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69. Ides of January 2022: Whipper Watson

English Pale Mild 3.5%
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“Whipper” Billy Watson was English Canada’s best known wrestler and Toronto’s top star from the 1940s until the 1960s. Many in the wrestling community felt that Watson was as important to Maple Leaf Gardens fans as Maurice “The Rocket” Richard was to the fans at the Montreal Forum.

Born in Toronto in 1915, he was dubbed “Whipper” in 1939, due to his frequent usage of the “Irish Whip,”which involved hurling an opponent into the ropes before throwing him over his back. In perhaps his most famous bout, Billy Watson defeated Gorgeous George to hold his title in a no-curfew match at Maple Leaf Gardens. It was 1959, and George promised to shave his gorgeous locks if he lost, which he did in front of 14,000 fans.

Whipper kept wrestling until the end of 1971, when he was hit by an out-of-control car while placing a fireplace screen in the trunk of his car on Rogers Road in Toronto. Unable to fight again, he focused his energies on charitable work, raising millions of dollars over the next twenty years, dying in 1990.

Billy Watson died in 1990, was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1995, and has a public school named after him in Keswick, Ontario. We brewed this easy-drinking, sessionable, malty English ale in his honour.

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Tasting Notes

  • OG: 9.0 P
  • IBU: 20
  • SRM: 10
  • Carbonation: 2.30 Volumes (Low)
  • Malts: Maris Otter, Caramalt, Flaked Oats, Aromatic
  • Hops: Magnum, Godiva
  • Yeast: English Ale
  • Appearance: Brilliant golden with a creamy pale head
  • Aroma: Toasty malt, crackers, caramel, white grapes, pepper, notes of tangerine peel
  • Taste: Crackery malt, toffee, white grapes, slightly sweet finish, pleasant fruitness
  • Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a round maltiness, just enough bitterness to balance the malt, crisp finish
  • Overall: An easy drinking, malty English ale made for a nice long session
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