Issue #1696 – Posted on: 31-July-2023

BREWERY “HOPP”ENINGS! Bushwakker Head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports that our seasonally available GRANNY’S BITTER, KAI’S MUNICH HELLES, HONEY THISTLE WIT, BOMBAY IPA and TANGERINE DREAM FRUIT and are currently available. Our FLEK’S CZECH DARK LAGER is currently working its way through the brewery.


Our brand new TANGERINE DREAM FRUIT BEER is now available on tap, in our offsale and for growler and keg fills too. The quenching citrus character of the tangerine is further enhanced with just the right amount of Cascade hop presence. Truly a refreshing hot summer brew!


This Weekend’s Special Dining Feature for July 28th & 29th is an APPLE SMOKED PORK CHOP for $23.95Our Saturday CLASSIC STEAK & A PINT SPECIAL as well as our Monday and Wednesday WINGS & A PINT SPECIAL and Tuesday PIZZA & A PINT SPECIAL are also great value deals.


Better late than never! The 2023 edition of the Regina Hop Circuit officially launches this Thursday. Visit all six participating Regina Craft Breweries and receive a special commemorative Hop Circuit glass. Grab a free Hop Circuit map and get out there and start your bike or hike to collect those stamps and redeem your prize!


Our SASK CRAFT GUEST TAP is currently pouring Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association annual collaboration brew; a YUZU PALE ALE. This will be followed by the SO PITTED CRAB APPLE APRICOT CIDER from the Spot On Cidery from Outlook, SK.

JULY PREMIUM WINE FEATURES: This month’s wine features are the FAT BASTARD WINES from France. The red wine is their SHIRAZ and the white wine is their SAUVIGNON BLANC. Both are $8.50 for a glass and $22.95 for a half litre.


Of the seven wins we recently received in the 2023 Best of Food Regina Awards, the BEST BURGER IN REGINA award is a significant one. Our hand-made burgers are the ultimate comfort food! Choose from beef, bison, wild boar, veggie (which is also vegan) or a charbroiled chicken breast. Dress it up Classic Wakker –Style, Mushroom & Swiss or Black & Bleu for a decadent twist! Pair your favourite burger with a pint of our food-friendly Dungarvon Irish Red Ale and you got it made in this shade this summer!

Aug 2: Wednesday Folk Night. BRIAN VOLKE. Former Celtic Clutter frontman returns for his annual summer Bushwakker performance. 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM.


Aug. 4:  FIRST FIRKIN FRIDAY. Enjoy the pomp and circumstance of this longstanding Bushwakker monthly tradition! A piper from The Regina Police Services Pipes & Drums leads a keg (the firkin) of special ale throughout the pub in a procession. A guest volunteer tapper is selected to wield the handmade wooden maul affectionately named, The Mighty Firkin Wakker, and attempts to tap the keg in one mighty blow! This month’s super summer refreshing firkin offering will be a RASPBERRY TANGERINE ALE! The suds-soaking spectacular takes place at 5:30 PM.


Aug 6: RIDERS VS. REDBLACKS. We will be open at noon on this game day Sunday. Enjoy our gourmet game day OTTAWA BURGER & A PINT SPECIAL before the 5:00 PM kickoff. Come “devour” the competition!


We are open Monday – Thursday from 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM. The kitchen closes at 9:00 PM and last call is at 9:15 PM. Fridays and Saturdays we are open from 11:00 AM until midnight. The kitchen is open until 11:00 PM and last call is at 11:15 PM. Closed Sundays.

Reservations are accepted and encouraged. We accept a limited number of reservations as late as 6:00 PM every day except Fridays. Fridays we accept reservations as late as 3:00 PM. Call us at 306-359-7276 to secure your table. Our two banquet rooms are also available for private party rentals. Call Kelly at 306-359-7276 to book either our main floor Arizona Room or basement Clubroom.

Some Toronto area stores are closing their beer and wine sections. Why? Because they’re not making money

By Ghada Alsharif – Toronto Star

Ontarians waited for decades to be able to pick up their favourite wine and beer at local grocery stores, and their wish was finally granted nearly 10 years ago by the previous Liberal government. But over the past few months, shoppers have reported a puzzling new trend: several retailers have been quietly shuttering their alcohol sections.

The Star has confirmed at least four grocery store locations in the GTA where alcohol has disappeared from shelves in recent months. They include Sobeys-owned FreshCo at Bathurst and Nassau, Loblaws at Queen and Portland, Loblaws in Empress Walk in North York, and Loblaw-owned Real Canadian Superstore in Brampton.

Loblaw and Sobeys did not respond to inquiries asking how many of their stores have stopped selling alcohol and why. However, the Retail Council of Canada, which represents the country’s largest grocers, including Loblaw and Sobeys, said high levels of theft have cut into the profitability of alcohol sales at some locations and an industry expert told the Star that profits on beer and wine sales are often surprisingly small to begin with.

As food prices continue to skyrocket, shoplifting has surged across all grocery store categories, including alcohol, and it’s costing stores billions of dollars, said Michelle Wasylyshen, a spokesperson for the Retail Council of Canada. Ironically, retailers’ increasing reliance on self-checkouts to slash labour costs and fill staffing gaps is making it easier for shoppers to walk out without paying.

While she did not confirm how many retailers have stopped or will stop selling alcohol, Wasylyshen said some grocery stores will no longer sell beer and wine “in part due to high incidents of theft, which has made the current business case for alcohol sales uneconomical.”

“In some locations (theft) has become more unmanageable,” Wasylyshen said. “And so that retailer will make a choice on what to remove from the shelves.”

Gary Sands, a senior vice-president with the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, added that the problem is compounded by the razor thin margins on alcohol sales at some supermarkets.

“The most significant thing that would compel the grocer to exit the market on beer and wine is without a doubt margins,” Sands said.

That’s because many stores had to agree to keep only a tiny amount of the total profits on beer and wine sales in order to get a license to sell alcohol to begin with.

Under a program started by the previous Liberal government in 2015, up to 450 retailers — a mix of large and independent grocers — were chosen to sell alcohol via a competitive bidding process. As part of their bid, retailers had to pledge a margin rate, which was the percentage of profits they could keep for themselves. The government allowed retailers to bid margin rates between two and 6.9 per cent.

Retailers in competitive markets “with a lot stores of in the area, would have to bid low to have any realistic chance of getting a licence,” Sands said.

The bids were submitted to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and successful bidders then submitted their individual store locations for authorization to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

Once authorized, grocers entered into a wholesale supply agreement with the LCBO as the sole supplier of wine, beer and cider to the stores. In 2021, the LCBO reported that it took $486 million in revenue from grocery store sales, a significant increase from $247 million in 2019.

The average gross marginal rate provided to grocery stores for alcohol is just 2.2 per cent, according to Wasylyshen. Sands said many of his federation’s members have a margin of about two to three per cent on alcohol sales.

“Selling alcohol at those margins is simply not sustainable,” Sands said, adding that when a customer purchases alcohol with a credit card, the interchange fee alone erases any profits.

Factor in an environment where theft is increasing along with labour costs, “simply put, grocers lose money when they sell beer,” Wasylyshen said.

Sands expects more grocers to take alcohol off their shelves in the future.

“If the margins don’t change, we can expect more and more grocers to stop selling alcohol,” Sands said.

TIME OUT Angry Irish Nuns

A car full of Irish nuns is sitting at a traffic light in downtown Dublin when a bunch of rowdy drunks pull up alongside of them.

“Hey, show us yer teets, ya bloody penguins.” shouts one of the drunks. Quite shocked, Mother Superior turns to Sister Mary Immaculata and says, “I don’t think they know who we are; show them your cross.”

Sister Mary Immaculata rolls down her window and shouts, “Piss off, ya fookin’ little wankers, before I come over there and rip yer balls off.” She then rolls up her window, looks back at Mother Superior quite innocently, and asks, “Did that sound cross enough?”