In the Fall of 2015, the Henderson Brewing Company was getting ready to launch. The GM commissioned me to create a visual/conceptual art piece for their taproom. The backstory of the name Henderson really grabbed me. Being a Toronto history nerd, I loved their idea of naming the brewery after the very first person to brew beer, commercially, in this interesting city.
The brewery’s flagship beer would be Henderson’s Best: a modern interpretation of the beers first brewed in Toronto at the start of the 19th century. A British style ESB, evolved and matured over 215 years of brewing in Toronto.
So I dug deep into the story of how in 1800, Robert J. Henderson kicked off what would eventually become a love affair between Toronto and Ales. By 1830 his brewery was over. The brewery burned down and then Henderson died, which kind of put the brakes on brewing.
But what if Henderson hadn’t died? Or his brewery hadn’t burned down? What if the brewery had brewed alongside Molson and Labatt, into the 1980’s or later? What would 200+ years of advertising look like? The only way to know was to dream it up.