For more than two decades, Regina’s Bushwakker Brewpub has kicked off the Christmas season by releasing a limited supply of their signature blackberry mead, and Saturday that tradition continued. However, Mead Day was short one very special person this year — the brewpub’s late founder and president, Bev Robertson.
“(Robertson) would always pop in in the afternoon and make sure that everything was going smoothly and he was happy to be here,” remembered bar manager Grant Frew.
“The fact that Bev’s son, Scott, came up with the recipe, meant a lot to him — but the fact that his grandson is now the head brewer and is continuing the blackberry mead tradition … he would be very proud of his family.”
Around 6,000 bottles of the boozy beverage were crafted for release this year, and it’s known for selling out fast. Frew noted the quickest it’s ever sold out was in an hour and 45 minutes a few years ago.
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However, he added that they always try to keep the blackberry mead on tap throughout December — with a limit of two glasses each visit, due to the 10 per cent alcohol content.
But for those wanting to take the mead home, most camp out overnight for first dibs. This year, Frew said they broke a record with people starting to line up at the front door more than 20 hours in advance.
“They’re cold, but they’re really happy,” laughed Frew. “It’s a tradition for them, and it’s truly become a Saskatchewan phenomenon and we’re just so happy to be a part of it.”
Another Bushwakker BlackBerry Mead record has just been broken! The first people to set up camp to wait in line for…
He added that bringing people together around this time of year — all for the love of Bushwakker blackberry mead — always made Robertson pause to smile.
“(Mead Day) meant a lot to him. He always wanted to give back to the community and incorporating his family to help him do that is very special,” said Frew.
While it’ll be different without Bev’s visit this year, the bar manager said it’s important the tradition brews on.
“Bev would want us to continue focusing on the task at hand and do the very best that we could. He taught us well and his values are going to live on within the family and the extended Bushwakker family. We’re going to be just fine.”