Toronto, Ontario – For the third year in a row, Henderson Brewing has centred it’s Ides of February beer around celebrating the rich Homebrewing community of Toronto – by collaborating with one lucky homebrewer to make the beer. The beer is called the Henderson Cup and shares a name with the Grand Prize award at the annual BrewSlam contest, which is hosted by local home brewing club GTA Brews. Henderson Brewing is the title sponsor. This year’s contest was held in November of 2018, and saw more than 600 entrants from all over the GTA. From there, via a panel of judges, the competition was whittled down to just one: Marcelo Paniza of Toronto. Winning First Place at the BrewSlam means coming to the brewery and creating a beer on Henderson’s large-scale system, which becomes the Ides of February; the winner also wins a sponsorship prize of $1 000.00.
“It’s so important for us to support the homebrewing community.” explains Henderson GM Steve Himel “We feel like that they are an amazing resource for real creativity and imagination in brewing and we want to continue to foster and support that. This is our third year sponsoring this award, and we really look forward to each year, and seeing what each winner is going to brew with us!”
2018 Henderson Cup winner Marcelo Paniza is relatively new to the home brewing game. By day, he is an IT professional, and home brewing started first as a casual hobby that quickly escalated to “a full blown obsession” according to him. Paniza brewed a German Pils for the 2018 BrewSlam, where he won the Henderson Cup. The beer evolved from there, and he chose to brew a Tradtional Bock for the Ides of February. “When you’re brewing at home, there are a lot of limitations to what you can and can’t make.” explains Paniza. “Having the ability to brew on such a large system at Henderson, I was able to open my options up to different styles, and so I chose the Bock. And I am so happy with the results.”
The Ides of February launch party took place on the evening of Friday, February 15th at Henderson’s Sterling road Tap Room. Marcelo Paniza was on-hand to receive his trophy and his novelty-sized cheque, as everyone toasted the new brew at 6pm. As an added bonus, the Ides launch also featured a Home Brewer’s tap takeover, bringing in beer from five of the 2018 BrewSlam finalists – Eric Cousineau, James Kennedy, Bear Iberico, Ron Chan, and Ed Hitchcock (who incidentally won the 2017 Henderson Cup award). More than 200 home brewers came out to support the tap takeover over the course of the evening, and every home brewer completely sold out of their brews.
The Ides of February “Henderson Cup” is a Traditional Bock beer, with an ABV of 6.8% and 22 IBUs. It is full-bodied and malt-forward, using Dark Munich, Pilsner, Caramunich III, and Cara Aroma malts. It has a rich, luxurious mouthfeel that lingers, and makes for a great wintertime sipper. It is available in 473ml cans in the Henderson Brewing bottle shop, plus select bars and restaurants around the GTA. Like all the Ides brews, it is brewed only once, and will be available for a limited time only, while quantities last.