THE WAKKER WEEKLY
Issue #1505 – Posted on: 02-Dec-2019
NEWS FROM THE BREWERY! Head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports our seasonally available HARVEST LAGER, UPENDI PINEAPPLE PASSIONFRUIT BLONDE, UNRELIABLE NARRATOR IRISH WHISKEY & HEMP BROWN ALE and GRANNY’S BITTER are currently on tap. There are also batches of ARCTIC DARK MUNICH DUNKEL, KAI’S MUNICH HELLES, PICKARD’S OATMEAL CREAM STOUT, PONCE DE LEON BLACKBERRY/RASPBERRY FRUIT ALE and “MISSILE”TOW CHRISTMAS ALE working their way through the brewery.
Our December Premium White Wine feature is Smoking Loon Pinot Grigio from California. The Premium Red Wine feature is Circus Malbec from Argentina. Both are $8.50 for a glass and $22.95 for a half litre.
Our GUEST TAP is currently pouring a NEW ENGLAND IPA from Swift Current’s Black Bridge Brewing. Next up is the UGLY DUCKLING OAT SESSION ALE from Regina’s Malty National Brewing which will then be followed by the BERRY MERINGUE IPA from Saskatoon’s High Key Brewing.
Results from the 31st Bushwakker Single Malt Scotch Tasting.
Scores are out of 50 points:
1. Tomatin 18 Year – 40.63
2. Arran Marsala Cask Finish – 38.08
3. Auchentoshan 21 Year – 37.32
4. Bruichladdich Octomore 9.1 – 36.57
5. Glenmorangie Spios – 35.66
6. Kilkerran 12 Year – 33.93
*All six single malts are currently available behind the bar for further evaluation!
NAME THE BUSHWAKKER BLACKBERRY MEAD BEE CONTEST
A longstanding tradition to kick off the holiday season! Saskatchewan residents arrive early at The Bushwakker for Mead Day on the first Saturday of each December. From wearing the “Bee-tles” t-shirts to the annual overnight winter campouts outside of the brewpub, our loyal mead lovers are the heartbeat of what has become a truly Saskatchewan phenomenon.
To celebrate mead lovers everywhere, local artist and designer, Gavin De Lint, created the Bushwakker Blackberry Mead Bee many years ago. This bee has taken many forms and has seen a constant evolution over the years. Our beloved bee has remained nameless…until now! We want you to name our bee. Enter our “Name the Bushwakker Mead Bee” contest by submitting your unbeelievable bee name here: https://www.bushwakker.com/meadbee.htm for a chance to win a Blackberry Mead Prize Pack. Enter as many times as you’d like. Contest entry deadline is Dec. 5th.
Bushwakker Gift Ideas for the Craft Beer Enthusiast on Your List.
Perhaps one of our brand new Bushwakker “Craft Beer Pioneer” T-shirts! Bushwakker Growler Gift Boxes include your choice of a glass or insulated black stainless steel Bushwakker Joe Fafard growler, two pint glasses and a gift certificate redeemable for a growler fill. Our Christmas Variety Six-Pack includes some of our seasonal and specialty offerings including bottles of Blackberry Mead and “Missile”tow Christmas Ale (available December 14th), our ornate fancy Hop Handle Growler Christmas Package with 2 Glasses and a Growler Fill is also back by popular demand…and you can’t go wrong with a Bushwakker gift card!
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.
Nov. 30 & Dec. 1: HAPPY HOUR ART COLLECTIVE POP UP SALE. Hosted by artists Kathy Hancock, Kellie Fox, Bonny McBride, Jacquie Shiplack and Don Sitter in the Bushwakker Arizona Room on Nov. 30 from 11:30 AM – 6:30 PM and December 1st from 12:00 PM- 5:00 PM. Local unique art, paintings and Christmas decorations for sale! Also with every purchase receive an entry for a draw for a $50 Bushwakker gift certificate!!
Dec. 2: Monday Night jazz & Blues. THE JAZZ BAND-ITS. Over 20 band members deliver big band, jazz and swing. 8:00 PM.
Dec. 4: Wednesday Night Folk. BRADFORD. Talented acoustic guitar folk duo featuring Brad Papp and Mark Radford. 8:00 PM.
Dec. 4: MONTHLY ALES MEETING. New members are always welcome! Come down to the Bushwakker basement clubroom and sit in on a meeting with other homebrewers of all skill levels. Discover what the Ale & Lager Enthusiasts of Saskatchewan Homebrewing Club can offer you. This month’s topic: Cider & Mead. 8:00 PM.
Dec 6: FIRST FIRKIN FRIDAY: Enjoy the pomp and circumstance of this long-standing Bushwakker monthly tradition. A keg of special beer is paraded throughout the brewpub in a procession led by a piper from The Regina Police Service Pipes & Drums. This month’s special holiday edition firkin will see the return of our very
popular Kraken Spiced Black Rum-infused “Missile”tow Christmas Ale. The suds-soaking spectacle takes place at 5:30 PM.
Dec. 7: THE 2019 BUSHWAKKER BLACKBERRY MEAD RELEASE – 11:00 AM SHARP! A true Saskatchewan phenomenon! There is only one Bushwakker Blackberry Mead. Our offsale inventory of bottles sells out quick! A new record was set last year when the devoted mead enthusiasts braved a Saskatchewan winter night and began forming a line over 21 HOURS before it went on sale! The line-up stretched north past the building by 9:00 AM. Experienced mead lovers come prepared with ice fishing huts and propane heaters. The annual overnight winter brewpub campout has become a strong tradition with serious mead enthusiasts. We will be serving hot chocolate to keep the chilly mead lovers warm. We have been brewing our Blackberry Mead all year long preparing for our annual kick off to the holiday season. 400 pounds of specially selected Lumsden Valley honey and over 80 pounds of blackberries in every batch. View the days remaining to Bushwakker Mead Day on our countdown clock over our brewhouse door.
Dec. 9: Monday Night jazz & Blues. ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT. Veteran Regina act delivers great jazz standards & adult contemporary tunes. 8:00 PM.
Dec. 11: Wednesday Night Folk – Special Christmas Edition. THE REGINA MALE VOICE CHOIR Christmas concert featuring The Boar’s Head Carol. Get into the holiday spirit with this one hour concert featuring Canada’s longest continuously performing male voice choir. The singing of the Boar’s Head Carol whilst a massive boar’s head is paraded throughout the pub is the highlight of the evening. 8:00 PM.
Dec. 14: “MISSILE”TOW CHRISTMAS ALE RELEASE. Avid fans of our “other” Christmas specialty brew look forward to this day every year. Rich malt flavours with plenty of depth and complexity abound. The perfect ale to sip on whilst curled up with a good book in front of a fireplace on a cold Saskatchewan winter night. See you at 11:00 AM sharp! Catch the buzz! (#MEADDAY2019)
By: Bart Watson
Another Great American Beer Festival® (GABF) has come and gone, and with it, another iteration of the world’s largest professional beer competition.
This year, thousands of breweries entered nearly 9,500 beers with only 318 medals awarded. That means that overall a beer had a 3.3-3.4 percent chance of winning a medal – that’s about the same probability as flipping a coin and getting the same side 5 times in a row. For the most competitive categories – like Juicy or Hazy IPA – you’d need to land the same side up 7 times in a row. Feel free to try and see how long that takes you. Given this increasing difficultly, any brewery that won a medal this year should be confident in the fact that they made a beer worthy of being called one of the best beers in the country, because plenty of great beers entered and most didn’t win.
What’s the alternative? One option is to become more like wine competitions, where any wine that hits a certain points threshold wins. That’s how you get a competition like the Decanter World Wine Awards, where 12,218 wines won medals last year, equaling more than 70 percent of entrants.
As a beer drinker, as well an industry participant, I prefer the beer competition model. When I see a beer that has a medal on the label, I know that means something, not just that they entered a competition with better odds of winning than a coin flip.
But I digress… What I’m trying to say is that winning a GABF medal is hard, and that means beers that win are clearly marked as exceptional. I hope brewers feel the same way and balance the increasing challenge of winning a medal against the growing weight it carries if you finally win one.
State Trends Stay Consistent
When I started writing articles analyzing the GABF competition, part of the point was to dispel some of the myths about it, such as the idea that certain states had an advantage due to geography or other factors. As I’ve hopefully driven home in the last few years, state wins fall generally in line with their number of entries. Yes, there are variations. (the beers aren’t just picked randomly), but there is no evidence that those variations are based on things like distance from Denver. The states that win the most enter the most beers.
This year was no exception. Half of the entries came from 7 states: California, Colorado, Texas, Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, and Virginia. Those states were expected to win 167 medals based on entries and categories entered. They won 174. That’s a 3.5% rate of winning instead of the 3.4 percent expected rate. The rest of the states were expected to win 150 and won 143 (doesn’t add due to rounding), or 3.1 win percentage versus an expected rate of 3.3 percent.
A New Look: City Champions
Since I’ve done the state analysis a few times, this year I thought I’d change it up and look at metro areas (with data from the Census Bureau on urban places). As with the state analysis, this data isn’t going to be perfect, and might have a few quirks from breweries that have locations in multiple places, etc. Before someone complains about where I put their city, this isn’t based on my subjective thoughts on how good your local brewing scene is, but rather based on how many entries we got from a particular metro area.
But without further ado, here are the cities that cleaned up in Denver broken out into “weight classes.” I’ve excluded cities with less than 10 entries, since those are typically based on only one or two breweries. For each, I’ve selected a total medals winner and a percent winner. Did your city bring home a belt?
Sessionweight: 11-25 Entries, 76 Cities in the Running
Winners: Bozeman, Montana and Davis, California
Three cities – Boise, Idaho; Bozeman, Montana; and Las Vegas, Nevada – won three medals in this weight class, with Bozeman being declared the winner in the judge’s scoring due to its breweries entering the most competitive categories. Fitting for a barley growing state, all three Bozeman medals were in styles that could be considered malt forward: International-Style Pilsener, English-Style Brown Ale, and Oatmeal Stout.
Breweries from Davis, California only entered 12 beers, but they brought home two medals (both won by Sudwerk Brewing Co.). At 17 percent, that was the highest win rate of any city in the competition that entered more than 10 beers.
Pilsnerweight: 26-50 Entries, 27 Cities in the Running
Winners: Salt Lake City, Utah and Sante Fe, New Mexico
Salt Lake City breweries entered 45 beers and took home five medals, giving them a win rate of 11.1 percent versus an expected rate of 3.6 percent. If you’re a Belgian beer lover, you might want to throw Salt Lake into your vacation considerations, as three of the medals were in the Belgian beer family (American-Belgo-Style Ale, Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale, and Belgian-Style Tripel).
Santa Fe won fewer medals than Salt Lake with four medals total, but did so on only 29 entries, a fantastic rate of almost 14 percent. Santa Fe’s performance was driven primarily by small brewpub of the year, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, but they were pushed over the top by an additional medal won by Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery.
Porterweight: 51-100 Entries, 27 Cities in the Running
Dual Belt Winner: Indianapolis, Indiana
Indy was the first metro area to unify the percentage and absolute medal belts, bringing home seven medals out of 66 entries (10.6 percent). Two of the medals came from outside of the city proper (from Fishers, Indiana, a suburb). Perhaps the most impressive part of Indianapolis’s GABF was the number of breweries that won medals, with Sun King Brewing (two medals + a Collab medal), Metazoa, Blind Owl, Four Day Ray, and Chilly Water all winning medals. It might be time to set up a travel alert for flights into Indy.
IPAweight: 101-200 Entries, 12 Cities in the Running
Dual Belt Winner: Charlotte, North Carolina
The IPAweight class sees our East coast winner. With six medals, Charlotte narrowly edged out San Francisco and Seattle, both of which also won six medals, but on more entries and in slightly less competitive categories on average. Like Indianapolis, Charlotte saw five breweries win medals (Pilot (two medals), Triple C, The Chamber by Wooden Robot, Town, and Sugar Creek). Charlotte was also the first of our city champions to win multiple medals in a single style, taking gold and silver in Contemporary Gose.
Imperialweight: 201-500 entries, 5 Cities in the Running, plus an Additional Challenger from “Not in an Urban Area”
Not surprisingly, the Imperialweight category proved the most competitive. Every city in this category (Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Diego) won double-digit medals. That said, only one city can be crowned champion, and in an upset win, the 2019 winner, taking home both belts, was….
Los Angeles! Brewers from the greater City of Angels won a whopping 18 medals out of 367 entries, a win rate of 4.9 percent, which exceeded the percentages for any of the other of the metros. Fittingly for Los Angeles, the winners were dispersed across the metroplex, with winners from Sherman Oaks to Rancho Cucamonga to Newport Beach. San Diego has long had a death grip on the beer crown of Southern California (and San Diego brewers still won plenty of medals), but this is a strong sign that there is plenty of great beer being made all across Southern California and that San Diego is no longer the only game in town.
To close, it’s incredible to see how many cities across the United States won medals. Looking at winners lists from 10, 20, or 30 years ago, you see a lot of familiar locations, but the geographic diversity of winners only continues to increase as the craft brewing movement broadens, with the GABF competition an evolving reflection of that movement, its depth, and its growing competitiveness.
Congrats to all the winners, and best of luck to everyone in 2020!
The 6th grade science teacher, Mrs. Parks, asked her class, “What human body part increases to ten times its size when stimulated?”
No one answered until little Mary stood up and said, “You should not be asking sixth-graders a question like that! I’m going to tell my parents, and they will tell the principal, who will then fire you!”
Mrs. Parks ignored her and asked the question again, “Which body part increases to 10 times its size when stimulated?” Little Mary’s mouth fell open. Then she said to those around her, “Boy, is she going to get in big trouble!”
The teacher continued to ignore her and said to the class, “Anybody?” Finally, Billy stood up, looked around nervously, and said, “The body part that increases 10 times its size when stimulated is the pupil of the eye.”
Mrs. Parks said, “Very good, Billy,” then turned to Mary and continued. “As for you, young lady, I have three things to say:
One, you have a dirty mind. Two, you didn’t read your homework.
And three, one day you are going to be very, very disappointed.”
Our Nov. 29th – Dec. 1st Weekend Special: Prime Rib & Giant Yorkie. 8 oz – $23.95 & 10 oz – $27.95
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., Nov. 29
Boston Clam Chowder
Curry Pork Naan Wrap
Chico Halibut Fish & Chips. $18.95
Sat., Nov. 30 &
Sun., Dec. 1
Steak & a Pint. $21.95
Mon., Dec. 2
Creamy Squash Zucchini
Salmon Salad Melt
Cheryl’s Blonde Ale
Tues., Dec. 3
Meat Lover’s Pizza
BBQ Beef Mac & Cheese
Last Mountain Lager
Wed., Dec. 4
Jalapeno Bacon Chicken Burger
Citrus Shrimp & Avocado
Thur., Dec. 5
Steak Taco Salad Bowl
Ponce De Leon
Fri., Dec. 6
Loaded Baked Potato
Roast Red Pepper & Turkey
Pacific Pork Chop
Sat., Dec. 7 &
Sun., Dec. 8
Prime Rib Pretzel
Steak & a Pint. $21.95
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.