Toronto, Ontario – For a short time in the early 1930s, the City of Toronto was host to the O-Pee-Chee Gum Company. By 1934, they had moved to London, Ontario, where they produced their very first pack of hockey cards, complete with that slab of pink gum. Inspired by that little-known piece of TO History, Henderson Brewing Co. created O-Pee-Chee Lager – a crisp, and easy drinking brew (with no gum after-taste).
The vintage hockey cards served as the inspiration behind the label artwork for this month, but with a bit of a twist – the label clearly hearkens back to the retro style of cards from the 1960s and 70s, but the names and faces of each player might not be as recognizable; there are 21 different beer labels for this month’s brew – each features a different Henderson employee, from brewers all the way to the Office Manager, and of course includes Pippa, the unofficial brewery mascot.
“We were pretty surprised to learn that O-Pee-Chee was at one time based in Toronto, let alone a Canadian company, so we really wanted to shine a light on it.” explains Henderson GM Steve Himel ”Plus I really love the nostalgia that these labels evoke – hockey and baseball cards were the currency of my youth, with shootsies, flipsies and ‘got-em, got-‘em, need’em’ an important part of my social life in those days. And the gum …. We toyed with the idea of trying to replicate that flavour in a beer, but we came to our senses”.
“This beer is meant to be light and real easy to drink.” says Head Brewer James Turco, “Think of it as the palette cleanser everyone needs after all the heavy eating and heavy drinking we all indulged in throughout December”.
Complimentary samples of the new brew will be available on Friday night at 6 sharp at the launch for everyone who’s in attendance, and Henderson will also have complimentary Hot Dogs on hand. “The kind you used to get at the old skating arena, or on school Hot Dog Day” explains Himel.
As an added element of fun at the Ides Launch on Friday, Jan. 18th, and to further play on the vintage card theme, Henderson Brewing will play host to Flip Collectibles into the brewery for a one-of-a-kind Card Collectibles Show! Store-owner Robert Francia will be bringing a large selection of his store’s offerings for the evening Pop Up Shop – everything from hockey and
baseball cards for sale, plus tv cards, movie cards, and all kinds of other cool and kitschy memorabilia. The card sale will run from 6-9pm.
Henderson’s monthly ‘Ides’ series uses creative recipes to bring the history, characters and locations throughout Toronto to life. The Ides of January: O-Pee-Chee Lager is light, bright, crisp, and refreshing. It’s 5% ABV, and will be available on tap and in 473ml cans at the brewery on Sterling Road for a limited time only, while supplies last.