Henderson Brewing & Sleeman Breweries Bringing Back Upper Canada Rebellion Lager

TORONTO, ONHenderson Brewing has announced that it is partnering with Guelph’s Sleeman Breweries to bring back a classic brand from the earliest days of modern craft brewing in Ontario.

Originally released by Upper Canada Brewing in 1987 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Rebellion of Upper Canada, Rebellion Lager was a strong lager that was distinctive for its time, as described by beer writer Stephen Beaumont:

Upper Canada Rebellion quickly became an iconic ‘microbrewery’ brand after its release in 1987 – bold, strong at 6.5% alcohol by volume, and in the context of the ‘light ale-dark ale-lager’ market of the time, pretty much stylistically unclassifiable. (Released as a ‘malt liquor,’ in retrospect it was likely as close to a modern märzen as it was to anything.) In my 1994 book, The Great Canadian Beer Guide, I rated it at three stars out of four, ranking it among the best beers in the country at the time. It’s good to see it back.

Rebellion Lager was retired soon after the 1998 purchase of Upper Canada by Sleeman, and is returning almost two decades later via a unique partnership between Henderson and Sleeman.

Now known as Upper Canada Repatriation Lager (6% abv), the beer is being brewed by Henderson using “a painstaking recreation of the original recipe,” and is described as having “a deep golden colour, mild aroma and a velvety mouth feel.”

“The origin story of Canadian craft beer is a good one and Upper Canada was one of the original pioneers of craft beer as we know it,” says Henderson’s Steve Himel in a statement. “Bringing back Rebellion is a great way to honour Upper Canada and to celebrate their profound contribution to the craft beer scene today.”

Repatriation Lager will make its official debut on Friday March 23rd with a launch event at Henderson Brewing (128A Sterling Road, Toronto) that will include beer samples, a pop-up Upper Canada museum, complimentary stew from The Rebel House, and a live podcast recording with Cass Enright of The Bar Towel.

Repatriation will also be available at select LCBO locations across Ontario, retailing for $2.95 per 473 ml can.

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