THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue #1478

Kristen Welisch Wakker Weekly, Wakker Weekly Archives, Wakker Weekly Current

THE WAKKER WEEKLY – Issue #1478 – Posted on: 27-May-2019

BUSHWAKKER NEWS

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 POMEGRANATE BLONDE ALE are currently on tap. There are also batches of BOMBAY IPA, CHICO LIGHT IPA, BUSHVAR CZECH PILS and MANGO PEACH BLONDE ALE 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.

Our GUEST TAP is pouring the Ekuanot Single Hop Pale Ale from Swift Current’s Black Bridge Brewing. Next up is a small keg of WHITE OFF THE HOP-White IPA from High Key Brewing in Saskatoon.

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 is also offering growler fills of our DUNGARVON IRISH RED ALE. Regina’s Urban Cellars has four Bushwakker brands in bottles. Regina’s Metro Liquor offers bottles of our POMEGRANATE BLONDE and DUNGARVON IRISH RED ALE. ATTENTION SASKATOON RESIDENTS! You can find our DUNGARVON and UPENDI PINEAPPLE PASSIONFRUIT ALE bottles in the Saskatoon Metro Liquor store!

A dozen winning categories in the 2019 BEST OF FOOD REGINA Prairie Dog reader’s poll!  Our biggest number of wins ever! Thank You Regina for voting us BEST BREWPUB, PUB, LUNCH RESTAURANT, SOUP, LOCAL FRIES, LOCAL BURGERS, PUB PIZZA, NACHOS, FUNDRAISING VENUE and BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE! Cheers from your voted BEST BARTENDER – Troy Bleich and BEST PUB SERVER – Cheryl Tovey (10 time winner!)

BUSHWAKKER EVENTS

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 5: MONTHLY ALES MEETING. Don’t miss the final meeting of the ALES 2018/2018 brewing season. The club takes a break for the summer but will reconvene on Wednesday, September 4. This month’s presentation topics include: Hefeweizen, Beer and Food Pairing. Meetings are held in the Bushwakker basement clubroom and start at 8:00 PM. New members are always welcome!

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!

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 small 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 attempt to tap the keg in one swift blow! This month’s special brew will be UPENDI PINEAPPLE PASSIONFRUIT IPA. The suds-soaking spectacular takes place at 5:30 PM.

June 10: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE MINISTRY OF GROOVE. Powerful 1970’s jazz funk featuring a great horn section. 8:00 PM

June 12: Wednesday Night Folk. SUMMER SINGER/SONGWRITER SHOWCASE. Local singing wordsmith, Neil Child, is joined by a Albert Strangeman, Nathan Davis, Trent Leggott and Regan Hinchcliffe who will deliver original material and hone their craft. 8:00 PM.

June 13: 2019 JAZZFEST REGINA Bushwakker Performance – ALEX PANGMAN. 7:00 PM. The biggest night of the year for live jazz at The Bushwakker! Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing! With pipes aplenty, this Toronto based Juno Awards nominee breathes new life into the classic 1930’s jazz era! Her latest album was recorded in New Orleans where she approached the project in the spirit of early jazz recording pioneers. She recorded the album live. No smoke. No mirrors. A compelling talent, Alex Pangman’s voice can be regarded as even more impressive, knowing she received a double lung transplant several years ago. Rush seating tickets are $15. Available at the Bushwakker or PayPal. For more information visit www.jazzregina.ca.

A near capacity crowd was on hand for the 4th Annual POET LAUREATE’S POETRY & A PINT event. Much thanks to James Trettwer, Medrie Purdham, Bruce Rice, Judith Krause, Michael Trussler and Carol Rose GoldenEagle for their readings. A special brew to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild will be released this October 18th. Don’t miss one of our most exotic beers to date!


A NEW BREED OF IPA DRINKER

By Michael Kallenberger

This is not an article about IPAs. This is an article about IPA drinkers. And while it may seem like splitting hairs, the two are very different topics. In fact, recent research found that a sub segment of IPA lovers (which we’ll call the “IPA-centric drinker”) may well be breaking the mold of what we’ve come to recognize as the typical craft drinker— one who is drawn to the flavor and diversity of craft beer and can’t wait to try the latest style or next big thing.

Craft drinkers have long prided themselves on being outside the mainstream, which has helped spur the growth of more than 6,700 innovative breweries in the U.S. But, in fact, some of today’s new IPA drinkers seem to have more in common with the mainstream beer drinkers of the 1990s. Virtually all of those mainstream consumers drank nothing but their preferred style, namely American lager; most were brand loyal (based on having been drawn to their brand because it was a “safe choice”); and few had any interest in learning even the most basic facts about beer. In one memorable interview two decades ago, a drinker told me, “I only care about what comes out of the bottle. I don’t care how it got into the bottle.”

Driving Craft’s Growth
Of course, American IPAs are not “the new mainstream.” With craft beer overall commanding 21 percent of beer dollar sales in 2017 (as per the State of the Industry presentation at the 2018 Craft Brewers Conference), and IPAs pulling not quite a third of that, this segment still accounts for only about 7 percent of beer dollar sales, and a lesser share of beer volume. In comparison, mainstream beers still account for well over half of industry volume.

However, IPA’s growing influence on the craft beer market can’t be overstated. According to Bump Williams’ March 2018 Power Hour presentation (based on IRI data), off-premise beer purchasers spent just under $1.3 billion on IPAs in 2017, an increase of 16 percent from the previous year. As a result, last year the IPA style accounted for 31.7 percent of off-premise dollar sales.

The style may be growing in part because it seems to be attracting drinkers whose attitudes and behavior are very dissimilar to those typically characterized as “craft drinkers.”

“One reason that IPA drinkers have changed is that IPA itself has changed,” mused Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson. “A brut IPA shares almost nothing with a milkshake IPA other than three letters tacked on the end.”

A Sense of Adventure
Our research found that IPA-centric drinkers’ attitudes and motivations are strongly reminiscent of mainstream drinkers’ mindsets today, but even more so from two decades ago.

In the beer community, we tend to think of typical craft drinkers as sharing a general tendency toward certain personality traits: people who are more adventurous, more open to new experiences, certainly, but also people who approach their choices more actively than passively, who value knowledge and enjoy learning about beer. To keep the discussion simple, we’ll use the word “adventurous” to capture this entire group of traits.

Some of those generalizations have been validated through research, but their accuracy has varied over time. In the 1980s, when craft beer was new and thriving in a niche outside of the mainstream, it’s fair to assume a large majority of craft drinkers fit this description. As craft has grown over the decades, it’s done so by increasing its drinker base—adding people who could roughly be described as adventurous, but maybe not as much as those who had come before. Craft was becoming more familiar, or at least less unfamiliar, making it easier for those with somewhat less adventurous sensibilities to be drawn in.

Here’s a way of thinking about this that may be overly schematic, but makes the point. You could put every beer drinker in America on a spectrum, ranging from least adventurous on the left to most adventurous on the right. Imagine doing so on a physical scale like a ruler, with a slider attached. The current position of the slider divides the scale into those who are currently craft drinkers and those who are mainstream drinkers. (Again, this is clearly oversimplified for the sake of analysis.) As craft has grown over the decades, the slider has moved to the left, bringing in subsequent waves of incrementally less adventurous drinkers—because the bigger craft becomes, the less unusual it seems to mainstream outsiders, and the easier it is for someone less adventurous to take the plunge—making craft bigger still, and triggering another round of that process.

But the new breed of IPA-centric drinkers may have leap-frogged the current position of the slider entirely. This group—keeping in mind it’s only a subsegment of IPA drinkers—is seemingly drawn from almost the far left end of the scale, and could be described as downright unadventurous. For them, IPAs (but not craft beer more generally, at least not yet) have become ubiquitous and familiar enough that they can and do drink the style exclusively as part of their desire for what’s safe and predictable.

The IPA-Centric Drinker
Is the growth in IPAs being driven by longtime craft drinkers who are simply choosing IPAs more often and other styles less often over time, or are new-to-craft drinkers gravitating to IPAs right off the bat? Watson used Nielsen data to estimate that craft adds about four to five million drinkers a year—more than enough to have an impact on shifting market shares.

For our research, we interviewed 32 craft drinkers in Denver, Chicago, and New York, one-on-one in a bar over a beer. This may seem like a small number, but depth interviews (as opposed to survey research) generate insightful results with consistent stories and themes emerging. However, any statistics based on such a sample can’t be projected to larger populations. In other words, we learned a lot about the subsegment of the IPA-centric drinker, but we can’t estimate how prevalent they are among craft drinkers more generally. The research found that many of them are in fact new to the craft category. Here’s what we discovered.
The IPA-centric drinker tends to drink other styles relatively seldom.

Most craft drinkers are fairly eclectic when it comes to styles, although of course there are exceptions. But IPA-centric drinkers seldom venture to other styles. (In fact, we might even call them “IPA-myopic.”) As Jonathan, a 42-year old research participant from Chicago3 told me, “I’m kind of in an IPA life right now. If I know I like it, I’ll get it over trying something new. I generally end up around the IPA or pale ale territory.”

If the IPA-centric drinker happens to be relatively brand loyal, it’s generally based more on habit than a feeling of real affinity for the brand.

“Brand loyalty” is a relative term among craft drinkers; consumers may drink a certain brand more often than another because it connects to personal attitudes and values—but that brand represents more of a “first among equals” than a consistent go-to favorite. In contrast, if the IPA-centric drinker is loyal to a brand, it becomes the top choice on a large majority of occasions.

But this is a result of what marketers call “behavioral loyalty” rather than “attitudinal loyalty,” i.e., the brand choice isn’t a matter of personal affinity, but rather habit—one the drinker is unwilling to reconsider because it involves too much risk or takes too much effort. John, a 21-year-old IPA-centric drinker from Chicago, illustrated this point when he said, “I don’t think in terms of styles. IPAs are what my dad buys the most. Revolution Anti- Hero is the only one I’m familiar with.”
If the IPA-centric drinker doesn’t happen to be brand loyal, he or she probably isn’t exploring;, they are simply indifferent to brand.

Nowadays the brand of choice for the typical craft drinker, at least in a bar or restaurant, is “whatever I see on the list that I haven’t had before.” For those drinkers it is about exploring: finding new beers to add to their repertoire. (It’s related to what millennials call FOMO: fear of missing out.) For the IPA-centric drinker who tries something new, it’s almost by accident, because the style matters so much more. Alan, 28, a Denver interviewee, told me, “I’ll always get something different. The name doesn’t always stick out, so I’ll just drink it.”

The IPA-centric drinker is seldom particularly involved in beer; he or she is generally not knowledgeable about beer and isn’t interested in learning more.
For this drinker, beer is in fact about what beer has always been about at its core: bonding, camaraderie, and community. For typical craft drinkers, beer is about all of this and much more, but for the IPA-centric drinker, beer’s role pretty much stops here. In this sense, beer is a means to an end, and not something that warrants attention in and of itself. Just having a beer in hand helps IPA-centric drinkers feel more social, as it does for virtually all beer drinkers.

Tim, a 26-year old New Yorker, explained, “I like going to breweries with outdoor patios, but I don’t go because I like their beer. I would assume there would be a beer there that I would drink, so I don’t really care about the beer. I go there to hang out.”

Remaining Visible
Brewers of IPAs can benefit from how mainstream beers have been successfully marketed to mainstream drinkers. For example, the best way to reinforce the sense that the brand is a safe choice is to make sure it’s available wherever the target beer drinker buys beer.

Many drinkers will say of a successful brand, “Everyone drinks it.” This belief is both a cause and a consequence of the brand’s success, and it stems in part from nearly ubiquitous visibility. The mainstream drinkers of the day, and very possibly the IPA-centrics of today, are inclined to drink what “everyone drinks.” A former 1960s-era sales rep for Schlitz, when it was the second biggest beer brand in the world, told me about one strategy he’d use to take advantage of this mentality. He’d fish empty bottles of Schlitz out of the garbage, then go into a bar and put them on unoccupied tables. Customers would enter the bar, look around at all the empty bottles, and immediately order a Schlitz.

Of course, times have changed, and we’re not advocating dumpster diving as a marketing strategy. But the notion that “everyone drinks it” can be nurtured by ensuring the brand has distribution and a visible presence in each bar in a given neighborhood. If you’re targeting IPA-centrics, then investing in getting distribution in the 10th bar in a given neighborhood would likely have greater payoff than getting the first or second placement in a new neighborhood.

Targeting New Demographics
Could IPAs become the new mainstream? Based on everything I’ve seen, they may well be on a trajectory to do so. But we’ve also seen how trends in the beer market seldom stay on-trajectory. Still, as the craft category begins to look outside its traditional drinker base for growth—focusing on women and ethnic minorities like never before—adding the IPA-centric drinker to that list of new targets could make a lot of sense.

But the approach might be very different. The women and minorities who are most likely to venture into craft beer are probably just to the left of the current position of the schematic slider—they’re the next wave of incrementally less adventurous drinkers out there, for reasons outlined above. IPA-centric drinkers don’t appear to be at all adventurous, and while targeting them will likely require a learning curve, the opportunity to draw in drinkers who seemed almost unreachable a decade ago is actually pretty exciting.

TIME OUT

A man was in a bar all day and he had to use the bathroom. He was in there for a while, yelling. The barmaid went to the bathroom to check on him. ”Sir, what are you yelling about? You’re scaring the customers.”

”Every time I try to flush the toilet something keeps biting my balls!”

”Sir, please get off the mop bucket.”


Our May 24th-26th Weekend Special is a Greek Platter. $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.

 

Soup

Sandwich

Hot Special

Beer Pairing

Fri., May 24

Chipotle Chicken Corn Chowder

Shanewich

Andouille Dog

Regina Pale Ale

Sat., May 25

Bushwakker

BLTCA

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Sun., May 26

Bushwakker

Spicy Crispy Chicken Wrap

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Mon., May 27

Creamy Root Vegetable

Montreal Smoked Beef on Rye

Steak Mac & Cheese

Last Mountain Lager

Tues., May 28

Sweet & Sour Pork

Teriyaki Chicken Pizza

Miso Mushroom Bowl

Baron Bock

Wed., May 29

Cream of Mushroom

Beef Tacos

Sausage & Shrimp Gumbo

Regina Pale Ale

Thur., May 30

Mediterranean Beef & Artichoke

Crispy BBQ Pork Wrap

Hummus Crusted Chicken

Sodbuster Brown Ale

Fri., May 31

Pesto Minestrone

Turkey & Roasted Red Pepper

St. Louis Ribs

Palliser Porter

Sat., June 1

Bushwakker

Carolina Pulled Pork Bun

Steak & a Pint. $19.95

Sun., June 2

Bushwakker

French Toast

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.