Henderson Brewing Co

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napoleon
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Henderson Brewing Co

Postby napoleon » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:06 am

Just starting a thread on the new Henderson Brewing Co.
http://www.hendersonbrewing.com

They had a very soft launch over the May 24 weekend. At the time of the visit, they just had one beer on tap, the "Best", which is a perfectly competent, albeit a bit malty, ESB. Poking around the space, it looks like they have a lot of capacity. My guess is quadruple or quintuple the fermenter space of Bellwoods. Fun space, accessible from the rail path.

Bit of a strange beer subscription plan:
http://www.hendersonbrewing.com/product/12-month-subscription-2-2/
At 4 beers/month for $350 that works out to $7.29. Some sort-of minimal perks are added: a party plus a piece of branded clothing. Doesn't seem like a very compelling deal to me.

Looks like they have a grand opening planned for tomorrow:
http://www.hendersonbrewing.com/event/months-brewing-weeks-preparing-ready-big-debut-cmon-day-fun-celebration-cut-ribbon-official-opening-128a-sterling-rd-1/
atomeyes
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby atomeyes » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:07 pm

this is the brewery for those who like Batch but don't want to be totally affiliated with a macrobrewery.

everything about Henderson's stinks of macro stench. sorry to be so blatant, but they give me the heebie jeebies.
looks like they edited the bios on their website, but everyone came from macro. their head brewer's from Molson. their "team" (uggg) has nothing but macro experience. plus, their fumbling of the Toronto Brewery District and how heavy handed they were with the "launch" is enough for me to wonder why anyone would rush out to support them.

some people open a brewery because they're passionate about beer, so the open something small but not overly profitable.
some people open a brewery because they're passionate about beer and have good business sense, so they open a 7-15 bbl kit brewery.
some people open a brewery because they want to make money, and that's what i'd suggest about Henderson.

if i'm completely off, i sincerely apologize to the owners and the "team" behind Henderson. but nothing they've done suggests that i'm wrong. it just feels really weird. like a dad trying to dress up and act cool and hang with his teenage son's friends. that's Henderson.
napoleon
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby napoleon » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:47 pm

atomeyes wrote:this is the brewery for those who like Batch but don't want to be totally affiliated with a macrobrewery.

everything about Henderson's stinks of macro stench. sorry to be so blatant, but they give me the heebie jeebies.
looks like they edited the bios on their website, but everyone came from macro. their head brewer's from Molson. their "team" (uggg) has nothing but macro experience. plus, their fumbling of the Toronto Brewery District and how heavy handed they were with the "launch" is enough for me to wonder why anyone would rush out to support them.

I didn't know this. Makes a lot more sense given their scale. It seemed like an awfully large scale for someone opening a brewery.

I do, however, want to keep an open mind. I think people on this forum sometimes give Mill Street or Goose Island a pass because they were small breweries that then became macro. Maybe there's some space in the beer world for people from macros to become largish craft brewers. I can't exactly pretend that Goose Island or something like that is on a smaller scale than this.
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby atomeyes » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:58 pm

napoleon wrote:
atomeyes wrote:this is the brewery for those who like Batch but don't want to be totally affiliated with a macrobrewery.

everything about Henderson's stinks of macro stench. sorry to be so blatant, but they give me the heebie jeebies.
looks like they edited the bios on their website, but everyone came from macro. their head brewer's from Molson. their "team" (uggg) has nothing but macro experience. plus, their fumbling of the Toronto Brewery District and how heavy handed they were with the "launch" is enough for me to wonder why anyone would rush out to support them.

I didn't know this. Makes a lot more sense given their scale. It seemed like an awfully large scale for someone opening a brewery.

I do, however, want to keep an open mind. I think people on this forum sometimes give Mill Street or Goose Island a pass because they were small breweries that then became macro. Maybe there's some space in the beer world for people from macros to become largish craft brewers. I can't exactly pretend that Goose Island or something like that is on a smaller scale than this.


true.
i hate seeming like a pessimist, but man, Henderson's done nothing - NOTHING - for me to give them the benefit of the doubt.

starting off with their staff. most of them purged their website profiles to eliminate any trace of macro. Steve Himel makes no mention that he either worked for Sleemans or was closely associated with them. instead, references a brewery job he had in the 1980s.

then there's the Toronto Brewery District fiasco. Himel took it upon himself to create a district, use logos and brewery names without their permission and annoint himself the chair of the district. many breweries were irate. hence, it's collapse. it was clearly self serving.

his one beer he has out, i heard, is meh. a boring old-school amber/ESB. i've heard it's not great. i don't see any other beer listed on their website.

they just reek of being a slick machine versus a soulful brewery. i don't have a personal axe to grind, but they're pretty much what i thought would happen with toronto's brewing scene. they're Triple Bogey but bricks and mortar
sprague11
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby sprague11 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:07 pm

Old Credits selection and Spearheads corporate structure. What could possibly go wrong? ;)
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby Provost Drunk » Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:38 pm

Although I agree completely that their handling of the proposed Toronto brewing district was a complete misstep, I'm not prepared to crucify these guys (or any other new entrants) for having a macro past. Ultimately for me it will all be about the quality of the beer. If they brew good beer, I'll drink it without thinking twice about their history. Having said that, I haven't tried their beers and if they aren't anything special they probably have less rope to work with in terms of leeway than your average micro start up.

All I am saying is that the proof of the pudding in in the eating... or rather the proof of the beer in in drinking ;)
atomeyes
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby atomeyes » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:31 pm

Provost Drunk wrote:Although I agree completely that their handling of the proposed Toronto brewing district was a complete misstep, I'm not prepared to crucify these guys (or any other new entrants) for having a macro past. Ultimately for me it will all be about the quality of the beer. If they brew good beer, I'll drink it without thinking twice about their history. Having said that, I haven't tried their beers and if they aren't anything special they probably have less rope to work with in terms of leeway than your average micro start up.

All I am saying is that the proof of the pudding in in the eating... or rather the proof of the beer in in drinking ;)


you are correct.
i have a finite cash supply and waistline. i'd rather support the good guys that deserve my support. i'm not falling hook, line and sinker for Henderson like some people did for their open house. ("Free beer! I love those guys!")

their MO is so corporate, it hurts. "Pull the wool over their eyes," they're practically screaming. also of note are some of the accounts they've managed to get. e.g. i see that they're at Big Crow and maybe some of Rose's other restaurants. so i'm assuming that they're paying to play. yay.
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saints_gambit
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby saints_gambit » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:50 am

There's nothing wrong with having large brewing experience.

By now, though, people should have probably realized that transparency is key to this industry. You craft a narrative for your brand with the actual facts you have at your disposal and you can spin just about anything any old way as long as you're at least vaguely honest about it. People will accept authenticity even if it ain't small batch hipster authenticity.

Thing I worry about is that the theoretical max volume for Henderson is 10,000HL according to what they were telling me back in the Autumn. That's not enough volume or revenue to support their tactics or plans.
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groulxsome
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby groulxsome » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:57 am

I dropped on Saturday for the launch party. Really nice space and vibe. Looks to be a shiny 15 hL with 30 hL tanks... though I might be down by a few hL on those estimates. I don't expect this to be a bar towel darling of a brewery considering their more conservative choices in recipes, but the beer I tried (their Ides of May IPA) was well made (which is more than can be said of some other newer breweries). I wouldn't write off visiting because of a macro past. Or just because of the brewery district thing. Heck, I slammed the brewery district on the TV news and called not cancelling a metro morning interview "classless" on twitter, but I still though it worth the time to visit. Just check the spot out.
atomeyes
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby atomeyes » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:18 am

http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2017/03 ... tail-beer/

no. just...no.
nothing about this beer makes it related to an Old Fashioned.
needs to be bourbon barrel aged.
would need orange zest in it or ahtanum hops for an orange vibe.
needs herbs to give it the bitters feel.

if rye and a high abv made this an Old Fashioned, then i give up.

So what makes a beer cocktail? According to Buffy Steringa, events manager at Henderson, rye was used in the brewing process, making it part of the body of the beer and not just an additive.


this quote alone summarizes the many reasons why i don't support Hendersons. Just not for me or not what i feel independent breweries are about. when your events manager (lol) is explaining a beer to the media and explains it incorrectly, and the media runs with it without having a fucking clue what's in an Old Fashioned, you know that Toronto's beer scene's still in its infancy. so bush league.
seangm
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby seangm » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:53 am

atomeyes wrote:http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2017/03/toronto-brewery-launching-canadas-first-ever-cocktail-beer/

no. just...no.
nothing about this beer makes it related to an Old Fashioned.
needs to be bourbon barrel aged.
would need orange zest in it or ahtanum hops for an orange vibe.
needs herbs to give it the bitters feel.

if rye and a high abv made this an Old Fashioned, then i give up.

So what makes a beer cocktail? According to Buffy Steringa, events manager at Henderson, rye was used in the brewing process, making it part of the body of the beer and not just an additive.


this quote alone summarizes the many reasons why i don't support Hendersons. Just not for me or not what i feel independent breweries are about. when your events manager (lol) is explaining a beer to the media and explains it incorrectly, and the media runs with it without having a fucking clue what's in an Old Fashioned, you know that Toronto's beer scene's still in its infancy. so bush league.


Yeah, this is bizarre. Makes no sense at all. Unless they're saying they used rye as in the beverage, but it doesn't sound like it. Maybe they should let the brewers do the explaining, since it sounds like the events manager has no idea how beer is made.
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lister
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby lister » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:45 am

atomeyes wrote:http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2017/03/toronto-brewery-launching-canadas-first-ever-cocktail-beer/

no. just...no.
nothing about this beer makes it related to an Old Fashioned.
needs to be bourbon barrel aged.
would need orange zest in it or ahtanum hops for an orange vibe.
needs herbs to give it the bitters feel.

if rye and a high abv made this an Old Fashioned, then i give up.


I made two batches of "Old Fashioned" homebrew a couple of years ago! I wonder if some of my other goofier beer ideas see the light of day commercially. Take that contest homebrew judges! :P

- it was bourbon "barrel" aged (bourbon soaked oak chips)
- used sweet orange peel
- used fuggle and willamette hops
- used a few dashes of bitters prior to bottling (yeah I cheated instead of going the herb route)
- second batch added some dextrose and a bit of cherry juice

Both batches were lower ABV, 5-6% something like that.

Pretty damn tasty too!
lister
atomeyes
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby atomeyes » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:59 am

lister wrote:
atomeyes wrote:http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2017/03/toronto-brewery-launching-canadas-first-ever-cocktail-beer/

no. just...no.
nothing about this beer makes it related to an Old Fashioned.
needs to be bourbon barrel aged.
would need orange zest in it or ahtanum hops for an orange vibe.
needs herbs to give it the bitters feel.

if rye and a high abv made this an Old Fashioned, then i give up.


I made two batches of "Old Fashioned" homebrew a couple of years ago! I wonder if some of my other goofier beer ideas see the light of day commercially. Take that contest homebrew judges! :P

- it was bourbon "barrel" aged (bourbon soaked oak chips)
- used sweet orange peel
- used fuggle and willamette hops
- used a few dashes of bitters prior to bottling (yeah I cheated instead of going the herb route)
- second batch added some dextrose and a bit of cherry juice

Both batches were lower ABV, 5-6% something like that.

Pretty damn tasty too!

Cocktail beer are the big trend in the States. Went to the Michigan craft beer festival last July and a few booths were pretty much doing cocktail-only beer.

In the past, i wanted to do a Manhattan beer. the biggest issue i had was the bitters and what to add to get that flavour.

summary: both you and i clearly put more thought into this than the gimmickmeisters at Hendersons. i thought their Honest Ed's beer was a gimmick, but this is embarrassing
atomeyes
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby atomeyes » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:07 pm

some reviews are in.
apparently it's not bad.
apparently their Events Organizer shouldn't give a press release/interview.
It does have some orange and some "bitters" in it. apparently.
some rye character, apparently.
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Tapsucker
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Re: Henderson Brewing Co

Postby Tapsucker » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:07 pm

atomeyes wrote:http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2017/03/toronto-brewery-launching-canadas-first-ever-cocktail-beer/

no. just...no.
nothing about this beer makes it related to an Old Fashioned.
needs to be bourbon barrel aged.
would need orange zest in it or ahtanum hops for an orange vibe.
needs herbs to give it the bitters feel.

if rye and a high abv made this an Old Fashioned, then i give up.

So what makes a beer cocktail? According to Buffy Steringa, events manager at Henderson, rye was used in the brewing process, making it part of the body of the beer and not just an additive.


this quote alone summarizes the many reasons why i don't support Hendersons. Just not for me or not what i feel independent breweries are about. when your events manager (lol) is explaining a beer to the media and explains it incorrectly, and the media runs with it without having a fucking clue what's in an Old Fashioned, you know that Toronto's beer scene's still in its infancy. so bush league.


I saw this announcement too and thought WTF? Rye in a beer recipe is nothing new or innovative. What a piss-poor PR stunt. Then again, these guys seem to have taken over for the days when brewers sold product via stupid pro sports sponsorship and girls in bikinis. They've just replaced it with silly stunts like Honest Ed beer. Soon they will be producing coolers and hard ice tea for summer...
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