THE WAKKER WEEKLY
Issue #1531 – Posted on: 1-June-2020
Good news! The light at the end of the tunnel is becoming a little brighter! The activation date for the third phase of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Economic Plan was announced on Thursday, May 21st. If we all behave ourselves and continue safe health practices, we will be allowed to re-open your Bushwakker on Monday, June 8th at a 50% seating capacity. Our proposed hours of operation will be Monday to Saturday from 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM. Live entertainment is not permissible at this time. We now begin the work of fine-tuning our plans on how we will serve you safely and efficiently. There are many Phase Three guidelines for us to follow and there are also many logistics for us to consider. More information on these guidelines as well as some of our plans are found in a CTV News Regina story at this link https://regina.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1964215
Opening our kitchen on Fridays and Saturdays with a constantly changing limited takeout menu seems to be creating plenty of smiles all around. Lots of folks are also happy to see our offsale is open so they can get their hands on a nice variety of Bushwakker brews and even order a keg! So we shall continue with this new normal for a few more weeks and will be open for takeaway food service on May 29th and 30th from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Our offsale will open even earlier from Noon – 7:00 PM. We very much appreciate your enthusiastic support. 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 at noon each day. Sorry, no delivery service is available. Our fifth limited takeout weekend menu offerings are as follows:
THIS WEEK’S “RAGIN’ CAJUN” TAKEOUT MENU
Friday, May 29th and Saturday, May 30th: Kitchen open 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
Offsale open Noon – 7:00 PM.
Phone: 306-359-7276 starting at Noon each day to place food orders.
LOUISIANA CHUCK BURGER $19.95
A spiced ground chuck beef patty topped with remoulade, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions and cheddar.
CHICKEN PO’ BOY $19.95
Cajun spiced charbroiled chicken breast with bbq shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles and remoulade sauce.
BBQ VEGGIE BURGER $17.95
Spiced veggie patty with Sodbuster Brown Ale BBQ sauce, onion rings, lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar.
CLASSIC WAKKER BURGER $17.95
Topped with cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and red onions. Choose from a beef or bison patty or a charbroiled chicken breast.
*All burgers are served with a side of hand-cut fries or Caesar salad. Gluten-free bun $2.00.
Cajun andouille sausage, chicken and shrimp sautéed with garlic, creole spices and tomato vegetables served on Cajun rice.
SMOKED CAJUN STEAK SANDWICH $23.95
A seven ounce smoked New York cooked to medium and topped with Chico IPA sautéed mushrooms. Served with your choice of our famous hand-cut fries or Caesar salad.
SIGNATURE FISH & CHIPS $21.95
Stubblejumper Pilsener battered cod fillets, served with hand-cut fries or Caesar salad and fresh tartar sauce.
CHICKEN FINGERS $15.95
Tender pieces of breaded chicken with our honey dill dip. Served with your choice of hand-cut fries or Caesar salad.
POPULAR PUB PIZZAS
Prepared with our own handmade herbed pizza crust. No substitutions please. Gluten-free crust available in limited quantities.
CREOLE SAUSAGE $17.95
Andouille sausage, pickled jalapeños, bell peppers, red onions, mushrooms and Creole tomato sauce.
POP’S ORIGINAL $17.95
Pepperoni, mushroom, green olive and banana pepper.
CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD $13.95
Crisp romaine lettuce tossed in our own special dressing with crouton and parmesan cheese. Served with garlic toast.
FAMOUS HANDCUT BUSHWAKKER FRIES $7.95 GRAVY $3.00
COCONUT KEY LIME CHEESECAKE $9.00
KENTUCKEY BOURBON PEACAN PIE $9.00
These challenging times have seen many folks seeking comfort in one of our decadent desserts. Last weekend’s Chocolate Porter Brownie Cheesecake and Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie provided many with a sense of contentment. This weekend we offer Coconut Key Lime Cheesecake! Call us at 306-359-7276 starting at noon on Friday and Saturday to order yours!
Please continue to practice your safe social distancing practices and remain connected to one another and to us! Try to support local businesses whenever possible. Be vigilant in your resolve to protect yourselves which in turn will protect others. Phase two of the re-opening of Saskatchewan’s economy is well underway. We look forward to re-opening our pub service area on June 8th at 50% capacity when Phase Three begins! The more disciplined we are at practicing safe conduct now, the sooner we will be together again in the future!
Two litre bottles of Bushwakker Chico IPA, Dungarvon Irish Red Ale, Cheryl’s Blonde Ale and Stubblejumper Pilsener 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.
Editor’s note: We are planning on re-opening your Bushwakker on Monday, June 8th at 50% capacity as is allowable under Phase Three of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Economic Plan. Alberta has moved forward with the option of re-opening brewpubs and taprooms in that province a few weeks earlier than Saskatchewan. The various positions held by Alberta craft beer producers are reflective of some of the unique challenges each one of them face.
By Jason Foster
News came last week that brewery taprooms and brewpubs (along with other licensees except nighclubs) will be included in the first phase of the Alberta government COVID-19 re-opening strategy, with restrictions. This news came as a bit of a surprise to many in the industry who were expecting to have to wait until at least phase two.
We are now a couple days away and breweries have had a few days to decide whether to open. The question is: will they?
After the news broke I contacted more than a dozen breweries around the province to find out their plans. I spoke with them on background and so I am not prepared to identify specific breweries (I will leave them to make their own official announcements).
The conditions being placed on breweries are similar to restaurants. Fifty percent capacity, no bar service, respect for social distancing and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and procedures for staff. AGLC informed me “no bar service” includes no one sitting at the bar – so tables only. As of writing the Alberta government has released some general guidelines about safe operation, but nothing specific for breweries.
Under these conditions, I think there are three general approaches being taken by breweries in Alberta (if my sample is representative).
Planning to Open
Some of the breweries with which I spoke are planning to open on Thursday or in the days shortly after. They seem to fall into two categories.
First, there are some (not all) full-service brewpubs that will be opening with reduced hours and/or menu. This group has been hardest hit by the closure as they lost most of their revenue, including all of their non-beer income. There is some economic necessity in it for them to open as soon as they can, but all are still highly concerned about safety for both workers and customers.
Second, there are some breweries that have patios and/or a larger, more open taproom space. These breweries feel if they restrict to either patio-only customers or sufficiently space the tables inside, they can make it work safely. These places generally don’t serve food and so the customer/server interaction is quite simple and staffing needs minimal. Here, I think, the physical design of the space determines the ability to do this, as well has having enough capacity to make a reduction still worthwhile economically.
Need More Time
The second group of breweries are preparing to open but simply need more time. What I heard from this group is that logistical and safety concerns needing to be worked out require more than a few days notice. These breweries indicate plans to open sometime in the next two to four weeks, if phase one goes as planned.
This group includes larger full-service locations where the owners emphasized the complexity of re-opening, including scheduling, food orders, space redesign and procuring appropriate PPE. These breweries want to take a bit more time to make sure they do it right.
Some taproom-focused breweries also need more time. A couple noted they have almost no kegs left, having shifted everything to packages in response to the closure of pubs and the increase of pick-up and delivery, meaning they would have nothing to serve if they did open. These breweries will need a couple of weeks to replenish keg stocks.
For the smallest taprooms – those offering a bar and a few tables – the restrictions make it too challenging to open. If no one can sit at the bar and they have to remove half their tables, their effective capacity might be under 10 people, hardly making it worth opening the doors. Besides, these locations tend to be physically small, increasing the degree of difficulty in ensuring social distancing.
Still Too Soon
A third group of breweries are quite clear they believe it is still too soon to re-open this segment of the economy and it simply isn’t responsible to open yet. They fear the speed of the relaxation will lead to a new spike in cases and they do not want to contribute to that possibility.
This group is motivated by their personal ethics and by a calculation that (collectively) moving too soon will only prolong the economic pain. Many in this group have been relatively successful at the pick-up/delivery transition and may also be in a position to weather the pain a little longer than many.
Which group of breweries is making the right decision? I am not the one to cast that judgement. The dynamics here are complex. All the breweries I spoke with are highly concerned about public health, and none are being cavalier about their decision.
How consumers will react to early/late openers, I can’t say. Nor am I prepared in this space to offer an opinion on whether the re-opening is too fast or not. All I can do here is report how the Alberta beer industry is responding.
The rest is up to you.
TIME OUT – Two Scotsmen
A man stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he could buy him a drink.
“Why of course”, comes the reply.
The first man then asks: “Where are you from?”
“I’m from Scotland”, replies the second man.
The first man responds: “You don’t say, I’m from Scotland too! Let’s have another round to Scotland.”
“Of Course”, replies the second man.
Curious, the first man then asks: “Where in Scotland are you from?”
“Aberdeen”, comes the reply.
“I can’t believe it”, says the first man. “I’m from Aberdeen too! Let’s have another drink to Aberdeen.”
“Of course”, replies the second man.
Curiosity again strikes and the first man asks: “What school did you go to?”
“Saint Andrews”, replies the second man. “I graduated in ’62.”
“This is unbelievable!”, the first man says. “I went to Saint Andrews and graduated in ’62, too!”
About that time in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar.
“What’s been going on?”, he asks the bartender.
“Nothing much,” replies the bartender. “The MacClyde twins are drunk again.”
Fans of our Sloughshark Lager won’t have to wait much longer to enjoy a pint of our seasonally available blended dark brew. Although it hasn’t been made available in our offsale it will be on tap when we re-open on Monday June 8th! If you don’t know what a Sloughshark is, just ask any Saskatchewan fisherman.