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NEWS: Limited-edition brew named through a community contest (July 2021)

August 16th, 2021 · No Comments

“Pitstop,” developed by the Henderson Brewing Company, will soon be Christie Pits Park’s official beer

Spencer Murray of Henderson Brewing Company pulls a pint at their Sterling Road taproom. The award-winning craft brewery partnered with the Friends of Christie Pits Park to launch “Pitstop,” a new beer in honour of the popular park.

By Joshua Chong

Christie Pits Park will soon be getting an official beer in its honour. The Henderson Brewing Company, in partnership with Friends of Christie Pits Park (FCPP), is developing a limited-edition brew that will be available mid-August. 

The idea to have a beer celebrating Christie Pits Park came from Monica Gupta, co-chair of FCPP. 

“During the spring of 2021 I was sitting on our front porch drinking my favourite beer by Henderson’s called, The Best,” wrote Gupta in an email to the Gleaner. 

“I felt somewhat hopeful that the city would be opening up out of lockdown soon and thought to myself ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have an official beer of Christie Pits Park?’ So I sent a quick email to [everyone] at Henderson’s Brewery stating exactly that.”

In May, FCPP and Henderson’s ran a contest to name the beer. They received over 68 name submissions, including several related to baseball, picnicking, and the 1933 Christie Pits riot. 

Ultimately, the judges chose “Pitstop,” a name that was suggested by Rob Maxwell (a city councillor who represented the Christie Pits neighbourhood between 1988-1997), and Phinjo Gombu. 

“A Pitstop is a break or a timeout—a time to catch your breath and relax. Christie Pits offers us a place to do that,” wrote Maxwell in an email to the Gleaner. 

For Gupta, the name perfectly encapsulates the character of the park. 

“The park is a place to play with your kids, toss a frisbee and listen to music and enjoy a beer,” she wrote. “Many people use the park as a pitstop throughout their day.”

For winning the contest, Both Maxwell and Gombu will receive one of Henderson’s signature converted milk crates of 28 beers.

FCPP and Henderson’s are also running a label design contest for the beer. 

The winning design has yet to be chosen.  

According to Steve Himel, general manager of Henderson’s, Pitstop will be a light beer with cherries and peaches. 

“First off, we wanted a good light refreshing daytime beer that was consistent with the idea of a pitstop—something that someone could take a moment to enjoy and get all the benefits of a beer without it being too heavy,” he wrote in an email to the Gleaner. 

“The second reason is that we wanted something with ‘pits’ in it to riff on the name, thus the cherry and peach.”   

Pitstop will be part of Henderson’s Ides Series of beers, each of which will be released in the middle of each month and tell the stories of people, places, and events in the community. 

Past beers have paid homage to Honest Ed’s, Laura Secord, and the Corktown neighbourhood. 

Pitstop is the 64th beer in the line-up. 

It will be only available at the Henderson’s west end brewery at 128A Sterling Road

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