THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue # 1420


THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue #1420 – Posted on: 16-Apr-2018


NEWS FROM THE BREWERY! Head brewer, MICHAEL GAETZ, reports our seasonally available PICKARD’S OATMEAL CREAM STOUT, ARCTIC DARK MUNICH DUNKEL, SASKADIAN BLACK IPA and BLOOD ORANGE BLONDE ALE are now on tap and in our offsale. A batch of BREW & GOLD DORTMUNDER, CHINOOK ESB, BARON BOCK and HARBINGER MAIBOCK are also currently working their way through the brewery.

Our guest tap is currently pouring a keg of Hop Tart from Regina’s Malty National Brewery in collaboration with Regina’s Pile O’ Bones Brewery. Next up is the Batch 88 Oyster Stout from the Prairie Sun Brewery in Saskatoon. This will be followed by a Winter Sour from Nokomis Craft Ales.

Our premium wines for the month of April are from the Bodacious Winery in Ontario. The red is a Shiraz and the white is a Pinot Grigio. Both are $6.95 for a glass and $17.95 for a half litre.

Our Cheryl’s Blonde 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!

Our signature brewing and culinary event will be held on Saturday, April 14th at 7:00 PM. Enjoy a fabulous multi-course meal in which each course is prepared with a unique beer style and paired with a different beer to enhance the flavours of each dish. This year’s menu will serve as a tribute to the late Bushwakker co-founder and president, Bev Robertson, and will feature some of his favourite dishes. Tickets only $60.00 each. Cutting-edge beer cuisine awaits!

The Bushwakker Local Artist Wall features the works of CRISTIAN BARRENO for the month of April. Cristian is originally from Guatemala and moved to Regina 16 years ago. He has been painting for almost 21 years and his work has evolved from painting the people and landscapes of Guatemala to a blend of multiculturalism and fantasy due the wide perspective he has gained from living in Canada. He paints predominantly with acrylics and oils and he often explores new themes or techniques in each of his pieces. To learn more about Cristian and his work, visit

Prairie Dog Magazine’s Best of Food and Drink 2018.  Regina’s dynamic local food & beverage scene is highlighted in this popular reader poll and contest. Last year Bushwakker took home quite a few awards and this year we are nominated in 19 categories including: Best Brewpub, Best Pub Overall, Best Desserts, Best Pub/Lounge Server (Cheryl Tovey), BestPub Grub Overall, Best Chef (Mike Monette) , Best Beer Menu, Best Pub Pizza, Best Nachos, Best Lunch Restaurant, Best Pub For Arguments and Debates, Best Burger, Best Veggie Burger, Best Restaurant For a Party, Best Appetizers, Best Soup, Best Wings, Best Salad and Biggest Restaurant News (Bev Robertson).  We look forward to more friendly food and drink fun with your continued enthusiastic support at:


Apr. 9 – 14: The ALES OPEN. One of the nation’s largest homebrewing competitions takes place in the Bushwakker basement clubroom all this week!

Apr. 14: Annual Bushwakker Brewer’s Dinner. Less than ten tickets remain. $60.00 each. 7:00 PM.

Apr. 16: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE JAZZ BAND-ITS. The largest band to ever grace our stage plays big band, jazz and swing. 8:00 PM.

Apr. 18: Wednesday Night Folk. SPRING SINGER/SONGWRITER SHOWCASE. Veteran guitarsmith Neil Child is joined by new talents including Nathan Davis, Latrell Redwood, Dillan McNab, Cory Baldwin, Devon Floyd, Regan Hinchcliffe, Trent Leggot and Jay Green. 8:00 PM.

Apr. 19: HEALTH SCIENCE PUB presented by the Integrated Health Research Cluster. Working up an Appetite: Rethinking the Battle of the Bulge. 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. Totosy de Zepetnek, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina. We live in a society obsessed with weight loss and this has significant health implications. Weight gain or loss is depends on the relationship between how much energy (i.e. food) is taken in and how much is expended through exercise or other activities. For too many of us we consume more energy than we expend and it gets stored as fat, or weight gain. And because of the health risks associated with that weight gain there is an increasing reliance on appetite suppressants rather than on trying to find a balance between our intake and our activity.  The talk will focus on some of the effects of energy imbalance and how individuals can avoid the battle of the bulge.  Dr. Totosy de Zepetnek (Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies) does research on cardiovascular health and energy balance. 

Apr. 23: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. A STORRY WITH HUGHES.  Acoustic Blues duo featuring Billy Hughes and Jeff Storry. 8:00 PM.

Apr. 25: Wednesday Night Folk. DALE MAC. Regina based mainstream alternative/rock/roots duo supporting a new EP. 8:00 PM.

Apr. 30: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. JEFF MERTICK & FRED FOERSTER w/ special guest Marie-Véronique Bourque. Soulful Regina bluesman in a special show showcasing songs from his brand new album, “Outrun The Sunrise.” 8:00 PM.

The following report was released by Economic Development Regina on April 9th. We greatly appreciate the acknowledgement our fellow Queen City craft brewers have shown to late Bushwakker founder and president, Bev Robertson. He certainly would have been very proud of Regina’s craft beer growth for many reasons including strengthening the local economy, tourism and sense of civic and provincial pride. Bev always maintained that new local quality craft beer producers were not to be viewed as competition, but as fellow brewers hoping to increase the quality and choice for Regina beer drinkers. “Synergy” not “competition” was his belief. If all craft beer producers create quality products, all players will see increased levels of growth.

Masters of Their Craft: The Making of a Robust Beer Industry in the Greater Regina Area Regina Craft Brewing Advantage:

•   Craft breweries are at the forefront of Regina’s emergence as a culinary-tourism destination and a major contributor to the region’s economy and quality of life.

•   Total economic output from the craft brewing in the Greater Regina Area was $10.7 million in 2017

•   103 direct full-time employees (FTE) in the industry and another 40.5 FTE that are supported.

•   The industry is expecting an average growth of 30 per cent in sales in 2018.

•   Perfectly situated in heart of the prairies and the world’s breadbasket providing brewers world-class malt barley & water.

Birth of an Industry

Recently, there has been a definite shift in the taste palates of beer drinkers. Much like those who appreciate a fine wine, beer drinkers have begun to notice many of the subtle nuances in the flavor, aroma and texture that some beers have to offer. Turning away from the traditional brands, they have sought more refined drinking options.

This, in turn, has led to the rise of the craft beer industry. Craft breweries are characterized by their emphasis on quality, flavour and brewing technique to create beer that has a distinctive taste. Since they produce on a smaller scale than corporate breweries, they are very much focused on quality of the beer over the quantity.

In the Greater Regina Area (GRA), you don’t have to go far to find a craft beer that will make your taste buds sing. And as the local brewers will tell you, it’s all thanks to one visionary: Bev Robertson, founder of Bushwakker Brewpub.

After spending a year in Germany, Robertson decided not to let his beer taste buds deteriorate to the point that he could enjoy Canadian industrial beer. Since he couldn’t bring German craft beer home, he decided to make it. It was the beginning craft brewing industry in the GRA.

“If Bev Robertson didn’t live in this province, this industry wouldn’t exist. That man is the grandfather of Saskatchewan brewing – period,” said Glenn Valgardson, CEO and General Manager of the Pile O’ Bones Brewing Company. “He was really centered around the all-for-one attitude. Bushwakker literally just fostered the industry.”


Robertson’s interest in home craft beer led to the creation of a new community of beer enthusiasts. Robertson was soon joined by Keith Wolbaum and Dr. Lynn Mihichuk,– who he knew through a group that went for weekly skiing trips. This ski group called themselves “The Bushwhackers”, meaning those who ski making their own trails. In a tribute to that, the brewing enthusiasts called themselves the “Bushwhacker Brewers”.

Taking this homemade brew from the basement to a business, however, was a difficult process.  Brewpubs were not allowed in Saskatchewan in the early 1980s. Robertson played a major role in negotiating with the government and Saskatchewan Liquor Gaming Authority (SLGA) to bring upon changes. Legislation that would allow for the creation of brewpubs was crafted between 1988 to 1991. The first breakthrough occurred when two brewpubs were granted to both Saskatoon and Regina. Eventually more were permitted and Robertson got permission to proceed with his own business, The Bushwakker Brewpub, which opened on Jan. 25, 1991.

Soon after opening his brewpub, Robertson and his fellow home brewers formed the Ale and Lager Enthusiasts of Saskatchewan (ALES) with the aim of educating people on making craft beer and furthering the industry as a whole in Regina.

This group, which still exists today, has led to several members launching their own business. The four owners of Pile O’Bones, for example, all met at the ALES club. Valgardson noted that most breweries in the GRA started at and learned to brew at the ALES Club.

“You go down there and it’s super welcoming. Everyone just wants to help you make better beer. The ALES Club isn’t really a beer appreciation club; it’s like a brewing club. You are there to learn how to brew beer,” he said. “We have a very healthy culture with each other.”

It’s a similar story for Rebellion Brewing Co., which started from the beer community and the ALES club. President Mark Heise said three of the four owners are former club presidents.  “We all met through and we all worked through the ALES club,” he said. “We all loved beer.”


From the beginning, craft beer enthusiasts saw the GRA as a great destination to launch a business. As Malty National Brewing Corp owner Adam Smith explained, one of the reasons was supply and demand.

“Any craft beer we were getting in the province was from places such as California and Colorado. By the time it got here, it had been sitting warm, travelled a long distance and wasn’t as fresh,” Smith said. “People in the industry thought they made a good product at home and could take it to market in a way that is different than what beer had looked like in Saskatchewan.”

Heise echoed a similar thought. “Rather than just the romantic idea of ‘I’m going to spend my life brewing’, there seemed to be a definite opportunity in the Saskatchewan industry,” he said.

Kelly Monette, general manager of Bushwakker Brewpub, said there’s a sense of heritage and home in Regina. Smith has a similar feeling and said that the emergence of brewpubs in the GRA have added to this sense of community, while having some added safety benefits.

“We’re in a neighborhood where people can walk, bike, bring their dog, and bring their kids, which is what we’ve always wanted,” she said. “We had to fight for a few of those things. We had to change the idea that going for a beer, and having your kids come and have a hot chocolate is not a weird thing.”

Jay Cooke, Brewmaster at District Brewing said some other important factors are that Regina is in close proximity to malt barley and there is some great transportation infrastructure in place for the industry. Entrepreneurs have found that smaller centres outside Regina can also support the craft beer industry. Jeff Allport is the owner of Nokomis Craft Ales in Nokomis and said there was plenty of incentive to open up shop in an area with a population of just over 400.

“Nokomis has really good water for brewing. The cost of living here is really low. When you’re a new business, just starting, and putting all your
savings into the business, if you own a house that costs very little, it makes things a lot easier,” he said.

Cooke said managing a start-up like the District comes with risks. “Realizing that a start-up that size would have half a million dollars in trade which could make or break a company, I had to be around people I could trust,” he said. “You know you’re going to be managing a lot of the start-up fees yourself, so trust is a big part in taking on that liability.”

Economic Impact

The economic impact of the craft beer industry is extremely positive. The total economic output from the craft brewing in the GRA was $10.7 million in 2017. This includes a direct economic output of $6.2 million and $4.5 million in indirect and induced economic output. “All of these breweries are literally killing it right now,” Valgardson said.

There are approximately 103 direct full-time employees (FTE) in the industry and another 40.5 FTE that are supported. This is primarily made up of employment related to food services attached to the brewery, as well an estimated 24 FTE resulting from employment in liquor stores. Direct employment is expected to increase by 17.75 per cent in 2019. Reported direct employment income is $2.1 million, while total income generated by the industry is $3.65 million. The total taxes generated by the industry in 2017 was $791,219 provincially and $811,813 federally.

The current production in hectoliters was 21,908 in 2017. The industry currently has the potential capacity to expand production to 29,000 hectoliters within the next three to 10 years. Currently, craft beer from the GRA can be found in 200 different wholesalers, restaurants, off-sales and liquor stores across Saskatchewan and producers are now making inroads in Manitoba.

The industry is expecting an average growth of 30 per cent in sales in 2018.  The total investment in the craft beer industry over the last five year is $4.85 million. It is reported that another $1.65 million will be invested in the industry over the next two to three years.

“The biggest thing is because we are such a small part of the beer sales in the entire province, we know that we’re not competition against each other. We’re competing against the big beer sales,” Smith said. “Another reason we’re not competing against each other is that no one drinks one type of craft beer.”

Nature of Brewery

Craft brewing is often described as an art and a science, and new brewers must work diligently if they hope to become masters of their craft. “The brewers must have a passion for the beer they’re making,” Monette said.

“You have to know the art of actually designing the beer – the recipe and the flavours you’re looking for. And then you need to know the science to hit that,” said Pile O’Bones director Brent Babyak. “We take the water chemistry as serious as we take our beer recipes.  Every one of our beers has water specially designed for how we want it to taste.”

Naturally, this process takes some specific technology. Rebellion, for example, has an arsenal that includes a centrifuge, hop torpedo, canning line, shrink sleeve label, automated grain silo and other high end automated lab equipment for quality control and assurance.

Ultimately, behind the process is the person. Brewers agree it takes a special person to make a go of a business in the craft brewing industry. “If you’re not a brewer, if you don’t love beer, there are way better places to invest your money,” Allport said. “The most successful breweries are started by those that are passionate.”

“Talk to the other breweries. Definitely go and do your research. Everyone will be happy to talk to you about it,” Babyak said.

The Regina Advantage

Based on recent financial trends, hard-working brewers and an ever expanding marketplace, there are some exciting times brewing for the craft beer industry in the GRA. Put simply the GRA is the ideal place to start and grow a brewery thanks to the region’s unique advantages.

“The opportunity to create and grow is just phenomenal,” Heise said. “The cool thing about Regina and Saskatchewan is that you can have that voice. You can’t get that in most other cities.”

“We can’t make enough beer right now,” Babyak said.

The government is continuing to be supportive of the industry. Heise said that the Ministry of Agriculture understands craft brewing as its Saskatchewan Agri-value Initiative and Saskatchewan LEAN Improvements in Manufacturing are invaluable tools for growth.

Local restaurants are making an increased push for craft beer while Sobey’s is helping to grow the industry on the retail side by putting local beer taps into their ever-growing liquor stores around the province.  “Craft brewing is huge everywhere else and it’s getting big here now too,” said Joel Lanigan, regional manager of Brewsters. “Look at the number of breweries we have compared to five years ago.”

And as Cooke explains, more customers are continuing to enter the market and develop a taste for certain kinds of craft beers.

“As an entrepreneur, I’ve told people that Saskatchewan has a big advantage because often trends are a little bit late compared to other places,” he said. “We don’t always adopt the same trends, but you can actually take ideas from elsewhere and still have time to set yourself up as a business with enough time before the trend takes off.”

Truly, the sky is the limit and that’s something members of the craft beer industry can drink to.

“There’s so much untapped potential and opportunity here,” Heise said. “There are a few things to change, but we are just getting started as a craft brewing province. “

“It’s a feel good story. Everyone wants to support local and it has a ripple effect. You’re growing the economy in a positive way.”

TIME OUT – Harley Davidson

The inventor of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Arthur Davidson, died and went to heaven.  At the pearly gates, St. Peter told Arthur, “Since you’ve been such a good man and your motorcycles have changed the world, your reward is, you can hang out with anyone you want in Heaven.” Arthur thought about this for a minute and then said, “I want to hang out with God.”  St. Peter took Arthur to the Throne Room and introduced him to God.  God recognized Arthur and commented, “Okay, so you were the one who invented the Harley Davidson motorcycle?”  Arthur said, “Yep, that’s me.” God said, “Well, what’s the big deal in inventing something that’s pretty unstable, makes noise and pollution and can’t run without a road?”  Arthur was apparently embarrassed, but finally he said, “Excuse me, but aren’t you the inventor of woman?” God said, “Yes.” Arthur paused and said, “Well, professional to professional, you have some major design flaws in your invention: there’s too much inconsistency in the front-end protrusions, it chatters constantly at high speeds, most of the rear ends are too soft and wobble too much, the intake is placed way too close to the exhaust, and the maintenance costs are enormous!” God looked upon Arthur and said, “Hmmmmm, you have some good points there, hold on.” God went to His Celestial super computer, typed in some key words and waited for the results. The computer printed out a slip of paper and God read it. “Well, it may be true that my invention is flawed,” God said to Arthur, “but according to these statistics, more men are riding my invention than yours.”

This Weekend’s Special Dining Feature: Portered Roast Striploin w/ Mushroom Risotto & Chef’s Veg. $19.95 

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 Beer Pairing

Fri., Apr. 13

Smoked Chicken Corn Chowder

Honey Mustard Ham & Swiss

Ginger Beef

Sodbuster Brown Ale

Sat., Apr. 14


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Sun., Apr. 15


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Mon., Apr. 16

Cream of Cauliflower & Cheddar

Spicy Beef Wrap

Panko Crusted Cod Fish Tail

Northern Lights Lager

Tues., Apr. 17

Beef & Mushroom

Pulled Pork & Apple Pizza

Salisbury Steak

Palliser Porter

Wed., Apr. 18

Curried Sweet Potato

Citrus Halibut Tacos

Blackened Chicken Fettuccini

Last Mountain Lager

Thur., Apr. 19

Washington Chowder

Beef Philly Melt

Chimichurri Steak Sandwich

Saskadian Black IPA

Fri., Apr. 20

Split Pea & Ham

Italian Focaccia Club

Pork Scaloppini w/ Lemon Caper Sauce

Two Son’s Milk Stout

Sat., Apr. 21


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Sun., Apr. 22


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

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.