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20. Ides of December 2017: Toronto Coffee House

Imperial Pale Ale with Cold Brew Coffee 9.5%

Right around the time Robert Henderson was brewing his first beer, a man named William Cooper opened Toronto’s first coffee shop. Cooper was a real jack-of-all-trades who, among other things, was a preacher, teacher, auctioneer and, despite having no qualifications in the field, the town coroner (his coffee shop doubled as a morgue).

The Toronto Coffee House was the first business ever to use the word “Toronto” in its name when it set up shop opposite the St. Lawrence Market in December of 1801. Though it was called a ‘coffee house’, no one is really sure if it actually sold coffee. Gin, sure. Beer, definitely; but the term ‘coffee’ might have just been used as shorthand for a place to meet for conversation. To this day, there remains a place to gather for drinks and conversation across from the market.

To toast the 216th anniversary of Toronto’s first coffee shop, we present this Imperial Pale Ale with coffee. It’s big and bold, just like Bill Cooper. And whether it’s beer or coffee that gets your conversations going, this one’s got you covered.

A complex, high alcohol coffee-forward beer balanced by substantial New World hop character. Limited to 912 bottles


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Tasting Notes

  • OG: 19.5 Plato ABV: 8.0% IBU: 80 SRM: 10 (darker w/coffee)
  • Malts: Maris Otter, 2 kinds of oats (malted and golden naked), kiln coffee malt
  • Hops: Cascade and Amarillo, whirlpool and dry hop additions
  • Yeast: California Ale (house strain)
  • Triple-strength coffee cold brew made w/custom roasted Honduras coffee provided by EH Roasters
  • Aroma: Dark, strong coffee, toffee, stone fruit, citrus rind
  • Appearance: Tan to light copper, hazy with orange hues. Firm, persistent off-white head
  • Taste: Assertive coffee notes balanced by firm hop bitterness with layers of malt flavour in the finish including caramel, biscuit, and a hint of tobacco. Pleasant alcohol warmth.
  • Mouthfeel: Medium-high body, creamy, moderate carbonation level.
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