THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue # 1466


THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue #1466 – Posted on: 04-Mar-2019


NEWS FROM THE BREWERY! Head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports our seasonally available TWO SON’S MILK STOUT, BOW PROJECT AMARILLO S.M.A.S.H., FLEK’S CZECH DARK LAGER, CHINOOK ESB, and BLOOD ORANGE BLONDE ALE are currently on tap. There are batches of PICKARD’S OATMEAL STOUT and PONCE DE LEON FRUIT ALE working their way through the brewery.

Our GUEST TAP is currently pouring a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dunkel from Regina’s District Brewing. Next up is the Heartstopper Hot Chocolate Stout from Saskatoon’s Paddock Wood Brewing.

Our March premium wine features are the DUPLICATE WINES from Australia. The white is a Sauvignon Blanc and the red is a Shiraz. Both are $7.95 for a glass and $21.95 for a half litre.

650 ml glass bottles of our number one selling DUNGARVON IRISH RED ALE are currently available at ALL SIX SLGA stores including the Normanview, Quance Street, Broadway Avenue, North Albert Street, Dewdney & Lewvan and South Albert locations! ATTENTION SASKATOON RESIDENTS! You can now find our Dungarvon in bottles as well as on tap at the Growler Filling Station in the Saskatoon Metro Liquor store!

We are pleased to announce that you have nominated your Bushwakker in an unprecedented 20 categories in the 2019 edition of the Prairie Dog Magazine’s Best of Food Regina reader’s poll. Those nomination categories include Regina’s Best: brewpub, pub, pub server (Cheryl), bartender (Troy), chef (Mike), nachos, appetizers, soup, pub pizza, wings, business lunch, lunch restaurant, sandwich, burger, local fries, happy hour, caesar, restaurant for a first date, restaurant for a party AND restaurant for a fundraiser! Visit the voting site at before April 8th and turn those nominations into victories! If you vote in at least 20 categories, you have a chance to win a $500 prize package from the Prairie Dog.

After a five year run, it is time to release a brand new Bushwakker website. Final touches are being made and the shiny new site should be launched in just a few more weeks. Be sure to visit and let us know what you think!


Mar 1: FIRST FIRKIN FRIDAY. 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 month’s offering will be a BUTTERSCOTCH BROWN ALE. The delicious beer and suds-soaking experience takes place at 5:30 PM.

Mar. 2: SATURDAY AFTERNOON BLUES SHOWCASE. Presented in conjunction with The Regina Delta Blues Association and The Mid-Winter Blues Festival Week, our Saturday afternoon showcase is a great way to warm up for the festival finale later that evening. Enjoy two exciting blues bands beginning at 1:30 PM including: The AZ Paris Band as well as Billy Hughes & the Instigators who will deliver a special tribute to the Plains Hotel famous Saturday jams. Hosted by Jeff ”Redbeard” Corbett of 91.3FM CJTR. Be sure to try a slice of Redbeard’s signature chocolate caramel cheesecake too! We will also be presenting live blues music at 8:00 PM on the Monday and Wednesday evening earlier that week.

The famous Saturday afternoon blues jams at Good Time Charlies in Regina’s Plains Hotel will receive a special tribute at Bushwakker March 2nd.

Mar. 4: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT. Veteran act delivers great jazz standards and adult contemporary tunes. 8:00 PM.

Mar. 6: Wednesday Night Folk. REGINA SINGER/SONGWRITER ASSOCIATION & SASK MUSIC PRESENTS: Scott Anthony Andrews, Annie MacLeod, and James Gates. 8:00 PM.

Mar. 6: MONTHLY ALES MEETING. If you are looking to improve your skills as a homebrewer or just want to sit in a room filled with people who have a passion for creating great beer in the basement, then the ALES Club is for you! This month’s discussion topic will be Sours. Meetings are held in the Bushwakker basement clubroom on the first Wednesday of each month at 8:00 PM. New members are always welcome.

Mar. 11: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. CHRIS WALLACE. Toronto quartet plays original modern jazz. 8:00 PM.

Mar. 13: Wednesday Night Folk. SUN ZOOM SPARX. Funk, jazz fusion, psychedelia and mid-70’s ambience. 8:00 PM.

Mar. 15: CHERYL TOVEY TURNS 60! Longtime Bushwakker floor manager, Cheryl Tovey, winds up six decades on the planet and invites you to join her in a pint during Happy Hour today. She would love to see you and reminds everyone that she has everything a girl could possibly need so please don’t bring her any presents. However, if you wish to donate to her charity bin, she will be collecting donations for the Regina Food Bank, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission, Carmichael Outreach and the Regina Humane Society. She is giving the love back to our community!

Mar. 16 & 17: ST. PATRICK’S DAY WEEKEND. A two-day Irish celebration! Enjoy traditional Irish food, drink and entertainment Saturday night as well as Sunday afternoon and early evening too! The weekend kicks off with the tapping of a firkin of the extremely popular IRISH COFFEE STOUT at 5:00 PM and will be followed by Irish dancing, pipes & drums and a special Celtic performance from WEST OF MABOU. We open at noon on Sunday and The Prairie School of Irish Dance will perform at 1:00 PM followed by music act, THE HIGHLANDERS, pipes & drums and a suppertime performance from massive acoustic Celtic act, BILLARNEY. Enjoy Corned Beef & Cabbage, Belfast Breakfast Burger, O’Hara’s Stout Lamb Stew, Irish Whiskey Bread Pudding, Guinness, Green Shamrock Ale, Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey and more this Saturday and Sunday! $5 cover charge.

Mar. 18: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE U OF R JAZZ BAND. Come hear this huge act comprised of local future jazz starts! 8:00 PM.

Mar. 20: Wednesday Night Folk. CHRIS SPAKE. Australian singer/songwriter delivers lush acoustic pop and tells stories that burn a memorable experience. 8:00 PM.

Mar. 21: SCIENCE PUB. Virtual Reality: Past failures, Current Hype, and Future Vision. Our wildly popular Science Pub Series has returned for a seventh 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. David Gerhard, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Regina.

“Illusion of choice” is no Mirage

by Josh Noel

A photo arrived a few weeks back from a friend attending a Chicago Blackhawks game. He was happily sharing the state of the beer menu at the United Center, home to the city’s hockey and basketball teams and a major concert venue. Indeed, it was an admirable list.

But my attention quickly drifted from the most heartening options— Canadian brewery Collective Arts, local heroes BuckleDown, Haymarket and Spiteful—to something no one is meant to see: the “illusion of choice.”

“Illusion of choice” is a phenomenon sparked by the world’s largest beer companies buying their way into craft beer, amounting to what seems like a vast array of beer options in fact leading back to a single company.

That company, of course, tends the biggest beer company of them all: Anheuser-Busch InBev.

A mere eight years ago, as craft beer was becoming ascendant in the United States, Anheuser-Busch InBev made no credible craft beer. (No, Shock Top and Michelob Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale didn’t count — which was the problem.) So, as explained in “Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out,” Anheuser-Busch InBev did what multibillion dollar companies do when dominance is threatened by scrappy upstarts. It buys the scrappy upstarts.

Between 2011 and 2017, Anheuser-Busch InBev spent hundreds of millions of dollars acquiring 10 American craft breweries. The result? Within a mere seven years,  Anheuser- Busch InBev has gone from craft beer irrelevance to the nation’s dominant craft beer manufacturer.

The other result? “Illusion of choice,” say the critics (most commonly, craft beer trade group the Brewers Association). Thanks to its shopping spree, Anheuser-Busch distributors are able to offer a slew of beer brands that appear to the average customer to come from a variety of sources, but in fact trace back to that one company. In many cases the beer even leads back to the very same brewing equipment.

Is “illusion of choice” real? On one hand, no — choice is the very thing Anheuser-Busch InBev bought. The largest beer company in the world has acquired a portfolio of 10 breweries with their own distinct stories, perspectives and approaches to innovation. Those breweries are rooted in different regions of the country and specialize in brewing different styles. Being able to offer an IPA from Seattle, a lager from Central Virginia and a stout aged in bourbon barrels from Chicago — in other words, choice — was the entire point of the exercise.

On the other hand: of course it’s real. When staring at a draft list that includes Anheuser-Busch InBev acquisitions Goose Island, Elysian, Golden Road, Blue Point and Wicked Weed, consumers aren’t choosing from a variety of companies. They’re choosing from Anheuser-Busch InBev.

“Illusion of choice” comes in many forms. It can be a beer festival where you’d never know that 41 percent of the beer traces back to a single company. It can be signage at a bar in downtown Denver, across the street from the Great American Beer Festival, which just so happens to tout nothing but Anheuser-Busch InBev acquisitions (with no acknowledgment of the common ownership, of course).

But most often, “illusion of choice” doesn’t happen at beer festivals or as signage outside a bar. It comes where it counts: on store shelves and on beer menus, at the places people open their wallets. Critics like to key in on the places where Anheuser-Busch InBev and its nationwide army of distributors have the tightest grip on the taps, and are able to exert the most control — such as an airport bar, where all eight taps might pour Anheuser-Busch InBev products.

More common is what we see in the Blackhawks game. That United Center beer list is at first glance an example of fairly healthy diversity and consumer choice. But squint and you see that one company is disproportionally represented. Yup — Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Nearly half the beers — 16 of 36, which maps out to 44 percent — are Anheuser-Busch InBev products. Some beers are owned by Anheuser-Busch (two of which, Kona and Widmer, are minority stakes for the company, though it’s quite likely they’ll be wholly owned soon enough.) At least seven of the products are even made by Anheuser-Busch itself.

Not only is Anheuser-Busch InBev disproportionally represented on the beer menu, it has also built dominance on the hard seltzer and cider fronts. That’s the exact reason it bought SpikedSeltzer in 2016 and Virtue Cider in 2015 — the company needed a hard seltzer and craft cider to absorb as much real estate as it could on shelves and beer menus. At the United Center, it’s working.

To be sure, Anheuser-Busch is not alone in trading on illusion. MillerCoors’ Blue Moon is the most successful craft beer in the United States and the company deserves credit for innovating and nurturing that brand. But the “Blue Moon Brewing Company” — which is even the brand’s URL — is largely a myth. The beer is made by MillerCoors in Golden, Colo., Elkton, Va. and Milwaukee, alongside Miller Lite, Coors Light and Keystone Light. To the company’s credit, that reality is made clear when digging deeply enough into the MillerCoors website. Meanwhile we’re still awaiting such clarity from Anheuser-Busch. (The Baldwinsvlle, N.Y. brewery that makes most of Goose Island’s volume simply “produces more than 65 products … In addition to the company’s flagship brands, Budweiser and Bud Light.”) Clarity is not Anheuser-Busch InBev’s forte — dominance is.

Funny enough, another sports arena offers hope. New York’s Madison Square Garden, despite having a handful of quality beer options, the most impressive thing on the Garden’s craft beer menu might be its transparency. Every beer listed includes the company and location where that beer was made. Beside Shock Top, that includes some rarely seen words on a beer list: “Brewed in Fort Collins, CO by Anheuser-Busch.”

Such an approach doesn’t solve all issues of transparency. But it’s a start. If Madison Square Garden, in addition to other arenas, bars and restaurants, were to employ that practice with Anheuser-Busch’s entire craft portfolio (as well as MillerCoors and Blue Moon), it would be a game changer of sorts. It would be the exact information customers need to make an informed shopping decision at the place they need it most: the place where they’re shopping.

If a beer drinker sees that Goose Island IPA, Elysian’s Space Dust or Golden Road’s Wolf Pup are in fact made by Anheuser-Busch, but buys the beer anyway because it tastes good and is priced right, well, then good for Anheuser-Busch. It would be winning in an ever-more-crowded craft beer market honestly. Not with stealthy dominance. Not with obscured facts. Not with the “illusion of choice.”

TIME OUT- Actual Writings on Hospital Charts

1. The patient refused autopsy.

2. The patient has no previous history of suicides.

3. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

4. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.

5. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

6. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

7. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

8. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

9. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

10. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.

This Weekend’s Special Dining Feature: 1/2 Rack Memphis BBQ Ribs. $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., Mar. 1

Kansas City Steak


Chipotle Pork Chili

Dungarvon Irish Red Ale

Sat., Mar. 2


Delta Fried Chicken Sandwich

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Sun., Mar. 3


French Toast

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Mon., Mar. 4


Beef Lasagna

Black & Blue Steak Sandwich

Palliser Porter

Tues., Mar. 5

Cajun Chicken Mushroom

Canadian Pizza

Ginger Beef

Sodbuster Brown Ale

Wed., Mar. 6

Pork & Shrimp

Crab Cakes

Spiced Apricot Pork Belly

Last Mountain Lager

Thur., Mar. 7

Mexican Beef & Rice

Brisket Bun

Greek Platter

Amarillo Smash

Fri., Mar 8

Creamy Pesto Potato

Mustard Pork Wrap

Lamb Ale Stew

Regina Pale Ale

Sat., Mar. 9


Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Sun., Mar. 10


Miami Grill

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.