THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue #1725

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THE WAKKER WEEKLY

Issue #1725 – Posted on: 19-Feb-2024

BREWERY “HOPP”ENINGS! Bushwakker head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports that our seasonally available SASKADIAN BLACK IPA, PICKARD’S OATMEAL CREAM STOUTFLEK’S CZECH DARK LAGER and PONCE DE LEON BLACKBERRY-RASPBERRY FRUIT BEER are currently available. There are also batches of UPENDI PINEAPPLE PASSIONFRUIT FRUIT BEERDORTMUNDER BREW & GOLD and PREMIUM PALE ALE currently working their way through the brewery.

 


Our Mardi Gras Week wraps up this weekend! Last chance to enjoy delicious Cajun cuisine, a nice bourbon or a classic Hurricane Cocktail!

 

Join us for our MARDI GRAS WEEKEND this February 16th & 17th. Enjoy a Blackened Steak with Creole Shrimp, Pork & Beef Po’ Boy Sandwich, Cajun Crab Cakes, Cajun Chicken & Sausage Pizza and Stuffed Cajun Chicken! 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 AFRICAN QUEEN HEFEWEIZEN from High Key Brewing. This will be followed by the NECTARON SINGLE HOP PALE ALE from Black Bridge Brewery.

FEBRUARY PREMIUM WINE FEATURES: This month’s wine features are the OUR STORY VQA Wines from Ontario. The red is a CABERNET/ MERLOT and the white wine is called CHARMING WHITE (Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Riesling &Vidal.) Both are $8.95 for a glass and $23.95 for a half litre.

 


The Bushwakker Brewpub presents a Pre-St. Patrick’s Day LUCKY LEPRECHAUN LIMERICK FIRKIN TAPPING CONTEST! Submit your best St. Paddy’s limerick to bar@bushwakker.com. The entrant of the most witty, humourous and sly submission will be crowned Papa (or Mama) Leprechaun and will wear the emerald garb and tap our firkin of Irish Coffee Stout on March 16th! Contest entry deadline: Friday, March 8th.

 


Our Bushwakker MARDI GRAS WEEK winds up this Friday and Saturday. Last chance to enjoy delicious Cajun cuisine, bourbons and Hurricane Cocktails!

 


Last Monday’s Annual Regina Jazz Society fundraising concert and live dessert auction saw great music from The University of Regina Jazz Band plus a huge array of decadent desserts from a number of Regina bakeries including a Millionaire Cheesecake from Bushwakker Pastry Chef, Amber Colbourne!



CURRENT HOURS OF OPERATION AND RESERVATIONS NOTES

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 on 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.


N/A Beer, Why So Secretive?

By Courtney Iseman

Sweet, unfermented barley stew. An explosion of foam. A sour funk when the beer is not a sour. Weak, watery, undercarbonated thinness. These are just a few of the faults you might encounter—repeatedly—when trying nonalcoholic beers. The category is booming, with new options debuting daily, a bright spot shining against the current, sagging reality that craft beer sales are in decline. But too many of these options aren’t actually good. Why does consistency prove so elusive in this increasingly popular category?

Secrecy might be the answer. The rise of N/A beer has been built on proprietary methods and brewers who keep their advances to themselves. It’s the polar opposite of how the rest of the craft beer industry has evolved over the past few decades.

“In American craft brewing, for the most part, there’s been a ‘no secrets’ culture—I can tell you all the details, but you’re still going to wind up with a different beer,” says Joe Stange, executive editor of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine and the Brewing Industry Guide. “At the same time, sharing the techniques and processes that really work well is a habit that lifts all boats—it makes everybody better.” When brewers discover some game-changing ingredient or method, they often can’t wait for show-and-tell; the innovations spread, and beer improves. With nonalcoholic beer, meanwhile, brewers are on their own.

Perhaps craft beer is the one that’s the odd man out here. As a drinks writer and editor, Kate Bernot has been met with vague responses from brewers when reporting on N/A equipment and methods, a departure from interviews with standard craft beer makers. “Craft beer is … the anomaly in terms of cooperation,” she says. “You don’t see one construction company inviting a competing firm’s engineers to come ‘collaborate’ on blueprints.” Meanwhile, in craft beer, teamwork-based origin stories abound. “I think of the story of Ken Grossman visiting Jack McAuliffe at New Albion Brewing Co. in ’78, then taking that method he saw and scaling it to start Sierra Nevada,” says Meagen Anderson, founder and CEO of AFicioNAdo, the world’s first nonalcoholic adult beverage training and certification program.

N/A beer brands have a reason to act more like a consumer packaged goods (CPG) company than a craft brewery. Entering the N/A beer arena requires a massive investment of money, education and resources. Athletic Brewing Co. has effectively launched the craft nonalcoholic beer category and remains its primary driver, and it was valued at $500 million in 2023. As of 2022, it had raised approximately $173.5 million in funding. That has fueled the creation of gold-standard N/A beer styles; perhaps unsurprisingly, Athletic is patenting its process.

“We have invested significant resources, both in terms of time and capital, to develop processes that set our products apart from others on the market,” says Athletic communications manager Chris Furnari.

Even if a brewery dished on its methods, they’re often not widely accessible, anyway. Many breweries who want to start making no-nalcoholic beer don’t fully comprehend the undertaking it is, Anderson says. If you opt to use a de-alcoholization process, the required equipment can cost millions of dollars. If you choose the biological path of arrested fermentation using standard yeast or limited fermentation using strains for non-alcoholic beer, there’s a steep learning curve to overcome in order to avoid faults. Additionally, most brewhouses aren’t equipped for the rigid food safety demands of N/A brewing, considering brewing standard beer involves the antimicrobial powers of alcohol.

“It’s harder to do something like [Sierra Nevada did back in 1978] on the non-alcoholic side, when you’ve got to have $2 million in cap ex [capital expenditure] to start and a tech company to teach you how to do it,” says Anderson.

Finally, there’s the marketing piece of the puzzle. Craft beer wooed drinkers with its image of scrappy, independent creatives coming together to collaborate. Brewery tours and guided tastings built a culture of education as part of the drinking experience. So far, we haven’t seen that same interest in N/A beer. “Whether a brewery uses a tunnel pasteurizer or outsources its brewing entirely to a co-packer or uses arrested fermentation, it’s not clear that drinkers will choose a brand because of that,” says Bernot.

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TIME OUT

When I was young I decided I wanted to be a doctor so I took the entrance exam to go to medical school.  One of the questions asked to rearrange the letters PNEIS into the name of an important human body part which is most useful when erect.  Those who answered “spine” are doctors today.  The rest of us are sending jokes via email.