Issue #1741 – Posted on: 10 – June – 2024

BREWERY “HOPP”ENINGS! Bushwakker head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports that our seasonally available CHERRY LIME ALE, GALAXY S.M.A.S.H. ALE, PREMIUM PALE ALE and FLEK’S CZECH DARK LAGER are currently available. There are also batches of CITRUS SUMMER WHEAT, BREW & GOLD DORTMUNDER LAGER and TREPHINATION IMPERIAL IPA currently working their way through the brewery.

Part of our Sunday, June 9th “Celebration of Life” for late Bushwakker co-founder, Elaine Robertson, will be the release of a commemorative brew created by her grandson, Bushwakker head brewer, Michael Gaetz. Elaine’s favourite beer style was wheat beer. Michael brewed a very special hefeweizen and brought the citrus notes forward with the addition of extra curacao orange peel and some tangerine too. A limited number of bottles will be available in our offsale and a special firkin tapping of Elaine’s SUMMER CITRUS WHEAT will take place at 3:00 that afternoon.

This Weekend’s Special Dining Feature for June 7th & 8th is a SMOKED BRISKET DINNER. 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 EAGLES & BULLDOGS HAZY IPA from 9 Mile Legacy Brewing in Saskatoon. Next up is ARIANA COLD IPA from High Key Brewing followed by a LEMON LIME IPA from Black Bridge Brewing.

We are pretty excited about our  weekend special. We recently converted one of our old beer aging tanks into a huge smoker. Get ready for SMOKED BRISKET with BAKED BEANS, MAC & CHEESE and HOUSE-MADE CORNBREAD this Friday and Saturday!

JUNE PREMIUM WINE FEATURES: This month’s wine features are the MATUA wines from New Zealand. The red is a Pinot Noir and the white is a Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Both are $8.50 for a glass and $22.95 for a half litre.

Our June Bushwakker LOCAL ARTIST WALL features emerging artist PEGGY FORSBERG. Peggy started taking art classes in 2017 as a conscious way to bring more joy to her life. As a lifelong learner she continues to take classes and workshops whenever possible. She has had many and varied art teachers, all encouraging her to further her practice. She started with sketching and watercolour and later moved into acrylics and sculpting with felt. Her work is aided by growing up on a small mixed farm in northern Saskatchewan, a background in anatomy and her affection for the cats who are willing to share their home with her. Peggy’s work captures the joy and humour that she sees in her world without denying the dark complexities. Her use of colour and layering bring depth and feeling to her work. Peggy currently resides in the urban Prairies (Regina) with her equally creative and talented musician husband and their two cats. Enjoy Peggy’s creations all this month!

The 2024 HOP CIRCUIT is well underway for the summer! Some folks are already on their second tour! Grab your free map and take a hike or your bike and visit all six participating Regina craft breweries. Collect a stamp on your map at each location and receive a free 2024 Hop Circuit commemorative glass.


June 7: 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! June’s Pride Month firkin offering will be a SUPER PRIDE DRY-HOPPED SESSION IPA! The suds-soaking spectacular takes place at 5:30 PM.

June 9: ELAINE ROBERTSON TRIBUTE & GATHERING. Come listen and share stories about late Bushwakker co-founder and matriarch, Elaine Robertson. Complimentary sweets, treats, coffee, tea and a special brew too! Doors open at 2:30 and tribute begins at 3:00 with the piping-in of a commemorative firkin of SUMMER CITRUS WHEAT BEER brewed by Elaine’s grandson, Bushwakker head brewer, Michael Gaetz. Bar service will be available but our kitchen will be closed. 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

June 10: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. COLIN WIEST. Acoustic, resonator and electric blues guitar veteran. Enjoy 1920’s Mississippi delta to 1960’s Chicago blues. 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM.

June 12: Wednesday Folk Night. LADIES OF THE PRAIRIE & THE MALE ORDER BAND. Popular act with three part female harmonies, guitar, banjo, steel guitar, mandolin and more! 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM.

June 13: THE 2024 JAZZFEST REGINA FESTIVAL PRESENTS FROGSBACK! Don’t miss the festival’s opening show!  Come out and groove to the fantastic, makes ya wanna dance music! A Regina band with eclectic tastes, Frogsback plays a little bit of blues and a lot of rock & roll. Each member has a drastically different take on music and that’s reflected in the bands repertoire with a set containing anything from the Eberle Brothers to Stevie Ray Vaughn and Little Feet. Tickets are $20 each available at the Bushwakker or at the Jazz Regina website. Rush seating only. Come down early for dinner and find a good seat. 7:00 PM.

2024 Canadian Brewing Awards Rundown: Who Were the Big Winners?



The 2024 Canadian Brewing Award winners were announced this past weekend. I am here to offer up my usual analysis of what I think it all means.

My take is a bit different this year as I was asked to judge the competition this year. I spent five days holed up in a Hamilton hotel back in February, so I got to see first-hand how the judging is conducted. I can safely say that their attention to quality judging is top notch and the competition was run professionally and efficiently. It doesn’t need to be said but I will remind everyone anyway – the judging was done by certified and experienced beer judges and great pains were taken to ensure the judging was blind (even after the judging was finished, we were not informed of who the entries were). I may in a separate post offer up some observations of my experience there, but that is for another day.

More than 2,500 entries were judged across 61 categories (meaning 183 medals were up for grabs). The big winners were Microbrasserie Corsaire (Levi, Quebec) who won Best of Show with their Dark Mild and Boxing Rock Brewing (Shelbourne, Nova Scotia) who picked up Brewery of the Year by scoping up three gold medals. I actually judged the medal round for Brown Ales, so it is kind of fun (although irrelevant) to see the Corsaire Dark Mild go the distance. And I have enjoyed pints of Boxing Rock often when visiting family in Nova Scotia, so it is a nice outcome for that small brewery.

Alberta Solidifies Standing, Quebec Drops Back

Alberta breweries picked up 32 medals (10 gold) this year, a slight downtick from last year’s historical high of 39, and behind B.C. and Ontario who both won 48 medals. You can see the full list of prairie winners at the end of the post.

However, if we look over time, Alberta has clearly established itself as part of the big three provinces, beer-wise. The past three or four years have seen Alberta consistently pick up the second or third most medals, a big change from a few years ago, when Alberta languished in the middle (or even back) of the pack.

Last year I talked about Alberta’s rise creating the big four – including Quebec – but this year I am wondering if that is the case. In the previous three years Quebec breweries won between 26 and 28 medals, which is a good result, but a step or two behind B.C., Ontario and, now, Alberta. This year was even stranger, as Quebec breweries won only 14 medals (and only 4 gold). I am not sure I can fully explain this poor result – and it may very well be a one-time blip – but the last few years suggests that Quebec has fallen back a step. Maybe they still deserve to be a part of the “big four”, but maybe it has become a “big three”? I am not sure, but expect an answer will become clearer in next couple years.

Manitoba’s Big Leap

One of the brighter stories coming out of the 2024 results is the performance of Manitoba breweries, who picked up 10 medals this year, including a remarkable 7 gold. In the past few years, Manitoba would consistently pick up between 3 and 5 medals in any given year. This year doubles their previous high. Five different breweries picked up medals (again see the list below). I find this result fascinating.

Again, one year does not create a trend, but it does raise the possibility that Manitoba is poised to start making a mark on the CBAs. Something to watch for next year.

Saskatchewan won five medals, which is about normal for that province. NWT Brewing in Yellowknife also picked up a medal to score for the Territories.

Here is the list of prairie medal winners:


  • 2 Pillars Brewing: silver
  • 70 Acres Brewing: gold, bronze
  • ’88 Brewing: bronze
  • Ale Architect: 2 silvers
  • Annex Ales Project: gold, bronze
  • Analog Brewing: gold
  • Banded Peak Brewing (AB-Inbev): silver
  • Brauerei Fahr: gold
  • BSB (Bottlescrew Bill’s) Brewing: silver
  • Canmore Brewing: silver
  • Cold Garden Brewing: sliver, bronze
  • Common Crown Brewing: gold
  • Dark Woods Brewing: bronze
  • Hell’s Basement Brewing: gold, silver, bronze
  • Irrational Brewing: silver
  • Medicine Hat Brewing: gold
  • Olds College Brewing: bronze
  • Sea Change Brewing: bronze
  • The Establishment Brewing Company: gold, silver
  • Tool Shed Brewing: gold
  • Town Square Brewing: gold
  • Trolley 5 Brewing: bronze
  • Troubled Monk Brewing: bronze
  • Valley Brewing: silver
  • Village Brewing: silver


  • Better Brothers Brewing: silver
  • Nokomis Craft Ales: gold
  • Pile O’ Bones Brewing: 3 silvers


  • Bookstore Brewing: gold
  • Kilter Brewing: gold, bronze
  • Low-Life Barrel House: 2 golds, bronze
  • Nonsuch Brewing: 2 golds
  • Obsolete Brewing: gold, silver

Northwest Territories

  • NWT Brewing: bronze


A married couple on a tight budget were shopping in a supermarket. The husband picks up a case of beer and places it in their shopping cart. The wife complained, “Put that back, we only have enough funds for essential items – not luxuries such as beer costing $30.” A little later while walking through the cosmetics aisle, the wife picks up a beauty cream and places it in the cart. The husband says, “I thought we were on a tight budget, buying only essential items, right?” The wife responds, “This item IS essential. It makes me look beautiful!” “Well,” says the husband, “the beer also makes you look beautiful and it’s half the price of the cream.”

Don’t be offended. Elaine would have found this image quite humorous. See you this Sunday afternoon at Bushwakker for Elaine’s tribute. Doors open at 2:30 with Elaine’s commemorative firkin tapping at 3:00.