Toronto, Ontario – On Friday September 15th, Henderson Brewing Co. will launch the newest beer in their Ides Series of monthly one-offs, The Ides of September – “Target Practise”, a Belgian Blonde Ale made with tart Niagara Cherries, with notes of biscuits spice, banana, and citrus. “Brewing with fresh fruit is always a challenge, but we didn’t want to cut corners. We used whole cherries to get the true essence of the fruit, not just the juice. While it was very complicated, we certainly have reaped the rewards with wonderful complexity.” says Brewmaster and Partner Mark Benzaquen.
To help celebrate the new brew, Sterling Road neighbours The Drake Commissary have created a new ice cream flavour – a Cherry Gelato, made with the same cherries used in the Ides brewing process, available exclusively at the brewery at 6pm on Friday night at the launch party. Samples of the gelato will be complimentary alongside the newest Ides beer. “The Commissary has worked with us in the past, taking our beer and spent grain and repurposing it in their foods – this is just another example of how our brewing ingredients get used creatively in another way.” says Adin Wener, brewery Partner.
This month’s Ides story is inspired by Lawren Harris, founding member of the Group of Seven. Harris is best known for the northern scenes in his paintings, but he lived much of his life in downtown Toronto, even attending Central Technical High School.
In 1917, he served as a Gunnery Lieutenant in the Canadian Officers Training Corps headquartered at U of T’s Hart House during its construction. While stationed there, he painted a 30’ x 16’ 3D set of a ruined Belgian village on what would soon become the Hart House Theatre stage. Marionettes of enemy soldiers were employed on the set for target practice so that soldiers-in-training standing behind sandbags at the back of the auditorium could shoot them – and Harris’ painting – to pieces.
In 2016, Harris’s “Mountain Forms,” sold for over $11 million. Chances are no one’s in too much of a hurry to shoot that painting to pieces these days!