THE WAKKER WEEKLY - Issue #1408 - Posted on: 22-Jan-2018


NEWS FROM THE BUSHWAKKER BREWERY. Bushwakker head brewer, MICHAEL GAETZ, reports the big malty Scottish Ale, MACGREGOR’S WEE HEAVY, is now back on tap and in our offsale as is our seasonally available SASKADIAN BLACK IPA and BUSHVAR CZECH PILS. Our newest fruit beer offering, BLACKBERRY STOUT, will be coming soon and a batch of PICKARD’S OATMEAL CREAM STOUT is also working its way through the brewery. The final tank of our famous BLACKBERRY MEAD is on tap! Enjoy while quantities last.

Our guest tap is currently pouring the Uno IPA from Black Bridge Brewing in Swift Current followed by a Tropical Strawberry Milkshake IPA of Doom from Regina’s Malty National Brewing and then a Peanut Butter Stout from Regina’s Pile O’ Bones Brewery.

Our premium wines for January are the TWIST OF FATE wines from Niagara Falls. 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 DUNGARVON IRISH RED 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 are here until the end of January! Enjoy our melt-in-your-mouth, low-and-slow roasted prime rib dinners with jumbo Yorkshire pudding. 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.

Our new featured BUSHWAKKER WRITERS CORNER local author is Edward Willett. Ed is the author of more than 60 books of fiction and nonfiction for adults, young adults, and children, including eight novels published by DAW Books in New York, one of the premiere publishers in the science fiction and fantasy genre. His most recent book for DAW is a stand-alone science fiction novel, The Cityborn; his ninth novel for DAW, Worldshaper, will come out in September 2018 to launch a new series. Other novels include the recently-completed Shards of Excalibur YA fantasy series published by Regina’s Coteau Books, and the Masks of Aygrima fantasy trilogy, written as E.C. Blake and published by DAW. His non-fiction runs the gamut from computer books to local history to children’s science books and biographies. Born in New Mexico, Ed grew up in Weyburn, and came to Regina in 1988 as communications officer for the Saskatchewan Science Centre. He’s been a fulltime writer since 1993. Ed won a 2002 Saskatchewan Book Award for YA fantasy Spirit Singer (Tyche), and in 2009 won the Aurora Award for best Canadian science fiction novel for Marseguro (DAW). He’s married to Margaret Anne Hodges, P.Eng., a past president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan, and has a teenage daughter, Alice.


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 26 & 27: BEER BACON BANDS. If you enjoy beer and great live music then don't miss out on one of the biggest parties of the winter! Three of the greatest things in life rolled up into one sudsy, salty night - a beer fest, a bacon fest and a music festival all in one! Be sure to stop by the Bushwakker booth and try this year’s festival offerings! 7:00 – 11:00 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 whisky 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.

Jan. 29: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. JEFF MERTICK. Veteran blues act returns with his richly inspired New Orleans style of soul and blues. 8:00 PM.

Jan. 31: Wednesday Night Folk. LEXY DESJARLAIS. Bushwakker’s own bartender, server and talented guitar diva returns for an encore performance. 8:00 PM

The North American Guild of Beer Writers honoured beer journalists at a ceremony during Great American Beer Festival week. The guild recognized three articles. Dr. Nicole Garneau took 3rd place in Beer Criticism and Commentary for her article below:

Science Says You’re Wrong About Pairing IPAs and Spicy Foods

My career cultivating a scientific understanding about flavor has prepared me for contributing to beer knowledge, but not “growing up” in the industry means that I often am not aware of the many of the shared stories, anecdotes and oral histories that have been passed down from one brewing generation to the next. So it’s not surprising that I find myself stumbling into these moments of tension where my grasp on the science behind a phenomenon, like beer calming spice, doesn’t quite match up with the brewing industry’s perspective.

Along those lines, I recently got myself in a bit of boiling water. I was presenting a workshop of food and beer pairing alongside my colleagues on the Beer & Food Working Group, when I made a comment about the dated image of beer and hot wings and made the mistake of following that up by saying beer is a pretty terrible choice for spicy food. There was an audible gasp in the audience, and I looked over to find my friend, and incidentally, publisher of, Julia Herz shaking her head with eyes wide. I learned later that for many craft connoisseurs like Julia, beer is a go-to for spicy Thai and Indian food. She swore that it was the residual sugar in the beer that made the pairing work.

The initial wave of relief you get from the beer is the same as you would get with any cold beverage. It temporarily cools your mouth, but as your mouth warms back up, so too does the burning sensation.

To solve this puzzle, we need to consider all the players.

How Your Taste Receptors React to Spicy Foods

First, the reason why spicy foods cause a burning feeling is because they contain an irritant. For this reason, spicy is a mouthfeel, not a taste. It could be capsaicin in chili peppers, gingerol in ginger, or cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon to name a few. These irritants bind to receptors on the tongue, which kicks off a chain reaction and signals to the brain that there is something potentially dangerous in the mouth. This causes the brain to unleash a typical pain reaction: dilation of blood vessels cause your skin to get red, sweating occurs, and you actually feel like your mouth is burning. The goal of a pain reaction? Your body is telling you to counteract. If you’re reading this post, my guess is that you counteract by picking up your beer.

The initial wave of relief you get from the beer is the same as you would get with any cold beverage. It temporarily cools your mouth, but as your mouth warms back up, so too does the burning sensation. Temperature is only a temporary fix because the capsaicin is still tightly bound to those receptors and they are still sending signals to your brain that all is not well. You need something that will pull that irritating molecule off your receptor and wash it away.

And that leads us to learn a bit more about capsaicin. Capsaicin is hydrophobic. This literally means it hates or is fearful of water, and chemically it means it won’t dissolve in water-based solutions. It is, however, drawn to high levels of fat like whole milk, or something high in ethanol even, releasing the pain receptors on your tongue from its grasp. Beer has alcohol, and some beer styles have higher ABVs, so beer might work you say!

Why Alcohol and Spice Don’t Always Play Nice

But alcohol is a double-edged sword when it comes to spicy foods. First, it too is an irritant and activates those same pain receptors that capsaicin does. So in a way, it might actually make the problem worse. It will send more signals to the brain that you are in trouble, causing a stronger pain reaction. However, at a high enough ABV, capsaicin could dissolve into the ethanol, pulling it away from your receptors. The problem with beer, even the biggest baddest beer you can find, is that it has more water content than alcohol. Therefore, it will do you little good to sop up the spice and stop the burn.

There are a few other factors that make beer a tricky mate for spicy. One is effervescence, which is the amount of gas dissolved in beer. Carbonation is shown to activate pain receptors at certain concentrations. The second is bitterness. Going against almost all the conventional wisdom I gleaned from beer bloggers and discussion logs, I contend bitter is not a friend when it comes to spicy. In a particularly entertaining, though out-dated discussion on BeerAdvocate, almost all the folks that chimed in gave the craft beer party line that a hoppy IPA was the go-to for spicy food. Only one brave soul (hey GCurlow!), went against the tide and noted the combo caused an increased perception of heat, bitter and alcohol. The science supports the lone divergent voice. High alpha acid content matched to high capsaicin do actually amplify each other, making the bitter more bitter and the spicy more spicy, and the burn of alcohol more potent, potentially making the whole package intolerable. GCurlow ended with a comment about pairing with a beer of high sugar content equivalent to riesling.

So like Julia preached, the last piece of the puzzle to calming spice may be sugar. In the case of beer we are honing in with a laser-like focus on residual sugar. If you scour the internet, you will find a number of blog posts telling you just how to kill the burn of chili peppers, and as far as I read, they all included sugar as a possible solution — either straight sugar, or sugar in the form of a doughy gluten-laden bakery bomb. I didn’t find much connected to beer until a blog post from Sam Adams jumped out at me. In honor of IPA Day, they ran a small panel of tasters alongside chefs from the Culinary Institute of America in which they described the intensity of medium-hot chicken wings when paired with three variations of a west coast IPA.

Can an IPA Calm Spicy Chicken Wings?

Everyone has great experiences that we can test scientifically. The gang at Sam Adams ran a small but definitely fun experiment on spicy chicken wings and IPA. Although the results they share wouldn’t hold up to scientific peer-review and should not be considered scientific fact, they do give us a glimpse into what might be going on and how we might test this in a controlled setting with data from a large group of participants.

Right out of the gate, I loved that the first observation of the panelists at Sam Adams matches beautifully with what sensory scientists have shown: the highest ABV beer (8.4%) led to increased sensation of heat. However, it’s confounding that the mid-level ABV (6.5%) decreased the heat where the lowest ABV option (4.5%) made the heat linger. The IBUs could also be at play then. In terms of bitter being known to amplify the perception of spicy, the 8.4% beer came with a whopping 85 IBUs which might have contributed to the increased heat. The other two beers both rounded out at 45, so the IBUs in this case don’t help us understand why the heat sensation was so markedly different between the 6.5% and the 4.5% ABV beers.

Again, we are left to contemplate sugar. The panelists at Sam Adams didn’t come out and say residual sugar, but they did mention that the higher the malt characteristic of the 6.5% ABV choice seems to balance the heat perception and that it was this malt characteristic that also brought a sweet perception to the pairing. As far as the scientific research goes, I was unable to locate any reference to sugar being an antagonist to receptors for spicy, nor could I locate anything that says it isn’t. In short, there is no scientific evidence that I could find that says sweet calms spicy, but perhaps the study just hasn’t been conducted yet.

Bottom line, IPAs with their big ABVs and even bigger IBUs probably aren’t what you want to help with the burn of your favorite spicy food. But that doesn’t mean you won’t still reach for it. That’s because your personal preference — how much you like something — is different from perception (how much you detect something). My guess is that you may have conditioned yourself to love the pairing due to years of use, making it familiar and safe. And even though that IPA really isn’t helping the burn, as a human being you are a creature of habit. This is supported by science: we love what is familiar. It is for that reason alone that you may find IPAs and spicy food a pairing that you can’t live without, and not because it calms the burn.

How Craft Beer Fuels the Future of Flavor Science

The stories coming from brewers and chefs, who are some of the most mindful consumers in the world, make for some of the best scientific hypotheses in sensory. This is one of the reasons I love consulting in beer. These are questions that should undergo a rigorous scientific look so that we can move both the science and the industry forward. The gang at Sam Adams ran a small non-scientific, but impactful test using spicy chicken wings and IPA, and by doing so inadvertently shed a bit of light on the possible role of residual sugar in spicy pairings. Light that scientists should consider in selecting and designing the next generation of sensory studies.
Here’s your invitation to contribute your experience. Share your beer flavor question or anecdote that you think could use some science backing in the comments section. It could be the topic of my next article or even end up as the basis for our next scientific study.


The year is 2222 and Mike and Maureen land on Mars after accumulating enough frequent flier miles. They meet a Martian couple and are talking about all sorts of things. Mike asks if Mars has a stock market, if they have laptop computers, how they make money, etc. Finally, Maureen brings up the subject of sex. "Just how do you guys do it?" asks Maureen. "Pretty much the way you do," responds the Martian. Discussion ensues and finally the couples decide to swap partners for the night and experience one another. Maureen and the male Martian go off to a bedroom where the Martian strips. He's got only a teeny, weeny member about half an inch long and just a quarter inch thick. I don't think this is going to work," says Maureen. "Why?" he asks, "What's the matter?" Maureen replies, "Well, it's just not long enough to reach me!" The male Martian confidently says, "No problem," and proceeds to slap his forehead with his palm. With each slap of his forehead, his member grows until it's quite impressively long. "Well," she says, "That's quite impressive, but it's still pretty narrow." Without breaking a sweat he says, "Not a problem," and starts pulling his ears. With each pull, his member grows wider and wider until the entire measurement is extremely exciting to the woman. "Wow!" she exclaims, as they fell into bed and made mad, passionate love. The next day the couples rejoin their normal partners and go their separate ways. As they walk along, Mike asks "Well, was it any good?"  Maureen blushes, "I hate to say it, but it was pretty wonderful. How about you? "It was horrible," he replies, “All I got was a terrible headache. All she kept doing the whole time was slapping my forehead and pulling my ears!"

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.




Hot Special

Beer Pairing

Fri., Jan. 19

Potato Bacon

Honey Mustard Turkey Wrap

Blackened Fish Tacos

Bushvar Czech Pils

Sat., Jan. 20


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $18.95

Sun., Jan. 21


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $18.95

Mon., Jan. 22

Cream of Broccoli & Spinach

Crispy Chickpea & Avocado Flatbread

Chicken Marsala Spaghetti

Last Mountain Lager

Tues., Jan. 23

Chicken Taco

BLT Caesar Pizza. $13.95

Sodbuster Lamb & Black Bean Chili

Regina Pale Ale

Wed., Jan. 24

Beef & Red Lentil

Adobo Beef Burrito

Mexi Rubbed Pork Tenderloin 

Sodbuster Brown Ale

Thur., Jan. 25

Chili, Corn & Potato Chowder

Basa Po’ Boy Sliders. $13.95

Portered Beef Balsamico

Chico IPA

Fri., Jan. 26

Prime Rib Goulash

Citrus Roast Pork Ciabatta Club. $13.95

BBQ Shrimp w/ Cajun Rice

Stubblejumper Pilsner

Sat., Jan. 27


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $18.95

Sun., Jan. 28


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $18.95

We strive to ensure all weekly specials and soups are made available. Product shortages or unforeseen circumstances may result in modification or even substitution of certain featured menu items.