Wolf Back returning with beer, spirits and wine

Annual Mann Art Gallery fundraiser expanding beyond beer

Some of the drink selections that will be available for Wolf Back 2019, a fundrasier for the Mann Art Gallery. Beer from 9 Mile Legacy, not pictured, wil also be available. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

The Mann Art Gallery’s biggest fundraiser of the year is back, but this time it isn’t just beer patrons will be wolfing down.

The eighth annual Wolf Back fundraiser is set for January 18 from 7 p.m. until midnight at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. Organizers originally brewed up the event to raise money for the Joe Fafard wolf statue on display outside of the gallery, but it has since been converted to a fundraiser for general operating costs.

This year, the mocktail bar featuring Seedlip, the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirits, returns, as do some favourite beer selections from the event’s brewery partner, as well as other selections chosen by the event’s organizers.

The brewery coming to the event this year is 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Company out of Saskatoon. They will be joined by Living Sky Winery out of Perdue, Sask. (about 60 km west of Saskatoon) and Saskatoon’s Lucky Bastard Distillery.

Living Sky will be bringing along two table wines, rhubarb and currant, as well as a port style wine.

Spirits from Lucky Bastard will be mixed into mini cocktails for patrons to try.

“Your ticket includes five tastings inside a logoed four-ounce glass,” said Mann Art Gallery acting director and curator Lana Wilson.

“You get to keep the glass. It’s a souvenir, and it also reduces waste. We debuted the tasting glass last year and it was really popular.”

While the mocktail station is a returning feature from last year, the mixes will not be the same.

“We know there is a wide range of reasons people might not want to drink alcohol, so we’re excited that councillor Evert Botha is going to be running the mocktail bar for the second year in a row,” Wilson said.

“Only one of the mocktails from last year is returning. You’re going to be able to try these same two )non-alcoholic spirits), but mixed into different mocktail formats. Even the mocktail bar has new drinks.”

The event’s music will be provided by the Wolfe, Shayne Lazarowich and the Untamed, and Mike Simon.

Mike Simon is a recent addition to the lineup after a last-minute change had to be made. He brings a 12-string guitar, clarinet, singer and percussionist to his performances.

“The group has a great, folksy sound,” Wilson said.

“We’ve heard great things and are really looking forward … to bringing Mike Simon on board with his band.”

Tickets for the event are $30 in advance and can be purchased at the Mann Art Gallery. They will also be available for $35 at the door.

“A lot of people are surprised by all of the different things we do here,” said Wilson.

“I’ve been telling people, help us paint the walls, help us buy art, help us pay our staff, help us buy art supplies for the education program. When you support Wolf Back, you are supporting all of the many initiatives the Mann Art Gallery does in the community throughout the year.”