THE WAKKER WEEKLY
Issue #1623 – Posted on: 07-March-2022
Editor’s Note: Although our social media posts involving our award-winning beers, longstanding staff, music events and cheesecakes tend to attract a fair amount of attention, nothing in our 31 years of business can compare with last month’s Arizona Room message. Never before has a Bushwakker announcement resonated so powerfully with so many mainstream and independent media sources and with so many people. From Victoria’s Colonial Times to The Toronto Star, it seems this little initiative was either warmly embraced or fiercely rejected. We heard your opinions loud and clear on all three of our social media platforms as well as many email messages and phone calls too.
There is an old saying which says never introduce politics or religion into a beer parlour. It certainly became evident that our good intention inadvertently caused much heated debate. Unfortunately, given the strong positions many have taken on this topic, the exchange of ideas was sometimes emotionally charged resulting in unnecessary and hurtful words being shared. When such exchanges take place in this manner, it often results in both sides refusing to no longer listen to one another leaving all involved feeling unheard, frustrated and ignored.
We have listened to all of your feedback and the vast majority of messages have been very supportive and positive. Many offered their congratulations on offering a simple yet creative solution to bring some of our customers a bit more comfort while still being inclusive to all. Others have condemned our idea as a fear-mongering decision not based on science resulting in segregation.
To those whom we have offended by this action, we offer our sincere apologies and please understand this was unintentional. Your “boycott Bushwakker” messages and negative restaurant reviews have been received and noted. We were responding to a concern which was being expressed to us by a number of our customers regarding their health and safety, especially those medically vulnerable or unable to be vaccinated. Thus far the room has seen plenty of activity in the last week and customers who have dined there have expressed gratitude in knowing their medical concerns are being acknowledged.
While patrons in our private room are aware that the Omicron variant is transmissible by both persons who are vaccinated and unvaccinated, they appreciate the separate ventilation system in the private room very much. We have consulted with a local health expert who has confirmed that our approach helps to address safety concerns for those who are medically vulnerable and still wish to enjoy a visit to our facility. Our primary intent is to prioritize the safety and comfort of ALL of our patrons, regardless of their vaccination status, medical background, or anything else. We will continue to evaluate things going forward as the medical and scientific evidence changes.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing all of you at YOUR Bushwakker in the near future!
BREWERY “HOPP”ENINGS: Bushwakker Head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports our seasonal UPENDI PINEAPPLE PASSION FRUIT ALE is now on tap and in our offsale. It is also available for growler fills. A batch of PONCE DE LEON BLACKBERRY/RASPBERRY ALE will soon be making its way through the brewery. In addition to taking our beer home in glass bottles and 2 litre jugs direct from our pub, you can find a varying selection of 650 ml bottles of Bushwakker beer in a number of REGINA SLGA stores.
Our SASK CRAFT GUEST TAP is currently pouring the UNO IPA from Swift Current’s Black Bridge Brewery. Next up is the CASHMERE SESSION IPA from Saskatoon’s High Key Brewing.
MARCH PREMIUM WINE FEATURES. This month’s featured wines are the THREE THIEVES WINES from California. The red is a CABERNET SAUVIGNON and the white is a PINOT GRIGIO. Both are $8.95 for a glass and $23.95 for a half litre.
Our Special Weekend Dining Feature this March 4th and 5th is PORK CHOPS W/ MUSHROOM MARSALA SAUCE for $19.95. Our Saturday CLASSIC STEAK & A PINT SPECIAL will also be available. Our Monday and Wednesday WINGS & A PINT SPECIAL and Tuesday PIZZA & A PINT SPECIAL are also great value deals.
Best of Food Regina 2022 has begun! Now is your chance to nominate your favourite restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops. Just head on over to prairiedogmag.com or visit https://prairiedogmag.com/best-of-food-2022/#// Nominations will be accepted until March 14, so don’t delay.
Mar. 4: FIRST FIRKIN”ESQUE” FRIDAY. Given that the indoor masking mandate would have only been lifted for four days, we suspect a number of our customers may decline attending a busy event of this nature. Because we do not wish to waste any beer, the special LEMON VODKA INFUSED PONCE DE LEON BLACKBERRY/RASPBERRY ALE will be dispensed from a keg rather than a firkin starting at 11:00 AM. We hope to resume our traditional FIRST FRIKIN FRIDAY event with the piper and the procession and the pomp and circumstance on Friday, April 1st.
Mar. 5: ANNUAL SATURDAY AFTERNOON BLUES SHOWCASE. Presented in conjunction with the annual Mid-Winter Blues Festival. Three talented Regina blues will take the Bushwakker stage including: Colin Weist, Terraplane and Billy Hughes & The Instigators. Hosted by Regina’s number one live music fan, Jeff “Redbeard” Corbett. Redbeard Cheesecake will indeed be available! 1:30 PM– 4:45 PM.
Mar. 7: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. THE JAZZ BAND-ITS. The largest band to ever grace the Bushwakker stage delivers big band, jazz and swing tunes. 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
Mar. 9: Wednesday Folk Night. THE KEIRAN SEMPLE TRIO. New indie folk act makes their Bushwakker debut! 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
Mar. 14: Monday Night Jazz & Blues – Special Edition. BLUE MOON MARQUEE. Presented in conjunction with The Regina Jazz Society. The biggest Bushwakker live music event in over two years! Blue Moon Marquee is a swinging blues band featuring A.W. Cardinal (vocals/guitar) and Jasmine Colette a.k.a. Badlands Jass (vocals/bass/drums) write and perform original compositions influenced by anything that swings, jumps or grooves. Jasmine Colette, the rhythm section, not only commands the upright bass but also brings the swing with her feet on the kick drum, snare, and high hat, all while singing harmonies. A.W. Cardinal is of the screaming and hollering blues tradition with distinctive thick and smoky vocals that barrel out like a raging bull. His guitar crackles with the swinging energy of jazz-tinged blues. Appreciated for their authenticity, Blue Moon Marquee has been nominated for a Maple Blues Award as best new artist of the year and has also been the most requested band International Jazz Festival circuit across Canada. Tickets are $20 each and are available at The Bushwakker Brewpub or by visiting www.jazzregina.ca. Rush seating only. Plan to arrive early for dinner and to get a good seat! Note earlier start time. 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.
BUSHWAKKER “NEW NORMAL” NOTES
New Hours! We are open Monday – Thursday from 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM. The kitchen closes at 8:30 PM and last call is at 9:15 PM. Fridays and Saturdays we are open from 11:00 AM until 11:00 PM. The kitchen is open until 9:30 PM and last call is at 10:15 PM.
Reservations are accepted and encouraged. We accept a limited number of reservations as late as 6:00 PM every day except Fridays. Fridays we accept reservations as late as 3:00 PM. Call us at 306-359-7276 to secure your table. Our basement clubroom is also available for private parties. Call Kelly at 306-359-7276 for private room bookings.
The government of Saskatchewan announced that mandatory masking is no longer required in pubs and restaurants. Those who wish to continue wearing a mask are certainly welcome to do so. Hand sanitizer will be available and enhanced table cleaning protocols will continue. Our bar and serving staff will continue to wear masks for the time being. Reservations and takeout service will continue to be provided. If you wish to bring in a larger group, please call ahead at 306-359-7276 so we can designate the adequate space needed to avoid wait times and congestion in our front lobby.
Proof of Vaccination is no longer required for restaurant dining. However, we have received many customer comments stating they will be reluctant to visit us because of the recent health restriction changes. To put our vaccinated customers who may have immunodeficiency concerns, family health concerns or simply are not comfortable with the latest easing of health restrictions somewhat at ease, we will make our Arizona Room available to them. Customers choosing to sit in this room will be required to provide Proof of Vaccination and ID. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated customers are most certainly welcome at Bushwakker and are invited to sit in the main pub area. Thank you to our legion of Bushwakker fans for your continued enthusiastic support!
Please continue to practice safe health measures. Remain connected to one another and to us! In addition to this weekly newsletter, we are very active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check-in with us often as we navigate these continually evolving times together. Try to support local businesses whenever possible. Be vigilant in your resolve to protect yourselves which in turn will protect others.
Good News: Craft Breweries Set Up for Post-Pandemic Recovery
From Brewers Journal Canada
Duluth, Vermont, was home to a total of 10 breweries in 2020 and Gregory Dunkling, a program director of business of craft beer at the University of Vermont, has noted that the craft beer market is expanding as we speak. Although, some people wonder about the sustainability of these markets.
“Is this growth sustainable? Fair question,” Dunkling said of craft breweries, in a recent interview with The Food Institute. “While some markets may indeed be oversaturated, what we’ve seen are breweries opening in smaller communities and additional breweries opening in larger cities.”
Molson Coors recently discontinued San Diego’s Saint Archer Brewery brand, seven years after its purchase. The company also sold Saint Archer’s brewery and local taprooms to Illinois-based Kings and Convicts Brewing. These moves come off the back of the fallout of the pandemic and the pattern from drinkers moving towards hard seltzers and other alternative beer options.
In 2020, the Brewers Association tallied 8,764 breweries and brewpubs, up 373 from a year earlier. Past studies have indicated that any community of 10,000 residents could sustain a well-run brewery.
“There’s also an interesting phenomenon that has emerged when understanding the optimum number of breweries in any community,” Dunkling said. “Once a community gains recognition as a beer haven, people follow.”
In 2020, the microbrewery segment saw 63 closures compared to 83 openings. In the same year, the brewpub category saw 166 closures and 220 openings.
“While the gap between openings and closures has never been closer, over the past two years more microbreweries and brewpubs have opened than closed,” the University of Vermont program director said. And “often there is a large spike in initial interest in new products – except wine, which remains fairly consistent – then a slow-down in demand. Two years ago, alcoholic seltzers were all the rage; last year demand crashed. Meanwhile, consumer data doesn’t suggest a huge shift away from craft beer.”
In 2022, determining the need for a new craft brewery in a given location requires much greater research and consideration than it did a decade ago.
Still, Dunkling sees reason for optimism for anyone operating a brewpub in the near-term.
“Younger drinkers – 21- to 35-year-olds – look more like the craft beer drinkers of yesteryear; they like to try everything,” he said, citing the sentiment of his respected colleague, Bart Watson.
‘Craft beer drinkers are never going back to the beer their dads drank,’” Dunkling added.
A man and his pet sheep walk into a bar. It’s about 5:00 pm, but they’re ready for a good night of drinking. They start off slowly, watching TV, drinking beer, eating peanuts. As the night goes on they move to mixed drinks, and then shooters, one after the other. Finally, the bartender says: “Last call.” So, the man says, “One more for me… and one more for my sheep.” The bartender sets them up and they shoot them back. Suddenly, the sheep falls over dead. The man throws some money on the bar, puts on his coat and starts to leave. The bartender yells: “Hey buddy, you can’t just leave that lyin’ there.” To which the man replies: “That’s not a lion, that’s a sheep.”