THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue # 1421


THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue #1421 – Posted on: 23-Apr-2018


NEWS FROM THE BREWERY! Head brewer, MICHAEL GAETZ, reports our seasonally available TWO SONS MILK STOUTARCTIC DARK MUNICH DUNKEL, SASKADIAN BLACK IPA and BREW & GOLD DORTMUNDER are now on tap. A batch of 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 Batch 88 Oyster Stout from the Prairie Sun Brewery in Saskatoon. Next up is an Amber Sour from Nokomis Craft Ales. This will be followed by a Double IPA from Swift Current’s Black Bridge Brewery.

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!

650 ml bottles of our number one selling DUNGARVON IRISH RED ALE are now available at the Rochdale, Emerald Park and brand new Southland Sobeys Liquor stores!

Congratulations to the Saskatchewan Craft Brews Association on their win at the 2018 Tourism Saskatchewan Awards Gala held on April 12th. The new Association won the Fred Heal Tourism Ambassador Award, which recognizes major contributions to the promotion or development of Saskatchewan as a tourism destination. A special tribute to the late Bushwakker co-founder and president, Bev Robertson, was made at the event to acknowledge his lasting contributions; not only as a Saskatchewan craft beer pioneer, but also as one who understood the value a strong local craft brewing industry contributes to the provincial tourism sector. Bev’s national award-winning Palliser Porter was shared in a toast by all those in attendance.

Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association board members, Grant Frew (Bushwakker Brewpub) and Shawn Moen (9 Mile Legacy Brewing) were among the Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence recipients on April 12th in Regina.


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.

May 2: Wednesday Night Folk. PETE EASTMURE Toronto singer/songwriter serves up Americana on his cross Canada tour!

May 2: MONTHLY ALES MEETING. After conducting their 25th annual ALES Open national homebrewing competition, one of Canada’s most respected clubs gets right back into their regular schedule. This month’s presentation topics include; Trappist Ales and Barrel-Aging Techniques. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month in the Bushwakker basement clubroom and begin at 8:00 PM. New members are always welcome.

May 4: FIRST FIRKIN FRIDAY – Special “May the Fourth Be With You Edition. Enjoy the pomp and circumstance of this long standing Bushwakker monthly tradition. A piper from the Regina Police Services Pipes and Drums leads a keg of special brew in a procession throughout the brewpub. A guest volunteer is selected to wield the handmade wooden maul affectionately referred to as The Mighty Firkin Wakker, and attempt to tap the firkin in one mighty blow. This May the fourth’s special offering will be a special Galaxy dry-hopped JED-IPA . The space opera suds-soaking experience takes place at 5:30 PM.

May 5: BIG BREW DAY. The ALES Club and the Bushwakker Brewpub continue this longstanding tradition of celebrating craft beer at the grassroots level. Members of the club join Bushwakker head brewer, Michael Gaetz, and assistant brewer, Bradley Dalrymple, in brewing a special Imperial Brown Ale.

May 5: BUSHWAKKER AT SAVOUR THE SOUTHEAST. Back for it’s third edition at Affinity Place in Estavan, Saskatchewan. We make our debut at this popular Food, Wine, Beer, Spirit and Music Festival. 7:00 PM.

May 7: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE MINISTRY OF GROOVE. 1970’s jazz funk and beyond. Love those horns! 8:00 PM.

May 9: Wednesday Night Folk. FARMER THE BAND. Canadian-grown American folk act from southern B.C. 8:00 PM.

May 14: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. BRIAN BAGGETT AND BEN WINOSKI. Chapman Stick master meets acoustic guitar whiz. One powerful duo! 8:00 PM.

May 16: Wednesday Night Folk. SEAN PINCHIN. Ontario folk and bluesman on a cross Canada tour. 8:00 PM.

May 17: THE EAGLES AT MOSAIC STADIUM. Be sure to stop by before, during or after the big concert to enjoy our HOTEL CALIFORNIA BURGER & A PINT feature.

May 18: ANNUAL SCREAMIN’ MOSQUITO CHILI BEER RELEASE. Our hot pepper-infused blonde ale makes its annual return this weekend. We have partnered with local businessman, Tony Matharu at the India Food Centre in Regina to provide a selection of fresh spicy peppers that will showcase their unique flavours in addition to varying degrees of heat. The first pepper offering will a nice, easy introduction to the style and is one of our most popular offerings – the classic Serrano Pepper! Hurts so good!

May 18, 19 & 20: MAY LONG WEEKEND KEG EVENT. What better way to celebrate the year’s first warm long weekend than with a Bushwakker keg? Receive free ice, cups, coasters and the use of a keg chiller tub with any May long weekend keg order. Four sizes of kegs are available for any gathering big or small.

May 19: THE 3rd POET LAUREATE’S POETRY & A PINT PRESENTATION. The Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Program was the first provincial program of its kind in Canada. The Saskatchewan Arts Board, Saskatchewan Book Awards, and the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild are partners in the program, which is under the patronage of the Lieutenant Governor. Enjoy a Saturday afternoon of poetry readings from some of Regina and area’s established and up-and-coming writers including: Brenda Schmidt (Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan), Bernadette Wagner, Chelsea Coupal, Gillian Harding-Russell, Randy Lundy and Shelly Banks. Perhaps enjoy a slice of our special limited edition Poetry Dessert! 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

Analyzing 2017 Craft Brewery Growth

By Bart Watson

Recently, I outlined the mechanics of coming up with our small and independent craft brewery growth numbers. Today, I want to delve a bit deeper into those numbers and try to describe the changing nature of craft growth in 2017. Anyone who has seen me present in recent months already knows the main themes. Growth hasn’t just decelerated, it has fundamentally changed compared to a few years ago, and those changes are affecting different segments of the craft community in very different ways.

Brewery Growth by Category
Let’s start by looking broadly at categories. It’s always hard to cleanly define the growth rates of groups like “microbreweries” or “regionals” since those groups change every year, but it’s pretty clear that the vast majority of growth this year came from the smallest breweries. Craft regionals, independent production breweries above 15,000 barrels, grew only slightly in 2017. If we include the losses due to acquisitions, aggregating the group of independent breweries above 15,000 barrels, even including new additions, shows a category that didn’t budge. Much of the challenge was at the top, where the largest regional brewers are being pressed both from above and below, but even if we extend our view to all regionals, 30% were down more than -1%, and another 8% were between -1% and 1%. That leaves 62% of regionals up more than 1%, but a bit more than half of those were smaller than 30,000 barrels of total production. So the regionals that are growing tend to be the smallest regionals.

That means the vast majority of growth came from microbreweries and brewpubs, with microbreweries accounting for nearly 60% of the craft category’s total growth. Brewpubs had a solid year (up 15%, accounting for 16% of total growth) but the microbrewery category continues to be the bigger growth engine, both because of the number of breweries in the category and because of higher growth/brewery. If you include breweries that were microbreweries in 2016 in the micro category (those that jumped to regional), their contribution to growth jumps to almost 80%.

At the Brewery Sales
A chunk, but certainly not all, of this growth comes from at the brewery sales. Breweries that reported onsite sales in the Beer Industry Production Survey both years saw a lot of growth, but most of it was outside the brewery. Those breweries grew 13%, and went from 7.37 million, in 2016, to 8.33 million in 2017—more than 960,000 barrels of growth (80% of total craft brewery growth).  They grew onsite sales by 12.7%, or 87,000, about 9% of their total growth, the other 91% coming outside the brewery. That said, this isn’t that useful by itself for estimating the total number, since the group that reports is most likely different from the group that doesn’t.

That means we need to control for the size of the group that reported onsite sales (~2,400 breweries, who represent nearly 60% of craft volume) and extrapolate based on their size and category. Using that method, about 2.5 million barrels of at the brewery sales this year, which on the face of it seems low, given our estimate of 2.3 million last year.

As a check, I used this same method to estimate 2016 onsite, and it comes out to 2.1 million, about 155,000 less than I got last year (of which only about 5,000 barrels would be due to changes in the base). That suggests about 400,000 barrels of at the brewery sales growth, though what base to use isn’t as clear. 400,000 barrels of growth lines up very neatly with what the TTB has reported at this point through their first revision.

I think that growth number is the one I’m most confident in at the moment. It’s fair to say that craft at the brewery sales grew ~400,000 barrels—contributing about one-third of total craft growth—and are now somewhere between 2.5-2.7 million barrels, making growth 17-19% last year for this channel. As the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) inevitably revises upward, both of those could shift up another 100,000 barrels. If you’re trying to line up the total industry, keep in mind that there are probably somewhere between 50,000-100,000 barrels sold onsite by brewers outside the craft brewery dataset.

Per Brewer Growth
I want to end this post on a sobering note. Compared to many parts of the U.S. economy, craft’s 5% growth rate is quite strong. That said, it’s probably not as strong as many breweries expected as they built their business plan. Additionally, as the number of breweries has exploded, slowing growth plus more breweries means that per brewer growth numbers have declined significantly. At the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, Paul Gatza and I will delve more into how much growth is coming from new brewers (suffice it to say it’s a lot), but even including them, it’s clear that although the category is still growing, breweries individually are growing less than they expected a few years ago.

In absolute terms, per brewery growth was less than 200 barrels last year. In 2014, it was almost 900 barrels. To drop like that suggests both that many brewers probably aren’t seeing the growth trajectories of breweries from a few years ago, and that many brewers are declining.

The table below shows the distribution of companies with 2016 and 2017 data (so excluding 2017 openings). I’ve starred the “more than 50% group” as a reminder that a huge chunk of them are 2016 openings—50% will average growth of 100% or more just due to when they opened in 2016.

The positive interpretation of the table above is that even in an extremely competitive environment, 73% of breweries were flat or up last year. The flip side is that 27% saw declines greater than 1%, and 17% saw double-digit declines. If you’re a brewery in planning—I’d urge you to base your plan on not just the breweries around you that are in their first few years, but also check out those that are a bit older. What does their growth look like? Is that reflected in your business plan? Similarly, if you’re in a fast growing state, check out the detailed state data in a place like Oregon (or just wait for the full BA data coming next month). Plenty of breweries are differentiating themselves and finding ways to grow in this marketplace, but it’s certainly no longer universal.

A More Mature Market
As with every year, 2017 brought changes to the craft brewing market. Nearly 1,000 breweries opened, increasing competition while growth decelerated another small notch. Given that there still appear to be thousands of breweries in planning, this pattern is likely here to stay for several years. It will be difficult for all breweries to succeed in this environment, but professional brewing is fundamentally a business, and in any business there is the risk of failure.

On a more positive note, the continued growth in 2017 is another piece of evidence that craft demand is fundamentally strong and here to stay. Together this creates a bit of a duality. An industry that collectively shows plenty of health, but with individual parts of the market and companies that may be struggling. I’d expect more of the same throughout 2018.

The 3rd Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association AGM was held at The Bushwakker last week. A great feeling of pride, optimism and comradery amongst our growing number of Saskatchewan craft beer producers. The official proclamation of “Saskatchewan Craft Brewing Week” by the Government of Saskatchewan was a great honour! Thanks to all of you for supporting your friends and neighbours in our growing industry. We are just getting started!

TIME OUT – The Ladies Room

A rather attractive woman goes up to the bar in a quiet rural pub. She gestures alluringly to the barman who comes over immediately. When he arrives, she seductively signals that he should bring his face close to hers. When he does so, she begins to gently caress his beard which is full and bushy.
“Are you the manager?” she asks, softly stroking his face with both hands.
“Actually, no” he replies.
“Can you get him for me? I need to speak to him.” she asks, running her hands up beyond his beard and into his hair.
“I’m afraid I can’t” breathes the barman – clearly aroused. “Is there anything I can do?”
“Yes there is. I need you to give him a message” she continues huskily, popping a couple of fingers into his mouth and allowing him to suck them gently.
“Tell him” she says “that there is no toilet paper or hand soap in the ladies room.”

This Weekend’s Special Dining Feature: 8 oz Sirloin w/ Oscar Sauce, Grilled Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto Cake. $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.





Hot Special

Beer Pairing

Fri., Apr. 20

Split Pea & Ham

Italian Focaccia Club

Pork Scaloppini w/ Lemon Caper Sauce

Two Sons Milk Stout

Sat., Apr. 21


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Sun., Apr. 22


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Mon., Apr. 23

Red Pepper Bisque

Bushwakker Monte Cristo

Beef Cannelloni

Dungarvon Irish Red Ale

Tues., Apr. 24

Seafood Chowder

Mexi Chicken Pizza

Bison Meatloaf w/ Port Sauce

Regina Pale Ale

Wed., Apr. 25

Cabbage & Bacon

Horseradish Beef Press

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo w/ Cornbread

Chico IPA

Thur., Apr. 26

Beef & Pearl Onion

Chicken Monterey Ciabatta

Japanese Style Chicken

Stubblejumper Pilsner

Fri., Apr. 27

Potato, Bacon & Leek

IPA Fish Burger

Roast Pork Loin w/ Chanterelle Sauce

Sodbuster Brown Ale

Sat., Apr. 28


Breakfast Special

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Sun., Apr. 29


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.