w/ Braised Red Cabbage & Potato Dumplings. $19.95  

Sat., Sept. 30

Harvest Lager Onion & Beef

German Poutine

Harvest Beef Goulash on Spaetzle Noodles

Sun., Oct. 1

Roasted Tomato & Kale

Potato Pancakes w/ Smoked Salmon

Smoked Pork Chops w/ House-Made Apple Sauce