Sunday, 27 November 2016
Thirsty for something different, I checked out the trusty Ontario Brewers Map and decided to check out Henderson Brewing Co.
Henderson is tucked in a little industrial area just if of Dundas Street in Toronto's west end. It's a cute little spot that has a lot of nice touches--free popcorn, a cool Rube Goldberg machine that opens and pours a beer, and a bottle shop on site. What really made me settle on this brewery though was their monthly beer series, "The Ides of". While this is a cool idea generally, it was the Ides of October on tap in October 2016 that truly sealed the deal.
Called Rademuller's Refusal, this English strong ale is named in honour of J.P. Rademuller, the late lighthouse keeper at the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on the Toronto Island. Rademuller died a violent death, his murder was never solved, his ghost is said to haunt the lighthouse, and he's a favourite villain of my buddies The Stormalongs. According to the legend as told on the Henderson advertising copy, Rademuller was an amateur brewer whose strong ale was much in demand. When thirsty soldiers showed up at the lighthouse in 1815 demanding beer Rademuller refused ... and was never seen again.
The brew, a 12oz draught, was hazy, mauve-brown, and covered in a thin cream head. It contained a bruising 9% alcohol, and packed a mighty aroma of dark fruit and roasted malt. The beer proved to be extremely flavourful and smooth. It had date and raisin notes, as well as a decidedly boozy vibe.
Strangely for such a strong ale, I found Rademuller's Refusal to be a bit thin of body. Certain elements put me in mind of a Belgian dubbel, minus the funky yeast. It tasted great and I'd gladly drink it again.
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.