Beer Inspired by O-Pee-Chee Hockey Cards


Hockey is an engrained part of Canadian culture. So is beer. Just ask Bob and Doug McKenzie. Now hockey, card culture and beer are colliding for a limited edition craft lager from Toronto’s Henderson Brewing. O-Pee-Chee Classic Lager is real, although it has no direct connection or affiliation with Upper Deck.

Released as part of the brewery’s monthly “Ides of” series, O-Pee-Chee Classic Lager is the January flavor. So that means it’s not going to be around for long.

The idea behind this particular beer is to pay tribute to the O-Pee-Chee Gum Company, which was located in London, Ontario.

Henderson Brewing describes the taste of the beer as having a “touch of graininess up front followed by moderate hop bitterness. Clean. Finishes crisp and doesn’t linger. Dry.” Many of those same qualities described the gum found in packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey cards back in the day, especially the graininess.

O-Pee-Chee inspired more than the beer itself. Many collectors will recognize the inspiration for the labels. They draw from one of the most iconic hockey card designs of all-time, 1971-72 O-Pee-Chee (and Topps).

Henderson Brewing has even gotten a roundabout blessing from the Hockey Hall of Fame. The museum has asked them for a set of the cans for their collection — all 21 different ones.

This isn’t the first time trading cards have inspired a specialty beer. In 2016, the infamous 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken baseball card was behind Puck Face, a sour brew from Maryland’s RaR Brewing.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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