Issue #1714 – Posted on: 04-Dec-2023

BREWERY “HOPP”ENINGS! Bushwakker head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports that our seasonally available BLOOD ORANGE BLONDE ALESASKADIAN BLACK IPABARON BOCK  and GRANNY’S BITTER are currently available. BLACKBERRY MEAD will be on tap Saturday, December 2nd. There are batches of “MISSILE”TOW CHRISTMAS ALE, PONCE DE LEON BLACKBERRY-RASPBERRY FRUIT BEERPREMIUM PALE ALE and FLEK’S CZECH DARK LAGER currently working their way through the brewery.


Mead Day is Saturday, December 2nd!  Our official kickoff to the holiday season is back with the 29th annual release of our famous Blackberry Mead. 400 pounds of Lumsden Valley honey and 88 pounds of blackberries goes into every batch creating a 10.5% ABV unique dry berry honey wine unlike any other! Lots have folks pre-ordered their mead this year. Curbside customers should bring their vehicles to our rear loading dock at their selected time. Takeout customers should come in our back entrance to our Mead Pre-Order Pickup Table.  All walk-up customers should come through our FRONT entrance to purchase their mead this year.


Thank you for celebrating 29 years of Bushwakker Blackberry Mead magic! The winner of our #MeadMemories contest is Bert Barkwell who will receive our Mead Prize Pack! Bert has many fond mead memories as depicted in his extensive Bushwakker mead label collection!


Our “MISSILE”TOW CHRISTMAS ALE and BUSHWAKKER CHRISTMAS MIXED SIX-PACKS will be back on Saturday, December 9th! This year`s selection is one of the most exotic to date and includes a bottle of 2023 Blackberry Mead as well as a bottle of 2022 Blackberry Mead, a “Missile” tow Christmas Ale, Baron Bock, Raspberry Blonde Ale as well as a bottle of Great Pumpkin Spiced Brown Ale. Limited quantities available!


Our gift cards make for the ideal stocking stuffer for the Bushwakker fan on your list. Available in $25, $50, $100 and $200 denominations. Our vintage Bushwakker sweatshirts also make for a cozy Christmas gift!


Whole Bushwakker Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pies are back once again for Christmas. Supplies are limited so order early to avoid disappointment. $53.50 each (tax included). Contact Kelly at to pre-order yours today. Take your holiday spread to the next level!


Well, almost all Sundays except for Christmas Eve. With Mead Season upon us, we will be open Sunday, December 3, 10 & 17 from noon to 9:00. Come enjoy a few goblets or mead and pick up a Bushwakker gift card stocking stuffer or two. Don’t forget our Holiday Craft Market on December 10th from 1:00 – 5:00.

This Weekend’s Special Dining Feature for December 1st & 2nd is a COTTAGE PIE for $24.95. Our 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.

Our SASK CRAFT GUEST TAP is currently pouring the TALUS WEST COAST IPA from High Key Brewing. This will be followed by the TWO-HEADED MONSTER lager from 9 Mile Legacy Brewing. And then the TWO SUNS HAZY DOUBLE IPA from Paddock Wood Brewing.

DECEMBER PREMIUM WINE FEATURES: This month’s red wine feature is the PETER LEHMANN THE BAROSSAN SHIRAZ from Australia. The white wine feature is the WHITE SHEEP SAUVIGNON BLANC from New Zealand. Both are $9.95 for a glass and $24.95 for a half litre.


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. Sundays in December we will be open from Noon – 9:00 PM. Christmas Eve Sunday we are closed and Nothing For New Year’s Sunday we are open from 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM.

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.

Mead has a long history and a future as a sustainable beer alternative

By Tony Rehagen – The Washington Post – August 2023

When Brett and Megan Hines moved to Colorado for graduate school in 2011, they immersed themselves in the New Age subcultures that were taking root in the state at the time. The Eastern Shore Maryland natives took up mountain biking, joined a CSA, volunteered at an organic farm, raised chickens, drank craft beer and eventually joined a home-brewing club, called Liquid Poets, to learn how to make their own. Brett even parlayed the hobby into jobs brewing for local labels.

But the deeper the Hineses delved into the world of ales and lagers, the more they realized that the industry was out of sync with their emerging environmentalist worldview.

“We wanted to go with our values of sourcing as much local product as we could,” says Megan Hines. “We wanted to make a truly local beverage. And a lot of grain is grown far away at a big commercial scale. Bringing grain in from across the country is not a sustainable long-term thing.”

During their time with the Liquid Poets, the Hinses learned of a different fermentable, one that was made without grain. Mead was essentially honey and water, flavored with fruits and spices from perennial plants. And they found it every bit as delicious and versatile as beer.

In 2014, the Hinses moved back to Maryland to set up their own organic vegetable farm. They bought sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and bees to raise and planted an apple orchard. But instead of brewing beer, the couple made mead. Six years later, they opened the Buzz Meadery in Berlin, Md.

Mead has ancient roots, predating human agriculture, with origins at least as far back as the New Stone Age. Over the past decade-plus, the beverage has found a foothold in the ongoing craft beverage movement — a recent report from Technavio research group projected mead to be a $2.26 billion global market by 2026. And while Europe, steeped in the mead-making tradition, still holds the largest chunk of that market, the United States is closing fast. The American Mead’s modern resurgence can be linked to several factors, appealing to gluten-free drinkers, an association with mainstream fantasy fiction like “Game of Thrones” or even sheer novelty. Long-standing industry leaders such as Michigan’s B. Nektar (founded in 2006) and Colorado’s Redstone Meadery (2001) have turned their niche followings into well-known national brands. But whatever the reason for its current popularity, the ancient drink might owe its future to the fact that, in many ways, it’s better for the Earth than beer.

“Mead is perhaps headed to be the drink that, if it’s made as it can be and stays in its own environment, can be the lowest carbon-footprint beverage there is,” says Ken Schramm, owner of the renowned Michigan-based Schramm’s Mead, who has been making the stuff for 35 years and wrote 2003’s “The Compleat Meadmaker,” still considered the authoritative manual for the craft. “If you drink it where you’re at, the whole thing ends up being a very carbon-positive product.”

Proximity is a key differentiator for mead when it comes to carbon footprint. The primary ingredients in beer are barley and hops, the production of which are both mainly concentrated in the western and northwestern regions of the United States. According to the Hop Growers of America, Washington state produces more than twice the amount of hops than does the rest of the country; and the USDA says that most domestic barley production — three-fourths of which is used for malting — is in Idaho, Montana and North Dakota.

Meanwhile, honey can be produced virtually anywhere, with North Dakota apiaries churning out about 31 million pounds, followed by a far-flung array of regions, including California (11.5 million pounds), Texas (8.32 million), Montana (7.5 million), Florida (7.35 million), South Dakota (7.2 million) and Minnesota (5.2 million). As Schramm points out, many leading meadmakers still import exotic types of honey from all over the world, but usually in much smaller quantities than grains used to brew beer at commercial scale.

Saving on shipping might give mead a small leg up over beer (after all, honey is much heavier than grain). But mead’s true viability advantage could lie below the topsoil. Barley, along with other adjuncts in beer, such as corn, rice and wheat, is an annual crop. That means every year, farmers plow and plant, releasing CO2 and carbon into the atmosphere. Those commercial crops often require use of potentially harmful herbicides and pesticides. Perhaps most important: In times of drought, these fields require irrigation.

The fruits generally used in making mead, on the other hand, grow from perennial trees and vines. And the honey?

“You don’t have to irrigate plants that rely on bees,” says Ayla Guild, beekeeper and co-owner of the Hive Taproom meadery, in East Troy, Wis. “During drought, bees are scrappy. They figure it out. Certain plants thrive in drought, and the bees know how to find them.”

Speaking of bees, meadmaking also has the carbon-positive impact of promoting the planet’s most prodigious pollinators, which keep carbon-eating forests and carbon-sequestering prairies healthy. Plus, there’s no strain on the insects’ supply. “Bees make surplus honey,” says Amina Harris, founding director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the University of California at Davis and “Queen Bee” of her family business, Z Specialty Food. “They’re going to make it whether they need it or not.”


TIME OUT -Mead Honey Humour

This guy is enjoying a mead at the bar when a woman comes in, wearing a white suit, covered in wax and honey, and smelling from the bee smoker.
He thinks to himself, “Yeah, she’s a keeper.”

What do you call a bee that can’t make up its mind?  A maybe.

What’s black and yellow and flies at 30,000 feet? A bee on an airplane.

What buzzes, is black and yellow and goes along the bottom of the sea? A bee in a submarine.

What do they call a bee that can’t quit talking? Blabb-bee.

What is a swarm of really small queen bees called? The royal wee.

The bees’ favourite guns?  BeeBee guns, I suppose.

What happens when a bee burps near the queen? It gets a royal pardon.


Our 29th annual Blackberry Mead Release is Saturday, December 2nd! Each batch is made with 400 pounds of local honey from the Lumsden Valley and comes in at a cool 10.5% ABV. Limit of three goblets per visit so enjoy while quantities last!