What could be a more fun birthday party than that of a brewery? There aren’t a whole lot of things that come to mind, and Bushwakker solidified that statement with their 20th anniversary party this weekend. Not only was it the brewery’s birthday, but it was also a celebration of the birthday of one of Scotland’s most famous poets, Robert Burns.
Providing some musical entertainment for the evening was Squeeze of Scotch. The band, consisting of a guitarist, accordionist, and percussionist, all dressed in traditional Scottish kilts, played through a number of covers from the likes of Dire Straits, Great Big Sea, Captain Tractor, Johnny Cash, and the Beatles all with an appropriate-for-the-occasion Celtic flair. They played all their parts spot-on and were well-received by the audience, who would sing and clap along to the tunes. Audience members were also encouraged – and obliged the band’s requests – to leave their seats, relocate to the front of the stage, and engage in some light-hearted dancing.
Grins could be seen and laughs heard from all tables in the pub as people enjoyed their food and beer. I had a particularly tasty plate of nachos that was loaded with tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, green peppers, spicy beef, and smothered in a plethora of cheeses; it was nothing short of delicious. Although, I’m glad I decided on a small plate because it was still a heaping mound of food; I can imagine that the large plate would be enough to feed a small colony of people.
The food wasn’t the only fine-tasting part of the evening. Bushwakker released a special, limited-edition brew for the occasion, the Tartan Tzar Stout. It’s quite an interesting beer, but definitely not for the light-hearted beer drinker. This strong (9.7% A/V) and very rich stout punches you in the face with so many flavours that your tongue is beat almost into submission. Leading the taste-bud assault are characteristics of a single-malt Scotch, chocolate, molasses, and coffee. The result is a flavour bomb that’s smooth, rich, and a little sweet. I’d compare the properties of the Tartan Tzar Stout to that of a fine, dark chocolate; it’s a delicious-tasting beer, but you can only have so much before your taste-buds are nuked into flavour oblivion.
The only thing that I was disappointed in with the evening was the five dollar cover charge, despite what I thought was more than enough business to generate enough profit to cover the cost of the band, but as a whole that was only a minor bump on a road to a rather satisfactory evening filled with palatable food, flavourful beer, dancing, kilts, and live music – all the ingredients for a successful night out. It’s great to see that a local brewery and pub has success in establishing itself and maintaining a well-run business for twenty years, and judging by how this past Saturday went, it’s evident that there’s well more than another twenty left.