Rumour has it that when Regina hosted the Grey Cup in 2003, the city actually ran out of beer? Thankfully, with the growth of breweries in the city, we shouldn’t ever be put in such a dire situation again. Though the city had a strong underground scene brewing for many years, it’s only been the last while now that brew masters have steadily been making the leap year from basement to brick and mortar. And are we ever thankful they’ve come upstairs. A slow start some would say compared to other major centres but hey, better later than never – right? This post will explore a few of the local breweries that have made their mark in Regina. Bushwakker – “The real Saskatchewan brewpub experience” Is it blackberry mead time yet? Thank goodness Bushwakker has a countdown clock for all the “mead-leivers” who, on the first Saturday each December can be found outside, waiting in lines around the block, just to purchase the first batches of the popular once-a-year brew. Blackberry mead may be a signature seasonal for the brewery but it’s far from the only decent brew in a long running star line up. The most well-known of the brew bunch has been a regular staple for Regina restaurants for many years now. Bev Robertson and his family started Bushwakkers’ brewpub way back in 1991, and consistently, it’s been award winning, often noted as one of Canada’s best. Its popularity hasn’t waned either, even with the introduction of new competitors to the craft brew scene. Bushwakker stays fresh with a changing line up seasonals that complement their much-loved regular line up. Pick up Bushwakker craft beer to go from their in-house off sale - kegs are also available for order.   IMG_2608  IMG_5242 IMG_2616 Regular beer line up: Northern Lights, Stubble Jumper Pilsner, Last Mountain Lager, Dortmuder Blend, Regina Pale Ale, Palliser Porter, Black & Tan, Red & Black, Dungarvon Irish Red, Chico IPA and Cheryl’s Blond. Where to find them – Located at 2206 Dewdney Avenue What makes them cool – First Firkin Friday, live music (Monday night jazz and blues, Wednesday night folk), chill atmosphere, great food and service. What I love – Many things! But my go to order is Dungarvon. I also couldn’t live without their (generously portioned) nachos. District Brewing Company – “Our interpretation of a Helles beer” Not a pub, but definitely worth a mention here, District Brewing Company is Regina’s first non-brewpub microbrewery. A self-proclaimed “nomadic brewer,” head brewer Jay Cooke has been all over North America over the past decade or so, honing his brew master skills. He spent a couple of years at Paddock Wood in Saskatoon, one of Canada’s smallest breweries, only to move onto Labatts, Canada’s largest brewery, where he spent three years. In 2013, Jay moved home to Regina after being inspired abroad by rich beer scenes in Europe and set up production with friend, Byron Weibe, who oversees the marketing and business side of operations. But instead of tackling the daunting tasks of multiple brews, the partners at District have taken a much simpler approach focusing on production of one beer, Müs Knuckle Lager. Described by District as “an interpretation of a Helles beer,” their stand-alone 5% straw-blond lager is an example of classic Bavarian style. Plans are in place however to expand production in the near future. Byron and Jay District Brewery fermenters Regular beer line up: Müs Knuckle Lager Where to find them – The physical location of the brewery is on 1555 8th Avenue but Müs Knuckle Lager can be found on tap in restaurants throughout the province and in SLGA stores. What makes them cool – Youth, energy and potential. What I love – These guys give back to the community in a number of ways. Rebellion – “Be a rebel – drink great beer” The newest kid on the block as far as brew goes, opening in 2014; Rebellion is a celebration of doing things differently and with flair. They are already well poised for growth with ten 2000 L fermenters and two 2,000L Brite tanks, better known as carbonation vessels. Rebellion features two outstanding brewers. Former president of the ALES club, Jamie Singer made his way up the brewing ladder as an award-winning homebrewer. He also worked as an assistant brewer at Bushwakker. Brewer Mark Heise was another one of those guys who we owe applause for making the jump and sharing with us his remarkable craft brews. Prior to Rebellion, Mark was known for producing high quality, award-winning brew from the comfort of his home. How is Rebellion different? Well for one, they offer a green approach with their refillable beer service. You can purchase multiple sized growlers and kegs; fill them up with your favourite brew, drink and refill. They are also whip smart choosing to collaborate with other local businesses and clients, such as Flip, Victoria’s Tavern, Leopolds, Beer Brothers (food,) Lanscater, Artful Dodger, Lancaster, Crave and some of the city’s yummiest food trucks, to name a few. It’s not just restaurants benefiting from this venture. They order Saskatchewan made products such as honey from Tisdale and cherries from Over the Hill Orchards to make their delicious Prairie Cherry Mead. Rebellion is a great example of a brewery doing things differently, and right – realizing they don’t have to do it all themselves. In my opinion this forward thinking approach only adds mass appeal. IMG_2639 IMG_2657 IMG_2675 Regular beer line up: A west coast inspired IPA & Amber, Blond, Belgian Wit and Oatmeal Stout. To date, over 26 seasonal beers have been brewed. Where to find them – 1901 Dewdney Avenue (just down from Bushwakker) What makes them cool – Rebellion oozes cool from its fresh brews they offer to the personalities behind them. These guys are all about partnership and they also continue to support local home brewers. What I love – The green approach of the growlers – it’s the best way to try a number of beers at a reasonable cost, without producing waste.