THE WAKKER WEEKLY
Issue #1663 – Posted on: 12-December-2022
BREWERY “HOPP”ENINGS: Bushwakker Head brewer, Michael Gaetz, reports that our seasonally available BLACKBERRY MEAD, PICKARD’S OATMEAL CREAM STOUT, THREE DOWN PILSNER and CARA CARA ORANGE BLONDE are currently available on tap, in our offsale and for growler fills too. There are batches of “MISSILE”TOW ALE and ARCTIC DARK LAGER working their way through the brewery. In addition to taking our beer home in glass bottles and 2 litre jugs direct from our brewpub, you can find a varying selection of 650 ml bottles of Bushwakker beer in a number of REGINA SLGA stores.
Our gift cards make for the ideal stocking stuffer for the Bushwakker fan on your list. Available in $25, $50, $100 and $200 denominations. Our Phoenix First Firkin Friday and signature Joe Fafard Bushwakker t-shirts are sure to please as are our pom-pom and skull toques to stay warm and cozy this Saskatchewan winter. And of course our BLACKBERRY MEAD bottles are the perfect gift or Christmas turkey pairing idea!
This Weekend’s Special Dining Feature is Chef Mike’s famous low and slow oven-roasted PRIME RIB served with jumbo Yorkshire Pudding. 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.
Our SASK CRAFT GUEST TAP is currently pouring the Paddock Wood DARK WOODS PORTER. Upcoming Sask guest kegs include the ECLIPSE SINGLE HOP PALE ALE from Regina’s Malty National Brewing as well as a CRANBERRY SMOKED PORTER from Swift Current’s Black Bridge Brewing.
DECEMBER PREMIUM WINE FEATURES: This month’s red wine feature is the CIGAR BOX OLD VINE PINOT NOIR from Chile. The white wine feature is the QUAIL’S GATE CHASSELAS PINOT GRIS – PINOT BLANC from British Columbia. Both are $8.95 for a glass and $23.95 for a half litre.
Whole Bushwakker Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pies are back once again for Christmas. Supplies are limited. Pies are $45.00 each. Contact Kelly at email@example.com to order yours today. Take your holiday spread to the next level!
MEAD DAY 2022 saw a few new twists as we contended with a broken elevator. But we made it work and all the mead lovers obtained their highly coveted Bushwakker Blackberry Mead! Lots of folks took advantage of our Blackberry Mead Pre-Order option on our website to kick off our holiday season. We spend all year making our famous mead. Each 800 litre batch is made with 400 pounds of Lumsden Valley honey and 84 pounds of blackberries. Our dry sparkling honey wine comes in at 10.5% ABV. The alcohol is very well hidden so enjoy in moderation. It will be on tap and in our offsale while quantities last! Come catch the “buzz” this holiday season!
Our Bushwakker CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SIX-PACKS will be back on Monday, December 12th! This year`s selection is one of the most exotic to date and includes a bottle of 2022 Blackberry Mead as well as a bottle of 2021 Blackberry Mead, a “Misiile” tow Christmas Ale, a Grey Cup commemorative Three-Down Pilsner, a Cara Cara Fruit beer as well as a bottle of our signature Palliser Porter. Limited quantities available!
The BUSHWAKKER LOCAL ARTS WALL December Featured Artist is ALEX BEITZ! Alex is a local visual artist that works in a variety of medium and subjects, with humour being a key element in his most recent works. He obtained his art education by taking many classes at the Neil Balkwill Civic Arts centre and participation with various art guilds. Over the past many years Alex has been working as a picture framer where he has been fortunate to work with a variety of artists and art collectors. Enjoy Alex’s fine work all this month!
WE ARE HIRING! The busy fall and winter season is here! We need full and part-time cooks, bartenders and a part time sound tech. Stop by with your resume today!
Dec. 10: “MISSILE”TOW CHRISTMAS ALE RELEASE. Back after a two-year hiatus! Our big, rich and malty English Barleywine will be back on tap and in 650ml bomber bottles too. At 8.0%, this is one Christmas brew you’ll want to savour in moderation! Bottles go on sale at 11:00 AM sharp!
Dec.11: BUSHWAKKER STAFF HOLIDAY MARKET. Current and former Bushwakker staff present their wares in this annual holiday craft sale. Bushwakker will be open from noon to 9:00 PM and the sale runs from noon until 5:00 PM.
Dec. 12: Monday Night Jazz & Blues. JUST SAYIN’. New name and a new line-up from an act who delivers your favorite Jazz, Rhythm and Blues tunes. 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
Dec. 14: Wednesday Folk Night – special Christmas edition. THE DICKENS YULETIDE SINGERS. One-hour show where this powerful choir performs holiday favourites in Victorian dress. 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM.
Dec. 18: OPEN SUNDAY AT NOON until 9:00 PM. Last chance to shop The Bushwakker on a Sunday for gift cards and Christmas six-packs or perhaps just swing by for a goblet of mead and a meal.
CURRENT HOURS OF OPERATION AND RESERVATIONS NOTES
We are open Monday – Thursday from 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM. The kitchen closes at 9:00 PM and last call is at 9:15 PM.
NEW WEEKEND HOURS! Fridays and Saturdays we are open from 11:00 AM until midnight. The kitchen is open until 11:00 PM and last call is at 11:15 PM.
We will be open every Sunday from noon to 9:00 PM until Christmas Day. Yes, we will be closed on Christmas Day.
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 two banquet rooms are also available for private party rentals. Call Kelly at 306-359-7276 to book either our main floor Arizona Room or basement Clubroom.
A VERY MERRY HISTORY OF BEER
By Emily Schuman
For many, the holidays are synonymous with festive beverages of the alcoholic kind. We’re peppered with recommended recipes for cocktails with a holiday twist, eggnog hits the shelves beginning in November, and suddenly breweries are releasing Holiday Ales. These beers, also known as Winter Warmers, Christmas Ales, and Biere de Noel, promise high ABVs and dark and malty profiles spiced with the likes of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg—basically all of the spices that are reminiscent of the baked goods probably sitting on the counter. When you start to thumb through the history books, it turns out the tradition for winter or Christmas beers goes further back than you probably realized.
EARLIEST MENTION OF HOLIDAY ALE
The tradition for holiday beers begins with the Vikings of pre-Christian Scandinavia. Ask someone to describe Vikings, and they will probably say the people who wore the helmets with the horns while sailing and terrorizing Europe during the 10th century. That is only partially true—the helmets were never real—but the vast travel and pillaging definitely was, and that contributes to our story. As Vikings travelled, pillaged, and settled in predominantly Christian lands, they quickly adapted Christian traditions and merged them with their own. One such tradition was the offering of beer to Odin on December 21st during their Jul celebrations. Jul is also sometimes written as “Yule.” See where we’re going? As pagan Vikings adopted Christmas traditions, the festival dedicated to Odin became the festival dedicated to Jesus’ birth, but the tradition to offer up a deep malty beer remained.
King Haakon, who ruled as of the first Christian Vikings from c. 934-961, decreed that every household must brew a Christmas beer for Jul. This was later formalized as a part of the Gulating Law Code. The law instituted by King Haakon required that every single household brew a Christmas beer and the penalty for not brewing was to pay three marks to the Bishop. However, any household that would go three years without brewing and would be forced to give all of its money to the King and the Bishop. To top that off, if you didn’t confess your sin of not brewing, you were kicked out of Norway. That seems like a pretty hefty cost to not brew a beer.
In Viking culture, there was a high value and societal expectation of feasts accompanied by measures of beer to drink. Historical evidence shows that barley was imported to make up for the small amounts grown on arable land. What was produced and purchased was almost exclusively reserved for beer. This shows the value that beer held in Viking society!
CHRISTMAS BEER IN TUDOR ENGLAND
Moving forward a couple of hundred years, Tudor England was renowned for its Christmas spectacles. This is when many of our current traditions originated, including the 12 days of Christmas. Tudor England went into celebration mode beginning on the 24th of December and lasted through the New Year.
Feasts were a must, with tables set with Turduckens (true fact!), minced pies and a communal “Wassail Bowl.” This bowl held a gallon of punch. While recipes vary, it was predominately made from hot-ale, spices, and honey. In the bottom of the bowl would be a crust of bread which was given to the most important person in the room–the origins of a toast before a drink! This bowl would be passed around from person to person as a sign of good health. Basically, buying your neighbor a winter warmer is just wishing them good health in the New Year. As the evolution of ale and beer evolved in England, the spiced ale during Christmas remained.
One Christmas Eve, Santa was under a lot of stress.
He and Mrs. Claus had just had a brutal fight, it was nearly time to leave and his sleigh wasn’t loaded yet, and the elves were talking about going on strike that very night.
Just then an angel walked into his swamped office and asked, “Hey, Santa, what do you want me to put this Christmas tree?”
And so was born the tradition of there being an angel on top of the Christmas tree.
After a two-year hiatus, our “Missile”tow Christmas Ale returns on tap and in bottles on Saturday, December 10th. Our Blackberry Mead has returned for the holiday season too!