Beverage-tasting fundraiser gets buzz from attendees

Last Mountain Distillery out of Lumsden, Sask. brought its pink lemonade vodka and coffee liquor for tasting. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Those who attended Wolf Back on Friday evening went home with some new favourite beverages, according to the Mann Art Gallery.

Acting director and curator Lana Wilson said this year’s theme was keeping the gallery free so art is accessible. Wolf Back is its largest fundraiser.

“We certainly appreciated everyone coming out to support us and we hope that everyone enjoyed the event,” she said.

“A lot of people told us that they really liked the drink selection. I know that the vendors told us they felt they had a great chance to promote their products.”

9 Mile Legacy Brewing, which is in Saskatoon, received hype from beer lovers. The company said a favourite was their Odd Couple Collaboration. Inspired by the Asian restaurant, the golden ale has lemon grass, ginger and szechuan flavours.

“That was a really big hit as well as their classic 9 Mile beverage,” explained Wilson. According to 9 Mile’s website, it’s their “tried and true” English-style pale ale.

Lake Country Co-op, Wolf Back’s beverage sponsor, brought in 14 specialty beers.

One of its hits was Cats Got the Cream from Rebellion Brewing Co, which is a fall-inspired malty red ale with a caramel base and vanilla, icing sugar and baking spice notes. Wilson said attendees also loved Java the Hut, a coffee milk stout, from Fernie Brewing.

“This year, we were tasting pale ales, IPAs, lagers, stouts, sours. I don’t remember us ever offering sours for tasting before. Sours are really hot right now and so we had three sours available for tasting,” she said.

As for Lumsden’s Last Mountain Distillery, guests were big fans of their coffee-flavoured liquor, but couldn’t get enough of the pink lemonade vodka. Wilson said they’re the only vendor with that flavour of vodka in Saskatchewan.

Forest Fringe Orchards is located northeast of Prince Albert. Out of its wines available for tasting—including cherry and apple—the fan favourite was the Haskap Noir.

Genevieve Greif of Forest Fringe Orchards had several wines available for tasting, including cherry, apple and Haskap Noir. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

“People told us that they really loved the music—The Bush Pies and Flashback. Definitely great quality bands doing awesome covers,” said Wilson.

“We’ve always felt that we had an excellent band selection.”

Drummer Al Humphries and his band Flashback provided entertainment for Wolf Back, along with The Bush Pies. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

However, Wilson said there’s a few things organizers will consider doing differently in future years. This includes potentially hosting it at a different time of the year.

“We find that sometimes the weather can be kind of a hindrance and so we’ll maybe look at whether there’s a different time that we can hold it, but we are in Saskatchewan. We’re not going to let weather stop us,” she said with a laugh.

Attendees also proposed having more wine vendors.

“On the whole, we’re pretty happy with how things went from that organizing standpoint,” said Wilson.

This was the ninth year of Wolf Back, which was originally to fundraise for the wolf statue that sits outside of the gallery. This year’s fundraising totals weren’t available as of press time.