THE WAKKER WEEKLY
Issue #1527 – Posted on: 4-May-2020
We have opened the last three Saturday afternoons for offsale beer purchases in a safe environment! We have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with some of our many Bushwakker beer fans and are now ready to expand our hours and services. We are very excited to reopen our kitchen after a six week closure with a limited takeout menu on Friday, May 1st from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM and Saturday, May 2nd from Noon – 6:00 PM. Our offsale beer cooler will also be fully stocked at these times! No cash please. No growler fills. As part of our social distancing measures, customers will be required to enter the brewpub from the north entrance of the building and then exit through our front doors. Takeout food orders can be placed by calling us at 306-359-7276 starting one hour before we open each day. Sorry, no delivery service is available. We look forward to seeing you…from a two meter distance of course! We will monitor your response to these expanded services and may expand upon them if there appears to be a demand. Our first limited takeout weekend menu offerings are as follows:
BUSHWAKKER TAKEOUT LIMITED MENU
Friday, May 1st: Kitchen open 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, May 2nd: Kitchen open Noon – 6:00 PM
SIGNATURE FISH AND CHIPS $20.95
Stubblejumper Pilsener battered cod fillets, served with handcut fries and fresh tartar sauce.
Prepared with our own handmade herbed pizza crust. No substitutions please. Sorry, no gluten-free crust at this time.
POP’S ORIGINAL $16.95
Pepperoni, mushroom, green olive and banana pepper.
Saskatchewan’s favourite pepperoni, mushroom and bacon.
REUBEN 4OZ-$16.95 | 8OZ-$20.95
The original gasthaus sandwich: smoked beef and sauerkraut with melted Swiss cheese on marble rye. Served with grainy mustard on the side.
BEEF DIP $14.95
Shaved roast beef piled high on an artisan bun, served au jus. Add mushrooms or Swiss $2.00 extra.
Seasoned chicken breast, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, red onion and roasted garlic aioli on a ciabatta bun.
Choose from beef or bison patties made on premises or charbroiled chicken breast.
Topped with cheddar cheese and bacon with lettuce, tomato and onion.
MUSHROOM & SWISS $16.95
Topped with sautéed mushroom and finished with melted Swiss cheese with lettuce, tomato, and onion.
*All sandwiches and burgers are served with a side of handcut fries or Ceasar salad. Gluten-free bun $2.00.
CHICKEN FINGERS $15.50
Tender pieces of breaded chicken with our honey dill dip. Served with your choice of handcut fries or Caesar salad.
CAESAR SALAD $12.95
Crisp romaine lettuce tossed with our special dressing, topped with croutons and parmesan cheese.
Add a charbroiled chicken breast for $5.00.
FAMOUS HANDCUT BUSHWAKKER FRIES $7.95 GRAVY $3.00
O’HENRY CHEESECAKE $8.50
Limited quantities available. Made fresh in-house.
Our extremely popular O’Henry Cheesecake makes a triumphant return with the launch of our first weekend takeout menu on May 1st and 2nd.
Please continue to practice your safe social distancing practices and remain connected to one another and to us! Yes, we do indeed miss you! Try to support local businesses whenever possible. Be vigilant in your resolve to protect yourselves which in turn will protect others. The more disciplined we are at being separated now, the sooner we will all be together again later!
Two litre bottles of Bushwakker Chico IPA and Dungarvon Irish Red Ale are now available for home delivery with the help of fellow Regina craft brewers, Pile O’ Bones Brewing. To place your order, just visit www.saskbeerdelivery.ca Don’t forget all six Regina SLGA stores offer a selection of Bushwakker bottled beers.
By Jason Foster
Earlier this month, Beer Canada, the beer industry trade and lobby organization, released its annual Industry Trends 2019 report. The statistical report offers up a snapshot of where beer in Canada is sitting. Sort of.
I normally don’t comment on their statistics because what they choose to share and how they report it can be frustratingly self-interested, incomplete and lacking transparency (more on that in a moment). This year is different. The timing of this report, unexpectedly, will provide us a baseline of what the industry looked like JUST BEFORE the COVID-19 crisis. It is worth highlighting where we are/were so we can have a better sense of where we end up when this is all over.
Beer Canada has long been the industry’s official organization and, as such, has long offered the perspective of Canada’s three dominant players – AB-Inbev (Labatt), Molson-Coors and Sapporo (Sleeman). In recent years it has made strides to recognize the growing craft segment and has opened both its membership and board to smaller players. Three of the current board members come from small craft breweries and 40 or so craft breweries are members (according to their website). I respect an organization like this serves multiple functions, many of which can benefit small breweries (education, networking, access to data, etc.). I will also say the organization’s public positions on issues continue to mostly align with the three large players. And it shows in how they report statistics (again, more on that in a bit).
I won’t walk through their entire report – you can do that yourself – but want to offer a few highlights.
- The number of breweries in Canada topped a thousand in 2019 to 1,123, up 13% from last year`s 995. Notably this is up 144% since 2014 (460ish breweries).
- This growth is ENTIRELY in small, locally oriented brewery operations. 94% of breweries produce less than 15,000 HL.
- Domestic beer sales dropped 4% in 2019, continuing a multi-year trend in reduced domestic sales. Imports were up 1.5% but are generally flat over the past five years. Overall beer sales are down 3%.
- Domestic beer continues to make up 84% of sales volume in the country, continuing a slow decline.
- Cans continue to take over the market. In the past five years, the share of beer sold in cans has jumped from 50% to 65%. Kegs hold steady at 10% and bottles have plummeted from 40% to 25%.
I have two key takeaways from the report. First, the beer industry in Canada is, at best, stagnant and more likely in a slow decline. The only segment experiencing growth is the small, craft segment (not that you would know it from their report). The U.S. beer industry has similar trends.
Second, if I were a big brewer I would be very, very worried. The overall trend masks, to a degree, the magnitude of the drop in the large producers. Increased competition from small craft players, stubborn persistence of import brands and a societal shift away from beer to other alcohol options (ready-to-drink mixtures, wine, and, ugh, hard seltzer) all line-up to spell a bad coming few years for the big boys. Even before COVID.
And now that we are in the throes of COVID-19, the trends will be harder to predict. The crisis will lead to a shake-out of the small craft breweries, many are not well positioned to handle this downturn. But it might also lead to some cracks in that persistent import share.
I will be looking for three things when Industry Trends 2020 or 2021 comes out. First, how many breweries did we lose as a result of the crisis? Most of those WILL be from the small segment. Second, did the drop in beer sales accelerate or did drinkers simply shift their consumption location? Third, did the big brewer share of the market continue to decline or did it rebound (due to their resources and distribution heft)? We will see.
And now, finally, to my promised policy wonk critique of the report and what it doesn’t tell us. In no particular order:
- Their absolute refusal to break out domestic sales by brewery size and/or some definition of independent, local or craft is infuriating and leaves us in the dark about that segment of the industry. Independent breweries get lumped into the massive volumes of the big corporate breweries.
- For many provinces they round the number of breweries “to the nearest ten”. Why? They cite privacy but I don’t buy it. It skews their overall number and completely invalidates the provincial numbers. Example: New Brunswick went from 50 to 60 breweries. Or did they? They might have gone from 54 to 55. Or from 45 to 60. Who knows!
- They exclude contract breweries. I realize contract breweries are controversial in the industry, but they are separate corporate entities who market beer. Doesn’t affect total volumes, but does shape our understanding of the industry.
- At some point in the last couple of years they changed their methodology without telling anyone. I went back to their 2015 report for historical comparison and the numbers do not match. The old report had 644 breweries in 2015. The new report had 564. That is not a “rounding to ten” error. Changing methodologies is completely acceptable (StatsCan does it all the time), but you need to be clear about what you changed and what effect it had.
I fully recognize some of my listed gripes are the whining of a policy nerd. But details matter. I have not updated my own periodic state of the industry, which I did until my hiatus in 2018/19, because at the moment I cannot trust the reliability of my source data.
For the moment, this report is all we have. So, I publicly note it so that we have some kind of benchmark, however imperfect, to look back at after this crisis is over.
Stay safe everyone.
TIME OUT – Men’s Rules
1. Men are NOT mind readers.
2. Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
3. Sunday sports It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
4. Crying is blackmail.
5. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work!
6. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
7. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
8. Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become Null and void after seven Days.
9. If you think you’re fat, you probably are.
10. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
11. You can either ask us to do something. Or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
12. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
13. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.
14. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
15. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
16. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” We will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
17. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.
18. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine . . . really!
19. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as football or tanks.
20. You have enough clothes.
21. You have too many shoes.
22. Every dish can be improved with bacon.
23. Do not trust a man who calls the bathroom, “the little boys` room.”
24. Women who sound sexy on the phone weigh 350 pounds.
25. No talking at the urinal.
26. A man may own exactly one pair of holiday-themed boxers.
27. Never date a woman whose father calls her, “princess.”
28. A PBS tote bag does not make you an intellectual.
29. The weirder the cell phone ring, the more annoying the person.
30. Real men don’t dance.
Quarantine fall out