THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue #1477 – Posted on: 20-May-2019
NEWS FROM THE BREWERY! Head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports our seasonally available PREMIUM PALE ALE, TWO SON’S MILK STOUT, BARON BOCK, PICKARD’S OATMEAL STOUT, and UPENDI PASSIONFRUIT PINEAPPLE BLONDE ALE are currently on tap. There are also batches of BOMBAY IPA, BUSHVAR CZECH PILS and POMEGRANATE BLONDE working their way through the brewery.
Our May Premium Wine Features are from New Zealand. The white is a Sauvignon Blanc from the Riverlore Winery and the red is a Pinot Noir from the Matua Winery.
THE BUSHWAKKER GOODNESS IS SPREADING! ALL SIX REGINA SLGA stores are now offering a varied selection of Bushwakker beers in 650ml bottles. The Quance street SLGA store also offers growler fills of our DUNGARVON IRISH RED ALE. Regina’s Metro Liquor offers growler fills of our UPENDI PASSIONFRUIT PINEAPPLE BLONDE ALE. ATTENTION SASKATOON RESIDENTS! You can find our Dungarvon and Upendi bottles in the Saskatoon Metro Liquor store!
One of the biggest editions of BIG BREW DAY in Bushwakker history took place last Saturday! The ALES Club and The Bushwakker continue the longstanding tradition of celebrating craft beer at the grassroots level. Members of the club joined the Bushwakker brewing team in creating a massive Belgian Quadrupel!
May 17- 20: MAY LONG WEEKEND KEG EVENT. What better way to celebrate the year’s first warm long weekend than with a Bushwakker keg? Receive free ice, cups, coasters and the use of a keg chiller tub with any May long weekend keg order. Four sizes of kegs are available for any gathering big or small.
May 18: ANNUAL SCREAMIN’ MOSQUITO CHILI BEER RELEASE. Our hot pepper-infused blonde ale makes its annual return this weekend. We have partnered with local businessman Tony Matharu at the India Food Centre in Regina to provide us with fresh spicy peppers. Hurts so good!
May 18: THE POET LAUREATE’S 4TH ANNUAL POETRY & A PINT PRESENTATION. The Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Program was the first provincial program of its kind in Canada. The Saskatchewan Arts Board, partners in the program, which is under the patronage of the Lieutenant Governor. Enjoy a Saturday afternoon of poetry readings from some of Regina and area’s established and up-and-coming writers including: Bruce Rice (Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan), Carol Rose GoldenEagle, Judith Krause, Medrie Purdham, James Trettwer and Michael Trussler. Perhaps enjoy a slice of our special limited edition Saskatoon Berry Cheesecake Poetry Dessert! 3:00 PM.
May 20: Open from noon to nine on Victoria Day.
May 22: Wednesday Night Folk. SASKMUSIC & THE REGINA SINGER/SONGWRITER’S ASSOCIATION presents; Kendra Hope, William John Stewart and Jaecy Bells. 8:00 PM.
May 27: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. TDC INC. Stands for “Too Damn Cool.” Up-tempo jazz, rock and funk. 8:00 PM.
May 29: Wednesday Night Folk. THE RED WAGON GYPSIES. Acapella/ acoustic harmonies from Angela Ell and Tamara Scrimbit. It doesn’t get “folkier” than this! 8:00 PM.
June 3: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE JAZZ BAND-ITS. One of the largest groups to grace our stage delivers big band, jazz and swing. 8:00 PM.
June 5: Wednesday Night Folk. BRADFORD. Talented acoustic duo featuring Brad Papp and Mark Radford. 8:00 PM.
June 6: SASK VS. WINNIPEG. The first and only 2019 season home exhibition game will see Team Green play host to the Bombers. Kickoff is at 7:00 PM. Enjoy our WINNIPEG BURGER & A PINT game day feature. Think of it as “devouring” the competition!
By John Kell
When I paid a visit to Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in early 2016, one of the questions I asked founder Sam Calagione was why so many of his beer peers were selling out to large conglomerates like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors. His response: “It was inevitable.”
“The patriarchs and matriarchs of our [craft] movement are coming to retirement age,” said Calagione, as we stood in his brewery in Milton, Delaware. “I don’t fault those that are choosing to sell the majority or all of their company.” Calagione had sold a 15% stake in his company to private equity firm LNK Partners in 2015 to bring more business acumen to Dogfish, but told me that he was holding out on a full sale so his children—then aged 13 and 16—could one day potentially run the business he and his wife Mariah built.
Inevitability came earlier than Calagione anticipated. On Thursday, Dogfish Head announced it would merge with Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer Company in a $300 million cash-and-stock transaction, combining two of the nation’s top 15 brewers to better take on competition from Big Beer and a crowded craft beer landscape that’s put pressure on the smaller players’ sales. Calagione has agreed to take a seat on Boston Beer’s board of directors.
“Together, we’ll be better positioned to compete with larger international beer conglomerates that are more than 50x our size, despite our combined company’s volume representing less than 2% of the beer sold in the U.S.,” wrote Calagione in a blog post announcing the deal. Calagione wasn’t immediately available for an interview with Fortune.
The deal comes at a time when craft brewers have faced tough growing pains. Craft beer sales only grew by 3.9% in volume in 2018, according to the Brewers Association, capturing just 13.2% of the total $114 billion beer market. There had once been aspirations that craft beer would make up 20% of the market by 2020, but a number of factors have led to a slowdown. Consumers are drinking less beer, replacing it with more spirits and wine. They are discovering a number of alternatives like cannabis drinks, “hard” alcoholic versions of soda and seltzer, and even nonalcoholic drinks.
The industry was also hurt by takeovers by AB InBev, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, and Heineken—the “Big Four” that dominate the beer aisle. Every time a Lagunitas, or a Goose Island, or a Ballast Point was acquired, it removed their volume from the beers that the Brewers Association deemed “craft.” Craft brewers also started to merge to better compete.
The Dogfish Head-Boston Beer marriage seems to come from a place of mutual respect. Both of the founders—Calagione and Boston Beer’s Jim Koch—have separately spoken highly of each other to me during past interviews. Each was part of the earlier waves of the craft beer movement: Boston Beer started in 1984 and Dogfish Head debuted in 1995.
But both are facing pressure as they face a squeeze from Big Beer and smaller, niche craft brewers that generate greater buzz with drinkers today. Boston Beer’s Sam Adams brand last posted annual growth in 2014—putting pressure on the company’s overall sales, which have had to depend on non-beer brands for growth. In 2018, depletions— or distributor sales to retailers—climbed about 13% from the prior year thanks to increases for Truly Hard Seltzer, Angry Orchard cider, and Twisted Tea. But the Sam Adams brand declined again.
Dogfish Head has also been stuck of late. It became a top 20-selling craft brewer as of 2009, according to the Brewers Association’s annual statistics ranking breweries by volume. But it has muddled between 16th and 11th ever since—ranking 13th in 2018. (Boston Beer was #2.)
A deal between the two will help them combine forces as it pertains to marketing, purchasing of ingredients, bottles, labeling, and other input costs, while also giving the combined company heft to better negotiate with wholesale distributors, who sell beer to retailers.
One interesting aspect of the deal is that it combines two brewers that are regionally strongest in the northeast near their home bases: Boston Beer from Massachusetts and Dogfish Head from Delaware. That differs from the regionally diverse acquisition strategy pursued by the likes of AB InBev and Molson Coors, who have bought craft brewers from all across the United States. It remains to be seen if that will be beneficial or a hinderance.
“This combination is the right fit as both Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have a passion for brewing and innovation, we share the same values and we will learn a lot from each other as we continue to invest in the high-end beer category,” said Koch in a statement on Thursday.
So perhaps, this deal isn’t entirely strategic. There’s an emotional element at play when two craft founders realize the landscape has changed so drastically they need to make a bold move before being gulped up by that Big Beer boogeyman.
I went to the shop the other day. I was only in there for about 5 minutes and when I came out, there was a traffic officer writing a parking ticket for over-running the meter. So I went up to him and said, “Come on, how about giving a man a break?” He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. So I called him a pencil-necked jerk. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for also having parked partially on the pavement! So I called him a son of a mutant pig. He finished the second ticket and put it on the car with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket! This went on for about 20 minutes and the more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote. I didn’t give a damn. My car was parked around the corner.
Our May 17th-19th Weekend Special is a Pulled Pork Chuck Burger. $18.95.
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.
Fri., May 17
Mediterranean Pork & Sausage
Chicken Sausage & Kraut Hoagie
Ribeye Steak Mexi-Style
Premium Pale Ale
Sat., May 18
Pulled Pork Burrito
Steak & a Pint. $19.95
Sun., May 19
Steak & Eggs
Steak & a Pint. $19.95
Mon., May 20
Spicy Lentil & Veggie
Honey Mustard Chicken
New Orleans Fettuccine
Tues., May 21
Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza
Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger
Dungarvon Irish Red Ale
Wed., May 22
Italian Sausage & Kale
Portabella, Goat Cheese & Bruschetta Burger
Calamari Firecrackers w/ Pineapple Coconut Sauce
Northern Lights Lager
Thur., May 23
Roasted Beet & Stone Fruit Salad
Sodbuster Brown Ale
Fri., May 24
Chipotle Chicken Corn Chowder
Regina Pale Ale
Sat., May 25
Steak & a Pint. $19.95
Sun., May 26
Spicy Crispy Chicken Wrap
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.