with Bushwakker’s Tartan Tzar Russian Imperial Stout. I’ve still got a bottle sitting on my shelf – it was aged with Macallan-soaked wood chips. Way ahead of its’ time for Canadian beer, and it got the gold for the Imperial Stout category in the Canadian Brewing Awards as a result. If you get your hands on it, expect lingering complexity behind strong molasses flavour and a really dry mouthfeel.
Which reminds me of another famous Bushwakker drink: they’re releasing their holiday-fave Blackberry Mead on December 3rd. Doesn’t look like their brewery expansion is complete, because they’ve only grown this year’s batch by two tanks, so get there early! Last year they sold out of 4000 bottles in a couple hours. This year’s mead bumps the ABV up by 3% to 11.5%, so who knows what to expect flavour-wise; past years have varied from sickly-sweet to pretty well balanced. Still no explanation why people would line up for the stuff, though – maybe it has to do with festive cheer? It is true that I can think of no better place than Bushwakker’s for a holiday get-together. Seriously, you can’t beat their nachoes.
Andrew’s top 5 reasons for going to Bushwakker’s Brewpub in Regina, Saskatchewan:
- Kai’s Munich Helles Bock. Probably the best summer beer in the universe, it’s a pale lager with enough complexity (and some beautiful cereal/wheat crispness) to reward the person who drinks several pints of it.
- The fries. Oh god the fries. So good. Ask for malt vinegar.
- The music. I played countless St. Pattie’s Day gigs here with a celtic rock band, but the best live jazz in Regina can also be found on the Bushwakker stage.
- The nachoes. Fine, I put two food items on here, but allow me to justify my views: these are the way-too-loaded, heaping-mountain-of-cheese-and-bountiful-toppings nachoes that only exist in fairy tales. They’re also unjustly cheap. Some chip vendor is being severely ripped off, I venture.
- The beers. They can be sometimes hit-or-miss, but that comes with the territory: they brew a ridiculous number of different styles year-round. They’re mostly an English-style brewery, but for the hop-crazy, just show up on the first Friday of the month for First Firkin Friday, when an especially hop-filled keg will have a tap hammered into it by a lucky customer.