THE WAKKER WEEKLY - Issue #1405 - Posted on: 01-Jan-2018

BUSHWAKKER NEWS

Holiday Hours:   New Year’s Eve – open noon to close,  New Year’s Day – closed.

NEWS FROM THE BUSHWAKKER BREWERY. Bushwakker head brewer, MICHAEL GAETZ, reports the big malty Scottish Ale, MACGREGOR’S WEE HEAVY, is now back! We only see this Bushwakker anniversary brew once every two years! Hopheads will be happy to learn that another batch of SASKADIAN BLACK IPA has been brewed. The BUSHVAR CZECH PILS has seen favourable extensive aging in our beer cellar and will come on tap following the NORTHERN STRONG LAGER. Our newest fruit beer offering, BLACKBERRY STOUT, will be coming soon! The final tank of our famous BLACKBERRY MEAD is on tap! Enjoy while quantities last. We are receiving very positive feedback indicating this is one of our best mead batches in years!

Our Sodbuster Brown Ale is now available for growler fills at the Quance Street SLGA store in Regina. Three other fine Saskatchewan craft beers are also available. Enjoy them for a limited time!

Bushwakker Prime Rib Weekends Return! Back by popular demand! Our melt-in-your-mouth, low-and-slow roasted prime rib dinners with jumbo Yorkshire pudding have returned. And Sunday suppers just got a whole lot better at the Bushwakker! Choose from either an 8 oz. or a 10 oz. cut. Prime rib is definitely one of Bushwakker executive chef Mike’s specialties.

Bushwakker - CJTR Nothing For New Year’s Dead South Contest. Our annual New Year’s Eve non-event just got even better! Reservations are now being accepted. Anyone who makes a reservation will be entered in our draw to win two tickets to see The Dead South at Casino Regina on New Year’s Eve. Draw date is December 30th. Hurry and make your dinner reservation today!

Our premium wines for January are the TWIST OF FATE wines from the Okanagan. The red is a Malbec/Merlot and the white is a Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay. Both are $6.95 for a glass and $16.95 for a half litre.

Our guest tap is currently pouring a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Munich Dunkel from Regina’s District Brewing Company. Next up is the Mosaic Smash IPA from Regina’s Pile O’ Bones Brewing which will be followed by the Toffee Five chocolate toffee porter from Prairie Sun Brewing in Saskatoon.

BUSHWAKKER EVENTS

Dec. 31: Nothing For New Year's 12. Over a decade ago we offered you a simple formulated event and you loved it. No noise makers, no escalated drink prices, no cover charge, no midnight champagne, no dancing, no line-ups, no hassle, no problem! Come spend a relaxing evening at the good 'ol Bushwakker as we welcome 2018. Perhaps try Chef Mike's special prime rib and jumbo Yorkshire pudding New Year's Eve dinner. What a meal to finish off the year! Anyone who makes a reservation will be entered in our draw to win two tickets to see the Dead South at Casino Regina on New Year’s Eve. Draw date is December 30th. Hurry and make your dinner reservation today!

Jan. 1: Closed For The Holiday. Happy New Year! Best wishes for good health and happiness in 2018!

Jan. 3: Wednesday Night Folk. BRADFORD. Talented acoustic folk duo featuring Brad Papp and Mark Radford. 8:00 PM.

Jan. 3: MONTHLY ALES MEETING. So you received a shiny new home brewing kit for Christmas but want to make sure you produce some top quality suds? Be sure to sit in on a meeting with some of the most enthusiastic homebrewers in the city and learn a thing or two on how to take your homebrewing skills to the next level. New members are always welcome. This month’s presentation topics include: Porters/Stouts and Specialty Grains/Malts. Meeting are held in the Bushwakker basement clubroom on the first Wednesday of the month at 8:00 PM.

Jan. 5: FIRST FRIKIN FRIDAY. Kick off your new year with a “bang!” 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 at 5:30 PM. January will be a very special month for Bushwakker firkin lovers. You will have the chance to compare two versions of our MacGregor’s Wee Heavy Scottish Ale. Today’s version will be “enhanced” with the peaty character of the Bowmore 12 Year single malt scotch while the January 27th Robbie Burns Birthday firkin of Wee Heavy will be infused with the more subtle Robert Burns Single Malt from the Isle of Aaran Scottish distillery.


Two single malt scotch- infused versions of our MacGregor’s Wee Heavy will be presented in January. Be sure to try both the peated and unpeated offerings!

Jan. 8: Monday Jazz & Blues. THE JAZZ BAND-ITS. The largest band to ever grace the Bushwakker stage plays big band, jazz and swing. 8:00 PM.

Jan. 10: Wednesday Night Folk – special edition. THE EMPIRE ASSOCIATES. Powerful husband and wife duo return for an encore performance. A large canvas will be set up by the stage that night and a painting will be created before your very eyes by Birthing Artists. Birthing Artists is a creative self- development company owned and operated by Amy Dawn S.  Still in its “birthing phases”, Amy’s vision is to bring artists, entrepreneurs and humans together to raise their creative potential. A small group of students and artists from Birthing Artists Academy will be collaborating a live painting while being inspired by the Empire Associates and the life of Bev Robertson. The finished piece will be available for silent auctioning and 100% of the proceeds will be generously given to the Allan Blair Cancer Center in Regina. Please join us and experience live art in celebration of loved ones and of life. 8:00 PM.

Jan. 15: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. A STORRY WITH HUGHES. Talented rockin’ acoustic blues duo featuring Jeff Storry and Billy Hughes. 8:00 PM.

Jan. 17: Wednesday Night Folk. THE RED WAGON GYPSIES. An unplugged a cappella/acoustic blend of sister-like harmonies. 8:00 PM.

Jan. 18: SCIENCE PUB. The Mysteries of Proxima Centauri. Our wildly popular Science Pub Series has returned for a sixth incredible season! Enjoy lectures on scientific topics of general interest in our Arizona Room (main floor banquet room) over beer and snacks. The room opens at 5:00 PM and quite often is full by 6:00 PM. Avoid disappointment and come down early for dinner and a pint before the presentation which begins at 7:00 PM. This month's lecture will be presented by Dr. Martin Beech, Adjunct Professor, Campion College, University of Regina. 

Jan. 22: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE MINISTRY OF GROOVE.  1970’S jazz funk and beyond. Love those horns! 8:00 PM.

Jan. 24: Wednesday Night Folk. WINTER SINGER/SONGWRITER SHOWCASE. Hear over a half dozen veteran and up-and-coming local artists including: Ben Sefton, Devon Floyd, Jay Greenman, Regan Hinchcliffe, Tom Douglas, Trent Leggott & Neil Child. 8:00 PM.

Jan 27: BUSHWAKKER 27th/ROBERT BURNS 259th BIRTHDAY BASH. Join us as we celebrate over a quarter century of award-winning beer and pub cuisine and Scotland’s favourite son, Robbie Burns. Live rollicking reels with The Tilted Kilts and The Regina Police Services Pipes & Drums, highland dancing, FREE HAGGIS, neeps and birthday cake, the tapping of the Scottish birthday firkin containing our MacGregor’s Wee Heavy infused with Robert Burns Single Malt whiskey from the Isle of Arran Scottish distillery, plus Burns poetry and historical overview from Saskatchewan author and playwright, Ken Mitchell. A great way to shake those January blahs. The dance floor will be open! $5 cover charge in effect. 6:00 PM.

Are We Reaching Peak Craft?

By Jason Foster, OnBeer.org

A recent CBC news article looking at Alberta’s booming craft beer industry offers the take that Canada might be reaching the limits to its market reach. It quotes a business professor, Dr. Larry Plummer, who hints that a slowdown in growth for the craft segment is occurring but the rate of new brewery openings is not. Their suggestion is that harder times are coming and that breweries will find it increasingly difficult to grow their market share.

The story then profiles a few Alberta breweries and bar owners as an example of the speed at which the industry is growing, with a sub-plot that ominous times are coming.

Will we soon reach peak craft beer?

The proponents, including Dr. Plummer, essentially argue that new brewery openings in a context of a stagnant market is not sustainable. Overall beer sales in Canada are slowly shrinking, even though craft is taking a larger portion of the existing market. Until now most growth in craft has come at the expense of the corporate brewers as consumers shift to smaller craft producers. Peak craft proponents argue this may be shifting and that new brewers will basically cannibalize customers from existing breweries – kind of a zero sum game.

On the surface it is a compelling argument, one certainly bolstered by evidence from bars and stores – there is only so much shelf space and so many taps to go around. The number of available sales locations are not growing at the same pace as the number of new breweries, meaning something has to give.

But, with respect to Dr. Plummer and his colleagues (note, I tried to access his case study, but refused to fork over $9 to get it, so have not read it), I disagree. We are not reaching peak craft. Not yet, anyway.

I believe the proponents make three key errors. First, is that they make too much of the overall beer industry trends. Yes beer is a stagnant market. But craft continues to be not much more than a niche player in that market. Small gains of the total market share equate to huge jumps in the presence of the industry. For example, say craft has 5% of a particular market with 50 breweries. If in a couple years it climbs to 7% of the market, that sounds small, but it is actually a 40% increase in the craft segment, and space for potentially 70 breweries (all other things being equal). Even if craft starts at 20% and jumps to 22% that is still a not insignificant 10% jump. In short, the numbers are still on craft’s side.

Second, the argument ignores regional differences. Dr. Plummer (fairly) writes from an Ontario perspective, with a more mature craft segment. Dynamics there are different than on the prairies. I have long argued that Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have lagged behind where they should have been in terms of craft market share. The quick explosion of new breweries in all three provinces can be seen as catch-up.

Third (which is kind of related to number one) is that these macro-analyses are built on a single model, the mid-sized production brewery than needs growing numbers to remain sustainable. The thing is that many of the new breweries opening up, not only on the prairies but even in Toronto or Vancouver, are adopting different models. Nano-brewing, community-supported beer, brewing as an adjunct to another business (e.g, malting, brewpub) all offer a different approach to selling beer. Many are opening in smaller centres as the only local brewery in the area. Common among them is that they are small scale and that most have a reduced growth drive, meaning sustainability means something different for them.

One could make a fair argument that real sustainability requires larger economies of scale. Maybe. But when starting that small, what do those economies of scale look like?

Don’t take my argument as predicting nothing but upward curves for craft beer. I do think some of the more mature, mid-sized and regional craft breweries are in for some challenges trying to keep themselves relevant in a more crowded market. And some of the new start-ups will fail, either due to lack of quality control, lack of capital or a well-intentioned but flawed business model.

But when those failures start to happen, resist the siren call of the peak craft-ers. It is not a sign of the limits to craft. It is a regular development in the natural evolution of an industry. Some fail, others will succeed. Such is how it is.

When Winnipeg, Regina or Calgary starts to look like Denver or Portland, then we can start having a serious conversation about peak craft. Until then, I am still placing my bets on the craft segment.




TIME OUT  

On New Year's Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready.
At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.
Well, it was kind of embarrassing. As the clock struck, the bartender was almost crushed to death.


Weekend Prime Rib & Giant Yorkie Special. 8 oz - $21.95 & 10 oz - $25.95 

Soup & Sandwich Special is $12.95.  All hot specials are $15.95, except where noted, & include a serving of soup du jour, house, or Caesar salad.

 

Soup

Sandwich

Hot Special

Beer Pairing

Fri., Dec. 29

Seafood Chowder

Spicy Beef Wrap

White Wine & Garlic Herb Mussels. $16.95

Stubblejumper Pilsner

Sat., Dec. 30

Bushwakker

Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $18.95

Sun., Dec. 31

Bushwakker

Breakfast Special

10 oz New York w/ Garlic Shrimp. $21.95

Mon., Jan. 1

CLOSED

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

CLOSED

Tues., Jan. 2

Potato Bacon

Chorizo Pizza. $13.95

Jalapeno Bacon Penne

Stubblejumper Pilsner

Wed., Jan. 3

Sausage & Bean

BBQ Ribs & Cobb Salad

Porter Sirloin Steak Sandwich

Two Sons Milk Stout

Thur., Jan. 4

Lemon Chicken & Rice

Roast Beef Melt

Chicken Pot Pie

Regina Pale Ale

Fri., Jan. 5

Ginger Pork

Chili Bowl

Shrimp Po’ Boy

Cheryl’s Blonde Ale

Sat., Jan. 6

Bushwakker

Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $18.95

Sun., Jan. 7

Bushwakker

Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $18.95