THE WAKKER WEEKLY
Issue #1497 – Posted on: 07-Oct-2019
NEWS FROM THE BREWERY! Head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports our seasonally available GREAT PUMPKIN SPICED BROWN ALE, RASPBERRY WHEAT, GRANNY’S BITTER, BREW N’ GOLD DORTMUNDER EXPORT LAGER, CHICO LIGHT SESSION IPA, MOTHERWELL BARNSTORMER RED FIFE WITBIER and FAFARD’S SQUIRREL ALE are currently on tap. There are also batches of BLOOD ORANGE BLONDE, KAI’S MUNICH HELLES, HARVEST LAGER, UNRELIABLE NARRATOR and MISSILETOW ALE working their way through the brewery.
Our October Premium Wine Features are the DIABOLICA WINES from B.C. The red is a Merlot/Petit Verdot/Shiraz blend and the white is a Pinot Gris/Chardonnay. Both are $7.95 for a glass and $21.95 for a half litre.
We have received many inquiries as to when Chef Mike’s famous low and slow prime rib dinners will be back. Our Bushwakker PRIME RIB WEEKENDS will return on Friday, October 18th.
Topped with rosemary red wine au jus and served with Jumbo Yorkshire Pudding, veggies and potatoes.
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 number one selling DUNGARVON IRISH RED ALE. Regina’s Urban Cellars east location and Metro Liquor also offer a selection of our bottled beers.
Oct. 4: FIRST FIRKIN FRIDAY. Enjoy the pomp and circumstance of this long standing Bushwakker monthly tradition. A piper from the Regina Police Services Pipes and Drums leads a keg of special brew in a procession throughout the brewpub. A guest volunteer is selected to wield the handmade wooden maul affectionately referred to as The Mighty Firkin Wakker, and attempt to tap the firkin in one mighty blow. This month’s FFF firkin offering is a SMOKED MAPLE BOURBON PUMPKIN SPICED BROWN ALE. The delicious suds-soaking experience takes place at 5:30 PM.
Oct. 5: SASK VS WINNIPEG. The Riders will be looking for payback given the Banjo Bowl outcome. Kickoff is at 5:00 PM. We recently received a number of requests from Winnipeg fans inquiring if we would offer a true Winnipeg Fatboy Burger. Get ready for a decadent patty topped with chili meat sauce and more!
Oct. 7: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. KEITH BOMPHRAY & FRIENDS. Great jazz standards receive a few fun twists from this talented trio. 8:00 PM.
Oct. 9: Wednesday Night Folk. THE NEW CURRICULUM. Talented Manitoba folk trio returns. 8:00 PM.
Oct. 13: Closed for renovations.
Oct. 14: THANKSGIVING DAY MONDAY. Closed for the holiday.
Oct. 16: Wednesday Night Folk. AUTUMN SINGER/SONGWRITER SHOWCASE. A varied mix of seasoned and novice performers including: John Deschamps, Regan Hinchcliffe, Nathan Davis, Albert Strangeman, Trent Leggott, Neil Child, Aidan Von Helsing, Dylan McNab, and Billie Jack Thomson. 8:00 PM.
Oct. 17: NEWLY EXPANDED!!! SCIENCE PUB – A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF LEGAL WEED. Our wildly popular Science Pub Series has returned for an eighth incredible season! To meet the growing demand we have doubled our viewing capacity by including our basement clubroom as a satellite room to view the lecture with the aid of a very large TV, Skype and a dedicated WiFi line. Enjoy lectures on scientific topics of general interest in both our Arizona Room (main floor banquet room) and basement clubroom over fine craft beer and award-winning pub cuisine. The main floor room opens at 5:00 PM and once it reaches capacity the basement clubroom will then open. Avoid disappointment and come down early for dinner and a pint before the presentation which begins at 7:00 PM. This month’s lecture will be presented by Dr. Jason Childs, Dept. of Economics, University of Regina.
Oct. 18: SASKATCHEWAN WRITER’S GUILD 50th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE FIRKIN TAPPING & BOTTLE RELEASE. Don’t miss the official unveiling of a special brew inspired by the golden anniversary of the Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild. The UNRELIABLE NARRATOR is a rich English-style Brown Ale infused with Writer’s Tears Irish Whisky, oak and toasted hemp seeds! The commemorative firkin will be piped-in and tapped at 5:30 PM followed by the limited edition bottle release. A one-time-only offering! Makes a fine Saskatchewan literary arts keepsake. 5:30 PM.
Oct. 21: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE JAZZ BAND-ITS. Over 20 members deliver big band, jazz and swing. 8:00 PM.
Oct. 23: Wednesday Night Folk. BILLARNEY. Very large group delivers acoustic Celtic reels. 8:00 PM.
Oct. 26: THE 2019 NHL HERITAGE CLASSIC. The Winnipeg Jets play host to the Calgary Flames at Mosaic Stadium. This will be the first NHL regular season outdoor game that will be held in a neutral site territory that is not formally part of an NHL market, the first regular season game held in Regina, and the first regular season game held in Saskatchewan since 1994. Come enjoy our game day gourmet Rink Burger & a Pint specials. Choose from either our Jets Burger or Flames Burger with any regular Bushwakker pint for only $19.95. May the best burger win!
Oct. 27: TICKETS TO OUR NOVEMBER 23rd SINGLE MALT SCOTCH TASTING EVENT GO ON SALE AT NOON TODAY! This year’s special order single malts include: Glenmorangie Spios rye cask, Arran Marsala cask finish, Kilkerran 12 year Campbelton, Tomatin 18 year, Auchentoshan 21 year and Bruichladdich Octomore 9.1. Performances from The Regina Highland Dance Association and The Regina Police Services Pipes & Drums. Optional scotch tasting meal available prior to the evening’s tasting event. 150 tickets will be made available at $89.95 each. Last year 120 tickets sold in only 23 minutes.
By: Rick Franckhauser
We all know the story. The Pilgrims were floating about looking for some new digs when they ran out of beer. So, they pulled the Mayflower over, landed in the U.S. and began searching for stuff they could brew with. They stumbled over some pumpkins, gave thanks and voila! The Pumpkin beer craze was born. The beer became so popular that brewers started making it available to the natives around August. Well, maybe you heard a slightly different version of the story but for craft beer lovers Pumpkin beers are the first sign of the coming fall season. And like Christmas in July, if you buy it in August they will brew it.
This past summer I came across several articles announcing the demise of Pumpkin beers. It seems that many breweries are just so busy producing one of their 12 variations of IPA that they just don’t have time for pumpkins. Then August rolled around, I walk into my local bottle shop and lo and behold, no less than six different Pumpkin beers are on the shelves and as the weeks go by more and more variations appear. I suppose the accounts of pumpkin’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Many beer styles have long been associated with the changing seasons but none so closely as Pumpkin beers to fall. It’s only natural that as the air gets cooler we begin to crave heartier fare and fuller bodied beers. While the leaves transform into shades of amber, red and brown so goes the hue of our beers.
Pumpkin beers often get a bad rap due at least in part to the difficulty of brewing a splendid example. All too many are one dimensional clove bombs. The best examples however will walk a tight balance between complex spice blends of clove, cinnamon, maybe a little ginger, cardamom or perhaps white pepper and a little vanilla is always nice. In harmony with the spice I want to taste the pumpkin squash. If that is not demanding enough the base beer style needs to be identifiable as a good example on its own merits. I tend to like some caramel malt character if it is not overly sweet. Some base styles work better than others. Personally, I find that lots of roasted malts or big citrusy hops tend to clash with the spices and result in a rather harsh beer. However, when all the elements are aligned Pumpkin beers can be sublime.
Now it’s time for the obligatory “Top Ten” list. Let’s be honest, there is no such thing as “The Best…. Beer”. Any top ten, twenty or top one-thousand list of beers will always represent personal palate preference. No matter how educated we believe your palate is or what exacting measures we employ to objectively evaluate beer, psychological bias and a thousand other variables will be at play in our evaluation. I’ve outlined what I look for in a great pumpkin beer, but even if you agree with my method you are likely to draw different conclusions as to what is best. That’s okay.
The following are my top ten recommendations to lovers of Pumpkin beers. Obviously, I have not tried every Pumpkin beer that is available out there, but I have tried every example I’ve found. These are my personal favorites. I then ranked them by asking myself, “If all ten of these were available on tap but I could only choose one” and then “if that one had just run out, what would my next choice would be?”
10. Pumpkinhead (Shipyard)
This one is highly quaffable. Its golden color makes it one of the lighter pumpkin beers you are likely to find but tasty none the less. The pumpkin squash is more dominant than the spice and is joined by earthy and floral hops. Some toasty and soft wheat malt rounds it all out. Nothing is overdone and all is in harmony. Very approachable and maybe the perfect intro to Pumpkin beers for those new to craft beers.
9. Ichabod (New Holland)
Imagine a classic American Pale Ale, not the kind with an inferiority complex trying to be an IPA, but one with smooth sweet malt balanced by grapefruit and floral hops. Now combine just enough cinnamon and cloves to assist in balancing the sweetness and a slight earthy pumpkin squash to round it all out. Ichabod is perhaps the most pound-able pumpkin ale you can find.
8. Pumpkin Batch (Sam Adams)
Pumpkin Saison seems like a natural combination to me. The Belgian yeast character with white pepper phenolics blend with mace, nutmeg and cinnamon spices. After you work your way through the spice, some herbal and woody hop aromas emerge, though no esters or malt are present. The flavor is loaded with pumpkin pie spices but the woody, earthy hops, a slight malt character and a touch of pumpkin squash aid complexity. Effervescent with a dry finish as every good Saison should be.
7. Punkin (Dogfish Head)
The spice is well balanced with no one spice note taking center stage. Pumpkin is noted in the aroma with an underlying caramel malt tone. The brown ale base beer seems to be of the English variety but lacks some of the darker malt character expected in the flavor. However, the brown sugar aspect helps add some richness. The spice blend is just as perfectly woven into the flavor as in the aroma and intermingles with the pumpkin. It finishes with a slight alcohol and residual caramel malt sweetness.
6. Pumking (Southern Tier)
Sweet malt, spices, vanilla and alcohol aromatics. The pumpkin appears in the flavor and is surrounded by sweet caramel malts and accentuated by the alcohol. The spice is present but is a subtle integration of cloves and cinnamon. The vanilla and alcohol are reminiscent of fine oak-aged ale. It finishes with an impression of Belgian candi sugar. You will want to sip this one at cellar temperature.
5. Funkier Pumpkin (Boulevard Brewing)
An appreciation for Brettanomyces is essential to go for this Pumpkin Ale. Brett is up front and personal in both aroma and flavor. All the barnyard you want with other earthy notes are in the aroma. Pumpkin beer fans, never fear, cloves, cinnamon and a touch of ginger are here. The Brett dominates the flavor but is joined by a slight touch of caramel. Ginger, cloves and cinnamon come through mid-palate and linger into the dry finish. The spice blends perfectly into this well-crafted beer. The only down side is the pumpkin squash flavor has melded to the whole and is unidentifiable.
4. Pumpkin Down (Ballast Point)
Dark caramel malts with an ever so faint touch of roast. Cinnamon and clove with vanilla aromatics complement the malts. The flavor gives up more of the dark caramel and deep toasted malts. Just enough bitterness to balance the sweetness. Very pleasant spice blend is so well integrated you almost forget it’s a pumpkin ale until the squash appears at the very end and lingers gently into the aftertaste. The Scottish ale base works perfectly as a platform for the pumpkin and spice.
3. Funky Pumpkin (Boulevard Brewing)
Less funky but more pumpkin than its funkier brother. Definitely not your typical Pumpkin beer. The spice in this beer comes across a little more like phenols from the fermentation rather than spice additions, and for me, that is part of what makes it great. The Brettanomyces is not overly funky, and is quickly followed by cinnamon, allspice and a touch of ginger. The spice then melds with some lemon and orange zest tartness. A slight woody character and some toasty malt in the aroma. The flavor starts out sour and citrusy but the spice elements join in with the toasty malt to round it out. The sourness dominates, but is not overpowering, and everything else is in perfect balance. The spice notes make a quick appearance with each sip.
2. Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Fat Heads)
This is the Fall season in a glass. Rich malts and the impression of brown sugar and kettle caramelization. The alcohol is present and pleasant. The spices are pronounced but soft with an intriguing complexity. The flavor does not fall short of what the aroma promises. It has all the malt lusciousness you would find in a classic Wee Heavy with additional complexity provided by the spice additions. The alcohol wraps you up like a warm blanket. The pumpkin finally makes its way through in the finish and just adds another level of interest.
1. Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Weyerbacher)
This is liquid comfort food. A deep, rich spice blend of cardamom and clove integrates seamlessly with the dark crystal malt and squash. There is a slight impression of bitter chocolate as it warms. The flavor presents similar components found in the aroma with the addition of cinnamon and a dose of pumpkin. Rounded bitterness leaves an ever so slight balance toward the malt without becoming sweet. Date and raisin esters make an appearance in the finish along with a nice warming from the alcohol. Approaching an English Barleywine in its complexity and lusciousness. This is Pumpkin beer at its finest.
Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.
One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea. As he sat facing her old pump organ, the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water. In the water floated, of all things, a condom! When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.
“Miss Beatrice”, he said. “I wonder if you would tell me about this?” pointing to the bowl.
“Oh, yes” she replied, “isn’t it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven’t had the flu all winter?”
Our Oct. 4th to Oct. 6th Weekend Special is: Filet Mignon w/ Hunter Sauce, Roasted Creamer Potatoes & Heirloom Carrots. $19.95.
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., Oct. 4
Chipotle Corn Chowder
Mexican Pork Enchiladas
Sat., Oct. 5
Burger & a Pint. $19.95
Steak & a Pint. $21.95
Sun., Oct. 6
Steak & a Pint. $21.95
Mon., Oct. 7
Wild Boar Bacon Club
Pork Drumstick & Rib Plate
Fafard’s Squirrel Ale
Tues., Oct. 8
Cream of Celery
Wed., Oct. 9
Blonde Orange Blonde Ale
Thur., Oct. 10
Ginger Beef Noodle
Marinated Lime Chicken Kaiser
Duck Tacos w/ Asian Pear & Mango Salsa
Fri., Oct. 11
Beef Pot Pie w/ Spinach Salad
Sat., Oct. 12
Steak & a Pint. $21.95
Sun., Oct. 13
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.